Tongue Tied


917pages on
this wiki
Kryten 2X4B-523P
Race Series 4000 Mechanoid
Place of Origin DivaDroid International
Appearances "RD: Kryten", "RD: Dad" (lost episode where he joins the crew permanently), Series III-Series X
Alter Egos Spare Head 3, Jake Bullet, Sheriff Kryten, Bongo, High Kryten, Low Kryten, Kryten Krytenski, Kryten (Alternate timeline), New Kryten, Future Kryten, Kryten (Timeslides), Kryten (Backwards), Kryten (The Last Human)
Family Able (production brother)
Professor Mamet (creator)
John Warburton (physical template)
Dave Lister (adopted owner)
Actor Robert Llewellyn / David Ross

ThisThis article is about the Red Dwarf character. For the Red Dwarf episode, see RD: Kryten.

"Please sir, give me some credit. I am not the one-dimensional cleaning droid I was once was; I've evolved into something far more complex and multi-layered, and if I may so say so, superior.
-Kryten (RD: Lemons)

Kryten, B.S. (Bachelor of Sanitation) is a Series 4000 mechanoid or 'slave 'noid' — a robotic, plastic servant — and is quite neurotic. He is very humanoid, with the exception of the flat cubic planes visible on his face and head. His brain is synthetic yet also partly organic, based on that of John Warburton.

Once the personal servant of three female crew members of the Nova 5, he is now reduced to serving the slobbish Dave Lister, the only surviving human crew member on Red Dwarf. He was also on the SS Augustus before the Nova 5, but the crew died of old age. Kryten also believes in Silicon Heaven, the electronic afterlife.

Kryten had at least three spare heads, one of which has droid-rot (a condition similar to computer senility) that gives it a Yorkshire accent. The spare heads can engage in conversation with Kryten. Once, the other heads held a poll and voted Kryten as the ugly, big-eared one, upsetting Kryten. The others took turns being head head. All of these were destroyed due to the final step of Mamet's joke; eventually a 2X4B mechanoid will "blow its top" (due to Lister wanting ketchup to put on lobster). The "negadrive" which caused this has been removed, and, luckily, Kryten's personality chips survived and were placed in a new head.



Early Kryten

Kryten was built in 2340 (RD: Back in the Red I) by DivaDroid International, one of a number of Series 4000 models which inluded Able, and based on a design by Professor Mamet. This design was actually intended as a joke on Mamet's buffoon ex-fiancé, the mechanoids being a caricature of his fussiness and pomposity, and with a "Nega-Drive" that when overloaded will cause the mechanoids head to explode. (RD: Beyond a Joke) Kryten is hard-wired to obey all of Mamet's orders without question, so when a Psiren impersonated Mamet and ordered Kryten to crush himself in a garbage compactor, even though he knew it wasn't actually Mamet he had no choice but to comply. (His reply upon emerging, having been compacted into a cube: 'I'm almost annoyed!') (RD: Psirens)

Kryren had his software installed at Toilet University, earning him the title "Bachelor of Sanitation". (RD: Epideme) For any potential cooking duties he was also programmed in off-world cuisine and utensils, such as Anti-Matter Chopsticks (which he still struggled to use), Telekinetic Wine, Jovian boogle hoops, and the often-lethal Mercurian boomerang spoon. (RD: Legion) Kryten first served aboard the SS Augustus, but the crew died of old age, (RD: Duct Soup) before Kryten was picked up by the Nova 5.

Aboard Red DwarfEdit

Kryten was first discovered as the cleaning mechanoid on the Nova 5 which had crashed, killing almost all the crew (the Red Dwarf novels explain that this was because Kryten cleaned the inside of the Nova 5 Navicomp with soapy water). Kryten looked after the three survivors for three million years, refusing to admit they had died of old age, until he was rescued by the Red Dwarf. Initially, Arnold Rimmer took advantage of his servility, but Lister persuaded him to rebel against his programming. He took Lister's space-bike and went out to find a planet he could grow a garden on. (RD: Kryten)

At the beginning of Series III, we learn that Kryten smashed the bike into an asteroid. Lister rebuilt him, but was unable to recreate him exactly. He did not look identical to his previous self, and spoke with a somewhat different accent.


Kryten being turned from a mechanoid to a human...
(RD: D.N.A.)

In the episode D.N.A., Kryten briefly became human when the DNA Ship transmogrified his plastic to flesh using the organic components in his synthetic brain; presumably the same genetic material as John Warburton or Jim Reaper.

In Series VII, he discovered that he has a "brother" named Able. Kryten originally rejected the wastrel, drug-addicted mechanoid before an act of supreme self-sacrifice convinced him of his brother's worth.

He was briefly returned to factory settings in Series VIII, but his hard-won independence broke through after the crew jogged his memory. When Red Dwarf was re-built with the crew, Kryten was reclassed as a woman due to his lack of male genitalia (that is, his lack of any genitalia: the only mechanoids given genitals were the ones created to work on Italian starships, as it was felt it would be psychologically comforting if the androids could stand around cupping themselves all day like their crewmates). Due to this deficiency, Kryten decided to make a penis called Archie, who runs around like a mouse. Kristine Kochanski commented that Kryten was a real man because "like all men, you have absolutely no control over your penis," thereby making Kryten very proud.


Freak Face, Novelty Condom-head, Captain Chloroform (BodySwap), Captain Bog-bot, Bog-bot from Hell, Metal Bastard, Butter-pat Head, Plastic Percy, and Commander U-Bend are among the plethora of names created by Kryten's shipmates. He has even been noted to possess a head shaped like "an inexplicably popular fishing float".


Having lost his obedience programmes, Kryten has been able to better himself. While he continues to be a sanitation droid, and to enjoy cleaning and serving others, he has also become the science expert amongst the Dwarfers, often leading missions such as their search for Rimmer on the psi-moon in "Terrorform". The dichotomy between these two aspects of his personality has led to Rimmer nicknaming him "Captain Bog-bot".

Kryten has also extended his emotional range, which has led to him deactivating his shutdown disk (DivaDroid International believes in planned obsolescence), although the crew were then forced into a showdown with his would-be replacement. His greatest ambition is to be human, and to this end he has attempted to learn to lie and insult people (mostly Rimmer), although he has trouble with the words "smeg head" (the best he can manage is "smeeeeeeee heeeeeeeee"). He did however become human for a few days after a machine changed his genetic structure, but he didn't enjoy the experience as much as he thought he would.

Perhaps the most significant element of his personality is guilt. When his ability to feel guilty for his actions is compromised in some way (either when his guilt is drained or his guilt chip is physically removed), he can become careless, rude and even aggressive. This guilt is not necessarily balanced out by a sense of pride in the good work he does - in the episode 'The Inquisitor', he believed his selflessness was purely a matter of programming and therefore he had not led a worthwhile life.


Cleaning, serving, pointing out flaws in The Cat's plans.

Likes and DislikesEdit

Kryten likes cleaning, ironing (to the extent when he is sent to do the ironing as punishment for escaping The Tank, he considered it a reward), preparing meals. {C Kryten thinks that his middle name "2X4B" is jerky ("The Last Day", Series III), but says he once knew a "poor sucker" of a mechanoid whose middle name was "2Q4B". He also does not like being called tetchy. and likes Lister and the cat

Kryten formed an irrational dislike of the new Kristine Kochanski when he first met her, mostly out of a fear that she and Lister would fall in love and abandon him. However he grew to respect her (although not necessarily like her) after she saved Lister's life from the Epideme virus.


  • Cat: What? Am I the only sane one here? Why don't we drop the defensive shields?
    Kryten: A superlative suggestion, sir, with just two minor flaws. One, we don't have any defensive shields, and two, we don't have any defensive shields. Now I realise that, technically speaking, that's only one flaw but I thought it was such a big one it was worth mentioning twice.
  • Kryten: You are a SMEEEEEEE... HEEEEEEEEEEE... (trying to call Rimmer a Smeghead but is programmed not to insult)
  • Kryten: My penis must have escaped!
  • Lister: Kryten, what have I done man?
    Kryten: Well, you've brought the 20th century to the very brink of extinction, sir. Gum?


  • Kryten's registration code on Red Dwarf is Additional 001.
  • It is possible Kryten was inadvertently responsible for the crash of the Nova 5; in Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, the Nova 5 crashed because Kryten washed the internal parts of the navigation computer; however, this may not be regarded as part of the 'official', canon story, though the situation is referred to by Dave Lister in the Series VII episode "Ouroboros"

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • The name Kryten is a reference to the head butler in the J.M. Barrie play The Admirable Crichton.
  • In the character's first appearance, originally only intended as a one-off, Kryten was played by David Ross. However, the popularity of the character meant that Kryten was introduced as a regular in Series III; the intention was to bring Ross back to play the role, but as he was not available at the time, the position was filled by Robert Llewellyn, whose performances as Kryten in series III-X resulted in even greater popularity of the character.
  • Kryten's accident was intended to explain the differences between Ross' portrayal of the character and Llewellyn's, as well as Lister needing to help Kryten break his programming all over again. Most noticeably, whereas he previously had an "English butler" voice, similar to C-3PO, he now spoke with what Llewellyn admits to be a bad Canadian accent.
  • This character has a niche in science-fiction history: It is believed that this was the first robot/android ever to give a human the finger (the Skutter in "Queeg" giving Rimmer a two-fingered salute).
  • Robert Llewellyn writes in his book The Man in the Rubber Mask that before settling on a Canadian accent, he, Rob Grant and Doug Naylor considered Swedish and American.
  • Llewellyn was brought to Rob Grant and Doug Naylor's attention through his role in a satirical feminist play called Mammon: Robot Born of Woman.
  • The Kryten make-up was a constant source of discomfort for Llewellyn, as the prosthetic rubber mask required him to be in make-up for up to six hours. By Series VII, this had been reduced to two hours and in Back to Earth ninety minutes.
  • In their original plan for the series, Grant and Naylor had specified that there would be no aliens and no robots. However, following the success of the first appearance by the Kryten character, Naylor convinced Grant to bring him back.
  • Robert Llewellyn was the only British cast member originaly invited to participate in the American version of Red Dwarf, though Chris Barrie was, later, also approached to reprise his role of Rimmer as "no American actor could hate themselves" quite so well as the character needed. Barrie declined. In this series, he (Kryten) was owned by the ship's Captain prior to the disaster that wiped out the crew, but suffered an overload when Lister asked him to hide his pet cat and the captain subsequently ordered him to reveal its location, and passed the three million years stuck in a laboratory by reading an EXIT sign until Lister was revived and could repair him.
Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Kryten. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tongue Tied, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki