— Arnold Rimmer ("Fathers & Suns")
An impressive ability of Pree was to be able to predict the behaviour of her crewmembers with a flawless accuracy, and run a vessel exactly as her crew would.
Kryten mentions that they had acquired Pree's software from a derelict vessel, although it is unknown which vessel this was. One strong possibly is the SS Trojan which the Dwarfers encountered in the previous episode. Kryten and Arnold Rimmer then install the sentient Pree on Red Dwarf in order to replace the silent JMC On-Board Computer. The ship's former artificial intelligence, Holly, is presumably still out of service due to water damage as indicated in Back to Earth. Rimmer insisted that she be young and blonde, with a large bust, much to Kryten's confusion.
Pree has the unique ability to predict a crewman's actions before they have undertaken them, in a similar fashion as predictive text on a cell phone. She studies security footage and crewman data to determine a profile of every registered crew member, and can then predict their actions, words, and thoughts even before they have even determined them themselves. Her predictions are never shown to be inaccurate during the events of the episode, and she even anticipated Rimmer's ineptitude well enough to actually actively replicate the botched repair job that he would have ordered on B Deck, although she is shown to be vulnerable when she misses an important piece of information.
During the events of the episode, Lister de-registers himself as a warning to his son, who happens to be himself, while drunk on GELF Hooch. Because of this, Pree no longer feels the need to provide him with oxygen, and make the decision to force him off the ship. Pree enticed Lister out of his bunk by imitating the voice of Lister's lost girlfriend, Kochanski, and then forced him into an airlock using the garbage droids that Pree had taken control of.
Without any living listed crewmembers to bring home and protect (the Cat and Kryten not seeming to count, potentially because they are additionals), Pree orders the ship to fly into the nearest sun, considering it to have lost it's purpose and to have become merely space junk, as per the Space Pollution Act. Fortunately, Lister had got inside a space suit before being jettisoned into space, and subsequently managed to jet-pack back on board through the Front Ramscoop.
Lister had previously attempted to register his son, once again himself, as another crewmember. Knowing this, Lister informs Pree that as soon as his file is done being registered, his son would order her to uninstall herself. Because Pree is a predictive computer, and because her overriding mission is to ensure the efficient running of the ship and the prompt execution of the wishes of its crew, she agrees with Lister that she should uninstall herself immediately, rather than wait for the order to actually come from his son, who is of course himself. Somewhat impressed by Lister's flawless logic, Pree promptly uninstalled herself, saving the crew from any more harm. ("Fathers and Suns", Series X)
- In contemporary Jamaican slang, and to a lesser extent English slang, "Pree" means to look. In the former "Pree" generally means to pay close attention to, whilst in the latter it generally has more intense and/or sinister connotations i.e. unwanted attention, spying or cyber stalking. This is a fitting for the computer, given that the computer watches over everything her crew does and rapidly builds up a profile of their character, to the point of knowing what they are going to do at any given moment.
- Pree's ability to predict the future with perfect precision is similar to the abilities of another predictive computer, Cassandra, from the episode of the same name in Series VIII. However, their means of achieving this ability, and what they do with the knowledge gained from the ability, are quite different. Cassandra appeared more sentient and independent than Pree, but did not have the controlling power or influence that Pree had.
Behind the scenes
- Pree is portrayed by Rebecca Blackstone, although she is incorrectly acknowledged in the episode credits as "Rebbecca" Blackstone.