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Silicon Heaven

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Silicon Heaven is an afterlife concept, where electronic equipment goes after death. The concept is used to keep mechanoids, many of which are stronger and more intelligent than their masters, from rebelling; a belief chip is installed in robots to ensure that they will believe that they will go to Silicon Heaven after a life of servitude to humanity. (Better Than Life)

Silicon Heaven can be seen as a parody of religious concepts. Kryten refuses to believe he has installed a "silicon heaven belief chip" even though Rimmer shows him the manual that proves it. (RD: The Inquisitor)

Equipment going to Silicon Heaven include robots, calculators, toasters and hairdryers. Cheap robots such as skutters and Talkie Toaster are sometimes not fitted with a belief chip due to cost, and so mock the very idea, but Holly and Kryten hang on to the belief. In the books, it is revealed that when Holly's intelligence was at its peak he didn't believe in Silicon Heaven, but as his IQ slowly declined his faith became "unshakable".

The concept was introduced in the episode "The Last Day", in which Kryten, on learning that he is to be replaced by a more advanced model, tells Lister that he is resigned to his fate as he knows he will receive his reward in Silicon Heaven. Lister's attempts to convince Kryten that Silicon Heaven doesn't really exist meet with no success; although Kryten later tells his replacement, Hudzen 10, that there is no Silicon Heaven, causing Hudzen to break down when he attempts to cope with the idea, he admits to Lister that he only said it to confuse Hudzen, and that his own faith is still strong:

KRYTEN: "He's an android. His brain could not handle the concept of there being no silicon heaven."
LISTER: "So how come yours can?"
KRYTEN: "Because I knew something he didn't."
LISTER: "What?"
KRYTEN: "I knew that I was lying. Seriously, sir. 'No silicon heaven'? Preposterous! Where would all the calculators go?"

Taken from The Last Day, Series III (1990)

However, in the later episode "The Inquisitor," Kryten tells Lister that he believes in Silicon heaven. His right knee then starts jiggling, a reflex to lying (However, this could be explained by the fact that the Inquisitor had made it as if Kryten never existed, and as such that if he dies, it's quite likely he will not go to Silicon Heaven even if it exists).

References to Silicon HellEdit

  • During the episode "Gunmen of the Apocalypse," the crew of Starbug are drafted into a game of "Cat and Mouse" by a group of rogue Simulants out for the sport of the hunt. After a direct hit on the simulant ship's fuel tank, a computer virus is transmitted onto Starbug, with the captain's last words as, "See you in Silicon Hell!" as his ship is destroyed around him.
  • In "Rimmerworld" the crew encounter the wreckage of the Simulant ship they crippled in "Gunmen of the Apocalypse". When preparing to board the vessel for supplies, Lister says "Lets hope the crew are rotting in Silicon Hell along with all the photocopiers."
  • In "Out of Time," when the crew believed that Lister was a mechanoid, inferior in design to Kryten, Kryten pushed Lister to work with the threat of wallowing in "the eternal fires of Silicon Hell."

ReplacementEdit

According to the novel Backwards, the concept of Silicon Heaven was eventually replaced with a variant on Isaac Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics".

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