Tongue Tied

Talkie Toaster

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Talkie Toaster

Race Artificial Intelligence
Place of Origin Earth (Taiwan)
Appearances Series I and "White Hole"
Alter Egos none
Family Crapola Inc engineers (creators)
Actor John Lenahan / David Ross
"May I Just ask one question... would anyone like any toast?"
-Talkie Toaster (RD: White Hole)

Talkie Toaster is a minor character, a monomaniacal toaster that tries to steer every conversation to the subject of toast.

Owned by Dave Lister, Talkie Toaster is a toaster with Artificial Intelligence who is completely obsessed with making toast and annoys everyone on board. In Series I (and a deleted scene in Series II), he appears as a standard 1970s toaster made from stainless steel but with a circular light on the side which flashes as he speaks, and is voiced by John Lenahan. In Series IV, he appears as a red toaster made of plastic, with his name "Talkie Toaster" emblazoned on the side, and rather more flashing red and green lights (originally from Box, the computer in Star Cops) - although they have nothing to do with when he speaks, which is indicated by the press-down handle that would usually be used to start bread toasting - and is voiced by David Ross (who originally played Kryten in Series II). The second novel's description matches his appearance in Series IV.

In the television show, the Toaster would keep interjecting in conversations in surprisingly and annoyingly smart ways, and whenever possible would try eventually to steer the conversation towards toast. He likes to greet people with the phrase, "Howdy-doodly-do, how's it going?" Eventually this became too much for Lister who smashed the Toaster into 3000 separate pieces with a 14lb lump hammer (which the Toaster later describes as "First degree toaster-cide"), and his change in appearance may mean that Kryten had to fit a different casing.

Kryten eventually repaired the Toaster in order to use him as a guinea-pig for "intelligence compression" — restoring his former intelligence (his AI chips were very badly damaged) at the cost of reducing his operational lifespan. After it worked with him Kryten tried it on Holly, but a miscalculation made her twice as smart as she used to be and left her with only three-and-a-half minutes to live. Later on by blocking up a "white hole" (opposite of a black hole, and which spews out time) time was reset to before the Toaster was repaired so he did not end up repaired after all. The Toaster's repaired personality was somewhat different from his original one: it now had a different voice and no longer tried to hide its obsession with toast. Where before, the Toaster would cut into a conversation, insult someone, and then make some reference to toast, the new Toaster was barely able to go more than two sentences without asking if someone would like a cooked bread product.

In the second novel, the Toaster helped Holly double his original IQ but shortened his life to three and a half minutes. He won 793 consecutive chess games against Holly. During this time, the Toaster also saved the crew from death: while Holly was a genius, he explained to the Toaster how to escape from a black hole, information which later came in useful when the crew encountered one. The Toaster did not, however, merely volunteer this information: it forced the crew to eat ridiculous amounts of toast before talking (The Cat later explains that the toast was burnt, cold and soggy). When the crew is attacked by a polymorph, and the crew loses a certain emotion (Rimmer loses his anger, Lister loses his fear, The Cat loses his vanity and Kryten loses his guilt), the Toaster is destroyed by Kryten. It was subsequently repaired, but its personality circuits were damaged to the point where it believed it was a moose, and was reduced to making loud bellowing noises and threatening to charge the crew with its antlers.

Talkie toaster

The Toaster was apparently manufactured by a Taiwanese company named "Crapola Inc."

The Toaster's interviews with various Red Dwarf characters (complete with offers of toast) can be found on the official Red Dwarf website.

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