Beyond a Joke

Beyond a Joke
"Beyond a Joke"
Red Dwarf episode
Episode no. Series 7
Episode 6
Directed by Ed Bye
Written by Robert Llewellyn & Doug Naylor
Original air date February 21, 1997
Guest stars

Don Henderson
Vicky Ogden
Alina Proctor
Catherine Harvey
Sophia Thierens
Rebecca Katz
Julia Lloyd

Series 7 episodes
17 January – 7 March 1997
  1. "Tikka to Ride"
  2. "Stoke Me a Clipper"
  3. "Ouroboros"
  4. "Duct Soup"
  5. "Blue"
  6. "Beyond a Joke"
  7. "Epideme"
  8. "Nanarchy"
List of all Red Dwarf episodes

"Beyond a Joke" is the sixth episode of science fiction sitcom Red Dwarf Series VII and the 42nd in the series run. It was first broadcast on the British television channel BBC2 on 21 February 1997.[1] The script was written by Robert Llewellyn (who plays series regular Kryten) and Doug Naylor, and was directed by Ed Bye.

Contents

Plot

Starbug passes an old derelict spaceship, the SS Centauri, which Kryten scavenges for supplies. He finds some live lobsters in stasis and brings them aboard to cook a fine supper. This is convenient, since it is exactly five years to the day since Kryten was rescued from the wreck of the Nova 5 and he was looking for a way to celebrate the anniversary. Meanwhile, Kochanski (Chloë Annett) decides to educate Lister (Craig Charles) and Cat (Danny John-Jules) on the finer points of etiquette by introducing them to a virtual reality rendition of "Pride and Prejudice Land" in "Jane Austen World". Kryten's plans for a lobster supper, which he had been preparing all day, are scuppered by this. Kryten's jealousy gets out of hand and he enters the virtual reality simulation in a tank to spoil their fun and compel them to return for supper.

Back on Starbug the crew begins eating the lobster and Lister requests brown sauce to go with it. This is too much for Kryten and he goes berserk, literally blowing his top — his head explodes. Lister suggests that they board the SS Centauri again and look for some spare mechanoid heads there. However they discover a Rogue Simulant captain who has since commandeered the Centauri. Meanwhile a GELF Kinitawowi tribesman, a partner of the Simulant, ransacks Starbug and steals the remains of Kryten. When the crew goes back aboard Starbug, the Simulant and the GELF then escape with Kryten aboard the Centauri. Starbug cannot catch up as the Centauri is much faster, travelling at warp speed.

On board the Centauri, the defect which caused Kryten to blow up his head is fixed. There Kryten meets another mechanoid named Able who is a servant to the Simulant and who, it turns out, is from the same batch as Kryten (a 4000 series) and carries the same serial number. This means that Kryten and Able are, in effect, brothers. However Able is a "zoney" — he is addicted to a narcotic known as "otrazone" that is specially designed for mechanoids. Abuse of this has corrupted Able's circuit boards.

Able began using the drug after the simulant revealed to him that the entire 4000 series of mechanoids was a spiteful joke by their creator, Professor Mamet. They were designed to be a parody of a fiance who jilted her, and as such were made pompous, ridiculous looking, and overbearing. Further, all their negative emotions are stored on a "nega-drive" and when it becomes full they literally blow up. After Kryten is also made aware of the secret by the simulant, he spirals into a similar depression as Able, although Lister comforts him by claiming that he has evolved beyond his original personality.

The pair of mechanoid brothers escape to Starbug, but the Centauri attacks them. The crew are saved by Able, who sacrifices his life for them by attacking the Centauri with the pent-up emotions stored in Kryten's nega-drive, enticing the simulant to destroy himself and his ship in a fit of depression. At the end, the Starbug crew visits the "Curryworld" AR program; unfortunately the curry is too hot even for Lister due to a "bug in the program"...

Production

Robert Llewellyn wrote this episode with the intent to feature very little of Kryten due to his increasing dislike for the application of the Kryten makeup. However after numerous revisions of the script by Naylor, Kryten became an integral part of the episode.[2] Plus Llewellyn also had to play the part of another droid, Kryten's brother, Able. This meant he had to wear the Kryten makeup twice as much, as Able appeared in the same costume coloured green instead of black.[3]

Production had to be halted whilst the cast and crew searched for one of Danny John-Jules' Cat's teeth. Whilst filming the "Pride and Prejudice World" scenes in the lakeside gazebo, Danny John-Jules lost one of his "cat teeth" as he ate grapes.[3]

The Rogue Simulant captain was played by veteran British actor Don Henderson, known for his role in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in which he portrayed High General Tagge. This episode proved to be Henderson's last work in the world of acting, and he died soon after the episode was broadcast. Henderson was in the latter stages of terminal throat cancer during filming, and his husky voice was not a special effect as many viewers believed but due to his condition.[4]

Other guest stars included Vicky Ogden as Mrs. Bennet, Alina Proctor as Jane Bennet, Catherine Harvey as Kitty Bennet, Sophia Thierens as Lydia Bennet, Rebecca Katz as Mary Bennet, Julia Lloyd as Elizabeth Bennet.

Trivia

When Kryten uploads the T-72 Tank into the Virtual Reality machine, he says it's from an old World War II game. But the T-72 didn't enter service until 1973. The tank in question featured in the James Bond movie Goldeneye.

References

External links


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  • get beyond a joke — go/get/beyond a joke phrase if a situation goes beyond a joke, it becomes annoying or makes you feel worried I’m a patient person, but this is getting beyond a joke. Thesaurus: to make someone worried or nervoussynonym Main entry: joke …   Useful english dictionary

  • go beyond a joke — go/get/beyond a joke phrase if a situation goes beyond a joke, it becomes annoying or makes you feel worried I’m a patient person, but this is getting beyond a joke. Thesaurus: to make someone worried or nervoussynonym Main entry: joke …   Useful english dictionary

  • get beyond a joke — get/go beyond a joke if a situation gets beyond a joke, it becomes extremely serious and worrying. He s drunk more nights than he s sober these days this has gone beyond a joke …   New idioms dictionary

  • go beyond a joke — get/go beyond a joke if a situation gets beyond a joke, it becomes extremely serious and worrying. He s drunk more nights than he s sober these days this has gone beyond a joke …   New idioms dictionary

  • be beyond a joke — be/get beyond a ˈjoke idiom to become annoying and no longer acceptable • His teasing is getting beyond a joke. Main entry: ↑jokeidiom …   Useful english dictionary

  • be beyond a joke — informal be serious or worrying. → joke …   English new terms dictionary

  • joke — joke1 W3S2 [dʒəuk US dʒouk] n [Date: 1600 1700; : Latin; Origin: jocus] 1.) something that you say or do to make people laugh, especially a funny story or trick ▪ Do you know any good jokes? joke about ▪ a joke about absent minded professors ▪… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • joke — 1 noun (C) 1 STH FUNNY something that you say or do to make people laugh, especially a funny story or trick: Do you know any good jokes? | Don t get mad it was only a joke! | crack/make a joke (=say something funny) | tell a joke (=tell a short… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • joke */*/ — I UK [dʒəʊk] / US [dʒoʊk] noun [countable] Word forms joke : singular joke plural jokes 1) a) something you say or do that is intended to make people laugh Is this some kind of stupid joke? Greg sprayed her with water as a joke. make/crack a joke …   English dictionary

  • joke — [[t]ʤo͟ʊk[/t]] ♦♦♦ jokes, joking, joked 1) N COUNT: oft N about n A joke is something that is said or done to make you laugh, for example a funny story. He debated whether to make a joke about shooting rabbits, but decided against it... No one… …   English dictionary

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