Faced with the prospect of meeting real live women for the first time in three million years, the boys from the Dwarf go to investigate a distress signal from a crashed space vessel.
A mysterious mechanoid - a robotic butler - is aboard a wrecked spaceship, Nova 5. The mechanoid is apparently alone, surrounded by cleaning equipment and watching a cheesy mechanoid soap opera, Androids.
On Red Dwarf, Arnold Rimmer is practicing his Esperanto with an automated translator in the sleeping quarters. Rimmer is completely wrong at every phrase, causing him to become greatly agitated, since he has been learning Esperanto for five years. Rimmer is further exasperated by Lister, who is sat nearby polishing his space bike before he goes on a joyride through an asteroid belt. Lister, whose education consists of just over an hour of Art College, seems to have learned Esperanto simply by listening to Rimmer, and repeatedly corrects Rimmer on his Esperanto.
Holly, the computer of Red Dwarf, also then interrupts and begins to correct Rimmer on his Esperanto. Holly also explains how in the three million years he spent alone that he has reinvented music - which he calls Hol Rock. Rimmer decries that Holly and Lister must both be bored, since they are both determined to annoy him. Holly then remembers why he contacted them - he has picked up a distress signal. Rimmer instantly declares it to be aliens, since who else used up a whole bog roll in a single day?
Lister and Rimmer make their way to the nearest Drive Room, and on the way they pick up Cat who is trying to catch a mouse in the corridors. In the Drive Room, they make grainy video contact with Nova 5, and the service mechanoid - Kryten - requests help from the Dwarfers. Rimmer initially believes Kryten to be an alien before he realises Kryten is a mechanoid. When Kryten tells them that the surviving three human crew of Nova 5 are female, the boys become greatly excited and prepare to not only rescue them, but also impress.
Cat dresses in a gold spacesuit he has makes himself (so that it doesn't mess with his hair), whilst Rimmer reinvents himself as a dashing "space adventurer captain", and wears a JMC Admiral's uniform, with an extra pair of socks stuffed down his trousers. Lister puts on his least smeggy socks, and his Mugs Murphy t-shirt with only two curry stains, and paints over the hole in the rear of his trousers with black spray-paint. Still, not wanting Lister to take the lime-light, Rimmer asks him Lister to call him "Ace" and not put him down like he has done in the past,, and also suggests Lister wears his favourite moon boots, which are sure to further disgust the girls.
They fly down to Nova 5 in a Blue Midget (the first time the boys actually leave Red Dwarf in the series, and the first appearance of one of the Red Dwarf shuttles). After docking with Nova 5 and meeting Kryten for the first time, Rimmer tries to flatter and impress Kryten by conversing in Esperanto, but stops when he realises Kryten is fluent in the language.
The boys are disappointed and stunned to find that Kryten is still attending to the three female officers who have long since passed away, and are now no more than skeletons. The boys realise that Kryten has been waiting on skeletons for three million years, unable to accept that they are dead and he is alone. Rimmer, who dubs Kryten the "android version of Norman Bates", has great trouble convincing Kryten that the crew are dead. Eventually Kryten concedes but mournfully asks what he is to do, as he is programmed only to serve. Lister advises him to try to begin a new life, and offers to bring him aboard Red Dwarf.
The crew take Kryten back aboard Red Dwarf in Blue Midget, and since Kryten is programmed to obey any orders, Rimmer relishes in the opportunity to boss somebody about. Rimmer provides Kryten with a gigantic list of tasks to accomplish, and a montage follows in which Kryten is seen frantically undertaking countless tasks simultaneously, such as ironing whilst peeling a mountain of potatoes. After scrubbing floors, Kryten struggles with a skutter that doesn't want cleaning (poking it in the eyes to subdue it), and cleaning Holly's monitors (much to Holly's confusion).
Lister walks into the sleeping quarters and finds Kryten has cleaned up everywhere, covered the walls in antiquated wallpaper and crockery, installed plants, and put up frilly white lace around every edge and corner. Lister's boxer shorts now bend, and Kryten has thrown away "Albert", a nearly two foot high fungus that Lister was growing in an old coffee cup to annoy Rimmer. Lister explains to Kryten that driving Rimmer nuts is what keeps him going. Lister, never one for authority figures, tries to convince Kryten that he doesn't have to do any of his service duties anymore and can do his own thing. Kryten finds it difficult, because the only thing he enjoys is cleaning and the mechanoid soap opera Androids.
Kryten tells him of his dream of growing a garden and looking after it, which Lister encourages him to do. In his plan to break Kryten's programming and instill some individuality in Kryten, Lister even takes Kryten down to the Red Dwarf cinema and shows him the classic Marlon Brando film The Wild One. However, in the middle of Brando's rebel speech, Kryten gets out a brush and starts cleaning Lister's lapels.
Kryten fails until, while he is painting a portrait of Rimmer, his rebellious side finally opens up, and he paints Rimmer sitting on the toilet. Kryten leaves the sleeping quarters whilst insulting Rimmer and sticking up his middle finger, and he asks if he can borrow Lister's space bike, to which a smiling Lister says "you got it".
The episode as originally broadcast finishes with Kryten jumping on a heavily customised space bike wearing a studded leather jacket, à la Marlon Brando in The Wild One.
Available on the Series II DVD:
- The full, uncut credits to Kryten's favorite show Androids, including the entire theme tune to the show - a mock-up of the theme tune to the real-world, long-running Australian soap opera Neighbours. The lyrics to the Androids theme song discusses how mechanicals can develop feelings - foreshadowing what does eventually occur with Kryten when he later becomes one of the boys. The full Androids scene was trimmed for the broadcast episode, for time.
- A deleted scene featuring Cat singing in the disco. Cat performs a disastrous musical duet with Talkie Toaster with the skutters on keyboard. Whilst Cat screeches and wails, Cat complains of Talkie Toaster's musical ineptitude and tone deafness, with Talkie Toaster saying that he "doesn't understand Cat music". This scene was cut for time.
- Kryten leaves Red Dwarf on the flying space bike. It causes an explosion of sparks as it rides out of the airlock, and is seen flying off into nebulae in space. This was cut for both timing and effects reasons.
- Kryten returns in the Series III opener "Backwards" after apparently crashing Lister's space bike into an asteroid. Between Series II and III, Lister rescues and rebuilds Kryten (see also "Dad"), and Kryten becomes a permanent main character thereafter.
- David Ross played Kryten only in this episode (he was later replaced by Robert Llewellyn). Ross later returned to voice Talkie Toaster in Series IV's "White Hole".
- Red Dwarf's second series introduces the small ship-to-surface vessel Blue Midget. The creation of the transport vehicle was to enable the Dwarfers to leave the ship and explore space, leading them to meet Kryten and party away Rimmer's death on a moon. The larger Starbug will be created for Series III and beyond, it becoming a major part of the 6th and 7th seasons.
- In a deleted scene, Cat is shown singing a duet with Talkie Toaster. The idea that Cat sees himself as a great performer is also explored in Parallel Universe where he watches himself on the Dream Recorder singing Tongue Tied, with the rest of the Dwarfers as back-up dancers.
- This episode sees Rimmer's first disastrous attempt at learning Esperanto, the language which much of Red Dwarf is signed in.
- This episode is believed to show a first in science fiction, where an automaton gives a human the finger.
- Rimmer says it's been 3,000,002 years since any of them have seen a woman, indicating it's been at least two years since Lister was revived from stasis.
- When Kryten first contacts Red Dwarf he claims that the male officers of Nova 5 all died on impact. He then sends the medical details of the three "surviving" female crewmembers (who are actually skeletons too but Kryten has convinced himself they are still alive). The medical cards are shown on screen, but go by very fast and so are easily missed. Their pictures reveal attractive women, and the information reveals their names are Anne Gill, Tracey Johns, and Jane Air. All three are "mapping officers", in their early-to-mid twenties.
- Kryten's departure is not exactly clear in the episode as broadcast, as it ends with Kryten mounting the bike and then cutting to credits, with only the start of Series III indicating that he actually left Red Dwarf in a space bike. Up to this point in the series there has been no indication that Lister's bike was capable of flying in space, and a scene showing Kryten actually leaving was cut from the final episode. It was added back in when the episode was remastered.
- This is the first episode in which the passage of time since Lister was put into stasis begins to be bent a little. Kryten views weekly broadcasts of an apparent Earth-made soap opera called Androids - with which Lister is familiar - even though three million years into the future there should be no such broadcasts. It's also suggested that the Nova 5 crash occurred within the last few centuries, suggesting human life still existed relatively recently, contrary to statements made so far indicating Lister is the last human being alive. (It's possible Kryten is watching Androids on reruns, and Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers says he has them all on disc).
- The episode does not explain how it's possible for Rimmer to exist outside both Red Dwarf and Blue Midget. Although based on later episodes we can assume it's because of his Light Bee. It is also possible that Nova 5 was sustaining his hologram.
- The producer and director of Androids, Kylie Gwenlyn, is named after the former head of the BBC, Gareth Gwenlan. The term "Gwenlan" was also used occasionally by Rimmer in the earlier series of the the show as a mild insult.
- At the beginning, Kryten is watching his favourite television show Androids. The theme song for the program is a spoof of the long-running Australian soap opera Neighbours, a big hit in Britain.
- In all releases of this episode, the "Mc" in "McNugget" is edited out of the dialogue.
- Holly: As the days go by, we face the increasing inevitability that we are alone in a godless, uninhabited, hostile and meaningless Universe. Still, you've got to laugh, haven't you?
- Rimmer: Holly, as the Esperantinos would say, "Bonvolu alsendi la pordiston, laushajne estas rano en mia bideo." I think we all know what that means.
Holly: Yeah, it means, "Could you send for the hall porter? There appears to be a frog in my bidet."
- Holly: We're getting a signal. It's probably nothing but I just thought I'd mention it.
Lister: Oh God, aliens... Your explanation for anything slightly peculiar is aliens, isn't it? You lose your keys - it's aliens. A picture falls off the wall - it's aliens. That time we used up a whole bog roll in a day, you thought that was aliens as well!
Rimmer: Well, we didn't use it all, Lister. Who did?
Lister: Rimmer, aliens used our bog roll?
Rimmer: Just 'cos they're aliens, doesn't mean they don't have to visit the little boys' room. Although they probably do something weird and alien-esque, like it comes out of the top of their heads or something.
Lister: Well, I wouldn't like to be stuck behind one in a cinema!
- Holly: They're from Earth. Hope they've got a few odds and sods aboard. We're a bit short on a few supplies.
Lister: Like what?
Holly: Cow's milk. Ran out of that yonks ago. Fresh and dehydrated.
Lister: What kind of milk are we using now?
Holly: Emergency back-up supply. We're on the dog's milk.
Lister: Dog's milk?!
Holly: Nothing wrong with dog's milk. Full of goodness, full of vitamins, full of marrowbone jelly. Lasts longer than any other type of milk, dog's milk.
Holly: No bugger'll drink it. Plus, of course, the advantage of dog's milk is that when it goes off, it tastes exactly the same as when it's fresh.
Lister: Why didn't you tell me, Holly?
Holly: What, and spoil your tea?
- Lister: Drop dead, Rimmer.
Rimmer: Already have done.
- Rimmer: Oh and how many books have you read in your entire life? The same as Champion the Wonder Horse. Zero.
Lister: I've read books.
Rimmer: Er, we're not talking books where the main character is a dog called Ben.
- Rimmer: How did you get into Art College?
Lister: The normal way you get into Art College. The same old, usual, normal, boring way you get in: Failed me exams and applied. They snatched me right up.
- Lister: They had lectures like first thing in the afternoon. We're talking half past twelve every day. Who's together by then? You can still taste the toothpaste.
- Rimmer: Tell them we're coming aboard. By God. We'll rescue these fair blooms or my name's not Captain A.J. Rimmer, Space Adventurer.
Kryten: Thank you, Captain.
Lister: 'Space Adventurer'?
Rimmer: What am I supposed to say? 'Fear not, I'm the bloke who used to clean the gunk out of the chicken soup machine. Actually we know sod all about space travel, but if you've got a blocked nozzle, we're your lads.' That'll fill them with confidence, won't it?
- Rimmer: It's always the same when we meet girls. Put me down and make yourself look good.
Lister: Like when?
Rimmer: Remember those two little brunettes from supplies? I told them I worked in stores and they were really interested and asked me exactly what I did there.
Lister: And I said you were a shelf.
Rimmer: Exactly. And then I suggested a little trip to Titan Zoo, and you said, 'Ooh, he's taking you home to meet his Mum already.'
Lister: So? They laughed.
Rimmer: Yes, at me. At my expense.
- Cat: Yeah, I'm so excited, all of my six nipples are tingling.
- Rimmer: Well, for starters don't call me Rimmer.
Lister: Why not?
Rimmer: You always put the emphasis on "Rim" in Rimmer. Makes me sound like a lavatory disinfectant.
Lister: Well what do you want me to call you? Rim-MER?
Rimmer: What about the nickname I had at school?
Lister: What, bonehead?
Rimmer: How did you know my nickname was bonehead?
Lister: I was only guessing.
Rimmer: Well I meant the other one: Ace.
Lister: Get outta town. Your nickname was never Ace. Maybe Ace-hole.
- Lister: [The girls Kryten is waiting on are revealed to be skeletons] I don't know if this is the right time to say this, girls, but my mate Ace here is incredibly, incredibly brave!
Rimmer: Smeg off, Dog food face!
Lister: And he's got just tons and tons of girlfriends.
Rimmer: I'm warning you, Lister!
- Rimmer: Anything the matter? They're dead!
Kryten: Who's dead?
Rimmer: THEY are dead!
Kryten: Oh my god ... but I was only away two minutes!
- Rimmer: You only have to look at them! They've got less meat on them than a Chicken
- Cat: You'd never get a cat to be a servant. You ever see a cat return a stick? (To an imaginary stick-thrower) Hey, man! You threw the stick -- you go get it, yourself! I'm busy! If you wanted the stick so bad, why'd you throw it away in the first place?
- [Lister tries to convince Kryten he doesn't have to serve anyone anymore]
Kryten: That's easy for you to say, Mr David, you're a human.
Rimmer: Only just.
- [Lister finds Kryten ironing in the sleeping quarters, now decorated like something from Pride & Prejudice]
Lister: What the smeggin' hell is going on?
Kryten: Good afternoon, Mister David, sir.
Lister: [Holds up a pair of boxer shorts] What are these?
'Kryten: Your boxer shorts, Mister David, sir.
Lister: No way are these my boxer shorts, these bend! What have you done to the place?
Kryten: I've done a spot of tidying up.
Lister: But where is everything? Where's me coffee cup with the mould in it?
Kryten: I threw it away, sir.
Lister: But I was breeding that mould! His name was Albert! I was trying to get him two foot high!
Kryten: Why, sir?
Lister: Because it drives Rimmer nuts! And driving Rimmer nuts is what keeps me going.
- Lister: [To Kryten] Mr Arnold isn't his name. His name's Rimmer, or 'smeghead', or 'dinosaur-breath', or 'molecule-mind', or on rare occasions when you wanna be really mega-polite to him, and we're talking mega polite here, on those exceptional circumstances you can call him... arsehole.
- Kryten: I have strange thoughts when I am asleep.
Lister: Yeah, they're called dreams. [After Kryten tells him dream of growing a garden] So find an S3 Planet and do it.
- Rimmer: [After seeing that Kryten has drawn his portrait - on the toilet] WHAT are you rebelling against?
Kryten: Whadd'ya got? [throws gazpacho soup all over Rimmer's bunk] Dinosaur-breath! Molecule-mind!
Kryten: [To Lister] Need to borrow your bike.
Lister: You got it!
- The way that the female officers of Nova 5 were arranged by Kryten and the way that he interacts with them is most likely a reference to the movie "Psycho", this is reinforced by Rimmer's observation that Kryten is "the android equivalent of Norman Bates".
- The music playing during the montage of Kryten doing Rimmer's chores in the Series II episode "Kryten", is the same music as the one when the Dwarfers are constructing the Rejuvenation Shower in the Red Dwarf Series X episode "Lemons".