Tongue Tied

"Now, 'ow about a toast, 'ey? To Simulants: the greatest droids in the Universe - but never trust 'em, 'ey? Cheers!"
-Simulant Trader (RD: Beyond a Joke)

The Simulant Trader was a Simulant encountered three million years into the future by the crew of Starbug. The Simulant Trader had made his home aboard the SS Centauri, where he kept a supply of mechanical parts to trade with others. Like all Simulants, he hated all humans, but had no problems trading and partnering with Kinitawowis.

Encounter with the Boys from the Dwarf

After exhausting all of Kryten's Spare Heads, which had all blown up due to being overloaded with Nega-Drive, the crew 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 and who is also assisted by a Kinitawowi tribesman. This gives Kochanski the idea to disguise themselves as GELFs and they successfully negotiate with the Simulant to buy his stock of mechanoid heads. When the crew go back aboard Starbug, they find that the Simulant's own GELF has ransacked the ship and stolen Kryten's body. The Simulant and the GELF then escape with Kryten aboard the Centauri. Starbug cannot catch up as the Centauri is much faster, traveling 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)

The Starbug crew deceive the Simulant into thinking that they've planted a bomb on the Centauri and the Simulant teleports aboard Starbug along with the GELF, Kryten and Able. Lister tries to bargain with the Simulant, who tells Kryten how to access a secret file in his memory. Kryten does so and suddenly becomes extremely depressed. Able remembers that this is how the Simulant broke his spirit and turned him into an Outrozone addict and suddenly decides to switch sides. In the confusion that results, the GELF is killed and the Simulant is knocked out and sent back to the Centauri. As Starbug flees, a morose Kryten reveals to Lister what the secret file told him; the entire Series 4000 of mechanoids was a spiteful joke by their creator, Professor Mamet, directed against her finace John Warburton.

Starbug hides in an asteroid belt, hoping to escape from the Simulant via silent running. However, Able carelessly gives away their position when high on outrozone in the cockpit, and the Centauri begins attacking Starbug with energy blasts. When it becomes obvious that Starbug has no chance of surviving this battle, Able takes an escape pod. Initially horrfied at Able's actions, this turns to relief and admiration when Able fires out a massive green energy field containing the pent up emotions stored in Kryten's Nega-Drive.

The Simulant Trader commits suicide

This causes the Simulant Trader to first suffer a fit of depression, then go berserk and start suicidally firing his bazookoid at the bulkheads and the ship controls, eventually causing the SS Centauri to explode. The explosion of the SS Centauri forces Able's pod into a crash landing on an asteroid, killing him also, although Starbug is saved. Kryten recovers Able's body and performs last rites, accepting him as his brother.


  • "Human! Lovely with a bit of mint sauce." (Upon seeing Lister)
  • "I never get invited to parties. I hate everything!" (The Simulant's last words, as he is overloaded with Kryten and Able's Nega-Drive, right before blowing himself up aboard the SS Centauri.


Behind the Scenes

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 Red Dwarf 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.