-The Universe ("Krysis")
The Universe (also known as Uni by Butler) is an apparently sentient entity, which believes itself to be made up of all matter, time, and energy in existence.
"The Universe" could be contacted through an old-style telephone on the S.I.U. station.
The Universe was created by the Big Bang and has existed for fourteen billion years, though it is unknown what came before the Universe. It is also unknown what his relationship is with alternate dimensions. According to the Universe, he has only created one planet that has produced a sentient species by the time he was in the middle of his life. All other known sentient beings, such as GELFs and mechanoids were still products of this first and only species.
Eventually, a group of scientists began to believe that the Universe was indeed sentient and attempted to communicate with it. However, they only managed to achieve this millions of years after they had died. Despite this, the Universe finally had a way to communicate with his creations and one day became good friends with the mechanoid Butler, to the point that he had the Universe on speed dial.
Eventually, due to the actions of Butler, the Universe had a conversation with the Red Dwarf crew: Dave Lister, Cat, Arnold Rimmer, and Kryten. Because he himself was experiencing a mid life crisis, Kryten asked the Universe about the meaning of life and the point of existence, while mentioning that the universe himself will die when the universe expanding and burst. The Universe was unaware of his eventual death in this event which was called the "Big Burst", not realizing he was in the middle of his life and would only survive for another 14 billion years. He briefly had a mid life crisis and complained that Earth was the only planet to ever produce sentient life, but Kryten quickly convinced him that the Universe has achieved an impressive feat by creating life, and a Universe in which love had existed, and still exists since Kryten loves Mr Lister. The crew then left on friendly terms with the Universe, with both himself and Kryten happy with what they have achieved.
However, Kryten was made resentful and jealous again when they contacted Butler to tell him about their discovery - apparently not only did Butler know "the Universe", but was on close personal terms with the entity, and had arranged the meet between the Dwarfers and the entity in a bid to help Kryten's mid-life crisis. ("Krysis", Series XI)
Behind the Scenes
- Director Doug Naylor and voice artist Daniel Barker tried out a number of ideas for "the Universe", before deciding that a Morgan Freeman-style voice would be best suited.
- According to Talkie Toaster in the Red Dwarf novel Better Than Life - during a time in which Talkie Toaster had briefly become the most intelligent being to have ever existed - Talkie Toaster claims that Lister is the creator of the Universe.
- If "the Universe" is in fact genuinely sentient, then it is possible that it is an inconceivably-large form of gestalt entity.
- There has been some debate among Dwarfers as to the exact nature of "the Universe" and whether or not it is actually a sentient entity, spurred on by comments from Doug Naylor himself; and also given that the concept seems out of place for the "godless cosmos" of Red Dwarf. Some commentators have suggested that it may have actually been an artificial intelligence aboard the ever sentience-searching space station, which had gone computer senile in the three million years it has spent alone and merely come to believe itself to to be the actual cosmos. Alternatively, it may have been a ruse created as another part of the "therapy" engineered for Kryten by Butler; especially since Butler also claims to have met the entity, and has it on "speed-dial".