More interesting discussion at the TOS Board and once again Mr Ellard has expressed an interesting opinion which I felt merited an OD discussion. It’s regarding Series V of Red Dwarf and Kryten’s sudden change in character from doting, obeying bog-bot, to a fully fledged science officer with expositional skills to put Mr. Spock to shame.
“I’ve always felt that Kryten as exposition-bot was
just kinda flat; a character drained of a lot of his persona
in favour of forwarding the plot. I much prefer Kryten in IV
Now, I find this an interesting opinion, as I adore series V for precisely that reason. V took a more sci-fi approach, an approach which I believe hit the nail on the head, it was a perfect balance of comedy, sci-fi and characterisation and the result was perfection, in my opinion. However, this newer style meant a change in direction for Kryten and he took on the role of ‘Mr. Exposition’, giving us the background scientific knowledge and plot advancements at the drop of a deer stalker.
But does this leave Kryten drained of his previous persona and turn him into a weaker character as a result? Well, obviously when you bring in new character traits you’re bound to lose some of the old characteristics, but I honestly believe that the balance is kept nicely intact. We still see his titanic struggles with Rimmer (“Smeee Heeee”), his close relationship with Lister (“Wasn’t that just beautiful, sir?”) and his fussy old self is back in full force for the main of Quarantine (“Two hours it took me to panel beat my head back into shape”).
I could go on for hours about the degradation of character that I see in VII and VIII, but I’m far too tired for that tonight.
So: what do you lot reckon?