What Kryten actually looks like in Series XI

Following yesterday’s big old press campaign, which had, shall we say, a “mixed” response, TOS has followed up with a second cast picture in as many days. And ahhhhh, that’s much better.

This affords us our first look at the characters (or at least three of them) in their natural environment, without excessive Photoshopping, in what seems to be either a cropped still from an episode or a photo taken during location filming. It’s grimy and atmospheric, beautifully lit and so authentic-looking. There’s bazookoids, peril and Lister in a headband. This is incredibly exciting.

As per usual, Craig and Danny look every bit as Lister-ish and Cat-like as ever. Lister’s look is so iconic that it can withstand any variations on the theme at this stage. Meanwhile, this gives us a much better look at the Cat costume we saw a tiny glimpse of about seven months ago, and as with yesterday’s suit, it seems his tastes are becoming more garish and esoteric in his old age. This is absolutely fine by me.

But the main feature, despite him being the furthest from the camera and slightly out of focus, is Kryten. You see? THIS is what Kryten’s new mask looks like on screen; nothing like the Michael McIntyre/Ian Hislop/John Hoare hybrid from yesterday. They could have saved themselves some unnecessary criticism and passive-agressive subtweeting if these images had been released the other way round, though admittedly this one is more for the fans than the casual viewer.

The mask is clearly improved since Series X, with the baggy eyes a thing of the past. It’s still different to previous series, but that’s by no means automatically a bad thing. I’m not the most skilled at identifying and analysing aesthetic changes, but with things like this, for me it either looks “right” or “wrong”. This is most definitely Kryten, and indeed most definitely Robert Llewellyn’s Kryten. It looks so right. The worries of those who didn’t see the mask at the recordings will hopefully now be assuaged.

Although he does now seem to have gained some sort of robo-clitoris.

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24 Responses to What Kryten actually looks like in Series XI

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  1. Love it. Proper ‘Aliens’ vibe going on here. The lighting is great as well.

  2. Looks great – wonderful to see some atmospheric lighting and location shooting! = D

    Shows that Kryten looks fine under proper lighting – Cat’s outfit here’s better than the one in the first promo pic, too. Lovely to see those big, chunky bazookoids back in use, too – bringing back memories of Series III-V there. = )

    All in all, looking very promising. Only regret is no Rimmer in this shot! Show our favourite hologram some love! = P

  3. Kryten looks fine there, as he does in that shot of him in the audience seen months back.

  4. All that fuss over nothing. Okay, internet, stand down.

    Although he does now seem to have some sort of robo-clitoris

    He’s just excited.

  5. That’s more like it! This looks great. What a shame that releasing this pic today, even if it was already planned as part of the TOS update, now seems a bit like damage limitation. Anyone else noticed the ghostly thing a bit further along the corridor?

  6. This does the series, and Kryten in particular, so much more justice. Nice to know they heard the concerns as well, though I’m sure the decision to release this was probably fuelled by the less savory comments they had to endure.

  7. >releasing this pic today, even if it was already planned as part of the TOS update, now seems a bit like damage limitation

    >I’m sure the decision to release this was probably fuelled by the less savory comments they had to endure.

    I knew people might think that, but it was very much the plan all along! I knew the timing of the main promo shot would make it look like we were behind everyone else, so I wanted to make sure we had something new to go out today as well.

    (This also explains why the pictures weren’t released the other way around, as I’ve also seen suggested – I think you can all agree that today’s pic is very much a “TOS update” kind of picture, whereas the other one is a “send out to all the press and get printed in the morning papers” one. To say nothing of the fact that we all really like the promo picture!)

  8. Anyone else noticed the ghostly thing a bit further along the corridor?

    I thought it might be Rimmer disappearing. Which would certainly mean it wasn’t an on-aet photo.

  9. For avoidance of doubt: it’s a production still. That is, it’s been shot with a camera either while a scene was filming or between takes.

  10. They’ve taken Mr. Rimmer…

    Call me Dana Scully but that ghost is a shadow, isn’t it. And the pipes running along the floor of the corridor.

    Much better pic! They haven’t forgotten who their characters are. Yay!
    And the mask is great.

  11. Also worth of note is that Kryten is holding the Psi-scan…..so that’s now confirmed!

  12. Oh, is this what comes after Rimmer pairs off with himself in the storyboard?

  13. I hadn’t noticed the psi-scan (or at least what appears to be it). Good spot!

  14. Call me Dana Scully but that ghost is a shadow, isn’t it. And the pipes running along the floor of the corridor.

    Now that I’ve finished work and can look more closely…yes, yes it is.

  15. I’m completely missing this ghostly figure… Can someone point him out for me?

  16. I’m completely missing this ghostly figure… Can someone point him out for me?

    See the red light at the back? The head starts there, and the shadow and shape of the piping on the left looks a bit like a shoulder. The rest of the red light looks like the height of the figure. So that’s why I thought it was an effect of Rimmer disappearing.

  17. Ghost… Pipes… AAAAAAAARGH!!!!!!

  18. The Cat’s outfit works because they’ve gone right back to the original influence – in s1 he was wearing a 50s-era Little Richard suit, which then got a James Brown influence for the s2 designs, then when Burden came in for s3 a big Prince thing was brought in, then his dress became more generically and parodically ’90s catwalk high fashion’ from there on (pretty much interchangeable with Edina from Absolutely Fabulous funnily enough). The BtE/X looks, though I like them, are basically parodies of Cat outfits past. The suit in the new photos is pure later-period Little Richard stage getup, and therefore exactly and authentically what an older Cat would wear.

    And as the last person in the world to comment on the new Kryten mask (I have been busy rearing a tiny human), it again makes sense in context. Over the years, the production of the Kryten mask has singularly failed to evolve with the enormous technological advancements in prosthethic make-up as it became more widely used and more accessible to TV productions. A lot of the things we consider integral to the mask – the sharp edges, the limited eye movement, the rigid cheeks, Robert’s discomfort – are in fact holdbacks from a much older era of make-up. Had the mask kept up with production/materials advances over the years it would have invisibly evolved to the one we’ve got now anyway. Because very small companies did BtE and X and they’ve jumped up to the biggest, highest-tech company in the UK for this, the change is very, very visible. Because, the mask *should* be moving with his face, it *should* be skin-smooth, and it *should* be comfortable and easy to apply. It should have looked like this in 1997, to be honest.

    What you are seeing in that photo is Kryten pulling an expression he was never previously able to pull in a fairly stiff mask, and therefore it looks like the new mask is sculpted wrongly. The new photo (and the photo of the clay sculpt) proves that when ‘resting’, new Kryten looks like old Kryten. (And even if he didn’t, he’s 60 for god’s sake and has spent months of his waking life with an itchy, thick, Polyfoam gimp mask on. He deserves something less unnecessarily torturous even if it looks a bit different.)

  19. G&T Admin

    I like this photo and hate the other one.

    In other breaking news, I like audience sitcom and wanking.

  20. I like this photo and hate the other one.

    In other breaking news, I like audience sitcom and wanking.

    You never cease to amaze.

  21. It’s when you see shots like this that you wish the Movie really could happen…..

  22. Just noticed – Kryten appears to have proper knee-pads for the first time since gaining ‘solid’ legs way back in “Back to Earth”! Helps finally make them look like a proper part of his body – much better than just having the plastic undercoating exposed on the knees as with the previous two series. = )

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