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Cult Spy Icons: Kryten from 'Red Dwarf'

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Cult Spy Icons: Kryten from 'Red Dwarf'

Kryten

With a head looking like a freak formation of mashed potato, Red Dwarf's lovable robot Kryten is a worthy Cult Spy Icon.

Memorably dubbed 'Captain Bog Bot' by the slimy Rimmer, the servile mechanoid tickled our ribs rather than our U-Bends over several seasons of the hit BBC2 comedy show. His hapless Stan Laurel-esque behaviour, together with his tendency to feel acute guilt, also helped him burrow his way into our hearts.

How can someone not summon a big 'awwww' after hearing Kryten's explanation for why silicone heaven must exist: "It's the electronic afterlife! It's the gathering place for the souls of all electonic equipment. Robots, calculators, toasters, hairdryers - it's our final resting place."

But Kryten did not start life as one of the boys from the Dwarf. He initially made an intended one-off appearance in an eponymous second season episode in which he was played by David Ross (as opposed to Davros). Originally appearing as an English butler type figure, he was resurrected for the following series by actor Robert Llewellyn with a new faux Canadian twang, explained by a reconstruction following a crash on his space bike.

His subsequent adventures contained many moments of mirth. Who can forget his torrid romance with fellow droid Camille, who eventually turned out to be a large green ball of snot that looked like it had fallen out of the Sphinx's nose? Or how about his attempts to lie and spew out Rimmer-related insult after a tutorial from Dave Lister? He may have struggled to say 'smeghead', but small, off-duty Czechoslovakian traffic wardens will never look the same now.

Kryten was often at his most comical when under a different guise. For an episode called 'DNA', he temporarily found himself in human form and gave a new meaning to the words 'double Polaroid' after photographing his new genitalia before and after looking at arousing pictures of electrical appliances. In 'Back To Reality' he became Cybernautics Detective Jack Bullet, a hard boiled figure who turned out to be based in the traffic division, whilst 'Gunmen of The Apocalypse' witnessed his portrayal of a drunken Sheriff in the lawless realms of a computer simulation.

Sadly, recent reports suggest that we may never see Kryten again, but he's sure left us with plenty of moments to savour time and time again.

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