' as he is referred to) in Red Dwarf
. Kryten is a cleaning robot
to enjoy cleaning things. The red dwarf team (That's Lister
, the Cat
, and Rimmer
) find him serving a crew of women who have been dead for years - only their skeleton
s are left (But they do have an excellent beauty regime
Kryten's main role is to need teaching how to be normal, allowing him to be the focus of much mis-teaching humour, and thus the occasion of Rimmer/Lister clashes. Kryten also has a habit of repeating the text of regulations whose titles Rimmer quotes, thus revealing the regulation to be completely irrelevant. Kryten also fulfils a much needed practical role: he is a holy fool and an idiot-savant. While often buffoonish, due to his being programmed to be generally useful, he can in almost any situation be relied on to a) Be more intelligent than the rest of the crew b) Know more about the world. This allows the Red Dwarf to realign itself from being about being stuck in a big scary building with some random people you (Lister) hate, to being a comedy-adventure.
In physical terms, kryten has an head which is composed of almost-flat surfaces: the top of his head is trapezoid, and his features angular. It is very obviously made of pink rubber. As Robert Llewellyn said of the makeup procedure, which takes literally hours to apply, and makes him sweaty and uncomfortable, "I sometimes think it is a subtle form of torture". While the David Ross portrayal (Of series 3) was camp, with a falsetto voice, Llewellyn's longer running portrayal is definitive. His kryten has a rich, mid-atlantic-accented voice, and crisp, very clear diction, with lots of pauses, as if the script is peppered with commas (It is), which cannot be lost (He certainly doesn't lose them). While the early kryten dithered, the subsequent kryten rarely does, being characterised by a confidence to do things like serve grilled space weevil, presenting this culinary creation for human approval as if it were a perfectly normal, acceptable thing to do. (Of coursem the only thing that bothers lister about being served a rat-sized grilled insect is that Kryten has included vegetables, in the form of salad).