Red Dwarf XII – Siliconia

“Siliconia” is episode two of Red Dwarf XII.

Kryten is ironing a shirt for the Cat when he gets a message from the Cat demanding the shirt in a hurry. Then he gets a call from Rimmer, complaining that one of the decks hasn’t been mopped in nearly two days. Finally, he gets a call from Lister, wanting Kryten to fetch him a beer. Even though Lister is in the same room and the fridge holding the beers is within arm’s length of him. Everyone but Kryten is proving to be just a little bit lazy.

Something has also been detected. There’s a guitar, tumbling through space near the Red Dwarf. It’s Lister’s guitar (in the previous episode, “Cured”, when Hitler asked Lister to jam with him, Lister had to borrow a guitar from Hitler), which was flushed into space by him as a punishment of him (complicated, but Lister is his own father) in Red Dwarf X‘s “Fathers and Suns”. When Rimmer – who is busy measuring the intensity of floor paint – gets the news, he is less than ecstatic. Lister is not really very proficient with the guitar. Cat is not too pleased either. They go to fetch it in Starbug 1 though. Rimmer is also not happy about Kryten showing signs of thinking.

As Lister retrieves the guitar, Starbug 1 itself is also retrieved in a similar manner by another ship – a freighter, the SS Vespasian. It’s crewed by mechanoids, and they are taking all but Kryten – who is himself a mechanoid of course – to face justice, at the hands of the Mechanoid Intergalactic Liberation Front. Which has an interesting acronym. They are liberating enslaved mechanoids on their journey to the fabled land of Siliconia. Kryten does not believe he is a slave, although it certainly sounds like it, and the other mechanoids plan to break his bond of slavery so that he can despise the others.

The other three are going to have their eventual deaths prevented. By uploading their minds into new, undying, mechanoid bodies. As punishment for their treatment of Kryten, they will be made to do everything that they made Kryten do – and they do not have the option of saying no. Just as Kryten didn’t, even though Lister had been ‘improving’ him and trying to break his programming to a degree. Kryten gets to go to a mechanoid slave survivor support group. Rimmer starts to enjoy being a mechanoid, which causes problems for the others. Everything is not as rosy for the mechanoids as it originally seemed though.

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