Re-Dwarf: Camille

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Here we are then, if my broadband holds out, the start of a shiny new season of Re-Dwarf.

It’s a small, off-duty Czechoslovakian traffic warden

The last time we saw Kryten, he had lied to his replacement about the existence of Silicon Heaven; presumably lying to a fellow mechanoid is different to lying to a human, because Red Dwarf IV opens with Lister trying desperately to teach him the noble art of lying.

Continuity gaps aside, this scene does give us some of Kryten’s most quotable lines… ever, possibly; it also gives us the theory that lying can be noble – ostensibly Lister’s reason for trying to break this particular subroutine in Kryten’s programming.

As usual, of course, Rimmer cuts the fun short, wanting Kryten to take him asteroid spotting; it is on this trip that the main thrust of the episode starts, when Kryten disobeys Rimmer’s cowardly order to turn back, and instead rescues a female shaped mechanoid going by the name of Camille.

When Rimmer meets Camille, we don’t really know what is going on, but it doesn’t take Lister long to realise something weird is going on, and forces a confession: Camille is a pleasure GELF – a genetically engineered life form created to be everyone’s perfect companion.

With the truth out, it transpires that Camille has genuine feelings toward Kryten, who gallantly lies about Camille’s bum looking blobby in her natural state, and even takes her on a date as herself.

It’s the old, old story. Droid meets droid. Droid becomes chameleon. Droid loses chameleon, chameleon turns into blob, droid gets blob back
again, blob meets blob, blob goes off with blob, and droid loses blob, chameleon and droid. How many times have we seen that story?

The moral of this story, beyond the dubious nobility of lying, is that appearance is not everything. What we are is more than what we look like, more than the way we appear to those around us.

Rimmer, Lister and Cat are content – while it lasts – to look on Camille and see their perfect mate; a mirror for their obsessions. It took someone pure, someone programmed to be ‘good’, to see beyond outward appearances and see Camille’s heart – and, ultimately, do what is best for her, however much it hurts him.

The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7 NIV


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