Captain Hollister pulls up a reinforced chair and has a chat with Talkie Toaster.

Name: Frank Hollister Frank Hollister
Occupation: Red Dwarf's Captain
Qualifications: A lifetime in active service... as Dennis, the doughnut boy.
Distinguishing Marks: Extra-large trousers, multiple chins.
Captain's Notes: A commendable officer, showing great strength of character under pressure. Bears absolutely no resemblance to that kid on Callisto who sold doughnuts. At all.

Hi Captain, would you like some toast?

Sure, why not.

Wow, really?

Damn straight. Gimme two rounds.

Two rounds of hot, scrummy toast coming up!

Actually, make it four. No - six. I haven't eaten since lunchtime.

It's only half past twelve now!

So? Toast. C'mon boy, keep it coming. Eight rounds.

Absolutely no problem. While it's heating up, why don't you tell me about how you joined the Space Corps...

Obviously, I worked my way slowly up the ranks. When I first started, I was this wide-eyed cadet with nothing but ambition to drive me up the ranks. You can imagine me, on my first day, uniform pressed, shoes shined, epaulettes exactly parallel, striding up the steps to the Academy for my first day. I remember bumping into an officer on my way in. He said, "Hey son, where are you going in such a hurry?" I said, "To the stars, sir. To the stars."

Frank Hollister

You're making all this up, aren't you.

You spotted that, huh?

Why don't you tell me the real story?

Yeah okay. But you gotta swear you won't repeat this to a living soul.

Hey, who's going to listen to a toaster?

That's a good point. Mmm, good toast by the way - keep these babies coming. I wanna feel my belt cutting off the circulation to my legs. Anyway, I was working at a diner in Kentucky and, somehow, I'd managed to get myself into trouble. I had this wild affair with the owner's wife. We tried to keep it secret, but we were so in love. She wanted to leave him, fly away with me. I remember she said to me once, "Take me away from here, from this life." I asked her where she wanted to go, and she said, "To the stars, Frank. To the stars."

You're lying again, aren't you?

Well, yeah. But the truth is so goddam embarrassing. I was working at this diner for six months and I kinda... Well, my appetite got the better of me, and...

You ate away the profit margin, huh?

Every last pennycent. You'd think they'd cut a guy a bit of slack, it's not like their burgers were any good. I could only manage seven or eight at a time. The customers were running a book on which would happen first - a heart attack, or my getting fired. I won a few bucks there. I used the cash to move to Phobos, and from there I got a job on a space freighter, The McGovern.

Doing what?

Hey, you keep that toast a-coming.

You've had twelve rounds!

And did you hear me say I'd had enough? I don't think so. Come on red, bring on the hot bread.

No problem. Now, what were you doing on The McGovern?

Ah, now this is a fantastic story. I started out as third technician, rank and file, one of the boys. Then we hit a meteor storm just beyond Jupiter. I was in the drive room at the time performing essential maintenance on a vital piece of equipment.

I'm betting it was a vending machine...

Chocolate bars and candy. Hey, you should see the officers after they've gone a day without a Snickers fix. It's not a pretty sight. Like sloths on Prozac.

Anyhow, I was in the drive room, stocking up on Crunchies, when the first meteor shower hit. The drive room was hit straight away, all the officers sucked into space. I moved fast, jammed the vending machine against the busted hull.

Wow, then what?

I took to the controls. What else could I do? The automatic doors had slammed down, the crew couldn't get to the flight controls and if we carried on along that course, we'd be blown to bits. I dodged the freighter left and right, through the storm and out into clear space. It was incredible. When they finally got the automatic doors opened, the crew were amazed.

They promoted me right away, made me acting captain. I can still remember that moment. I stood in the drive room, busted hull still being repaired, and turned to the navigation officer. "Plot a course," I said. She asked me where to, and I said simply, "To the stars. To the stars."

Jeez, is anything you say true?

Pushed that one a bit far, huh? Never mind, I got a million like it.

How about the truth?

Yeah, 'cos I'm really gonna tell you about the time I was hanging out in the crew mess and they mistook me for the doughnut boy!

I think you just did...

Look, I just happened to be behind the counter - let's call it 'improving the speed of the service' - and the next thing I know, I'm holding down a job. I doubled my salary. I mean, I had to falsify a second ID, but the perks were amazing. Free doughnuts! I was in Homer Simpson heaven! How's the twentieth round of toast coming, by the way?

Actually, I'm a little exhausted. Would you like to stop eating toast for a while?

Hell no! Bring that hot stuff on!

I'm begging you, make it stop.

I'm the captain. What I say goes. Feed me!

Listen, you give me a break and I won't tell people what I saw on your video diary. Your little secret...

I never touched that crate of chocolate sauce! I didn't! Besides, the crew don't need it. They're fine with a few sprinkles.

Frank Hollister

Um, I meant about you cheating your way to the top...

Oh, that. Easily done. Snag the ship's confidential files - I find bribing a skutter is usually the best way to go - and then blackmail your way up. Tell you what, you keep your grille shut about that and I'll make sure you get unlimited access to the bread store.

Right now, I wouldn't care if I never saw a slice of fresh white again. But let's finish up with a chat about your resurrection and subsequent life...

You ever see Star Trek? My life now is exactly like that. Me as the dynamic captain, beaming down to the surfaces of hazardous planets, tracking down signs of life -

And then eating them?

Hey, watch it. There's only so much slack I'm gonna cut for you. Now listen up, 'cos this is how it is now. Life and death missions, dogfights in deep space, danger around every corner. A lone wolf's quest through infinity, commanding the last remnants of humanity with an iron will. Moving ever forwards towards our goal.

And where are we going?

To the stars, Talkie. To the stars...

Thank you Captain Hollister. One final question - would you like some toast?