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An iconic cult sci-fi character's accent is based on how Vancouverites talk

"Are you certain, sir?"
The character Kryten in the BBC show Red Dwarf speaks with an accent based on how people in Vancouver spoke in the 80s.

Do people in Vancouver speak with a distinctive accent?

One of the actors in the classic cult sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf thinks there's enough of one that he used it for his character.

Robert Llewellyn played the character Kryten on the BBC show for many seasons between 1989 and 2020; he's one of the main cast for the vast majority of the series which won British and international awards, including an International Emmy, and was named the Best Sci-Fi Show of All Time by the Radio Times.

After being cast in the role, Llewellyn and the producers had to come up with how his character, an overly friendly and polite robot/mechanoid, moved and sounded. They tried a French accent, a C-3P0-type accent, and a Swedish one, among dozens of other voices. Of all of them, one was picked, and it came from Llewellyn's past.

Before taking on the role he had spent time in Vancouver, where he heard the local accent.

"I found that accent really intriguing," he says in a 2003 documentary. "In my crude analysis, it's quite strongly influenced by a Scottish accent but it's American; kind of American-Scottish."

The voice stuck, and the English-Welsh actor spent the next two decades doing it on TV, though fans from B.C. have told Llewellyn it's not that accurate.

"As many British Columbians have pointed out, quite vociferously to me, in the following years I don't have anything that resembles a Vancouver accent," he says in the documentary. " was my idea of it."