So, I had a chance to sit down and watch ALMOST HUMAN only to discover that it was cancelled. Sigh. I enjoyed it. I am a fan of Micheal Ealy, Karl Urban, and Lili Taylor. I suppose they just didn’t get the ratings they hoped for. It’s so hard to keep SF on TV.
Anyway, it got me thinking about android shows. Androids trying to be human or passing themselves off as human. Since Data from Star Trek hardly qualifies as obscure, I decided to dig up some little known and somewhat forgotten shows.
MANN AND MACHINE(1992) which is in many ways an influence on ALMOST HUMAN. It’s stars Yancey Butler (later of WITCHBLADE) as an android cop, Sgt. Eve Edison, partnered with a human, Detective Bobby Mann. S. Epatha Merkerson, later of Law and Order fame, plays the police captain. It is set during the ‘near future’ Los Angeles and focus on Eve Edison’s development of her human emotions and responses. The series only lasted 9 episodes. It isn’t a terrible show, but never really caught on.
TOTAL RECALL 2070(1999) In this senario, also a near future, the government is run by powerful companies specializing in virtual reality and androids among other tech. David Hume(Michael Easton) is the Human Cop partnered with Ian Farve (Karl Pruner) and android partner. It has the usual sort of plot lines of virtual reality, crime, etc etc. It’s derived from the works of Philip K. Dick so it comes across as a sort of Blade Runner-ish kind of Total Recall-like TV series. There are only 22 episodes. I’ve only seen the first few and its not bad. A bit all over the place-and in hindsight-too much like android stuff I’ve seen before. Still, it has a following and a fan base.
FUTURE COP (1977) is rumored to be one of the worst TV series of all time. I want to see it for that alone. Only eight episodes were made. It features Ernest Borgnine(yes, the Academy Award Winning Actor back in the 1950’s) and John Amos (Emmy Award winner, famously for his work as the father on GOOD TIMES and role in ROOTS for those who remember) as two veteran cops who are teamed up with an android. The trailer makes the internet rounds.
and just for kicks…
Whose old enough to remember SMALL WONDER(1985-1989)? The kids show starring Vicki (Voice Input Child Identicant) and the Lawson family-mother, father, annoying son-who pass her off as one of their own. Vicki has superhuman strength and speed and an access panel in her back. The Lawson’s also have nosy neighbors. Lots of slapstick humor and kiddie highjacks. OK, it was cute if you were little.
Then there is KARISHMA KAA KARISHMA(2003), which swears its not a remake of SMALL WONDER but “re-imagined” for STAR PLUS and later syndicated for Disney Channel India. It stars a little girl robot named Karishma and the human family-mother, father, annoying son-who pass her off as their own. They also have nosey neighbors. Karishma has super human strength. I can’t speak Hindi, but from what I saw-slapstick comedy and lots of laugh track-I’m thinking that this ‘”re-imagined’ version does not re-imagine much.
So, Smart Girls Readers, pitch your android TV show in the comments below.