Looking for a slightly more grown up Knight Rider?

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Looking for a slightly more grown up Knight Rider?

Post by jup » Sat Sep 17, 2016 2:53 am

Just received the whole series set of Automan the other day and have been enjoying it.

This is another one of Glen A. Larson's television productions. And I must say that it's got some interesting things going on.

So...first off...who is Automan?

Keep in mind that this is from the era when 'Computer' was a word that carried with it the meanings of 'modern', 'technology' and 'magic'. Automan is a computerized man. So, in some regards, he is Kitt all wrapped up in a Human body. Aaaannnddd then, he's not. He's more like the same kind of 'other dimensional people', like that woman from Weird Science. His claim is that he exists from a holo-projector, runs on great sources of electricity and his mind is made up of the other star's programming...for some kind of game...and a bunch of Hollywood personality types. (Because Tron used some kind of holo-projection techno-gimmick to deconstruct people into electrons.) (He's mostly there because next to nobody was expected to know anything about computers, back then.) I also say he's not very much like Kitt, because in the pilot, he was alright with killing two people and has quite a bit of attitude. Plus, his little companion (think Tron, again) comes right off as being sexist.

Oh...and his companion called Cursor also has Knight Three Thousand capabilities and can become cars, helicopters, jets...cash...clothes...basically Curso is a do-all tool. So...Auto 'Kitt' Man can call up his own KITT on demand. (And the effects for it's time are downright great...90+ percent of the time. Especially for a television budget.)

As for the other guy...he's like 10% Michael and 40% Bonnie in one. He is one of Glen's tropes...a cop. Only the sergeant wants him to be a tech guy, instead. So he works with that high tech room, where he is so bored, he creates a video game. Only this equipment has a holo-projector. (If you think about it too long, you'll get a headache.) This game generates the magic-techno genie from lala-land to get out there are fight real crime with. His computer skills are better then his fighting, as he's taken a few hits and goes down like a sack of potatoes.

Also expect to have people dying in every episode. So...more grown up then KR. Gun play is a regular sight, too. Why not? Automan has 'other worldly' properties that don't interact with bullets. Plus the two guys can merge into one and it's like instant armor.

One thing I am surprised about is how the show keeps slipping in songs of the day. (Possibly chart toppers.) Since the KR seasons had to dub in certain tunes when they couldn't get the original rights, how is this singular season show buying all those rights??? (Then again, the DVD set states a UK address. Maybe that's how???)

There is also this kind of 'Superman' limiter rule that they really don't stick to. Automan's source is electricity that is somehow gathered from near by sources. A troublesome thing when daytime comes around and America is waking up with toasters, TV's and heaters. A brownout will take Automan off line for a few hours. A-hem. Then, they take the Automan jet across a few thousand miles of open ocean to reach a remote island? It quickly becomes like stating that Superman will always weaken and die from Kryptonite. Only, he can walk through whole fields of the stuff for hours on end...right until he steps on the right brick and falls to his knees. So...don't bank on this show writing any solid rules.

Still...this is an enjoyable show and makes for a slightly twisted take on the KR theme...especially if Kitt's personality was slightly tilted towards that of being Karr's.

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