Roberts Robots - DVD 1

Sunday, 16 August 2009 13:51

Brilliant inventor Robert Sommerby (John Clive) is head of a research establishment engaged in a Top Secret project - the development of human-looking robots. These are far from the crude, lumbering, steel-clawed automatons of SF films, Robert’s robots are ultra-sophisticated in design, with highly developed electronic brains, fast reflexes and smooth, natural movement - or at least that’s what he says about them to the Government...

Bob Block, the creator of Rentaghost, was also the mastermind behind Roberts Robots (deliberately without the inverted comma in its title). The show also notably features Magpie presenter Jenny Hanley as Robert’s girlfriend Angela. Network have made its first series available for the first time in any format – and the absence of any repeats for it means it’s shelved in the depths of the memories of those who saw these seven episodes back in 1973.

Roberts Robots Series OneTo prove these robots are at the cutting edge, it is not long before we are aware that there are personality clashes between these machines. Eric is Robert’s most advanced robot, who thinks humans are quite disgusting with their revolting habits such as eating, while big, strong, and very stupid KT (aka Katie, a name which of course will lead to ‘hilarious consequences’) has a tendency to walk through doors without opening them, and is generally kept away from guests visiting the house.

The eccentric Robert encounters all sorts of problems - not least, the devious activities of Marken, head of an acquisitive electronics company, and his seedy private eye, Gimble, who will try anything to discover Robert’s secret project. Robert can rely on his doting Aunt Millie, and lovely fiancée Angela (introduced in the second episode) to help out, and he’s just about tolerated by at least some of his robots - who are fair-minded enough to concede that he is, after all, only human!

I remember the series well from way back them, and have to admit that I had just a little bit of trepidation in terms of seeing it again.  Were the ‘rose tinted spectacles’ going to catch me out again and rate this as a ‘duffer’?  Far from it – it’s actually laugh-out-loud with some of its situations, so there’s every opportunity that many a Cult TV fan will be suitably amused by discovering this rarity from the archives.

The RRP is £12.99 and is available exclusively (not in any shop, online or high street), from the Network DVD website

 

EPISODE GUIDE

 

John Clive as Robert Sommerby

Nigel Pegram as Eric

Brian Coburn as Katie

Doris Rogers as Aunt Millie

Jenny Hanley as Angela

Richard Davies as Gimble

Leon Lissek as Marken

 

Writer: Bob Block

Producer and Director: Vic Hughes

 

 

SERIES ONE

 

1.01 - Follow That Robot

Somewhere in England, a brilliant inventor is making almost-human robos.

Guest Starring: Robert Dorning (Mr Fosdyke), Dudley Jones (Doctor Randall), Larry Noble (Man), Janet Burnell (Woman)

Original ITV Transmission: 12 November 1973

 

1.02 - Love at First Light

Katie falls for a gas stove, and Eric puts the ‘fluence’ on Robert’s proposal to Angela.

Guest Starring: Ian Gray (Policeman), Edward Phillips (Man at Door)

Original ITV Transmission: 19 November 1973

 

1.03 - A Spanner in the Works

The two new Maintenance and Sanitory robots prove more of a hindrance than a help.

Guest Starring: Michael J. Jackson (Maintenance Robot), Christopher Saul (Sanitary Robot), Michael Richmond (1st Robot), Terrance Woodfield (2nd Robot)

Original ITV Transmission: 26 November 1973

 

1.04 - Dial C For Chaos

Gimble and Marken try to muscle in on Robert’s Mass Entertainment robots.

Guest Starring: Christopher Biggins, Christopher Collyer, Sylveste McCoy and Terence Woodfield (Robot Entertainers)

Original ITV Transmission: 3 December 1973

 

1.05 - A Long, Cold Sommerby

The robots are on a VIP parade, with Katie programmed to keep out unwelcome visitors.

Guest Starring: Billy Milton (Forsyth), Mouthrie Kelsall (Sir Mortimer)

Original ITV Transmission: 10 December 1973

 

1.06 - Kill Or Cure

Robert decides to reprogram Eric, making him a kinder, sweeter robot.

Guest Starring: William Lawford (Robot George)

Original ITV Transmission: 17 December 1973

 

1.07 - Double Trouble

Robert stages a fashion show and Gimble and Marken are given a surprising insight.

Guest Starring: John Clive (Robot Robert), William Lawford (Robot George)

Original ITV Transmission: 24 December 1973

 

SERIES TWO

 

2.01 - One Of Our Robots is Missing      

Original ITV Transmission: 11 November 1974

 

2.02 - A Full Head of Steam        

Original ITV Transmission: 18 November 1974

 

2.03 - I Spy With My Little Ear

Original ITV Transmission: 25 November 1974

 

2.04 - Courting Disaster

Original ITV Transmission: 2 December 1974

 

2.05 - Gastronomies Anonymous

Original ITV Transmission: 9 December 1974

 

2.06 - Rampaging Robots

Original ITV Transmission: 16 December 1974

 

2.07 - Santa Claus-Trophobia

Original ITV Transmission: 23 December 1974

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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