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Metal Mickey - Season 1 DVD

Wednesday, 20 February 2008 12:52

Network has just released the first ever DVD featuring early 1980s icon Metal Mickey. A Saturday teatime favourite during its run from 1980 – 1983, 39 episodes were made – and here we have, to savour, the first season of eight episodes.

Metal Mickey DVD - Season 1

When science whiz-kid Ken Wilberforce creates a robot to help with chores around the house, he gets a lot more than he bargained for with Metal Mickey. Endowed with magic powers, Mickey can battle aliens, travel through time and withstand extreme temperatures. The loveable robot also has a knack for getting into trouble, and subsequently often wreaks havoc in the Wilberforce household. However, Mickey has a heart of gold and soon becomes a much loved member of the family.

Metal Mickey himself was the creation of John Edward, who set up the company “Hollywood Robots” to manage Mickey and his talents. John was also the man behind Renee & Renato – the chart toppers who sang “Save your love”. The series format was co-created and directed by former Monkees drummer Mickey Dolenz, and written by Colin Bostock-Smith (a long-established comedy writer on such things as Not The Nine O’Clock News and Alas Smith and Jones, who is now most well-known for As Time Goes By).

Metal Mickey first appeared in the United Kingdom in 1978 with the release of his record "Lollipop" on the EMI label. Mickey had made his TV debut on the Bill Oddie-fronted Saturday morning show Saturday Banana, and Mickey’s own series became a staple of Saturdays.

The show spawned a wealth of merchandise including annuals, lunchboxes and sweets. Playing second fiddle to Mickey were human cast members including Irene Handl as the dotty Granny, Michael Stainton as Mr Wilberforce (or ‘Bootface’ as Mickey nicknames him), and Georgina Melville (Marjorie Smith in Second Thoughts) as Mrs Wilberforce. The children of the family were punk-ish Steve (Gary Shail, who played Spider in “Quadrophenia”), lovelorn Haley (Lucinda Bateson) and boffin Ken (Ashley Knight). Also on hand was youthful neighbour Janey (Lola Young).

Metal Mickey lived with the Wilberforce family, and the series follows the various predicaments that they get into, mainly due to Mickey’s grand plans and attempts to help. His catch phrase “Boogie Boogie” was on everyone's lips and millions of his Atomic Thunderbuster sweets were sold (ninety three tons-worth!).

Mickey made guest appearances on Tiswas with Chris Tarrant, The Generation Game starring Larry Grayson., Game For A Laugh with Jeremy Beadle, Henry Kelly, Mathew Kelly, and Sarah Kennedy, Esther Rantzen's That's Life, Jim'll Fix It with Sir Jimmy Savile and The Russ Abbot Show.

Metal Mickey is five feet tall and measures 39 inches across his shoulders. He weighs 200 lbs, has chrome silver permed(!) hair, and his front display panel illuminates with various coloured patterns - when he's very happy, his heart glows and pulsates bright red. Blue ears and red eyes are his attractive features and his skin has the look of aluminium.

John Edward has plans for a new series of Metal Mickey - you can see some of the test footage for the new version of Mickey at YOUTUBE.


SEASON ONE EPISODES

1.1 Metal Mickey Lives
Science whiz Ken Wilberforce thought a robot would be a help around the house. So he built Metal Mickey. But someone interferes - and deep within Mickey's electronic innards, something stirs...
Original ITV Transmission: 6 September 1980

1.2 Schoolmaster Mickey
Who's been helping with the homework? A scientific genius, says the school; Granny, say the kids. No one can believe it's Mickey. After all, he's just a robot...
Original ITV Transmission: 13 September 1980

1.3 Mickey Makes Money
Metal Mickey's in disgrace, Father's greenhouse is wrecked, his patience exhausted. But Mickey means well and making some extra money for new plants seems easy- especially with Mickey's magic powers.
Original ITV Transmission: 20 September 1980

1.4 Taking the Mickey
Mickey falls victim to a kidnapping plot. To make things worse, Granny is kidnapped as well!
Original ITV Transmission 27 September 1980

1.5 Hiccy Mickey
Father warns his family that he is expecting his boss Mr Barraclough and his wife to call that evening, and that everything in the house must be tidy for the visit. Then, Mickey gets hiccups...
Original ITV Transmission: 4 October 1980

1.6 Top Secret Mickey
News of walking-talking robot Metal Mickey starts to spread. Naturally, the government boffins want to take him to pieces. But Mickey's young friends won't let that happen.
Original ITV Transmission 11 October 1980

1.7 Mickey in Love
Haley is sweet sixteen and Mickey's transistors glow with love. But rejection is a bitter pill when Haley tells him she prefers human company.
Original ITV Transmission: 18 October 1980

1.8 Music Man Mickey
Mickey makes music - and is an overnight sensation! How can the family cope with his sudden success?
Original ITV Transmission: 25 October 1980


Metal Mickey – The Complete First Series is in a single disc set with a running time of approx 200 minutes, and has a recommended retail price of £14.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com.

And now, thanks to Cult TV and Network DVD, you could have had the opportunity to put one of three copies available to win on to your mantelpiece, in our prize competition. All you had to do was tell us the answer to the following question: What was the name of the company that supplied Metal Mickey for the series?. The answer was Hollywood Robots, and the winners were Alberto Pantrini of Birmingham, Glyn Wigley of Barnsley, and Mark Prior of Chatteris.

 

 

 

 

 

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37