RoboCop: The Animated Series is an animated series produced in the 1980s by Marvel Productions, and is based on the character and events of the movie RoboCop.
The animated series was derived from R-Rated source material, a trend that was maintained by series such as Rambo, Police Academy and Toxic Crusaders. Among the more notable changes were the removal of bullets (replaced by laser weapons) and a more science fiction setting. In this series, RoboCop had a red light in the middle of his visor (which occasionally panned the whole visor).
Series PlotEditBased on the original movie, the first RoboCop animated series features cyborg cop Alex Murphy, who fights to save the city of Old Detroit from assorted rogue elements, and on occasion, fighting to reclaim aspects of his humanity and maintain his usefulness in the eyes of the "Old Man", Chairman of OCP. Many episodes see RoboCop's reputation put to the test or soured by interventions from Dr. McNamara, the creator of ED-260, the upgradable version of the Enforcement Droid Series 209 and the top competitor for the financial backing of OCP. He continually develops other mechanical menaces that threaten RoboCop.
RoboCop is accompanied by Officer Anne Lewis and is picked on and lambasted by the prejudiced Lieutenant Roger Hedgecock (who appeared as a minor character in the original film and his first name revealed in Night of the Archer). Determined to be rid of RoboCop and his kind, Hedgecock sees them as ticking time bombs. Their rivalry comes to a fever pitch during the episode "The Man in the Iron Suit", in which Hedgecock comes close to finally beating Murphy with the aid of a new weapons system developed by McNamara. He almost kills Lewis when she interferes, enraging Murphy into tearing Hedgecock's iron suit apart and nearly crushing his skull before Lewis emerges, alive and well. RoboCop is maintained by RoboCop Project director Dr. Tyler.
This series' tone is darker and more mature than the subsequent animated series, RoboCop: Alpha Commando. The title sequence features a brief animated variation on Murphy being gunned down by Clarence Boddicker and his gang, an unusually violent scene for Saturday morning cartoons. RoboCop struggles to deal with the pain of losing his humanity. Other themes include racism ("The Brotherhood"), prejudice at work ("Man in the Iron Suit"), environmental espionage ("Into the Wilderness"), terrorism, and the Middle East peace process ("A Robot's Revenge").
While this series is based on the original film, there are significant changes to RoboCop and his environment. RoboCop is faster and has a greater range of movement than in the films. The Old Detroit of the series is also considerably more technological advanced: lasers replace handguns, robots are commonplace, Dr. Tyler is the creator of the RoboCop Program, not Bob Morton, and also serves as one of Murphy's confidants as well as his caregiver, along with Dr. Roosevelt. Clarence Boddicker, the man responsible for Alex Murphy's death, died in the film. In this series he and his gang remain at large and battle RoboCop again in 'Menace of the Mind.'
- "Crime Wave": Dr. McNamara hires a very dangerous gang, the Vandals, in Old Detroit to cause mass crime waves. If RoboCop cannot stop this threat, Dr. McNamara gets his ED-260 on the streets of Old Detroit.
- "The Scrambler": A former OCP member, now criminal, hacks into RoboCop's controls system. After that he escapes prison with the help from a brainwashed RoboCop. Criminals can now control RoboCop and give him the mission to assassinate OCP’s leader The Old Man.
- "Project Deathspore": OCP's experiment Project Deathspore goes terribly wrong and it escapes into the sewers and streets of Old Detroit and feeds on the energy of the city, and the energy of RoboCop as well.
- "The Brotherhood": RoboCop meets a Ku-Klux-Klan like style of High Tech criminal gang who calls themselves The Brotherhood. Their goal is to destroys all robots & cyborgs in Old Detroit with a high tech ball which causes errors on robots & cyborgs and they become mad & destroys all things it sees, or causes power failure.
- "The Man In The Iron Suit": Dr. McNamara creates an iron suit that is designed to be far superior to RoboCop and gets Lieutenant Hedgecock—who despises RoboCop—into the suit to challenege RoboCop and prove to the Old Man that his product is far superior. The Old Man is only concerned about which product would profit the most so he has Hedgecock and RoboCop challenge one another in a competition to determine which product is superior and more profitable.
- "The Hot Seat": Dr. McNamara frees The Vandals from prison and hires them to steal RoboCop’s charging chair, without it, RoboCop is a piece of junk. The Vandals gets RoboCop’s chair and tries to sell it to Dr. McNamara. Will RoboCop & Anne Lewis get RoboCop’s charging chair back, before RoboCop runs out of power? Written by Marv Wolfman
- "No News Is Good News": Dr. McNamara sabotages OCP’s great new tank AW7. AW7 thinks all things in Old Detroit are enemies and at the same time a (Geraldo Rivera-like) reporter attempts to "defame" RoboCop, but he doesn’t know how hard it can be.
- "Night Of The Archer": A man named Archer steals rich people's money and gives them to poor people. But what is this robber's REAL meaning and motive? Will RoboCop stop this villain?
- "Rumble In Old Detroit": Frightening gang war threatens when a very big cargo of illegal guns is stolen from Metro West Police Station. Gangs attack gangs and the only one that can stop it is...RoboCop.
- "A Robot's Revenge": RoboCop & Anne Lewis are assigned as Prince Saurus’ & Ilmars bodyguards. They are two Middle East leaders that will sign a peace treaty. But two terrorists send the new ED-260(A) to assassinate the two leaders, just before they write the peace treaty.
- "Into the Wilderness": RoboCop tries to stop an OCP factory that pollutes the water and environment.
- "Menace Of The Mind": A dangerous amulet with a micro-circuit named Zip-Chip is for sale on the black market. RoboCop steps in to stop a gang when he discovers that the gang leader is Clarence Boddicker. (Boddicker is responsible for killing Alex J. Murphy, RoboCop's former identity.)
In 1991, three episodes of the series were released as individual NTSC VHS volumes, distributed by Best Film & Video Corp. under the Marvel Video! banner. The episodes were: "Man in the Iron Suit!" (volume 1), "Crime Wave" (volume 2), and "A Robot's Revenge" (volume 3).
As of 2007, none of the show's 12 episodes has been released onto Region 1 DVD. However, all the episodes have been released on several 42 minute laserdiscs, sold exclusively on wallks.com.
On February 18, 2008, Jetix Films UK released the complete series in a 3 disc box set containing all 12 episodes.
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