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RoboCop: The Series

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RoboCop: The Series
is a 1994 television series based on the film of the same name. It stars Richard Eden as RoboCop. Made to appeal primarily to children and young teens, the graphic violence that was the hallmark of RoboCop and RoboCop 2 is absent. Rather than killing criminals, RoboCop now has several non-lethal alternatives, which ensure that certain villains can be recurring. The OCP Chairman and his corporation are also treated as merely naïve and ignorant, in contrast to their malicious and immoral behavior from the second movie onward.

The idea for the Pilot Episode was actually an unused idea from the early writing stages of RoboCop 2.



BackgroundEdit

While RoboCop was initially an American property, Orion Pictures received a $500,000 cash infusion for TV licensing rights to Canada's Skyvision Entertainment. This allowed access to co-production treaties and possible partnerships with other countries. The series was filmed in Toronto and Mississauga, Canada and originally planned for a January 1994 debut, several months after the unsuccessful release of RoboCop 3. Skyvision was also in negotiation with Peter Weller, the original RoboCop, but this did not come to fruition. Twenty-two episodes were made, but the series was not renewed for a second season. Expense played a significant part in this; according to Skyvision VP Kevin Gillis, episodes would be produced at $1.2 million to $1.5 million each.

The pilot episode runs two hours. It was adapted from a discarded RoboCop 2 script, Corporate Wars, by the writers of the original RoboCop, Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner.

Villains on the series include Boppo the Clown, Dr. Cray Z. Mallardo , OCP executive Chip Chayken, William Ray "Pudface" Morgan , Vlad "Don't call me Stitch" Molotov and Commander Cash (although, in one episode, it is revealed that Commander Cash was actually a misunderstood hero - a former OCP employee who was the real creator of OCP's Commander Cash toy line whose idea was stolen by a co-worker and subsequently terminated from the company due to the said coworker).

The series gave writers more of an opportunity to develop the central characters and to extend the human interest aspect through the introduction of Gadget; the station mascot and the adopted, insightful daughter of station Sergeant Parks. Gadget, along with the presence of Jimmy Murphy did much to shift the focus from the adult to the youth target audience. The writers also introduced an element of virtual romance and deus ex machina in the persona of Diana, formerly a secretary to crooked Vice-President Chip Chaykin, who becomes transmogrified through her death into the 'face' and 'body' of Metronet, OCP's city-running super-computer.

Many of the episodes were explicitly critical of conservative and libertarian policies, i.e. the privatization of health care and welfare. The ironic handling of many of the negative aspects of modern urban life added a consistent element of black comedy.

CastEdit

EpisodesEdit

Episode Name (Other names)
1 (Pilot) The Future of Law Enforcement
2 Prime Suspect (First Suspect)
3 Trouble in Delta City (Delta City)
4 Officer Missing (Absence of Police)
5 What Money Can't Buy
6 Ghosts of War
7 Zone Five
8 Provision 22
9 Faces of Eve
10 When Justice Fails
11 The Human Factor
12 Inside Crime
13 RoboCop vs Commander Cash
14 Illusions
15 Tin Man
16 Sisters in Crime
17 Heartbreakers
18 Mother's Day
19 Nano
20 Corporate Raiders
21 Midnight Minus One
22 Public Enemies

Home videos and merchandise
Edit

  • The episode "What Money Can't Buy" was released on VHS on March 28, 1995. Episodes of the series were also released in a Japanese laserdisc set. They include "First Suspect," "Delta City," and "Absence of Police."
  • An action figure collection for the series was produced by little-known Toy Island, a company that would continue making RoboCop figures in the future. The basic series includes RoboCop, Madigan, Stan Parks, Commander Cash (also released as "Commandant Cash"), and Pudface. It also features the OCP Interceptor, Tactical Field Vehicle, Tactical Field Ambulance, Mobile Armored Detention Vehicle, and Cyrochamber playset. In 1995, the Power Glow figure series was released. This includes RoboCop variations with illuminating armor such as a basic RoboCop (blue), Thermo Shield RoboCop (red), and Xicor Shield RoboCop (lime green). Each figure in the collection includes various accessories and several points of articulation.
  • A soundtrack entitled A Future to This Life was released January 24, 1995 on both CD and cassette by Pyramid Records. Aside from the show's theme writers, Joe Walsh & Lita Ford, it features classic rock songs from groups like The Band, The Flamingos, Iron Butterfly, and KC & the Sunshine Band.

DVD releasesEdit

  • Alliance Home Entertainment released RoboCop: The Beginning: The Complete Series on DVD only in Canada (Region 1) on July 27, 2010.[1]
  • Madman Entertainment released the entire series on DVD in Australia (Region 4) on July 25, 2006.[2]
  • Stax Entertainment released the complete series on DVD in the UK (Region 2) on March 20, 2006.[3]
    The series was re-released with slimmer packaging on January 22, 2007.

TriviaEdit

  • The series takes place two years after the original RoboCop film. It ignores some things from the two subsequent motion pictures.
  • In the TV series Anne Lewis was never Alex Murphy's partner. Lisa Madigan instead was his partner as evidenced in Midnight Minus One where RoboCop flashesback to day that leads to Alex Murphy's rebirth as RoboCop. It shows Lisa Madigan begging Alex Murphy not to die.
  • Michael Miner and Edward Neumeier scripted an unused RoboCop sequel, Orion went in a different direction, but elements of this unused sequel appear in the pilot for the television series.
  • The production company wasn’t aware the RoboCop writing duo had the right of first refusal to write and film the RoboCop television pilot episode. When they read about the announced series, they contacted the producers and they had a meeting of minds.
  • This episode "Prime Suspect" plays out like a remake of "The Fugitive" movie, with RoboCop in the role of Kimball. Even going so far as to replicate the Kimball/Gerard face off in the sewers down to the dialogue. This Episode was also based on the "Prime Suspect" Dark Horse comic.
  • For legal reasons, Murphy's wife was changed to Nancy as opposed to Elen in the movies. For the same reasons, The Old man was changed to the Chairman.
  • The gun on the TV series is a lighter version of the one in the first movie. The original was a 9mm weapon. A lighter gun was created when importing the real gun into Canada proved difficult. It was also easier to handle by the actor in the RoboSuit.
  • The series films in Canada costs for around $1.25 million per episode.
  • Ten series scripts were ready for production when principal photography ended on the pilot.
  • Cinespace studios in Toronto devoted fifty thousand square feet of permanent sets to simulate Old Detroit and its environs, including Omni-Consumer Products headquaters.


ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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