- This article deals with the cyborg. For the model cop and world class husband, see Alex Murphy.
"Murphy! It's you!"―Officer Anne Lewis[src]
OCP restructured the Detroit Police Department with "prime candidates" according to risk factor, as another victim of criminality was soon expected to be found. After the failed presentation of the ED prototype, Morton approached the Old Man over the protests of Dick Jones. The Old Man was curious enough to invite Morton and his staff for a full presentation of his RoboCop program.
After receiving the call from the emergency room, the scientists and surgeons at Security Concepts swung into action, harvesting what was left of brutally slain police officer Alex Murphy's organic components: parts of his digestive tract, what was left of his brain, several organs and his left arm, though the arm was later amputated at the behest of Morton, effectively turning Murphy's remains into the OCP Crime Prevention Unit 001, or RoboCop, as he was more widely known, a cyborg with computer and mechanically assisted reflexes, memory and a 'lifetime' of law enforcement programming and a selection of dynamic software for plotting strategies and ballistic vectors in any situation.
Bob Morton observed RoboCop's initial evaluation and testing personally, and was impressed with his marksmanship trials, during which he shot the cardboard head off a humanoid target. After being assigned to the Metro West precinct, RoboCop's first field test was just as impressive, during which he used his advanced on-board technology to stop a convenience store robber, then plot a vector for a bullet to sail harmlessly through a female hostage's skirt and cripple a would-be rapist. Later on, on the very same night, he used thermographic vision to save the then Mayor from the clutches of a maniacal politician.
However, all was not proceeding quite according to OCP's initial projections. His memory wiped and on-board programming directing his actions, it was assumed all scintillas of Murphy's personality had died with him on the operating table but this proved not to be entirely true. One night, as the machine was at rest and sitting in his chair, he began to experience detailed synaptic response: a vivid dream of his former life, torture, and death at the hands of Clarence Boddicker and his gang. RoboCop woke suddenly, and, ignoring the science team's protestations, walked out of the precinct.
Coincidentally, Murphy's partner, Officer Lewis was just on her way in with a suspect and her new partner. Having noticed RoboCop twirling his gun into his holster during calibration earlier in the week (a habit she witnessed Murphy perform before his death), she went to him and, after a few tries, managed to get his attention, then told him he was Murphy. RoboCop hesitated, seemingly unable to process the data, before continuing on his way out.
After driving around the city looking for crime, RoboCop spotted Emil Antonowsky of Boddicker's gang holding up a gas station and closed in, managing to get the drop on him and ordering him to give it up. In the ensuing panic and eruption of gunfire and gasoline, Emil recognized RoboCop and related to him that he and the gang had killed Murphy. RoboCop was stunned, playing Emil's statement back to himself several times. Just managing to regain his sanity in time to prevent Emil's getaway by firing at his motorcycle and sending him smashing into a parked car, RoboCop pressed Emil for more information, but, injured and in shock, Emil could physically say no more.
Heading back to Metro West, RoboCop barged into the Detroit Police Department's record room and used his built-in interface hardware to jack into the database, uploading his stored video of Emil and identifying his known accomplices. Recognizing Clarence from his dream as the man who fired the final, fatal shot, RoboCop examined Clarence's felony rap sheet and discovered he was a suspect in the murder of Officer Alex Murphy.
Compelled to discover who he used to be, RoboCop traveled to his old family home at 548 Primrose Lane, finding it empty, up for sale, and vandalized. As he walked through the empty rooms, an automated salesman stipulated the perks and benefits of the house, and RoboCop's staccato visions and disjointed memories entirely took over his perceived reality. He saw Murphy's wife, his son, and emotions coursed through him, but he was ultimately left with an empty, cold room in a vacant house. He turned to leave, confused and angry, pausing only to throw his metal fist through the screen of the automated salesman.
First tracking down gang member Leon Nash to a nightclub, RoboCop found out from him that Clarence was doing business with Sal at a drug factory set up in an old supermarket. RoboCop demonstrated his highly advanced targeting system again by marking the positions of potential shooters, tracking them, and opening fire - with deadly accuracy - when the shot was right, often without even having to physically look at the target.
During the brutal shootout, Sal, Steve Minh, and all the factory workers were killed. Joe Cox was accidentally incapacitated after getting Steve's shotgun slammed in his face, and Clarence was left alone, trapped in an empty office as RoboCop closed in on him. He roughly pulled Boddicker to his feet, reading him his rights and throwing him about the factory until Clarence proclaimed he worked for Dick Jones, second-in-command of OCP. Still disinterested, RoboCop moved in and wrapped a powerful hand around Boddicker's neck and began throttling him. However, Clarence's last words triggered his third directive, and thus the former Alex Murphy spared his killer.
Later, he brought a handcuffed Clarence to Metro West and threw him to the cops therein, who were all crowded around Sgt. Warren Reed and threatening strike action because of the monumental amount of deaths and injuries the beat cops were suffering. As he turned to leave, he made it clear that Clarence was the one responsible for most of them.
After leaving the precinct, RoboCop made his way to Dick Jones. However, on approaching the grand glass doors to Jones' office, the doors swung open and Jones casually greeted him, even agreeing to be arrested and taken to the station. However, as RoboCop closed in, his firmware went into spasm, warning him that he had performed some hitherto unknown violation. Dick Jones gleefully revealed that he had a vital part in designing RoboCop's psychological profile, most importantly a directive which precluded him from arresting any senior member of OCP. Using every ounce of strength, RoboCop managed to draw his firearm, but could not bring it to bear.
Whilst RoboCop was wrestling with his malfunctioning software, Dick Jones unveiled his own Security Concepts crime-fighting machine: an ED-209. As it approached the crippled RoboCop, Dick Jones gloated, "I had to kill Bob Morton because he made a mistake. Now it's time to erase that mistake!" ED-209 opened fire, throwing RoboCop through the heavy set of double doors in a shower of glass and splinters. As he pulled himself upright, ED-209 delivered an uppercut powerful enough to bust open RoboCop's visor and threw him across the office to land heavily on the marble floor.
Before he could get to his feet, the droid was upon him. It raised its cannon, the muzzle hovering mere inches from RoboCop's face, and prepared to execute him, but RoboCop grabbed the droid's arm and deflected its aim, then directed the blazing cannon into the other arm, which exploded, stunning the machine and allowing RoboCop to escape to a staircase. ED-209 tripped and fell behind him, unable to get up, thrashing wildly on the landing, allowing RoboCop to escape.
However, on staggering through the door to the parking lot, RoboCop was confronted by heavily armed SWAT team members and a load of cops, aiming lights and the muzzles of pistols, shotguns, submachine-guns and assault rifles at him. The SWAT team Lieutenant, Hedgecock announced to the group that they were there to destroy RoboCop. Kaplan and a few other precinct cops protested, but their concerns fall upon deaf ears, and they walked off in disgust.
Meanwhile, the others opened fire, crippling RoboCop's leg, chewing holes in his armor, and the cyborg stumbled toward the multi-story parking lot's internal wall, throwing himself over, and rolling between and beneath the different levels and out of sight of the SWAT team, finding himself bathed in the lights of another police cruiser, occupied by Lewis, who hurriedly helped him aboard before escaping the scene.
Heavily damaged, RoboCop effected some repairs as he hid out at the steel mill while Lewis went off to the deserted police station and brought back some tools and supplies. After sorting out the servos in his arm and leg, RoboCop removed his damaged helmet and sadly reminisced about the life he could not remember. His memories were broken and disjointed, but the emotions haunted him deeply. His targeting system was also damaged, but, with some help aiming from Lewis, he soon reset it to good order. Moments later, a black 6000 SUX and a beat up panel van cruise into the foundry, disgorging the remaining members of Boddicker's gang, all armed with heavy weapons. RoboCop reloaded his gun, told Lewis to get the car, and prepared for the final showdown.
Moving out of sight of the gang, RoboCop managed to get above and behind them upon a catwalk. As the gang stalked further into the complex, jittery and on edge, he frizzed a sheet of scrap metal across the roadway, where it clattered loudly to the floor. The gang turned in unison and opened fire, but realize they had not hit their intended target. RoboCop called out from behind them, and immediately fired a lethal three burst volley of fire at Joe. He then retreated before the others could aim any decent shots.
Emil caught up to him first, aiming to run RoboCop down in the gang's van, but the cyborg sent him ducking for cover with another burst of fire and he lost control, colliding his van through the shell of a vat marked "Toxic Waste." RoboCop half turned to observe the hapless Emil washed out of the walk-through van's rear doors, struggling in the chemical surf.
RoboCop went after Leon, who nimbly skirted around the silos and machinery, squeezing off the occasional ineffective shot, but, as RoboCop moved through the site, he came upon Clarence in a shallow drainage canal by his upturned SUX, putting round after round from his gun into and around Lewis, who collapsed bonelessly into the waters. RoboCop managed to get close enough to distract him mere seconds before Clarence would have executed her, and feigned giving up, tossing his pistol into the water and surrendering. RoboCop stepped closer, pistol raised, as Clarence backed off, confused and pleading for his life. Suddenly, a sound made him look up, just in time to register a ton of girders, scrap and other assorted chunks of metal that piledrive him into the ground from a massive crane that Leon had been operating as Clarence was stalling him.
Just as Clarence and Leon celebrated, Lewis managed to fire off a shot from Clarence's discarded assault cannon, which annihilated Leon and the control room, sending Clarence into a rage. He grabbed a length of scrap and splashed over to RoboCop, proceeding to batter him mercilessly. RoboCop managed to deflect a few of the blows, but an upended plunging strike got through his parry, penetrated a fissure in his breastplate. RoboCop screamed in pain, and Clarence brought his face in close as he spat a final goodbye to the cyborg. RoboCop unsheathed his dataspike and stabbed Clarence through the neck, opening a sufficiently lethal wound that killed Clarence in moments. Desperately, RoboCop called to Lewis, who was in bad shape. RoboCop reassured her not to worry, as OCP could put anything back together.
RoboCop made his way to the OCP headquarters. As soon as he pulled up outside the building, an ED-209 clocked him and strode quickly over, citing a parking violation. RoboCop slung a Cobra assault cannon across the roof and fired it at the ED-209 twice, blowing the entire "head" from the legs of the machine, sending them staggering before collapsing in a twitching heap of scrap.
He then reached the boardroom, bursting in just as Dick Jones was finishing an eloquent piece of wordplay. The executives inside were shocked, but the Old Man managed to stay calm, asking how they can help the RoboCop, who answered him, accusing Dick Jones of murder. Jones tried to defend himself and the Old Man asked RoboCop what evidence he had of the allegations. RoboCop brandished his data spike - tarnished with Clarence's dried blood - into the computer suite in the wall. Dick Jones' face appeared, saying "I had to kill Bob Morton because he made a mistake. Now it's time to erase that mistake!" Jones, leaping into action, ran for a pistol on display in the boardroom. RoboCop drew his own weapon, but Dick wrapped an arm around the Old Man, jammed the gun into his head. Jones began shouting demands as RoboCop waited, weapon at the ready, unable to fire due to the continued affectation of Directive 4.
The Old Man hollered for Dick's attention and immediately terminated Dick's employment. RoboCop thanked him as Directive 4 instantly became nullified and opened fire on Jones, sending him staggering to the massive glass windows and sent Jones crashing through it to his death.
Casually straightening his tie, the Old Man looked up. "Nice shooting, son," he asked RoboCop, "what's your name?" RoboCop turned to look at the Old Man, answering, "Murphy."
After the death of Dick Jones, RoboCop was put back on duty, fully refurbished with new blue-tinged armor plating after tending his damage sustained by ED-209 and Lt. Hedgecock and his swat team. Warren Reed, Lewis and the others realized that it was Dick Jones who ordered their former comrade Lt. Hedgecock to destroy RoboCop. They presumably dismiss or execute him for following Dick Jones' orders to destroy RoboCop. Whitakker is the new SWAT leader replacing Lt. Hedgecock. Constable Lewis was also allowed to serve as RoboCop's "partner," and the pair stayed on duty through the continuing police strike. Which much of the police force out on strike, Old Detroit sank deeper into decay, and chaos was on the rise. During this time, a new drug began hitting the streets called "Nuke." A bizarre cult formed around the drug and it's creator, a man called Cain.
Fighting the RehabsEdit
- To be added
The OCP Crime Prevention Unit 001 was afforded the fastest reflexes made possible by modern technology, a memory assisted by an on-board computer, and programmed with a lifetime experience in on-the-street law enforcement.
- Main article: Prime Directives
Fundamental to his operational limits were RoboCop's "Prime Directives," a set of rules, unbreakable and unbendable, that RoboCop is bound to uphold:
- "Serve the public trust"
- "Protect the innocent"
- "Uphold the law"
A fourth directive, which RoboCop was programmed to be unaware of unless it became relevant, rendered him physically incapable of placing any senior OCP employee under arrest: "any attempt to arrest a senior OCP employee results in shutdown." Dick Jones stated that Directive 4 was his contribution to RoboCop's psychological profile, in order to protect himself from being arrested for his crimes. This directive failed Jones when he held the "Old Man" hostage and was fired by him, allowing RoboCop to kill Jones.
RoboCop's primary weapon, the Auto-9 remained stored in a mechanical holster which deployed from RoboCop's right leg. It was also modified so it would not fire unless RoboCop was the one using it.
Terminal strip Edit
RoboCop's terminal strip was a sharp spike-like device that protruded from RoboCop's right fist. This device could be used by RoboCop to interface with a corresponding data port in order to download information from the police database and compare information he gathered from his missions with the police database. This device was also used to kill Clarence Boddicker; having pinned RoboCop under a pile of scrap metal, the cyborg waited for Boddicker to approach and then stabbed Boddicker in the throat, killing the crime lord.
By the time he faced the Urban Rehabilitators, RoboCop was outfitted with a gunarm. To use it, RoboCop removed his left hand and replaced it with the weapon assembly. It contained a 9mm machine gun, a flamethrower, and a small missile launcher with a projectile potent enough to destroy an armored vehicle.
Flightpack/recharging station Edit
In his fight against the Rehabs, RoboCop used a flightpack. It also doubled as a replenishing system for when his battery system was low on power. The jetpack allowed Murphy to overcome his relatively limited mobility for tactical advantage in combat.
RoboCop had an internal zoom capability for better aim as well as tracking. RoboCop also had different vision modes. His systems used a grid which was crucial to RoboCop's targeting as well as bullet trajectory, allowing him to make ricochet shots. His programming prevented him from targeting children, which allowed Hob to shoot RoboCop and escape the Nuke drug lab. He also had a recorder which could detect voice fluctuations and stress as well as play back audio/visual. This recording capability enabled RoboCop to document any situation he encountered with perfect recall and unbiased neutrality, with his memory being deemed through legal agreement as admissible evidence in a court of law. RoboCop also possessed a directional microphone with which he could track conversations from a distance. It was very sensitive, as he could hear vehicles approaching from afar despite being indoors.
RoboCop's body, while incorporating portions of Alex Murphy's living tissue, was largely electronic and mechanical. This interior structure was protected by an armored shell composed laminated with kevlar, making RoboCop incredibly resilient against both bombs and bullets, as well as extreme impacts such as being hit by cars and falling off skyscrapers. The body armor could sustain multiple of high-caliber rounds before damage began to appear on the armor itself. It was also highly resistant to heat, as RoboCop was unaffected after being caught in a gas station explosion. His visor was made of the same material and a black strip of bulletproof anti-fog glass which protected the cranium apparatus and eyes. The visor also had an undercloth of Kevlar which protected the neck and covered up any wires. The visor was attached with screws. When the visor was removed, only the front of Murphy's face, from the top of the neck up, was exposed; the back of his head was entirely mechanical
RoboCop's right arm contained a display that alerted personnel to his health status. RoboCop's hands also contained actuators strong enough to crush every bone in a human hand (about 400 foot pounds).
Despite all of RoboCop's technological advances, he was still limited to mechanical maintenance, which means he needed servicing and tune-ups from time to time. On top of that, his organic systems needed to be monitored as well, therefore the scientist working on him, such as Dr. Marie Lazarus, would have to monitor both systems during his rest periods.
Despite his impressive reflexes, his overall locomotion was rather slow. He was never seen running except in one short instance, meaning he could not chase a fleeing suspect on foot, only by vehicle. Nevertheless, he was more often than not seen shooting to kill or disable his opponent. He was also exceptionally heavy; when he was temporally disabled, it took over half a dozen officers to lift him off the ground.
Another one of RoboCop's faults was that he was also programmable, meaning that in the wrong hands, he could be programmed to be incompetent, corrupted, or a dangerous threat to society.
RoboCop occasionally had flashbacks of his previous life as Alex J. Murphy, which caused him to have "dreams" when he was in his recharging state. This sometimes caused him to sleepwalk or wake up in shock.
Behind the ScenesEdit
Peter Weller, a method actor known for playing everyman characters, was cast as Murphy/RoboCop in RoboCop. His light build made it easier to work in the bulky RoboCop costume. Peter spent seven months training with a Mime coach to fine tune his robotic movements only to find that the suit was far too bulky for what he had practiced. He used the practiced movements and let the restrictions of the suit slow him down.
The single most expensive aspect of the original film was the RoboSuit. The RoboSuit was designed by Rob Bottin, with additional work (including the under-helmet mechanics) by Miles Teves. Producer Jon Davison estimates that around $1 million of the $13 million production was spent on the creation of the seven suits used in the film. Beginning with a bodycast of actor Peter Weller, the RoboSuit was sculpted from oil clay. Bottin's experience with urethane on another film project inspired him to cast the primary portions of the suit out of the material, believing that its flexibility would limit the amount of damage the suits would take. Unfortunately, the material also meant that repairs were difficult as the auto body filler used to restore the suits wouldn't adhere to the surface. The black portions of the suit were cast in foam rubber for flexibility. The helmets, along with a stunt suit used for the Shell station explosion, were cast in fiberglass.
Disagreements over the design between Bottin and director Paul Verhoeven delayed the suit's creation, and they weren't delivered to the set until the very day they were required for filming. After several hours of struggling to get weller into the untested suit (anywhere from 6 to 11 hours, depending on who you ask) it then took the rest of the day to film a scene where Robo catches a set of thrown keys, the keys bouncing off of the foam rubber gloves take after take.
Although the suit-up time was eventually reduced to around 1.5 hours, the third act of the film required Weller to wear complex prosthetics in place of the helmet. Conceptualized by Rob Bottin and designed by Miles Teves, Bottin himself sculpted the prosthetic appliances. It took four hours for makeup artist Stephan Dupuis to apply the makeup in addition to the regular suit-up time. The nature of the makeup, and the Dallas summer heat, meant that scenes could only be filmed every other day, since Weller's face would be blistered and need time to heal before the prosthetics could be applied again.
For leg-holster shots, a cable and spring-actuated system was created and installed within the lower half of a RoboSuit created specifically for that purpose. Terminating at the waist, the gag was operated by technicians pulling cables offscreen.
Only the upper half of the suit was worn by Weller during driving scenes. This was due to the lower half being so big that it was impossible for him to fit into the car.
In 1990, Peter Weller reprised his role in RoboCop 2. This time the suit was built out of fibreglass and was a lot easier to move in. This gave the look of a RoboCop who was now settled and used to his new body. However, although a second sequel and a television series were made, this was the last time Weller played the role, due to an offer to star in the film Naked Lunch. However, he also did not find RoboCop 2 to be a particularly positive experience. He complained about some scenes not making into the final cut, "There was a couple of things that made the character more human that weren't used. I can't remember exactly what the scenes were, I just remember wondering why they weren't in." These deleted scenes have never been included on home video releases. Weller's co-star, Nancy Allen, also had negative feelings regarding the second film.
With the aesthetics of the RoboCop design already proven, Bottin & Co. could focus on improving the RoboSuits for the sequel. With input from Weller's experiences on the first film, the new suit was created from casts taken from the original molds, bodyshopped to a more refined appearance, and new molds taken.
This time around, the suits were created from fiberglass and vacuum-formed plastic, with the gloves the only remaining foam rubber. The sections where the suit split apart were modified to make suit-up faster and easier, and the midsection was replaced with a series of interconnected parts that could twist and slide to allow movement. Although the suit's midsection was more restrictive than in the first film, the entire suit was lighter, more comfortable, and generally had a better range of motion.
The under-helmet makeup was revisited, this time sculpted by Henry Alvarez, who used one of the remaining prosthetics from the first film as a basis.
The leg-holster was also rebuilt for the film, using the more refined suit parts of the sequel, while also incorporating almost the entire body instead of just the legs. A technician, laying on a raised platform behind the holstering suit, could wear the suit arms and insert/remove the Auto-9 pistol as it was operated.
The star of the previous films, Peter Weller, did not reprise the role for RoboCop 3, as he was starring in Naked Lunch. Robert John Burke was signed to play the cyborg character instead. The RoboCop suit Burke wore in the movie was originally built for RoboCop 2. Since Burke was taller than Weller, he complained that wearing it was painful after a short time. Burke worked very hard to recreate the movements that Weller had perfected in the previous movies. Other than a very noticeable change in the voice effects Burke's RoboCop was well received even if the movie wasn't.
With Peter Weller unable/unwilling to return for the second sequel, budget-minded Orion Pictures decided to cast a new actor in the role who could fit inside the suits created for the second film. Although Robert John Burke was a close match, several suit parts had to be modified to fit his body; the thighs and collar were extended, the interior of the helmet was enlarged, etc.
Overall, the suits were still the ones used on RoboCop 2, which meant that Burke had to endure not only the already restrictive and uncomfortable nature of the suits, but also all the additional weight of the auto body filler used to repair the suits over the course of RoboCop 2's production.
RoboCop 3 did feature a few new additions not carried over from the first sequel, namely the "flightpack" and "weapon arm". Although the specifics changed depending on what it was required to do within the scene, the weapon arm used a Calico 950A machine pistol, and an operating flamethrower. Additional versions, including one which fired a wire-guided model rocket, and another with a complex locking mechanism built in, could not be worn by the actor and were instead attached to an empty suit arm.
The flightpack was created from fiberglass and vacuum-formed plastic, with additional metal, plastic and rubber details added on, including illuminating lights and a version with mechanically actuated functions.
Rob Bottin once again sculpted Murphy's prosthetics as he did on the first, noting that Burke's features weren't as complimentary to the design as Weller's were.
The leg-holster effect, kept mostly intact from the second film, was modified to reflect the slight changes made to the suit's thighs.
RoboCop (1987 film)Edit
- RoboCop (TV series continuity)
- RoboCop (animated)
- RoboCop (Prime Directives continuity)
- RoboCop (video game character)
- RoboCop (remake continuity)
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