ABC (ended 1984)



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Show Summary

"On a scale of 1 to 10, think of me as... an 11."

Thus begins the life of Automan and his creator, Walter Nebicher. Nebicher, a computer specialist at Los Angeles Police Department, creates a sophisticated computer program he calls Automan, the world's first fully automatic man. With enough power, the Automan hologram could become solid and "real." Originally, Automan was only able to run at night, his tremendous power requirements given as the explanation, power which was only available after daytime hours. The production reason was that the glowing costume looked better in dark settings. However, this was abandoned within the first few episodes as the effects were refined and Automan donned normal clothing in public, with only small glowing portions visible at the collar and cuffs.

Automan has a helper called Cursor which creates objects that Automan can manipulate such as the Autocar, Autocopter and Autoplane, as well as creating realistic illusions. Cursor was given its own separate credit (as "himself") in the opening titles.

Automan can talk to any computer, see and walk through walls and even protect Walter by surrounding him with his "aura."

As with every superhero, Automan has limitations. His power depends on the electricity available on the grid. If he gets too much input he could also dissolve without notice.

Supporting characters included Roxanne Caldwell, a young policewoman that Walter is attracted to, Captain Boyd, Walter's cantankerous, computer-hating commanding officer, and Lieutenant Jack Curtis, the only higher-up who has faith in Walter. Boyd constantly calls Nebicher, "Nebbish."

The series drew inspiration for its effects and premise of a digital being from the 1982 motion picture Tron and used a combination of traditional cel animation and some computer graphics. It was canceled after only 13 episodes, originally airing as a lead-in for Masquerade, another 1983 mid-season series also from executive producer Glen Larson.



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  • A nerd with a walking computer cop fighting crime

    Automan what a cool name and a cool show, I would sit and watch all the episodes (11 in total) over and over again when I was just a boy. You gotta love how Automan drives in his autocar? causing Walter to be thrown all over the interior of the car, specially on the windows.

    Cursor was also a dream robot/machine/gadget for all the kids, we all wanted one.

    Sadly the show didn't last long, who knows why. I don't remember plots or anything exactly all i remember are the cool things cursor created and Automan's psychedelic suit.

    Lots and lots of fun show.moreless
  • Automan - 2012

    This would be a great series to come back in 2012, its got a great story line, and with the tech we have today as opposed to 1983 (wifi, cell phones, advanced computers, I - Phones) automan would be limitless :)
  • Mega-nerd/cop Walter creates a crime fighting partner with a shiny metallic body (except his head for some reason), a computer-like intelligence (IE: Not that smart) and a floating discoball called "cursor" that can create functional machines.moreless

    Automan is one of those forgotten shows from the early 80's (see "Manimal") that had so much to offer in terms of campy crime fighting and a so-unbelievable-it's-extremely-stupid plotline. For example, Automan can manipulate anything digital (which in 1983 was mostly Casio watches, the occasional floppy drive MAC and the keyboards used for the automan soundtrack) and somehow this gave him the ability to foil terrorist plots, embezzlers and Michael Jackson-imitating pickpockets. The special effects were advanced for 1983; cursor's ability to materialize anything he can draw was a visual feat back then. We shall sure miss you Automan, man.moreless
  • "Off the wall" certainly doesn't begin to describe this short-lived show.

    Funny and innovative, a cop creates a computer intelligence capabale of assuming human form only at night when power consumption from the grid is at a minimum. Well-acted, this show was cancelled after only one season. The title character is the world's first "automatic man" who glows blue from the neck down due to his computer interface. He has superhuman abilities such as interacting with computers, strength, agility, and creating inanimate objects from pure energy. It was a fun show while it lasted, and probably would have lasted longer had the show been less kooky. One of my favorite shows as a kid.moreless
  • who came up with this

    this could quite possibly be the worst sci-fi show from the 1980's. i realize computers hadn't come along as far as they have today, but my god this show was crap. i'd like to know how much money they spent producing this show. i wasn't suprised it only lasted a few episodes.

More Info About This Show


Drama, Science Fiction