1 9 7 3 – 1 9 7 4 (UK)
14 x 30 minute episodes
John Clive (who provided the voice of John Lennon in the 1968 Beatles film Yellow Submarine) headed up the cast as Robert Sommerby, a brilliant but eccentric inventor who lives in the country with his Aunt Millie (Doris Rogers), and a number of humanoid robots.
One of the robots, Katie ( KT ), talks like a child, and has a propensity for walking through doors without opening them (in one episode, he fell in love with a gas cooker).
The other robots included the sarcastic Eric (Nigel Pegrum) – Sommerby’s most advanced robot, who thinks humans are quite disgusting with their revolting habits like eating – and Desiree (April Olrich), the latter programmed to breathlessly declare her undying love for every man she meets.
A sinister foreign type called Marken (Leon Lissek) wants Sommerby’s secrets for his acquisitive electronics company and hires incompetent private eye Gimble (Richard Davies from Please Sir!). In the second season, David Pugh replaced him as the equally useless Plummer.
Future Magpie presenter Jenny Hanley was Angie, Sommerby’s lovely fiancée, who was kept in the dark about his robot project.
Christopher Biggins and the seventh Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy appeared too.
The humour largely came from the robots’ attempts to pass themselves off as humans. In one instalment, Katie got on a bus, only to leave his hand behind when he got off. In another, Eric experienced overheating, forcing him to walk around town with a bag of frozen peas against his head.
Follow That Robot | Love at First Light | A Spanner in the Works | Dial C for Chaos | A Long, Cold Sommerby | Kill or Cure | Double Trouble | One of Our Robots Is Missing | A Full Head of Steam | I Spy with My Little Ear | Courting Disaster | Gastronomics Anonymous | Rampaging Robots | Santa Claus-Trophobia