1 9 8 3 – 1 9 8 4 (USA)
3 x 60 minute episodes
12 x 50 minute episodes
This futuristic cop show featured a 3-D hologram detective created by wimpish desk-bound LAPD computer operator Walter Nebicher (Desi Arnaz Jr).
Essentially Nebicher’s macho alter-ego, ‘Automan’ (Chuck Wagner) also possessed such distinctly useful – and meta-human – qualities as being able to walk through walls.
With Automan by his side and the Cursor (a freewheeling computer screen dot able to materialise anything on command) in attendance, Nebicher became an ace crime-buster.
A significant blip in Nebicher’s sleuthing was that peak time LA electrical consumption would cause the volt-hungry Automan to fade, even disappear. A glitch in the program has also made Automan afraid of the dark.
While others could see Auto, only Officer Roxanne Caldwell (Heather McNair) was aware of Auto’s true identity (she accidentally stumbled upon Walter’s secret when she witnessed Auto’s jump from the computer to the real world). Roxanne also had a crush on Walter and called him “Wally”.
Gloria LeRoy was Walter’s landlady – called ‘Miss Moneypenny’ by Auto (after the secretary in James Bond films who had an eye for 007). Auto felt that the landlady had an eye for him.
William Conrad did the narrating.
Automan/Otto J Mann
Desi Arnaz Jr
Officer Roxanne Caldwell
Capt E G Boyd
Gerald S O’Loughlin
Lt Jack Curtis