Cutting edge special effects, action, humor, dancing, and even a glow in the dark Lamborghini. Automan is an awesome show ahead of its time.
Automan only ran for one season which comprised of 13 episodes. This was from December 1983 all the way to April 1984. The character Walter Nebaker is a computer programmer. He creates the first-ever automatic man which is essentially a hologram come to life. He is a hero that can do anything that comes to his mind. He even has a fairy. Not a real one like Tinker Bell, but an accessory called “cursor” that creates by drawing numerous vehicles and weapons. Watch the intro to the show below.
Another cools aspect is that Walter, who is played by Desi Arnaz Jr., can wear Automan by stepping into him. The Lamborghini is an actual Lamborghini Countach. There was even a line of action figures to support the show. The show was licensed by a toy company called Akama’s Toys. Even though other characters were set to be made into action figures, only Automan himself was ever found both packaged and unpackaged. The 5-inch Autocar, the autocopter watch, and Halloween costume can be found on such sites as eBay etc..
Fandom describes the series:
Automan exhibits superhero-like abilities in the real world, but he completely fails in human relationships. He can materialize such transportation as a car (a Lamborgini Countach), a plane, or a helicopter by means of a companion polyhedral and free-floating character called “Cursor” (which resembles TRON’s Bit).
At the hero’s request, Cursor is able to draw three-dimensional wireframe vehicles and materialize them in seconds. When the constructs are no longer needed, Cursor can perform the inverse operation to delete them. As a side effect, the car driven by our hero only turns in 90-degree angles (due to it using the same algorithm that Pac-Mac uses, as implemented by Nebicher), and defying the physics’ laws, it turns around instantaneously. Human passengers are invariably buffeted around inside due to inertia during such turns.
Bug-Byte Software even put out a game for the series in 1985 for the Commodore 64. Some of you might be saying, Hey Geek Impulse, you said there were 13 episodes, but the internet says there are only 12. Well, only 12 aired before Monday night baseball replaced it, despite having huge ratings. Fabulous Films in the UK released a DVD of the series with all 13 episodes on it.
The production proved to be way too costly to continue. At a price of $1,000,000 per episode. Their rating at the time was 13.9 and by today’s standards that are super high. For those days though that was very low. in 2019 for example Monday Night Football got a 5.9 rating. The TV series was produced by Glen A. Larson (best known for creating Knight Rider and the original Battlestar Galactica).