Automan (ABC 1983-1984, Chuck Wagner, Desi Arnaz Jr)

In Automan Walter Nebicher was a nerdy police computer expert who liked to develop computer games in his spare time. One day, he really went overboard: a computer program called “Automan” jumped right off the screen and started Walter on a career as an international crime fighter.

Since Walter had programmed in everything that Automan knew, this handsome superhero in his sparkling suit was really Walter’s alter ego, but able to do all the things Walter couldn’t. He could make objects appear and disappear, he could make beautiful women tremble at the knees and he could walk through walls.

Automan had lots of friends – almost any computer he happened to run into would help him out, which was a good thing for taking over elevators and causing security systems to keep their alarms quiet. If Walter and Automan got into serious trouble, Walter could even merge with Automan for a short time and escape the flying bullets!

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In addition to Automan, there was also Cursor – the little glowing dot that followed Automan and Walter, and, on their command, would outline a getaway car or even a tank which would miraculously materialize, ready for use. Automan also had his share of problems. He used so much energy that lights dimmed around him and, he faded away entirely at daybreak, when the city’s electrical usage began to rise, leaving Walter in whatever dangerous situation they had been working on.

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Walter’s grumpy, old-fashioned boss, Capt. Boyd, thought that all computers were worthless, to say nothing of the people who ran them. Neither he nor Walter’s protector on the force, Lt. Curtis, knew about Automan, but Curtis knew that somehow Walter was able to break cases wide open and he often used Walter’s leads to further his own career.

production details
ABC – Glen A. Larson / 1×70 minute episodes 12×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 15 December 1983 – 2 April 1984 / Thursdays at 8.00pm then Mondays at 8.00pm

Creator and Producer: Glen A. Larson / Music: J.A.C. Radford, Morton Stevens

Desi Arnaz, Jr. as Walter Nebicher
Chuck Wagner as Automan
Gerald S. O’Loughlin as Capt. E.G. Boyd
Heather McNair as Off. Roxanne Caldwell
Gloria LeRoy as Miss Moneypenny
Robert Lansing as Lt. Jack Curtis

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.