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Holmes and Yoyo (ABC 1976, Richard B. Shull, John Schuck)

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This short-lived but memorable sitcom managed to fuse science fiction, slapstick comedy, and cop-show thrills. It focused on an accident-prone policeman named Holmes. His bad luck never got him injured but had the unfortunate side effect of causing him to go through partners at an alarming rate. The powers-that-be decided to counteract this unfortunate tendency by giving him a non-flesh-and-blood partner.

His new partner was Yoyo, an android robot named after its creator, Dr. Yoyonovich. Yoyo was an impressive 425-pound piece of machinery that had a photographic memory, could produce color prints of what it saw, and had an internal trash compactor that allowed it to digest anything (even explosives). However, Yoyo was not without his flaws: his internal machinery often picked up a radio station from Sweden, and when his circuits shorted out he would repeat the words ‘Bunko squad’ over and over again. On one occasion, a bullet injured his ‘rhythm system,’ causing him to tap-dance uncontrollably in the middle of a chase.

Captain Sedford, Holmes’ superior, thought he was putting one over on Holmes because he didn’t tell Holmes that Yoyo was a robot. Holmes figured it out quickly enough, but few others did. A fellow officer, Maxine Moon, actually fell for Yoyo and made several advances at the hapless bot, who, unfortunately, was not programmed for love. The show balanced out this kind of slapstick-infused identity confusion with surprisingly realistic depictions of crime and police work

Holmes and Yoyo was produced by Leonard Stern. He had previously produced Get Smart, which had the same kind of deadpan humor that the new show aspired to. Stern told the press that he hoped that Holmes and Yoyo would become a classic comedy team along the lines of Abbott and Costello or Martin and Lewis. However, this was not to be: the show was cancelled within three months of its debut. Just the same, Holmes and Yoyo will always be remembered by sitcom fans for mixing an unusual premise with a surprisingly old-fashioned sense of humor.

production details
USA / ABC – Universal / 16×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 25 September – 11 December 1976

Writers: Jack Sher, Lee Hewitt / Producer: Arne Sultan / Executive Producer: Leonard Stern

cast
Richard B. Shull as Det. Alexander Holmes
John Schuck as Gregory “Yoyo” Yoyonovich
Bruce Kirby as Capt. Harry Sedford
Andrea Howard as Officer Maxine Moon

 

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TV

Ape And Essence (The Wednesday Play BBC-1 1966, Alec McCowen)

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In Scifi drama Ape and Essence, based on the novel by Aldous Huxley, a group of New Zealand scientists conduct a survey on a Britain ravaged by atomic war 80 years previously.

Series: The Wednesday Play Season 2 Episode 29

cast
Alec McCowen as Alfred Poole
Robert Eddison as Arch Vicar
Derek Sydney as Chief
Jenny Lee as Flossie
Yvonne Antrobus as Young Girl
Sydney Bromley as Craigie
Martin Carroll as Director of Food
Hazel Douglas as Mies Hook
John Falconer as Patriarch
Petra Markham as Loola
Ken Parry as Science Praet
Amanda Reiss as Polly
Jonathan Scott as Int. Priest
Fiona Fraser as Part of Crowd
Ann Mitchell as Shaven-Head
Jacki Salt as Mulatto Girl
Carol Blake as Shaven-Head
Gordon Craig as Part of Crowd
Robert Cude as First Man

crew details
Writer: John Finch
Book: Aldous Huxley
Music: BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Producer: Peter Luke
Director: David Benedictus.

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC One
Duration: 1×75 minute episode
Aired From: 18 May 1966

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Plane Makers, The (ITV 1963-1965, Patrick Wymark, Barbara Murray)

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Plane Makers Patrick Wymark

Drama series The Plane Makers took us behind the scenes in the boardroom and shop floor of the Scott Furlong Aircraft Factory. After two seasons the lead character John Wilder took a place on the board of a merchant bank and the series was then renamed The Power Game.

cast
Patrick Wymark as John Wilder
Jack Watling as Don Henderson
Barbara Murray as Pamela Wilder (Seasons 1-2)
Ann Firbank as Pamela Wilder (Season 3)
Reginald Marsh as Arthur Sugden
Alan Dobie as David Corbett

crew details
Creator: Wilfred Greatorex
Producers: Rex Firkin (seasons 1-2), David Reid (season 3)

production details
Country: UK
Network: ITV – ATV
Duration: 57×50 minute episodes
Aired From: 4 February 1963 – 12 January 1965 black and white

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Running Wild (ITV 1987, Ray Brooks, Janet Key)

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Sitcom Running Wild was about the ups and downs of separated couple, Max and Babs, trying to get on with their lives. In season two Max wants to return to his wife but Babs is not so keen.

cast
Ray Brooks as Max Wild
Janet Key as Babs Wild
Sharon Duce as Wanda
Michelle Collins as Stephanie Wild
Peter Amory as Rob
Berwick Kaler as Tom Coleman (Season 1)
Brigit Forsyth as Jenny (Season 2)

crew details
Writer: Philip Trewinnard
Producers: Marcus Plantin (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)
Directors: Vic Finch (Season 1), Derrick Goodwin (Season 2)

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: ITV – London Weekend Television
Duration: 13×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 6 March 1987 – 4 June 1989

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