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Tread Perilously – ‘Automan: Pilot’

Tread Perilously is a podcast in which hosts Erik Amaya and author Justin Robinson watch the “worst” episodes of popular TV shows, attempting to determine if they would continue to watch the series based on the most off-key moments.

This Week: Automan‘s “Pilot”

Tread Perilously continues sci-fi month with the pilot episode of Automan.

Walter Nebicher is a new form of law enforcement. He uses computers where the rest of the LAPD use their pistols and intimidation techniques. But because Nebicher is a whiz with computers and holograms, he creates Automan — a different kind of cop. An amalgam of Hollywood hunks like Burt Reynolds and Christopher Reeve with the crime-solving capacities of Sherlock Holmes and James Bond, he can create hard light holograms, walk through walls, and even take Nebicher for a ride or two. And it’s a good thing he figured out how to appear since LAPD Lt. Jack Curtis has been abducted by private military contractors.

This show was produced in 1983, why do you ask?

Erik and Justin dissect the screen persona of Desi Arnaz Jr. They also try to recast Walter Nebicher and imagine how Arnaz’s own father turned him down for the Little Ricky role on I Love Lucy. Chuck Wagner ends up the MVP. Co-star Heather McNair gets compared — perhaps unfairly — to Heather Locklear, Heather Thomas, and Rebecca DeMornay. Erik tries to determine the origin of the phrase “automatic man.” Also, a discussion of the James Bond film, Moonraker, breaks out.

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