It didn't stand the test of time but a rare TV gem of its time
I watched this on video when I was five or six years old, at a time when cheap Sci-Fi flicks would still seem impressive to the young mind. My version was dubbed German (here the film is known as "Mein Freund, der Roboter AKA My Friend, the Robot" and that there actually was a series, I only found out on IMDb).
As a kid between the ages of five to ten, growing up in the early 80's, it would have been impossible not to like honest street cop Ernest Bognine and the android (a word I learned through this film - not just a robot, AN ANDROID!) Michael 'Haven' Shannon. The surrogate father-son storyline, the question whether the machine was just a machine or something more, the straight definition of good and bad, all those aspects sit easy with a young mind. Not to mention a younger John Amos
and whoever doesn't like John Amos hasn't got a heart! But special
credit need to be given to John Shannon would could easily have botched up the character by making it appear tin-man-like. Instead, he manages to keep the balance between (by our standards) simple machine-man and charismatic, likable cop. I would almost like to think that Arnold Schwartzenegger might have take some inspiration from Havens movements in portraying his own unique cyborg in Terminator.
Time would pass and robots would either be packed into bleeding flesh (Terminator) or would have to virtually bath in blood (Robocop) as things became more sophisticated and violent. But for it's time this was 'healthy', family compatible television, cheesy but not too cheesy. Primitive by todays standards but neither without heart nor soul. A shame it wasn't produced a few years later, where it could well have surfed on the wave of Knight Rider or Bionic Man.
Is it something for the generation that has recently watched Avatar in cinema? Definitely not. Unlike a handful of other series of that time, this TV film hasn't passed the test of time. However, if you're from that time and age, I give it two thumbs up.
It should also be noted that this review isn't very objective.
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