After 12 years of work, Professor IJzerdraedt has completed work on his robot, Rikkel Nikkel. But Rikkel still lacks is a heart, meaning he cannot laugh or cry. Therefore he sets off in search of one together with sailor Kees Kraaienest.




1962   1961  


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Series cast summary:
Detlev Pols ...
 Rikkel Nikkel (10 episodes, 1961-1962)
Joop Admiraal ...
 Kees Kraaienest (10 episodes, 1961-1962)
Ben Aerden ...
 Professor IJzerdraedt (8 episodes, 1961-1962)


After 12 years of work, Professor IJzerdraedt has completed work on his robot, Rikkel Nikkel. But Rikkel still lacks is a heart, meaning he cannot laugh or cry. Therefore he sets off in search of one together with sailor Kees Kraaienest.

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Release Date:

30 September 1961 (Netherlands)  »

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User Reviews

Old fashioned Fifties robot from the early Sixties
5 February 2010 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

It always amazes me when an almost completely forgotten Dutch television series like Rikkel Nikkel turns out to have been preserved in it's entirety (all 10 episodes) whereas so many series that are still being talked about have been partially or completely wiped out of existence. Especially when this series was originally performed and broadcast live, once every month on Saturday afternoons. In fact, the main character often alludes to the fact that exactly four weeks have passed since the previous adventure (usually by saying that he and his companions have been traveling for that amount of time). And in the episode broadcast March 17th 1962, Rikkel Nikkel actually mentions the date. Unfortunately, the little microphone inside his costume (Rikkel Nikkel is a robot) tended to pick up radio waves and began to broadcast static at that very moment, but if you listen carefully, the date can still be made out.

Constructed by Professor IJzerdraedt (Ben Aerden) over the course of 12 years, Rikkel Nikkel (Detlev Pols) is your typical fifties/sixties SciFi android: Big, boxy and obviously with a man inside (note the thin ankles and socks visible between the aluminum legs and shoebox like feet). It really is a wonder the Professor managed to complete his construction at all, for IJzerdraedt is without a doubt the most absentminded of his kind. Gifted with a calculating mind and the ability to remember everything after reading it once, Rikkel can do almost everything. And yet he wants to do the two things he is unable to do: laugh and cry. IJzerdraedt was unable to give Nikkel a heart, but allows him to travel the world in search of one. Another thing Rikkel Nikkel somehow seems to lack is the enormous strength that most SF robots possess, but this never seems to bother him.

The robot sets of on his trip together with the young sailor Kees Kraaienest (Joop Admiraal), who carries a bottled miniature of his favorite ship, De Briezende Bruinvis beneath during all the early episodes (not sure how or when he lost it, but he certainly did). Along the way they help people wherever they go. Although the story appears to take place at the same time the series was broadcast, the world Rikkel and Kees traverse is a fairy tale land filled with tiny kingdoms, royalty, magicians and pirates. During the December episode even Santa Claus shows up. When their search proves to be fruitless after three months, RN and KK head back to the Professor, who promptly remembers that one of his colleagues, Magister Archibaldus might be able to conjure up a heart for a robot. So they set off on another journey, this time accompanied by the Professor. During the last three episodes, the aforementioned 'real time' pretense of the serial is abandoned, as they finally arrive in the land of Mininoet where Archibaldus resides.

As usual with these old children's programs, the writing is filled with funny sayings and plays on words. The characters all speak in a language of their own, and as most of them come from made-up countries, practice silly laws. Each episode it is thanks to Rikkel Nikkel's knowledgeable brain that a major or minor disaster is averted. But even he was unable to edit out some of the mistakes made by the crew during a live broadcast (in episode 7 a stage manager walks into frame and in the very last shot of episode 10 a camera moves into shot). However, despite of the live aspect, there are still some calculated special effects (or should that be magicians tricks) incorporated into the stories. All of this serves to make Rikkel Nikkel a charming little program from the early years of Dutch television.

8 out of 10

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