Automan (1983–1984)
9 user 1 critic
A computer nerd creates a holographic "man" called "Automan" (AutomaticMan) and uses him (and his holographic car and a talking cursor) to help solve crimes.


Lee H. Katzin


Glen A. Larson




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Desi Arnaz Jr. ... Walter Nebicher
Chuck Wagner ... Automan
Heather McNair Heather McNair ... Roxanne Caldwell
Gerald S. O'Loughlin ... Capt. E. G. Boyd
Robert Lansing ... Lt. Jack Curtis
Cursor Cursor ... Himself
Patrick Macnee ... Lydell Hamilton
Steven Keats Steven Keats ... Collins
Robert Hogan ... Peterson (as Robert J. Hogan)
Jim Antonio ... Cramer (as James Antonio Jr.)
Robert Dunlap ... Chuck Wilson
Don Galloway ... Martin Wills
Doug McClure ... Det. Ted Smithers
Camilla Sparv ... Tanya
Sid Haig ... 1st Gang Member


A computer nerd creates a holographic "man" called "Automan" (AutomaticMan) and uses him (and his holographic car and a talking cursor) to help solve crimes.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis







Release Date:

15 December 1983 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


It's shown that Automan has the power to walk through walls, communicate and talk to other electrical devices, know what is turned on or off, see through solid walls, and have someone else enter his body to made them intangible to touch, and have the strength to lift a person up above himself. See more »


When Roxanne says; "That's only four photos!" She was really shown six. See more »


Automan: On a scale of one to ten, think of me as an eleven.
See more »


References Donkey Kong (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

Very short run
29 April 2005 | by eimb1999See all my reviews

Although very formulaic like most action shows of the 70's and 80's, I remember seeing the show a number of times (and liking it) but I think it never even made it through a full season if I remember right, because I think it bombed in the ratings department. I actually still have a recording of the main theme music (along with sound effects) from the opening credits! The Automan Character was supposed to be a computer generated "Automatic Man" (hence the name Automan)zapped into the real world in the same but opposite way that Jeff Bridges was zapped into the computer world of Disney's "Tron" made the previous year.

Despite the fact that it was meant to copy the kind of computer generated imagery seen in "Tron", the visual effects were actually done optically using more traditional means, as CGI was still very much in it's infancy and very expensive back then. The costume that the Automan character wore was made to scintillate by substituting an optical effect into matted out portions of the suit, likely covered with bluescreen material which allowed for the VFX department to replace it with a blueish purple glitter and an optically enhanced glow. This was also very similar to how the costumes for "Tron" were also able to glow.

I remember that the "computer generated" car was a real black Lamborghini Countach which had reflective pin striping applied to give the effect of a blue vector-line style glow, again an homage to "Tron". Also, the car, driven by Automan would make exact 90 degree turns (again, exactly like the Lightcycles in "Tron") which resulted in passenger Desi Arnaz Jr's face being splashed against the side window! Of course, the 90 degree turning effect was simply done by two cuts of the car going in the different directions and editing the film together to suit.

Having seen so few episodes I'm surprised that I remember so much about it. Back then, I absolutely ate this stuff up, even though a lot of these things were so unoriginal and made in a very assembly-line type of format. Despite it's apparent bombing in the ratings I hope nevertheless that it someday appears on DVD. I'll buy it for sure! Nostalgia is a lot of fun, even when the subject is so poorly done.

Did I mention that it has a lot of things in it that bear a striking resemblance to "Tron"?


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