Thursday, January 07, 2016

Geek TV: Mann and Machine!


Concept: A human policeman is partnered with a sophisticated female android policeman in Los Angeles of the "near future." Yes, it's like Holmes and Yoyo and a few other shows, except that the robot is female and the tone is more serious!

Total Episodes: 9

Original Air Dates: April 5 through July 14, 1992. It should be noted that the series was cancelled after only four episodes aired, with the remaining five "burned off" during the summer as filler.

Original Network: NBC


Sgt. Eve Edison (Yancy Butler): The female police officer who is also an android (although they called her a "gynoid," as the prefix "andr-" is Greek for man, so a "gynoid" would be an artificial female). She is capable of learning and emotion.

Detective Bobby Mann (David Andrews): Sgt. Edison's human partner, who holds disdain for robots.

Capt. Clagnorn (S. Epatha Merkerson): Mann and Edison's superior officer.

Geek Pedigree:

Prior to co-creating Mann and Machine, Robert De Laurentiis was supervising producer on 40 episodes of the 1988-1989 Alfred Hitchcock Presents.  He wrote six episodes of that series, and prior to that had written the story for Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman. By the way, his co-creator was Dick Wolf, best known for creating the Law & Order TV shows (he would use a lot of the cast and guest stars on his shows later).

Series star David Andrews had earlier played a foreman on A Nightmare on Elm Street, and later played Frank Borman on the TV miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. He also guest-starred in an episode of The Ghost Whisperer, an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, and played Robert Brewster in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. While co-star Yancy Butler didn't have prior geek credits, I have to mention that she played Detective Sara "Pez" Pezzini in Witchblade, as well as Angie D'Amico in Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2, as well as appearing in Lake Placid Vs. Anaconda. S. Epatha Merkerson had previously played Reba the Mail Woman on Pee-Wee's Playhouse and was Tarissa Dyson in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. She's best known these days for playing Lt. Anita Van Buren on the Law & Order franchise.

Geek Guests: Mann and Machine did not appear to have any guest stars with substantial geek credits.

DVD Release: No official DVD release has been made of this series, although bootleg sets exist.

Website: None

Notes:  I enjoyed this show for the short time it was on. What can I say?  Back when there was a serious shortage of science fiction on TV, I'd go for whatever I could find! As I noted above, there were similarities to Holmes & Yoyo as well as Future Cop, with human cops paired up with android cops. Even earlier than those shows, there was Gene Roddenberry's pilot for The Questor Tapes, which had a human teamed with an android, and even back in the 60s, there was My Living Doll, that had a human male with a gorgeous female android (played by Julie Newmar), so the basic premise isn't really anything new, is it? Still, I liked the show.

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