Automan aired in 1983. A buddy-buddy cop dramedy, in which one of the buddies happened to be a computer-generated hologram who was friends with Pac-man and Donkey Kong, it was one of Glen A Larson’s long line of sci-fi action cop dramas that peppered the 80s. However, it didn’t last as long as Knight Rider and has largely disappeared into both obscurity and people’s childhood memories. Or their DVD collections.
Oddly, though, today seems to be a day for US TV shows of the 80s to be making a comeback and we’ve just had the release of Hewlogram, a pastiche of Automan that stars David Hewlett (Stargate: Atlantis). It’s a surprisingly accurate parody of the first episode of the show, as well as a good recreation of the show’s look and its title sequence. There are even guest appearances at the end by both Automan himself Chuck Wagner and Cursor.
Why is this happening, 34 years after the show aired? Well, the guy with Hewlett is Aharon Rabinowitz, the head of marketing for a software company called Red Giant, and the whole thing is a big ad for the company’s Red Giant Universe 2.2 visual effects tool. Still, I won’t begrudge it that. It’s actually pretty funny.