i started writing this blog entry in March, and it’s only taken me 7 months to finish it. suffice to say stuff happened that meant i didn’t pay as much attention to the blog as i should have done. shameful i know. anyway, i’ve finally got back in the mood for it, and with me starting a uni course recently, i might be a bit better at writing the odd blog about something which takes my fancy. inspiration is a bitch sometimes. on my course, there are even a couple of sci-fi novels, so if you’re very lucky(!), you might even get me copying an essay or two onto my blog! anyway, on with the robots…

it’s not often i get to talk about two of my favourite things in the same piece, but in this case, my robot of the day has a slightly more cultured background than first appears. Robby the Robot, first appeared in the 1956 film Forbidden Planet (and after that, numerous other tv and film appearances), which is of course an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. that means that Robby, one of the earliest and most iconic examples of robots on film, was based on the Shakespeare character Ariel. it may only be me, but i reckon that’s pretty cool. of course those who might be familiar with Forbidden Planet, probably know that it also starred Leslie Nielsen as Commander John J. Adams in his breakthrough movie role, and it’s worth checking out for this alone.

the film’s poster features Robby in an iconic pose, menacingly carrying a classic 50s pin-up girl. this pose has been copied and adapted ever since, yet ironically, this was not a scene in the movie. Robby was in fact a friendly robot, with the only instance of him carrying someone being the rescue of an injured male character. nevertheless, Robby became a huge star, appearing in Lost in Space, The Twilight Zone, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Wonder Woman, Gremlins, The Simpsons, Futurama and even as a prop in a Doctor Who episode. i could probably go on and on about Robby, going through all of his appearances, but it might get boring after a while. to you anyway. suffice to say, that Robby is one of the original, one of the best and one of the most recognisable robots in the world today. that’s he’s inspired by a character in one of my favourite Shakespeare plays just makes him even more ace.

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