Tag Archive: robot of the day

it’s minus five tonight, and luckily i’m tucked up in bed under a nice thick duvet with a warm heater blowing. what could be more comforting? well, i’ll tell you what could be more comforting, sitting in front of an open fire with R2-D2, C3-PO and Santa!

christmas in the stars

you can imagine that all kinds of what the hell were going through my head when i first stumbled across this picture on my travels across the internet. apparently it’s the front cover of a 1980 album called Christmas in the Stars, which features a whole load of Star Wars themed songs about a factory where droids build toys all year long for santa. it also features the very first recording of Jon Bon Jovi on the track R2-D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas. there’s all sorts of info knocking around on the wikipedia page about the album too, if you’re interested. anyway, hope that advent window number eight is to your liking! until tomorrow…

Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7.


right, now strictly speaking, berthaBertha wasn’t a robot, she was a factory machine who would usually solve the crisis of the day by manufacturing some vital item. nevertheless, i reckon she definitely qualifies through virtue of having big robot hands, a big robot mouth, and generally being totally sweet. i remember watching this show in my very early childhood and being wowed by the important socio-economic class issues of the time. i mean, who could forget the episode where the workers go on strike and shut Bertha down? of course, the bit where they go on to scab after being tempted by a large pot of tea somewhat ruins it, but we’ll forget about that… there was definitely a worker/boss divide in the show that mirrored the miner’s strike going on at the same time.

Tom Berthaback to the robots. Bertha made a range of items such as springs, garden gnomes, other robots, cuckoo clocks, windmill shaped money boxes… Bertha truly is the most versatile factory robot ever created. hardly surprising that the bosses often relied on her as their best machine! i have to say, my memories of the show are somewhat vague, and it’s only the theme tune that sticks well in my mind. all the other details i’ve had to look up, but this has jogged my memory, leading me to remember that there was in fact another robot in the show called T.O.M. (Talk Operated Machine). i’ve been watching some YouTube vids and i forgot how cool he was! especially when he dropped a plant pot on one of the boss’s head from the top of a flight of stairs. this was during the workers’ strike. great show of solidarity T.O.M.!

anyway, i’m off to watch as much Bertha as i can find on YouTube. i’ve given you two cool robots for the price of one in this issue, so that should keep you ticking over for a little bit. all i need to do now is get rid of the theme tune that’s running round and round in my head…

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.