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Old November 9 2013, 05:25 PM   #1
ReadyAndWilling
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RoboCop: TV show + Prime Directives... Anyone seen it?

Hi all, so I want to start out by saying that I'm a big time Robocop trilogy fan. I really enjoyed all three of them, even the third one with its 'super-cheeseyness'.

I remember watching the pilot of the TV show about a year ago, but I just never got around to watching the rest of it. Also, I've known about 'Prime Directives' for some time, but again, I just never got around to watching them.

I just checked on Wiki and there are 22 episodes of 'Robocop: The Series' and 4 episodes of 'Robocop Prime Directives'. What's the ideal viewing order? Do I need to watch Robocop 1-3 again so it's fresh in my mind or no?

What do I need to keep in mind when I'm watching the 'The Series' and 'Prime Directives'?

Thank you!
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Old November 9 2013, 06:02 PM   #2
Admiral James Kirk
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Re: RoboCop: TV show + Prime Directives... Anyone seen it?

To the best of my recollection Prime Directives doesn't share a continuity with the television series. My suggestion is that you skip it altogether. Prime Directives is an awful, awful waste of time. Just watch the first movie and forget you ever heard of Prime Directives.
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Old November 9 2013, 06:16 PM   #3
Timby
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Re: RoboCop: TV show + Prime Directives... Anyone seen it?

Imagine you're walking down the street, and suddenly you come across a $100 bill on the sidewalk.

As you bend over to pick it up, someone runs up behind you and kicks you in the junk, hard.

To top things off, as you stumble around, half-blind and trying not to vomit or pass out from the pain, that son of a bitch steals the $100 bill.

That's the experience of watching Prime Directives.
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Old November 9 2013, 06:35 PM   #4
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Re: RoboCop: TV show + Prime Directives... Anyone seen it?

The ideal viewing order is to watch RoboCop: The Series in the order presented on the DVDs, and then stop. R:TS is a lot of fun, albeit lighter in tone and more kid-friendly than the movies, and has a terrific cast. (Here are my blog posts discussing/reviewing it.) Prime Directives is dismal and stupid, and its RoboCop was completely miscast. It's not at all in continuity with R:TS, although it repurposes a bit of stock footage from the series as flashbacks, creating the misconception that they're connected.

What to keep in mind when watching R:TS is that it's a direct sequel to the original film but ignores and contradicts the theatrical sequels. This is because its pilot was rewritten from the rejected movie sequel script by the original film's writers. So it's basically an alternate reality branching off from the first movie, and in my view it's truer to the conception of RoboCop than the movie sequels were. The supporting characters start off being just renamed versions of the movie's characters, but they end up developing their own distinct personalities, and the series' continuity and the first movie's mesh pretty well (as I discuss in more detail in my blog posts).

That said, you don't need to rewatch the original movie before R:TS. You can if you want to, but the pilot does a good job recapping the backstory.

What to keep in mind when watching Prime Directives is, "What am I doing? They warned me not to watch this! I should really turn this off and go read a good book."
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Old November 10 2013, 03:27 AM   #5
ReadyAndWilling
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Re: RoboCop: TV show + Prime Directives... Anyone seen it?

Admiral James Kirk wrote: View Post
To the best of my recollection Prime Directives doesn't share a continuity with the television series. My suggestion is that you skip it altogether. Prime Directives is an awful, awful waste of time. Just watch the first movie and forget you ever heard of Prime Directives.
But didn't Prime Directives have a high budget?
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Old November 10 2013, 03:35 AM   #6
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Re: RoboCop: TV show + Prime Directives... Anyone seen it?

Agreed. Prime Directives is just laughably bad. Even the one decent idea in there-- pitting two Robocops against each other-- was horribly executed.

Avoid at all costs.
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Old November 10 2013, 03:51 AM   #7
Christopher
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Re: RoboCop: TV show + Prime Directives... Anyone seen it?

ReadyAndWilling wrote: View Post
But didn't Prime Directives have a high budget?
Umm, your point? Lots of high-budget productions are terrible.
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Old November 10 2013, 03:57 AM   #8
Admiral James Kirk
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Re: RoboCop: TV show + Prime Directives... Anyone seen it?

ReadyAndWilling wrote: View Post
Admiral James Kirk wrote: View Post
To the best of my recollection Prime Directives doesn't share a continuity with the television series. My suggestion is that you skip it altogether. Prime Directives is an awful, awful waste of time. Just watch the first movie and forget you ever heard of Prime Directives.
But didn't Prime Directives have a high budget?
Avatar had a massive budget and that didn't stop it from being a cliche-ridden piece of crap. At the very least Avatar had good visuals and good action. Sadly I can't heap the same level of praise upon Prime Directives. It's bad. Not so bad it's good. It's bad bad!
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Old November 10 2013, 02:13 PM   #9
ReadyAndWilling
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Re: RoboCop: TV show + Prime Directives... Anyone seen it?

Timby wrote: View Post
Imagine you're walking down the street, and suddenly you come across a $100 bill on the sidewalk.

As you bend over to pick it up, someone runs up behind you and kicks you in the junk, hard.

To top things off, as you stumble around, half-blind and trying not to vomit or pass out from the pain, that son of a bitch steals the $100 bill.

That's the experience of watching Prime Directives.
Uhhh how can it be this bad?
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Old November 10 2013, 03:48 PM   #10
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Re: RoboCop: TV show + Prime Directives... Anyone seen it?

ReadyAndWilling wrote: View Post
Uhhh how can it be this bad?
According to Sturgeon's Law, 90% of everything is garbage. Consider that there are three RoboCop feature films (to date) and only one of them is good.

Look at it this way: Say you have a bunch of pieces to put together into a puzzle, or to assemble into a working engine, or whatever. There's only one right way to put them together, and an unlimited number of wrong ways. So it's easier to get something wrong than to get it right. Making a good movie or TV show requires putting a lot of pieces together in the right way, but there are a lot more wrong ways to combine them than right ways. So on the whole, the odds are against any given show or movie being good.

More specifically, RoboCop isn't an easy character to get right, and it's easy to miss the point of him. RoboCop 2 missed the point by assuming the violence was the point rather than just a means to a satirical end. Prime Directives missed the point by treating Robo as just a generic wisecracking tough cop, and by ignoring the satirical/comedy elements altogether and being excessively dark and grim.
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Old November 10 2013, 03:56 PM   #11
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Re: RoboCop: TV show + Prime Directives... Anyone seen it?

Here's what I would recommend to people re: watching the Robocop franchise...


Robocop


...that is all.
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Old November 10 2013, 04:37 PM   #12
Christopher
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Re: RoboCop: TV show + Prime Directives... Anyone seen it?

Incidentally, there are two RoboCop animated series. Marvel did RoboCop: The Animated Series in 1988, which was a halfway decent continuation of the movie universe, surprisingly dark and violent for a Saturday morning kids' show, albeit still sufficiently censored that they used laser guns and nobody died (in fact, they even retconned the movie so that Boddicker and his gang were still alive). It was set in a version of the world where robots were increasingly common and there was a lot of prejudice and hostility toward them. I don't remember it well, but I think it was more or less okay, and unlike the live-action series it had permission to use the movie's supporting characters, even heavily featuring minor players like SWAT Lt. Hedgecock and Dr. McNamara.

The second animated series was RoboCop: Alpha Commando from a decade later, and it was highly dumbed down and toyeticized, with Robo reawakened in a cyberpunk future and becoming the hip, wisecracking leader of a crimefighting team (whose members were named Neumeier and Miner after the creators of the franchise), as well as being equipped with a jet pack and other toy-worthy gadgets. Paradoxically, it featured an elderly version of Sgt. Reed (Robert DoQui's character) from the movies, but he was voiced by Blu Mankuma, who had played Sgt. Parks in RoboCop: The Series. It was a silly show and had very little to do with RoboCop.

Unfortunately, of the two animated series, only Alpha Commando is available on DVD or online in the US, though there was a UK DVD release of R:TAS.
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Old November 10 2013, 06:44 PM   #13
Aldo
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Re: RoboCop: TV show + Prime Directives... Anyone seen it?

ReadyAndWilling wrote: View Post
Timby wrote: View Post
Imagine you're walking down the street, and suddenly you come across a $100 bill on the sidewalk.

As you bend over to pick it up, someone runs up behind you and kicks you in the junk, hard.

To top things off, as you stumble around, half-blind and trying not to vomit or pass out from the pain, that son of a bitch steals the $100 bill.

That's the experience of watching Prime Directives.
Uhhh how can it be this bad?
I can't say I agree with Timby a lot, but this time he's right on the money. It's horrendous, the guy playing Robocop has no idea how to act in the suit. Not to mention the whole thing looks incredibly cheap and is filled with bargain basement actors.

I only ever saw the first part (there's four, I believe) but it was so bad I never even bothered seeking out the other three. Robocop 3, which everyone likes to say is the worst of the series, looks like high art next to Prime Directives.

I would suggest finding clips on youtube and judging for yourself, but even then you're wasting your time. Just skip it, is my recommendation.
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Old November 10 2013, 07:12 PM   #14
Christopher
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Re: RoboCop: TV show + Prime Directives... Anyone seen it?

Aldo wrote: View Post
Not to mention the whole thing looks incredibly cheap and is filled with bargain basement actors.
I agree with most criticisms of Prime Directives, but I don't know about this one. It seemed to draw on the same pool of Canadian TV actors that most Toronto or Vancouver productions do, with several actors in common with TekWar (Maurice Dean Wint, Maria Del Mar, Eugene Clark) and future 24 cast member Leslie Hope, among others (including Anthony Lemke, who's done a ton of Canadian TV, including a recent recurring stint on Lost Girl).


I only ever saw the first part (there's four, I believe) but it was so bad I never even bothered seeking out the other three.
I think I made it partway through the second installment before giving up.


Robocop 3, which everyone likes to say is the worst of the series, looks like high art next to Prime Directives.
I think RoboCop 2 is far worse than 3. The third film has its cheesy aspects, but it doesn't have the gratuitous, over-the-top ultraviolence of the second, and it doesn't marginalize RoboCop as a character quite as much.
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Old November 10 2013, 08:24 PM   #15
davejames
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Re: RoboCop: TV show + Prime Directives... Anyone seen it?

I think the main problem is the first Robocop already told the best and most compelling story with this character-- his creation and Murphy's gradual reawakening from within-- and already had the best villains (in Boddicker and Jones) and coolest action sequences (Robo vs ED-209, Robo vs the people who killed him, Robo vs his own police department, Robo vs an entire freakin warehouse of armed bad guys...)

The sequels could just never find a way to top all that. RoboCain might have been a cool design, but his origin was awful and it just wasn't nearly as fun watching Robo go up against him as it was with ED-209. And about the best the third movie could do was pit Robo against an.... (ugh) robot ninja.
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