The “RoboCop” franchise has spawned more than one television series, but the Canadian cult favorite that aired in 1994 after the original film trilogy wrapped up is coming to Blu-ray and DVD in North America for the very first time in a new box set. Over 17 hours of entertainment centered on “the future of law enforcement, part man, part machine,” await you in the “RoboCop: The Series” set.
The official product description from Liberation Hall indicates that the set includes the feature-length series pilot, all 21 episodes, and numerous bonus features. There’s a behind-the-scenes featurette, a toy commercial and photo gallery, and cast profiles for actors Richard Eden, Lisa Madigan, Andrea Roth, Sarah Campbell, and David Gardner. In addition, there are several other featurettes entitled, “From Cinema to the Small Screen,” “The Future of Law Enforcement: The History of RoboCop,” “Put Down Your Weapon: The Auto 9 Gun,” “The Car,” and “The Suit.”
“RoboCop: The Series,” the 5-disc box set, retails for $59.95 in the Blu-ray format and $49.95 in the DVD format. The Blu-ray’s source material comes from the original vault elements and has a 16:9 aspect ratio, while the DVD is “presented in its original 4:3 size as a ‘pillar box’ (black bars on the left and right) to fit 16:9 screens.”
A More Kid-Friendly Robocop
The original 1987 “RoboCop” film, directed by Paul Verhoeven, was a campy, hyper-violent stylistic exercise, similar to Verhoeven’s adaptation of the Robert Heinlein novel, “Starship Troopers.” The sequels, “RoboCop 2” and “RoboCop 3,” co-written by “Sin City” creator Frank Miller, were less well-received, and the third one in particular toned down the violence as Orion Pictures sought to make it more kid-friendly.
“RoboCop: The Series” followed the same strategy to make the concept suitable for television (and toy commercials). Here’s the official synopsis via Liberation Hall:
In 1994, after three films in the franchise, the popular sci-fi action character RoboCop debuted in his own television series. Produced by Canada’s Skyvision Entertainment, RoboCop: The Series starred Richard Eden in the title role. An 89-minute pilot aired in two parts in March, followed by 21 one-hour episodes. Aimed at a younger audience, the series dialed back the graphic violence of the first two movies and displayed a tone similar in feel to RoboCop 3.
Many of the events and plot lines seen in the films were discarded, with RoboCop: The Series acting as a reset for the once human, now cyborg police officer. The series’ theme song, “A Future to This Life,” was performed by rock legends Joe Walsh and Lita Ford. Additionally, the series included songs by the Band, Dave Edmunds, Nicky Hopkins, Iron Butterfly, KC and the Sunshine Band, and Todd Rundgren, among others.
The “RoboCop: The Series” box set goes on sale on May 10, 2022.
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