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TVLand 101: “My Living Doll” (1964)

Cummings & Newmar

September 27, 1964 saw the premiere of a tv classic ahead of its time. Julie Newmar (Batman’s Catwoman) was given her own show with comedic actor B0b Cummings. She was playing the first android on a television show and what a proportionally correct android she was. She was every man’s fantasy and she was a robot.. willing to play to Bob Cummings every need, Rhoda was the perfect literal sidekick. Bob Cummings plays Dr. Bob McDonald, a psychologist who is given care of Rhoda Miller, a lifelike android, by her creator, a scientist who did not want her to fall into the hands of the military.

*DROOL*

Rhoda’s real name was AF 709, and she was a prototype robot that Dr. Carl Miller (Henry Beckman) built for the U.S. Air Force. When Dr. Miller was about to be transferred to Pakistan, he gives his friend, Air Force psychologist Bob McDonald, the job of completing the education of the sophisticated (yet naive) robot. Bob’s job is to teach Rhoda how to be a “perfect” woman, and keep her identity secret from the world.

This show is unique because of its lack of airtime, and still a huge following. The show ran for 2 seasons, but was never picked up for syndication. The rights for the show were up in the air for decades. Most of the episodes were beleived to have been destroyed and yet almost 50 years later Julie Newmar secured the rights herself and thanks to private collectors  is having them lovingly restored from 16mm prints. The first collection, a season 1 part 1 is available for the first time fully restored from MPI Home entertainment. If you have never seen this rare piece of tv history, treat yourself to a true tv classic today.

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