From left to right : Richard, Stevie and Slim John
|Genre||Language Instruction / Science Fiction|
|Written by||John Wiles
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Production company(s)||BBC Television
Slim John was a 1969 BBC English Language Instruction serial made for overseas broadcast, in twenty-six episodes of fourteen minutes each, and in black and white. It involves android robots from outer space planning to take over the Earth, starting with London. They work following the directions of an authority called Control. Robot Five, nicknamed Slim John (Simon Williams), is himself a rebel robot who befriends a human couple, Stevie and Richard.
Slim John has extraordinary strength. The plots revolve around the other robots trying to eliminate him, and often include the fact that Slim John and the other robots have limited amounts of power available and need to recharge themselves regularly. Short grammar lessons are transmitted to all the robots at regular intervals via their hand-held communication devices (anticipating personal digital assistants by more than 30 years). These short lessons are presented not only to the robots (including Slim John), but in full screen to the viewers.
The serial was an educational tool used for English language instruction. It was supported by books and records as an English teaching method. The series was broadcast for years all over the world, in Turkey, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Brazil, Yugoslavia and other countries. Hungary, Poland and Romania were the only Eastern Bloc countries to show the serial, with an enormous response, in the 1970s.
The series was available on various media, television, radio, disks and books.
- Simon Williams.................Slim John
- Allan Lee...........................Richard
- Juliet Harmer.....................Stevie
- Valentine Dyall.................. Dr Brain
- Bruno Barnabe...................Miller
- Liz Reber...........................Zero
List of episodes
- The man in the cupboard
- Where is Robot Five?
- Is he in London?
- Orders from Control
- Catch that robot!
- Find the house!
- Robot Five is dangerous
- The shop in Park Street
- There were some men in the shop
- We're going away
- Out of London
- We need to sleep
- I want my car
- The village
- There's no one in the car
- The airfield
- Don't let him escape!
- The hospital
- Copies of Robot Five
- The football match
- Back to headquarters
- Ready for the meeting
- It's late
- Control is coming
- Our plan must work
- The last day
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