Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot (TV series)
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|Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot|
The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot|
by Frank Miller
|Developed by||Duane Capizzi|
Jonathan David Cook|
R. Lee Ermey
Kevin Michael Richardson
M. Emmet Walsh
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Running time||22 minutes|
Columbia TriStar Television|
Dark Horse Entertainment
|Distributor||Sony Pictures Television|
|Original network||Fox Kids|
|Picture format||480i NTSC|
|Original release||September 18, 1999 – March 5, 2001|
The series ran for 26 episodes on Fox Kids and featured, amongst others, the voice of Pamela Adlon (credited as Pamela Segall) as the voice of Rusty, R. Lee Ermey and M. Emmet Walsh. A line of toys based on the show was produced by Bandai, along with ephemera surrounding a brief promotional tie-in with Burger King. On July 12, 2016 Amazon released the complete series on DVD-R.
The animated series, produced by Columbia TriStar Television and Dark Horse Entertainment, aired from 1999 to 2001, and in many aspects is a more mature and established series. Whereas the comic book seems like only an introduction to the robots, the animated series is full-fledged with a strong back story which links the episodes together. The plot and setting of the series is different from the comic book as the whole story is based around New Tronic City, a fictional North American city clearly modeled after New York City.
The series focuses on Rusty, the most advanced robot ever built, with a human emotional grid and "nucleoprotonic" powers. The plan is that Rusty will replace the Big Guy, a massive war robot that is the Earth's last line of defence against all threats alien or domestic. However, Rusty is too inexperienced to stand on his own, so the Big Guy is re-commissioned to teach Rusty the way of trade. Rusty idolizes the Big Guy, regarding him as the best robot ever. In reality, the Big Guy is actually a mindless battle suit piloted by Lieutenant Dwayne Hunter, who poses as his chief mechanic. The Big Guy's secret is known only to a few, and many situations involve Lt. Hunter's clever and impromptu excuses to hide the fact from Rusty for two reasons: that the truth could overload Rusty's emotional grid; and Rusty has trouble keeping secrets.
- Rusty (voiced by Pamela Adlon) - Quark's intended replacement for the Big Guy, a robot with real artificial intelligence and powered by nucleoprotons. However, Rusty is far too inexperienced to face the threats that the Big Guy normally handles, so he is relegated to being Big Guy's sidekick and trainee. He idolizes Big Guy but is unaware that his hero is actually a human inside a metal suit. Though immature and impetuous, Rusty does at times give his hero an emotional boost in morale. It's generally unwise to trifle with him; it may take a while, but the boy robot does make evildoers pay. He initially had a bit of a problem of handling the recoil of his nucleoproton blasts, and regularly got knocked down afterwards or shot the wrong target, but after some practice learned to compensate for the recoil.
- Big Guy (voiced by Jonathan David Cook) - Designated as the BGY-11, the so-called "robot" champion of Earth was actually a heavily armed battlesuit, piloted by Lieutenant Dwayne Hunter. When Quark Industries failed to produce an actual robot with artificial intelligence, the solution was to use a human pilot. As Hunter puts it, the Big Guy was nothing more than a fancy tank. Big Guy is able to fly, possesses great strength and is armed with a variety of integrated weaponry, including the signature fold-out guns in the elbow housings. Unlike Rusty, he is powered by a Cobalt/Thorium G Power Core. Always ready with a patriotic quip, Big Guy's personality is very different from that of his human pilot in real life.
- Lieutenant Dwayne Hunter (voiced by Jim Hanks) - The Big Guy's pilot to a few who is the Big Guy's chief mechanic to the world. He has a crush on Dr. Slate.
- Dr. Erika Slate (voiced by Gabrielle Carteris) - A scientist at Quark Industries, she developed Rusty's human emotional grid and acts like a mother to Rusty. She is one of the few who knows the Big Guy's secret, discovering so by accident when Rusty was looking for a Big Guy fansite and accidentally hacked into confidential files on Big Guy's creation. In one episode when Hunter is down, she pilots the Big Guy herself.
- Dr. Axel Donovan (voiced by Stephen Root) - President of Quark Industries, a robotics firm. He is a caricature of capitalistic greed and moral cowardice. Dr. Donovan often provides comic relief.
- Jenny the Monkey (voiced by Kathy Kinney) A monkey who talks and usually sits on Dr. Donovan's shoulder while making fun of Quark's scientists and employees. She has a keen sense of self-preservation.
- Jo, Mack, and Garth (voiced by Pamela Adlon, M. Emmet Walsh, and Kevin Michael Richardson respectfully) - The Big Guy's pit crew. They serve on the aircraft carrier S.S. Dark Horse, which acts as Big Guy's base and stores his airship. When Rusty gained a new body and became Rus, Mack became his chief mechanic and was replaced by a by-the-book one. Mack and Rusty didn't get along well, but Mack rescued him after he was captured and gave him an improvised body to complete his mission. Afterwards Rusty rejoined Big Guy and Mack rejoined Big Guy's team.
- General Thornton (voiced by R. Lee Ermey) - A United States Army general who heads the government's BGY-11 Commission, that created the Big Guy. He helps keep the Big Guy's secret from Rusty and the others.
- The Squillacci Empire - Squid-like tentacled aliens who make crop circles, attempt to experiment on cows and other stereotypical alien actions. Their attempts to conquer the Earth have been repeatedly thwarted by the Big Guy. It is later revealed that, if not for the Big Guy, the Squillacci Empire would have ruled the earth. They once tried to conquer Earth during the Revolutionary War but were thwarted by Big Guy and Rusty. The battle was responsible for the crack in the Liberty Bell. They were presumably named for production team member Frank Squillace.
- Earl - The E.P 327. Early prototype of Rusty. Has an underdeveloped emotion grid and follows orders literally. Initially brought back online by Rusty for him to have a friend, but after he goes too far and blows the Big Guy's head off, Rusty fights him and manages to decapitate him and remove his powerpack. Later reactivated to download information with Rusty and ordered to follow Rusty's orders. Succeeds in his mission, but malfunctions when Rusty gives him an impossible order (to go hide in a corner when they were in a round room). This causes him to reset and go into defense mode, ignoring Rusty's commands. Once again, Rusty is forced to decapitate him.
- Legion Ex Machina - Latin for "Many from the Machine", they are an enigmatic group of six very advanced robots who aim to destroy humanity and create a robot-heaven of "Robotopia". Their whereabouts and origin are unknown, yet their robotic design and function are very similar to the Big Guy. This presents an intriguing hook that ties the episodes together, with clues to their origin and their creator being revealed one by one. Ironically, they were created by the same man who originally led Big Guy's design. The show ended on a cliffhanger, where it is discovered that there is a seventh Legion Ex Machina that Big Guy and Rusty have yet to defeat. Even though they have different outer bodies all Legion Ex Machina have the same AI and the same Exoskeleton. Gilder was the only exception as he still had his emotion grid but otherwise identical to the other members.
- Legion Ex Machina #1 (voiced by Clancy Brown) - The leader of the group. He was the first of the legion to come online and can create complex tactics very quickly. He and the others would not hesitate to execute one of their own should one of them be inefficient or defective (such as Legion Ex Machina #4 and Legion Ex Machina #6). He perished in the final battle at the lab, in "Double Time, part 2", thrown against and disintegrated by a powerful force field used to contain Big Guy and Rusty after being blasted by Big Guy's gun fired by his own creator. He is the sixth and the last member to be destroyed.
- Legion Ex Machina #2 & #3 (both voiced by Clancy Brown) - Since they both lacked emotions they are nearly identical other than their looks. They often agree on the same things that usually contradicts #1. They are completely loyal to Legion Ex Machina #1 and would respect him, although they are always seen as equals. They perished in the final battle at the lab, in "Double Time, part 2". Legion Ex Machina #2 was destroyed by Rusty who dragged him into the blades of a gigantic fan which tore him to pieces. Legion Ex Machina #2 differed from the rest of the legion members by having a unique exoskeleton, appearing more skeletal and having telescopic, clawed arms. He is the fourth member to be destroyed. Legion Ex Machina #3 was destroyed when Big Guy pushed him and his combat armor into an acid-filled cauldron with the help of Rusty. He is the fifth member to be destroyed.
- Legion Ex Machina #4 (voiced by Clancy Brown) - He fights Big Guy and Rusty in the first time in "Little Boy Robot Lost", and is presumed destroyed but later is revealed still active in "The Bicameral Mind", thanks to #1, #2 and #3. He is The only one to develop an emotion grid. Legion Ex Machina #4 temporarily switched protocols with Rusty (whom he later developed a rivalry with), leading to his childish behavior in the episode "The Bicameral Mind". He would be captured by Rusty when their minds completely switched. Later in "Donovan's Brainiac", he would be placed in a toy robot when Dr. Donovan's nephew Pierre stole his brain. His exoskeleton was destroyed by a spider robot sent by #1, #2 and #3 to destroy him. He tried to contact the Legion only to find that he is to be executed. He would then try to fry the entire area by creating a nuclear fusion meltdown to avenge. Dr. Slate defused the reactor with Rusty's help and Big Guy activated his defense mechanism, destroying #4's brain. He is the third member to be destroyed.
- Legion Ex Machina #5 (voiced by Clancy Brown) - The first Legion member to meet the Big Guy. He was very similar to Legion Ex Machina #2 and #3. He took over a munitions factory and was destroyed when Big Guy threw him into liquid nitrogen, freezing him solid. Rusty then shattered him, destroying him completely and somewhat annoying Big Guy as they could have studied him in "The Big Boy". He is the second member to be destroyed.
- Legion Ex Machina #6 (voiced by Dean Haglund) - Also known as Dr. Gilder, #6 was the only member whose emotion grid was fully intact. However his emotions are highly exaggerated and are considered by his peers as a weakness. He was sent to Quark Industries as a spy to gather blue prints and information on various Quark staff. He was first portrayed as a shy, weak scientist but was soon revealed as a Legion Ex Machina member. His emotions also changed to a sadistic and psychopathic killer. His exoskeleton was destroyed when it was dropped into a grinder by Big Guy in "The Reluctant Assassin". His brain was destroyed when Big Guy tried to access his memory files and triggered a self-defense program, detonating itself in "Really Big Guy". He is the first member to be destroyed and also gave the protagonists some clues on how to destroy Legion Ex Machina members (see #4's demise above).
- Legion Ex Machina #7 - Alluded to in the series finale, still at large.
- The Legion's creations - The creations of the Legion that fight Big Guy and Rusty.
- Argos - Two robots created by the Legion. The first was used as a weapon to attack the Legion's enemies. It was the first encounter with the Legion and it tried to turn Big Guy and Rusty over to the Legion's side but they refused. Powered by nucleoprotons and destroyed by Rusty when tricked into taking his overloading powerpack. Remains scrapped by the Legion at #6's orders. The second was a several stories tall version. This one was so powerful it could take the best Big Guy and Rusty could hit it with and come out without a scratch. Due to Big Guy and Rusty getting its left hand, it was missing a hand. Inside the hand was a 500 megawatt Vortex Cannon. Was sent out to get New Tronic City's Micro Fusion Generator to power a new assembly line for Legion robots. Was destroyed by Joe who fired the Argo's own Vortex Cannon into it once Rusty retrieved the firing mechanism in the left wrist.
- The Eliminator - A heavily armed Quark Industries robot that Dr. Gilder/#6 hijacked in an effort to eliminate Donovan in revenge for the destruction of various robots he had created for Quark. It was subsequently defeated by Big Guy and the control drone implanted by Gilder discovered.
- Project Nova - A large three-legged robot armed with a powerful energy cannon; it was apparently designed and its development intended to be overseen by #4. However, during a mission to acquire fuel for its cannon, an attempt by Rusty to download information from the Legion's systems resulted in he and #4 switching some programming. As a result Rusty drew up schematics for and built his own Nova, which came under the control of the Legion. It briefly engaged Big Guy but was later taken out of commission permanently by Rusty after he and #4 swapped their entire programming set, resulting in them switching bodies temporarily.
- Bad Guy - A fully robotic clone of Big Guy also known as the BGY-11X. Created to take Big Guy's place to infiltrate the military and Quark. It fights it out with Big Guy who proves to be no match for it although both robots take heavy damage in the fight. It is destroyed when it goes to use a massive cannon-a feature Big Guy lacks due to its cockpit-to destroy Big Guy and Lt. Hunter fires Big Guy's hand into the cannon, blocking the shot and causing an explosion that destroys Bad Guy.
- Lt. Hunter Clone - A robotic clone of Lt. Hunter sent to kidnap him and wipe out his mechanics and Doctor Slate. Discovered when it starts attacking. Is destroyed by Rusty who throws it into a helicopter propeller causing it to fall off Quark and crash into Donovan's new limo.
- The Legion's creations - The creations of the Legion that fight Big Guy and Rusty.
- Dr. Neugog (voiced by Tim Curry) - Dr. Neugog is a recurring villain in the series (in that he appears in "The Big Scoop" and "Nephew of Neugog". In his first episode debut "The Big Scoop," Dr. Neugog (or just simply "Neugog" as he is called later) was a scientist working at Quark Industries who studied telepathy and the inner workings of the mind. Neugog created a machine known simply as the "Dynamo", which was designed to read the mind of whoever it was homed onto. Neugog attempted to impress the board of directors by reading the mind of a board member. At first, the machine fails miserably, and leaving Neugog merely guessing at what the board member was thinking. Determined not to fail, Neugog shifts the power of the Dynamo up as high as it can go. This appears to be successful, as he is able to read the board member's mind (telling him about his thought to put lotion on a rash he has because its "itching him like crazy!"). However, during the success, a spider falls into the machinery and mutates Neugog into a huge, spider-like monster with an oversized brain that actually protrudes from the back of his head. He gains the power to devour brains from living people (by use of a long, tentacle-like proboscis that emerges from his second mouth), also gaining all the knowledge they possess. When Neugog "feeds", the victim is put into a sort of comatose state where he or she is unable to speak, move, or think, just repeatedly uttering the same sounds "Duh, Guh, Uh". Neugog also gains the ability of telepathy along with an almost infinite bank of knowledge.
Season 1 (1999)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||1||"Creatures, Great and Small"||Frank Squillace||Duane Capizzi||September 18, 1999||101|
|After 10 years of service, the BGY-11 superhero robot known as "BIG GUY" is retired by new Quark Ind. President Axel Donovan, to be replaced by Dr. Erika Slate's 'Rusty' - a robot child meant to deliver on the old promise of an A.I. Robot capable of defending the people. Meanwhile, US Army LT. Dwayne Hunter is given a classified Medal of Valor for piloting BIG GUY. After an alien creature crashes & runs amok, Rusty can't beat it, so Hunter's team rebuilds BIG GUY to help Rusty defeat the alien, and the two work together to finally destroy the monster. After BIG GUY is publicly recommissioned, Rusty is officially made his new partner to teach the eager young robot.|
|2||2||"Out of Whack"||Mike Goguen||Greg Weisman||September 25, 1999||102|
|When Rusty sees Donovan order Dr. Gilder's robot scrapped for being "Out of Whack", Rusty fears for his own upkeep. ARG-12 (Argos) attacks the ARMY seeking BIG GUY, Gen. Thornton signals BIG GUY, who is followed by Rusty. Argos offers BIG GUY to join "Legion Ex Machina", but he refuses; Argos overpowers BIG GUY with the same nucleoprotonic powers as Rusty, who gets damaged, but retreats as his power cells nearly deplete. As Slate examines Rusty, she discovers his technology is stolen, unaware Dr. Gilder covertly stole it for the Legion; Donovan blames her, but as she tries to explain, Rusty flees. Slate calls Hunter to explain she wants to help him, so BIG GUY meets the boy robot, but both are surprised by a recharged Argos. However, Hunter realized Argos expends too much fuel, so BIG GUY overexerts his power but is downed, until Rusty tricks Argos into taking his damaged battery pack and explodes. Upon reboot, BIG GUY manages to get Rusty to Slate for repair.|
|3||3||"The Inside Scoop"||Jane Wu Soriano||Roger S.H. Schulman||October 2, 1999||103|
|Rusty tries to find a BIG GUY website, but after being sent away Slate finds he actually hacked into the ARMY's classified file on the BGY-11 project, learning BIG GUY is really a mech suit piloted by Hunter. Dr. Neugog, who invented a telepathy machine, mutated into a human/arachnid monster hungry for brains, attacks Quark Ind. BIG GUY battles Neugog on the roof, but as Hunter is human, Neugog uses his mind control to make BIG GUY (Hunter) bring him Erika Slate. Rusty arrives in time to snap-out Hunter and save Slate; she later finds & repurposes Neugog's original helmet to allow Hunter immunity to Neugog's powers. At the Science Expo, Neugog attacks and breaches BIG GUY's hull plating to reach Hunter; he refuses to bail out, and stalls until Rusty gets into the fight again to knock out Neugog. A defeated Neugog is drained of all stolen brainwaves, which are promptly used to restore his victims; meanwhile, Slate & Hunter start to become close, much to Rusty's childish ignorance thinking they are dating.|
|4||4||"Birthday Bash"||Nathan Chew||Alexx Van Dyne||October 9, 1999||104|
|After Quark Ind. retrieves an alien item, two alien mercenaries hunt for it. As Hunter preps for a day off, his team give him a transponder to remote summon BIG GUY; Rusty learns about "birthdays" with real children, and comes across the alien device taking it as a "gift"; Hunter arrives for his nephew Jeffy's birthday, surprised Rusty followed him. Slate finds two scientists merged by the alien device into a single entity with all body parts of both; she sees the two aliens in the lab & realizes Rusty took the device, and calls Hunter to warn him. The device activates, trapping Hunter's sister in a wall, with the aliens tracking it to her house. Rusty keeps it away by throwing it to BIG GUY, and Rusty prevents the house from being destroyed. The aliens get the device, but BIG GUY thinks quick & shoots it to activate it and fused the aliens. Using the device, Hunter's sister is freed from the wall, who allows BIG GUY & Rusty to stay for cake to celebrate Jeffy's birthday.|
|5||5||"The Reluctant Assassin"||Andrew Thom||Brian Swenlin||October 16, 1999||105|
|Rusty feels small after fighting "BIG RIG", he asks Dr. Slate for an arsenal to look tough. Donovan's new robot "The Eliminator" promptly attacks him, as elsewhere Dr. Gilder remotely pilots Eliminator to attack him, but is thwarted when BIG GUY arrives. Thornton believes a Legion Ex Machina member is inside their ranks so Donovan is moved to BIG GUY's base the S.S. Dark Horse. Meanwhile, the Legion berate Gilder for his emotional outburst nearly ending Donovan and jeopardizing their plans. So, Gilder deceives Rusty by giving him a blaster which hacks into his memory and locates a hiding Donovan. Gilder tricks the emergency signal to get BIG GUY to leave, making Donovan vulnerable, & hijacking Rusty's motor functions to attack. Hunter quickly realizes the deception, calls Slate to track the call, and returns to base in time to help Rusty. As Slate has security arrest Gilder, he overpowers them to continue, until BIG GUY tears out Rusty's arm to stop the remote control; Gilder reveals to Slate his true robot form. BIG GUY & Rusty arrive in time to save Slate, and capture Gilder's head for analysis.|
|6||6||"Really Big Guy"||Mike Goguen||Cade Chilcoat||October 23, 1999||106|
|When accessing Gilder's memory bank, a detonation is tripped and Rusty quickly flies the head out of range. From the recovered memory files, they are able to deduce the Legion's base is under the city, but encounter a Legion cargo transport. Rusty derails it, and the cargo is a giant robot hand the size of BIG GUY. Legion Ex Machina learn of the interception and activate their objective: a NEW Argos robot. BIG GUY & Rusty encounter the new Argos but realize they are greatly overpowered by it, until Hunter's teammate Jo makes an analysis to find a solution: take the firing trigger from Argos 2 and add it to the hand to destroy Argos. The new Argos takes the Quark Ind. microfusion generator which powers the city. Rusty charges the Argos, but when everyone thinks he was destroyed on impact, he actually landed inside of the Argos' internal mechanics. As Hunter & team review the hand & firing trigger, BIG GUY sees Rusty inside Argos head; allowing for coordination, Rusty unlocks the arm for BIG GUY to combine it to the hand & finish the weapon need to stop Argos. Hunter's crew use the device just in time for Rusty to escape the destruction, earning BIG GUY's praise. With the Microfusion Generator returned, the city gets back to normal.|
Season 2 (2001)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|7||1||"Little Boy Robot Lost"||TBA||TBA||January 30, 2001||112|
|8||2||"The Bicameral Mind"||TBA||TBA||February 2, 2001||113|
|9||3||"The Inside Out"||TBA||TBA||February 2001||108|
|10||4||"Moon Madness"||TBA||TBA||February 2001||109|
|11||5||"Wages of Fire"||TBA||TBA||February 2001||110|
|12||6||"The Big Boy"||TBA||TBA||February 2001||111|
|13||7||"World of Pain"||TBA||TBA||February 2001||114|
|14||8||"Sibling Mine"||TBA||TBA||February 2001||107|
|15||9||"Blob, Thy Name Is Envy"||TBA||TBA||February 2001||115|
|16||10||"Donovan's Brainiac"||TBA||TBA||February 2001||116|
|17||11||"Patriot Games"||TBA||TBA||February 2001||117|
|19||13||"5000 Fingers of Rusty"||TBA||TBA||February 2001||119|
|20||14||"The Champ"||TBA||TBA||February 2001||120|
|22||16||"Nephew of Neugog"||TBA||TBA||February 2001||122|
|23||17||"The Lower Depths"||TBA||TBA||February 2001||123|
|24||18||"Double Time (1)"||TBA||TBA||March 1, 2001||125|
|25||19||"Double Time (2)"||TBA||TBA||March 2, 2001||126|
|26||20||"Rumble in the Jungle"||TBA||TBA||March 5, 2001||124|
- Pamela Segall - Rusty, Jo
- Jonathan David Cook - The Big Guy
- Gabrielle Carteris - Dr. Erika Slate
- Jim Hanks - Dwayne Hunter
- Stephen Root - Dr. Axel Donovan
- Kathy Kinney - Jenny the Monkey
- Kevin Michael Richardson - Garth
- M. Emmett Walsh - Mack
- R. Lee Ermey - Gen. Thorton
- Dee Bradley Baker
- Jillian Barberie
- Victor Brandt
- Clancy Brown - Legion Ex Machina #1-5
- Nancy Cartwright
- Tim Curry - Dr. Neugog (in "The Big Scoop," "Nephew of Neugog")
- Brian Doyle-Murray - Po the Obliterator (in "The Champ")
- Dean Haglund - Legion Ex Machina #6/Dr. Glider
- Jennifer Hale
- Sherman Howard
- Maurice LaMarche
- Kevin Schon
- Marc Bernardin. "Where's my goddamn Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot movie?". io9. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- Amazon. Missing or empty
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