Slim John

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Slim John
Slim John.jpg
From left to right : Richard, Stevie and Slim John
Genre Language Instruction / Science Fiction
Written by John Wiles
David Campton
Brian Hayles
Ray Jenkins
Starring Simon Williams
Allan Lee
Juliet Harmer
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 26
Production company(s) BBC Television
British Council
Original release 1969

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.


List of episodes[edit]

  1. The man in the cupboard
  2. Where is Robot Five?
  3. Is he in London?
  4. Orders from Control
  5. Catch that robot!
  6. Find the house!
  7. Robot Five is dangerous
  8. The shop in Park Street
  9. There were some men in the shop
  10. We're going away
  11. Out of London
  12. We need to sleep
  13. I want my car
  14. The village
  15. There's no one in the car
  16. The airfield
  17. Don't let him escape!
  18. The hospital
  19. Copies of Robot Five
  20. The football match
  21. Back to headquarters
  22. Ready for the meeting
  23. It's late
  24. Control is coming
  25. Our plan must work
  26. The last day

External links[edit]