If you don’t remember Automan, you’re not alone. The series, which premiered in 1983 on ABC and lasted just 12 episodes before being canceled, didn’t leave much of an impact on the television landscape, but that’s kind of a shame because it’s the most ’80s thing ever. So now, with ’80s pop culture more popular than ever, Automan is coming back… sort of.
The original series starred Desi Arnaz Jr. as a police computer programmer who accidentally creates a living hologram, Automan (Chuck Wagner), with whom he fights crime. The show had every ’80s trope imaginable: Buddy cops, a talking car, cheesy dialogue, Tron-like special effects, and a synth-filled theme song. Automan was thought lost to time, but visual effects company Red Giant has resurrected it with the online video Hewlogram as a way to advertise their products.
The parody short stars Stargate Atlantis alum David Hewlett as “Hewlogram,” essentially Automan for the modern age… except everything is still pretty much like the ’80s. He takes his reluctant creator — Red Giant’s head of marketing and the short’s creator, Aharon Rabinowitz — on a montage-filled journey through the most ’80s opening credits sequence of all time as a way to pitch his ideas for adventures, and even meets the original Automan along the way. The short is super fun, and if you love ’80s cheese then you’ll find something to enjoy here. And for the five or six people out there who actually remember Automan, well, you’re really gonna like this.
You can check out the short below, and keep your eyes peeled for a Stargate cameo around the 3:41 mark.