Storobia Archive

Robby the Robot

The famous Robby the Robot truly deserves the description "iconic". This 7'2" foot tall hunk of machinery has flashing lights, whirring accessories and a rudimentary personality, He is everything that Science Fiction of the 1950s thought robots would be.

Most people associate Robby with the 1957 film Forbidden Planet, however he has appeared in numerous movies and TV shows since then - everything from The Twighlight Zone and Lost in Space through to Columbo! As of 2005 his career was still going strong with a guest appearance booked in "Stacked". You can even buy full size Robby models through Fred Barton Productions.

Technical Specifications

Height:7' 2"
Temperature Control:44 Head Mounted Cooling Fins
Balance:Head Mounted Gyroscopic Stabilizers
Main Power:Krell energy
Motive Power:Human (Frankie Darrow and Frankie Carpenter)
Voice Box:Marvin Miller

Forbidden Planet

Warning: spoilers follow

Forbidden Planet was a 1956 science fiction movie written by Irving Block, Allen Adler and Cyril Hume. It starred Walter Pidgeon and was directed by Fred M. Wilcox. It's generally considered a landmark example of how science fiction can be enjoyable and yet also intelligent. Although fifty years old the film stands head and shoulders above most of the so-called "SF" churned out today.

The story of Forbidden Planet involves a starship sent to the planet Altair IV to discover the fate of a previous lost expedition. They find the only survivors, Doctor Morbius and his daughter Altaira. Robby is their robot servant.

Robby is capable of reproducing any desired substance after analysing as little as a single molecule. This ability is exploited by some of the ship's crew to allow them to get extremely drunk to comedic effect.

The ship and its crew come under attack from an invisible creature of energy.

Morbius reveals that he has discovered the secrets of the planet's previous inhabitants, the Krell. The Krell used science to amplify their mental powers, only to be wiped out by the force they had created - the "creatures from the Id". Morbius has also been using this power and has unwittingly created his own monster.

The film is clearly inspired by Shakespeare's wonderful play "The Tempest", although the plot line has been considerably mangled. Robby is usually associated with the Shakeperean character of the spirit Ariel whilst the Creature From the Id is Caliban. This association is not perfect - Robby is a clumping hunk and the Creature is non-corporeal, the exact opposite of Ariel and Caliban in The Tempest.

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