Robocop: Review: The Definitive History

RobocopBy Calum Waddell

Titan Books, out now

All you need to know – and more – about the future of law enforcement.

Calling anything a “definitive history” is always a risk – there’s going to be some smart alec out there who is going to point out the single tiny error that mars the book. However, on this rare occasion, it certainly seems to me that the subtitle is justified: with new interviews with many of the key players (and archive material with people like Peter Weller), reams of production art and behind the scenes photos, and a well put together text on which someone has held the reins (not reigns!) firmly, this volume is the best print version of Robo-history we’re likely to see.

The franchise has always been one of my favourites, even when creative choices have seemed to send it spiralling in the wrong direction. Prime Directives, the early 21st Century miniseries, has gone beneath many people’s radar, and gets its due here, and it’s good to see the pilot of the TV series receiving the plaudits it deserves.

The book devotes around a third of its space to the first film and the genesis of the franchise, with correspondingly less for films 2 and 3, followed by a look at the Legacy (everything from Robo’s involvement in wrestling to a brief discussion of the scores) and then material on the 2014 movie. There are a number of surprising snippets along the way – Alan Moore’s proposed involvement; the fate of the original Robocop 2 script – and it doesn’t shy away from pointing out where things didn’t go as well as they could.

Verdict: A definitive history that definitely should be on any Robocop fan’s bookshelf. 10/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to buy RoboCop: The Definitive History from Amazon.co.uk

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