Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Genre Character of the Week: The A-77

After borrowing and enjoying The Avengers (UK spy-fy series from the '60s) from my friend Ron last year, I decided to follow up with The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (1964-1968) a series that balanced between cool, weird, and totally cool.

The premise follows two agents from an organization called the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, which battled the evil agents of THRUSH (no meaning was given for the term in the series).  The agents, Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) would save the world each episode (or significant parts of it) from various evil agendas operated by the forces of THRUSH.

Interestingly, it wasn't until the third season that I found a character for my Genre Character of the Week, it may be because she's a little more science fiction-y than the usual characters in the show, or that the concept behind her is really really creepy, or that it was thought up by Harlan Ellison and appeared 30 years before the similar characters in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.

in the second episode of season three, The Sort of Do-It-Yourself-Dreadful Affair.  Napoleon is attacked by a strange, emotionless and apparently invulnerable woman, this creature, our Genre Character of the Week, is the A-77.

Described by its creator as a bizarre mix of machine and animal parts, the A-77 is based off a young woman named Muriel and is a definite precursor to both The Terminator and the fembots of Austin Powers fame.

Although there are many stronger episodes throughout the series, this creature comes across as an unbelievably creepy addition to the world of science fiction.

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