Thursday, November 24, 2011

Occupy Wonderland

Alice has plunged into a new Wonderland. The powers that be have swindled the majority and now the majority must pay for the minority’s mistakes. Alice is not sure what is right or wrong anymore.

The Boxcutter Barbershop and Gallery are currently exhibiting Occupy Wonderland, a reimaging of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland by artist Dualta McCormack Jones. Jones, who’s clothing line Project A Apparel has already hit Dublin, turns his talent towards his own form of pop art. A strong graffiti influence can be seen throughout, with its playful mix of genres that infiltrate the tale of Alice’s adventure through Wonderland.

The exhibition can be seen as an allegory for our current disenchantment with the ever growing corruption and division in our society. "The Occupy movement inspired me," explains Jones. "But having not really become involved in it and I was on the fringes, and unsure as to the exact nature and agendas on show, since alot of the time everything is not what it seems. You could say we are in or were in a Wonderland of sorts in terms of consumerism and now well its all got belly up. Occupy seems to be a cause worth talking about and maybe this is another way for people to talk about it."

Drawing on influences such as Blek le Rat, Ron English, Slinkachu and Banksy, Occupy Wonderland’s vivid colourful displays and current theme make this exhibition a must see. Take the red pill and let Occupy Wonderland show you how far this rabbit hole goes.--Barry Kenna

For more information on the exhibit or for enquiries to purchase any of the work visit

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Night of the Machines 2

Following on from the successful sell-out event on September 1st, which featured Sleep Thieves, Impostor and Empire State Human performing fantastic live sets of pure electronic music, House of Analogue have announced the return of ‘Night of the Machines’.

The second of these very special electronic live synth collectives will take place on December 14th, returning once more to the Kevin Barry Room at the National Concert Hall, Dublin. The night will feature four Irish electronic artists, three of whom are playing Night of the Machines for the first time:

Fuzzy Empire
The Wazp

All of these artists make music that is very focused on electronic sound creation, rhythms and melodies, heavily influenced by both German electronic music as well as electronic film scores from the likes of early John Carpenter right up to Trent Reznor. This will make for a night of music that sounds diversely different yet is more focused tonally for those who love to see live electronic music in a prestigious and intimate venue like the Kevin Barry Room.

Tickets go on sale November 14th, directly from the National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland Box office. Book early to avoid disappointment as the first event sold out in just two weeks and in doing so helped raise €300 for the Irish Cancer Society.

Tickets €8/€6 concession.

More info is available via The National Concert Hall's Website. Facebook Event Page is here:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Web Crawler

Originally Appears in Issue 8

In each issue Declan Aylward dives head first into the weird and wonderful world of the web, and reports back with his findings.

You Are Not A Photographer

We all know that girl. She’s arty, or at least has a lot of the trendiest art books scattered conspicuously about her apartment. She has a digital SLR camera with an impressively large lens that she uses for absolutely every photograph she takes of her boyfriend’s band and she loves dropping the name Cartier Bresson into any conversation she can.

Ginger and Mary Anne, the founders of You Are Not a Photographer hate her too, and the photos she takes. These days it’s very easy for one of these fauxtographers to start a Facebook page, throw up a couple of samples and start selling themselves as a ‘professional’ photographer to hapless idiots who don’t know any better. The girls at You Are Not a Photographer delight it cherry picking the worst of these sample images and presenting them on their site complete with enough scathing criticism to make a drill sergeant run wailing home to his mum. From awful attempts at spot colouring to crappy composition and some outrightly disturbing subject matter, the fauxtogs presented on this site form a great gallery of what not to do, while making us feel that bit better about the photos we take ourselves. Unless looking at these photos makes you realise you are one of course. Check your closet, are there a lot of stripey vintage jumpers in there? We thought so.
The Young Turks

If you follow American politics at all or, more importantly, if you can’t stand the American Republican party and the bigoted, overly conservative religious nutjobs that tend to speak for it, then The Young Turks is the news site you need to be watching. Starting out as just one show, The Young Turks site and Youtube channel now hosts a number of different shows covering politics, pop culture and other things it’s fun to get angry about. In a political system like the one in the States, you have to pick a side, so don’t expect much political neutrality here. But if you’re looking for left-friendly commentary that goes into a little more depth than John Stewart’s satirical sideswipes, then you’ve come to the right place. Besides, the Republicans have had their own propaganda machine for a while now with Fox News and Bill O’Reilly spitting vitriol and lies at the public, it’s about time that the lefty youth fought back. The relatively recent 2011 Webby awards honoured the site with a People’s Voice award for Best News and Politics Series, so all the righteous indignation has started to pay off it seems. And now they’ve been mentioned in One More Robot, these guys are definitely moving up in the world.

The Legend of Neil

Sandeep Parikh is a funny guy. Regular readers might know him as the guy who plays Zaboo in Felicia Day’s excellent webseries, The Guild, but he always been, first and foremost, a maker of movies rather than an actor in them. He is also the creator of, a site that hosts a serious amount of great standup and original web series. The Legend of Neil is Parikh’s creation and shows that his own brand of humour is slightly darker, but just as funny as the work safe antics of The Guild.

The show focuses on Neil, a New Jersey nobody who gets sucked into The Legend of Zelda while drunkenly engaging in autoerotic asphyxiation using the Nintendo game controller cord. From this family friendly start, Neil battles his way through the familiar levels of the classic game towards a confrontation with the evil overlord Gannon, with only the help of an irritating Old Man (or is that Oold Man?) and a sex crazed fairy who seem determined to make his journey that much more difficult and annoying.

The budget may not be the biggest, but these guys know how to stretch it and, hey, their effects are still a good deal better than the graphics in the original game. It’s the comedy that drives the series anyway and, from Parikh’s weirdly catchy opening music that doubles as a ‘Previously on..’ to Eric Acosta’s genius portrayal of the evil henchman Wizrobe, The Legend of Neil has comedy spewing from its nose like milk from an overexcited fat kid at lunch.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's Tintin Time!

Originally Appears in Issue 8

Exciting escapades, nail-biting twists, a boy with an unhealthy obsession for his dog; The Adventures of Tintin comic had it all, and now we’ll be seeing our hero hitting the big screens in 3D this October. As kids we read along as Tintin travelled the world in his drive to thwart yet another scheming criminal bastard, assured that no story worthy of the front-page would be kept hidden from this star reporter for long, because Tintin kicked ass and took names.

The new movie looks to be promising with both Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson behind the project. It gets even better, for the plot synthesises the stories behind three classic Tintin comics: The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn, and Red Rackham’s Treasure.

The brainchild of Georges ‘Hergé’ Remi, a Belgian cartoonist, Tintin has a far darker past than many today realise. Remi, after all, was a well-known fascist sympathiser before and during the Second World War, and held some very controversial views. In 1943, for example, Tintin happily sought out Red Rackham’s Treasure in the pages of Le Soir, a collaborationist newspaper in Nazi-occupied Belgium. Moreover, the new movie opts to skip past the reporter’s trip to Africa where, in Tintin in the Congo, he infamously taught his ignorant colonial subjects about the virtues of their Belgian fatherland.

It is interesting then that Spielberg, of all people, came to arrive at the project. An American Jew and admirer of Remi’s work, the future director of Schindler’s List first came across Tintin’s adventures in the early 1980s, after a movie reviewer compared Raiders of the Lost Ark to one of his comics. Spielberg recognised the cartoonist’s artistic talent and the respect was mutual, according to Michael Farr, an author of several books on Tintin, who wrote that Remi “thought Spielberg was the only person who could ever do Tintin justice”.

It has been nearly three decades since the two men met in 1983 – a mere week before the cartoonist’s death – to discuss a potential movie project. The picture has been a long time coming, and judging by the recent trailer, The Secret of the Unicorn looks to enthral fans young and old – albeit in a politically correct fashion. --Simon Mee

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Two Packs Back!

Available right now from Trout Records (George's St. Arcade) and The Record Art and Games Emporium (Fade Street), we're selling packages sets of some of our back issues. Stocks are limited, so boost your collection straight away. Here's what's available:

The Square Logo Issues
Issue 3 (Interviews with Anton Newcombe and John Cale)
Issue 4 (The Generation X Issue)

The Full Colour Issues
Issue 5 (Dublin’s Sonic Boom! Local Band Interviews/ Profiles)
Issue 6 (Special Extra Length Edition: The Vinyl Issue)

The Bumper Pack
Issues 3, 4 & 5 for extra value.

For mail order contact

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Spotlight: Julie Dexter

Originally Appears in Issue 8

There is something about Julie Dexter’s voice. Smooth and slow in pace, but delivered with a playful effervescence, the soul singer lets it gently splash at the end of each sentence, as she bounces from one idea to the next.

We’re speaking over the phone about her fourth album, New Again, a collection of songs fused with a blend of jazz, soul and reggae released in April earlier this year. The English singer, born in Birmingham but now based in Atlanta, Georgia, is full of enthusiasm when talking about her latest effort, describing her music as “jazzy soul, dipped in the roots of reggae”.

Arriving 11 years after her debut, Peace of Mind, the material found on New Again reflects a fresh beginning for Dexter. “This is a whole new phase of my life”, she says. “I just became a mother again. There’s a lot been happening since the last album was released [in 2005]. I’ve gotten married; I’ve had a second child. So you know, it’s just like saying ‘I’m back but I’m new, and there’s a lot of new stuff happening’”.

With lush, indulgent songs such as ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Blue Skies’, New Again is marked from the outset with a confident soulful jazz. Within them, “there’s a sense of a new day, there’s optimism, there’s faith”, the singer says in an accent that now owes as much to the Atlanta sun as the Birmingham rain.

“In terms of putting an album together, sometimes I go by the lyrics, sometimes I go by the music, sometimes the tempo – there are so many things that determine for me the mood of an album, so in this particular instance I definitely viewed [New Again] with a lyrical conscience of sunshine and blue skies”.

Working in tandem with her team of musicians and producers, Dexter created a record she descrines as “a variety of sounds, tempos and what I call backdrops for me to express myself as a singer-songwriter. So, you know, I remember thinking a little bit of dance here, a bit of jazz, a bit of love, a bit of blues”. The result is a self-assured collection of songs.

When Dexter is not recording music and touring, she is busy managing her small music label Ketch A Vibe Records, through which she releases her own material. But, with four albums in, she shows no sign of giving up creating music anytime soon. “It’s been a journey for me”, the singer laughs. --Simon Mee

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Image by Tsevis Visual Design

Steve Jobs sadly died yesterday after a long battle with cancer. As a tribute to the visionary inventor we're republishing a piece that ran in Issue 5, originally titled The Exodus of Steve Jobs.
The article looks at how Jobs turned what seemed to be a massive blow to his career into a great opportunity and ends with an important rhetoric from Jobs himself that helps sum him up: "Don't settle".

Laura O’Brien takes a look at how Steve Jobs lost his power at Apple in the eighties and finds out what he did to build himself back up again.

Finding what you want to do for the rest of your life at 20 is lucky. Losing it all at 30 is devastating. This was Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ position in 1985. But what would appear to be a fatal blow to a career turned into great success and opportunity. Without this loss, would Apple, one of the most influential media giants in the world, be what it is today?

In 1981, the Apple corporation was under threat. While the Apple II computer was prosperous, it’s successor, the Apple III, had tanked. Worse still, industry giant IBM had plans to enter the computer market. They needed another winning machine and fast.

The board turned to the company’s cofounder and product inventor, Steve Jobs. After having developed Apple’s previous computers, they hoped he could create another success story for Apple. His newest project idea was Lisa, which used a graphical user interface (GUI) as opposed to a command-line interface. However, tensions were fraught in production, as the team felt that Jobs was a difficult manager to work with. When he was thrown off the project, he sought revenge by taking on another project within Apple known as the Macintosh. He aimed to design it as a cheaper GUI based machine in order to jeopardise Lisa’s sales. It was developed by an impressive team of engineers, invigorated by Jobs, who referred to them as “the pirates” and the rest of the Apple company as “the Navy.”

This rebellion reflected how Steve Jobs carried himself in the office. A former board member, Arthur Rock, recalled his lax office dress to a University of California oral-history project. “Jobs came into the office, as he does now, dressed in Levi’s, but at that time that wasn’t quite the thing to do [...] And I believe he had a goatee and a mustache and long hair--and he had just come back from six months in India with a guru, learning about life. I’m not sure, but it may have been a while since he had a bath.”

In spite of this antagonisation, John Sculley, then CEO of Apple who was hired by Jobs to run the company, heavily promoted the Macintosh. Lisa became a failure, and Apple needed this computer to be successful. Yet, while initial sales were promising, they soon fell. The pressure was mounting and Jobs’ attitude was grating. Sculley had no choice but to remove all managerial authority from him. He remained as a ‘chairman’, a mere ceremonial title.

Steve Jobs was at a loss. Apple had been his entire life and to remove his power was devastating. Yet he still had a passion for computing and began working on a new project known as NeXT, a machine designed for the higher education market. He enlisted the best engineers and sales people from Apple to help him start up this new business.

His employers attempted to sue them, only to see their tactic backfire, as it only bolstered the publicity of NeXT and portrayed Apple as being fearful of competitors. A settlement was quickly reached – NeXT were not allowed compete directly with Apple products and they were required to show the company their new merchandise before they released them to the press.

In the meantime, Jobs began to develop the company, using his unique business style. Their base was designed to be open, spacious and communicative. All employees worked in a common room area, decked out with leather couches and Ansel Adams prints.

Jobs wanted the NeXT machine to be the best it could be, with high quality hardware and the most advanced software. He based the operating system (OS), called NeXTSTEP, on UNIX, the most complex at the time, but added his own GUI for easier use. The product was known as the NeXT Cube and was released in October 1988. Costing $6,500 and reported to have been missing useful software, it did not sell. They attempted to expand its market from just educational purposes and released a cheaper model known as NeXT station, but there was no improvement. By 1993, all of its cofounders left. The company were forced to drop out of the hardware market and focus on niche software.

NeXT was not the only project Jobs undertook. In 1986, he bought the Graphics Group, which was a part of Lucasfilm’s computer graphics department. This team dreamed of making animated features using CGI on machine, initially developed for this purpose, such as the Pixar Image Computer. But with a price of $135,000, very few were sold. They shut down the hardware division, focusing on developing 3D language software called Renderman. It found some success, selling 100,000 licenses and was used by James Cameron for Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Their short animations Luxo Jr and Tin Toy, headed by John Lasseter, earned themselves Oscar nominations. Yet the company was still far from being profitable. All that was about to change.

Lasseter pitched to Disney the idea of developing a Christmas special for them. They were so impressed by their short animations, they asked them to produce three movies. This created a huge re-organisation of the company, devoting much of its resources to animation. The first feature planned was Toy Story. In spite of getting this landmark deal, the pressure was on to succeed. If Jobs funded another failure, he would have been forced to sell Pixar to someone else. Negotiations were tense, due to Jobs and Disney film division head Jeffrey Katzenberg’s fraught relationship. Only months before, Jobs had gotten into a blazing argument with Katzenberg when he tried to sell them some of his NeXT computers. Still, the negotiations went well and the deal was finalised.

The production was not without its problems. 10 months in, the entire film had to be rescripted, as Disney felt that the character of Woody was far too mean. This posed a huge threat to scheduling, but eventually the script was reworked and the film was released in November 1995, right in time for Chrstmas. Jobs was more focused on his NeXT company, but he noticed the hype that Toy Story was getting and saw the opportunity in Pixar once again.

Jobs made Pixar go public the week after the release of Toy Story. The film may have earned $39.1 million on its opening weekend, but Pixar were worth more on the stock market. And with that, Jobs net worth was over $1.5 billion – far greater than it ever was when he was in Apple. The company itself were facing difficulties, thanks to Microsoft’s release of the hugely successful Windows 95. They were losing marketshare and needed a new OS for their hardware. Apple’s newly appointed CEO, Gil Amelio, chose Jobs’ NeXTSTEP OS, paying $400 million for the company. This was used to develop their newer OS and contained many attributes that are still on Macs today, such as the Dock and the Finder browser window.

By 1997, Apple’s losses were huge, so Amelio was removed from the head position. Jobs stepped in as interim CEO and began restructuring the board of directors and entire company line. This lead to him becoming Apple’s full time CEO. Within six months, he released the Power Mac G3 and the Powerbook, which were not only great successes, but had helped the technological community restore its fate in the Apple brand. Not only had Steve Jobs returned to Apple, who had thrown him out years before, but he had regained power of the entire company.

While Steve Jobs initial reaction to his own ousting was despair, in hindsight, he has regarded it as the best thing that has happened to him. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.” he said at a Commencement address in 2005, “And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

Friday, September 23, 2011

One More Robot - Issue 8


Featured Articles

One More Robot’s 100 songs that changed the game
A breakdown of 100 post-World War II songs that shaped the world’s cultural, political and musical landscape.

Cold Blood: On Jim Thompson and Stanley Kubrick
The turbulent relationship between a lowly paperback writer and rising filmmaker.
by Michael A. Gonzales

The Porn Guy
Luke Ford, who for 10 years worked as a porn journalist, talks about his career covering the adult film industry.
by Derek Owens

Broadway Buddas and the Birth of Hip-Hop
How two young teenagers stumbled upon a genre of music still in its infancy.
by Michael A. Gonzales

Rock-Off Redemption
Coverage from our recently staged gig night with photographs and interview with joint winners Race The Flux and Tandem Felix.

Also includes

Spotlight: Julie Dexter Simon Mee chats to soul songstress and label head Julie Dexter.

The Irish Underground With music blogs hailing the arrival of Dublin-based rapper Lecs Luther, Dean Van Nguyen meets some other Irish hip-hop artists on the challenges of working in the genre.

Webcrawler More cherry-picked internet sites from Declan Aylward.

Dead To Rights Seán McTiernan discusses the lasting influence of Sam Raimi’s seminal horror film The Evil Dead.

Ah, Sure, Look It Niamh King recalls how teenage fiction helped her survive her formative years.

Half Nelson Jason Robinson on the alternating careers of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Issue 8 Preview

A glimpse into our amazing Autumn issue...

We examine 100 of the most influential post-WWII songs. Features 'Flava In Yo Ear - Remix' and 99 other songs.

A look at the working relationship between writer Jim Thompson and filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, the creative team behind The Killing.

Looking at Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead, 30 years after it's release. 

Music reviews include Gucci Mane & Waka Flocka Flame, Disco Inferno and Leader Cheetah

In a new section, Mike McGrath-Bryan reviews three retro video games, including Street Fighter Ex Plus Alpha.

We've an interview with the soulful Julie Dexter.

Reports from our Rock-Off Redemption including interviews with winners Race The Flux and Tandem Felix.

Declan Aylward lists the five worst conceived comicbook characters of all time.

And there's a ton more we couldn't find decent YouTube vids to match up with. New issue out in September. For the latest news check back here, here and here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Back Issues Now Available

We've cracked open the One More Robot archives and dug out every back issue from our third edition onwards. For a limited time you can pick them up on eBay for just €3.50 ex. P&P. Click the links below for more information on how to buy each issue.

Issue 7 (The Pop Issue)

Issue 6 (The Vinyl Issue)

Issue 5 (Dublin's Sonic Boom)

Issue 4 (The Generation X Issue)

Issue 3
(Interviews with Anton Newcome of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Velvet Underground's John Cale)

The Five Coolest Movies Being Made Right Now

Matthew Jaffrey previews five up movies currently in the Hollywood pipeline.

World War Z
Perhaps only Brad Pitt's involvement as producer and star could have gotten a zombie holocaust movie green-lit to the tune of a $125 million budget, so we must give are thanks that Pitt has an eye for good material and the balls to take risks. World War Z is an adaptation of the novel of the same name, written by Max Brooks. Pitt plays a fictional version of the Brooks, who, in the novel, is a journalist compiling interviews and first person accounts of various individuals’ struggles during the zombie epidemic which ended 10 years previously. It all sounds very exciting, the only drawback is that in order to secure the huge budget, Pitt and director Marc Foster conceded to a tame PG-13 rating.

Django Unchained
Tarantino’s new film is shaping up nicely. The story follows Jamie Foxx’s slave Django as he escapes imprisonment from sadistic ranch owner Calvin Candy, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Candy runs an underground club in which slaves are raped and forced to kill each other, so it’s no surprise that when Django escapes, he wants revenge. The big name casting doesn’t stop there. Kevin Costner is confirmed to play Candy’s right hand man who revels in the sadistic orders he’s given, while Samuel L. Jackson is signed on to play Stephen, a house slave loyal to Candy. Christoph Waltz, who won an academy award playing Colonel Landa in Basterds plays a German bounty hunter, who is reportedly the real star of the piece. All-in-all it’s pretty familiar territory for Tarantino but it seems Django is turned up to 11 and you can’t deny that it’s one hell of an impressive cast.

Cloud Atlas
Based on the existential, labyrinthine novel by David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas stars Tom Hanks, James McAvoy, Halle Berry and Hugo Weaving. The novel follows six narratives from different points of history, ranging from 1850, to a dystopian near-future and even a post-apocalyptic distant future. Director Tom Tykwer and producers The Wachowski Brothers of Matrix fame are collaborating on the adaptation. Here’s hoping Hanks returns to form after the disappointing Larry Crowne and forgettable Robert Langdon movies.

Originally intended as Ridley Scott’s return to the deflated Alien franchise, then as a spin-off to it, and finally, a basically-nothing-got-to-do-with–it type deal, Prometheus remains something to be excited about and probably benefits from a lack of bad-blockbuster baggage. The plot has been kept a close secret but is rumoured to be about a team sent to the home world of the alien species that engineered the human race. Anything else is speculation, although I think it’s safe to assume the mission doesn’t go as smoothly as the main characters would have hoped. The cast is an international affair with Irishman Michael Fassbender and Sweed Naomi Repace providing indie cred along with cool-as-a-cucumber Brit Idris Elba. Charlize Theron rounds out the players as a sly corporate suit type alá Paul Reiser in Aliens, although hopefully she’ll be, y’know, less Paul Reiser-ee.

The Dark Knight Rises
While undoubtedly the most anticipated movie of next year, The Dark Knight Rises faces a tough battle to equal or surpass its predecessor. If Heath Ledger faced an uphill battle in topping Jack Nicholson’s Joker then Anne Hathaway seems as though she has a mountain to climb in order to be thought of as the definitive Catwoman. The star of Bride Wars, Get Smart and The Princess Diaries will have a lot to contend with if she’s to dethrone Michelle Pfeiffer’s classic incarnation. Hathaway won’t be armed with a ridiculously impractical figure-hugging cat-suit to help her case either.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One More Robot's Rock-Off Redemption

This August 18th we're staging our first ever Rock-Off Redemption, a battle-of-the-bands-type event for local Dublin bands who think they're hard enough for a proper throw down. Hosted by Q102 DJ Dave Harrington and with judges that include prominent Dublin music journalists, the winner will be featured on a two-page spread in our Autumn issue.

The Pint of Eden Quay is the venue and cost is €10 at the door with selected pints at €3.50.

We're currently looking for entries so if you think you've got enough metal (or even enough country & western) please contact us at

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Originally Appears in Issue 7

Once again Declan Aylward dives into the weird and wonderful world of the web, reporting back with his findings.

Bad Astronomy

Phil Plait, also known as The Bad Astronomer, is a man who knows his science, and gets frustrated that the rest of us don’t. Or at least that we listen to people who don’t and take their views seriously. It bothered him enough to write a book called Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing “Hoax” back in 2002 and, just in case we’re still not getting it, the Bad Astronomy blog, now hosted by, keeps us updated on the misconceptions, unfounded rumours and downright fearmongering that the mainstream media continually pump out in regard to scientific developments, astronomical or otherwise. As well as serving as a reliable source of news on astronomy, space exploration and just about anything else Plait finds interesting, the blog is witty and entertaining without talking down to the audience; a rare thing as far as ‘accessible’ science publications go. The archives are full of his debunkings of pseudoscience and mystic theories including a thorough reaming of astrology that will make you want to chase Mystic Meg through the streets with a flaming torch. Plait is a prolific writer, with two books, a sea of magazine and online articles and even a short-lived TV show under his belt and, unlike most of the theorists he rages against, he actually does hold a PhD in something related to what he is talking about; astronomy if you can believe that!

People of Walmart

America, land of big business, big cars and even bigger people. It’s also the home of the original ‘big box’ store, Walmart, a mega-shop with such a comprehensive offering that people from all corners of life visit it regularly, including those corners that should probably stay dark and unlit. People of Walmart is a photo blog glorifying the unrelenting tide of the weird and wrong that passes through the doors of Walmarts throughout the States. From velour jumpsuits and far-too-short shorts to creepy women pushing buggies full of stuffed animals, the extreme examples of the human condition, frozen like insects in amber by surreptitious camera phones, will have you chuckling, groaning and possibly even retching at your desk; don’t say we didn’t warn you. People of Walmart is probably the most well-known part of the Three Ring Blogs network, dedicated to shining a light on the weirdest photos snapped around the world. Well, let’s be fair, mostly in North America. Depending on your particular brand of horrified fascination, Freaks of Fast Food, Late Night Mistakes, Girls in Yoga Pants, or the particularly brilliant Random Creepy Guy blog should be enough to keep you clicking ‘next’ long after it’s become unhealthy to keep looking.

Darths & Droids

Remember those Star Wars movies? The really awful ones? David Morgan-Mar certainly does, and they obviously made a deep impression on him. It was enough to try to make them vaguely tolerable in the form of a comic strip satire. Taking its cue from Shamus Young’s DM of the Rings, Darths & Droids takes the story of the Star Wars prequels, starting with the most undeservedly anticipated movie of all time, The Phantom Menace, and sets it as a Dungeons & Dragons-style roleplaying adventure, complete with a long-suffering gamemaster/narrator and a cadre of bored, difficult players whinging and joking their way through the story. The comic is done with video stills of the movies edited to include speech bubbles, so even if you’re not familiar with roleplaying games, seeing Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor voice sarky versions of their Jedi alter egos by way of some unseen puppet-masters who don’t seem to ever have heard of Star Wars is hilarious and so determinedly meta you might just find yourself worrying you are turning into Abed from NBC’s Community. Morgan-Mar is as big a nerd as you are likely find, being the author of several roleplaying source books himself, as well as creating a couple of his own programming languages, including one based on a character from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Darths & Droids isn’t the only webcomic he produces and fans of this should check out his lego-based creation, Irregular Webcomic!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Facebook Page

We've had some problems with our admin options on Facebook for the last week, so we've jumped ship and started a new page with the tidy

Please join for all the up-to-date One More Robot news and other fun stuff along the way.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One More Robot - Issue 7


Featured Articles

What Is Pop?
A critical analysis of what defines pop music.
by Joe Tangari

Heroes and Villains
In 2011, who are the world’s true pop idols?
by Jonathan Bogart

She's Just Being Miley
Why the much derided pop princess’s choice of covers are more appropriate than she’s given credit for.
by Joe Coscarelli

Black Polaroids on Planet Pop
How Andy Warhol’s legendary pop art became more influential than even the man himself could have imagined.
by Michael A. Gonzales

Let's Talk About Pop
Examining the evolution of pop from a political forum to the current state of affairs through the lens of a handful of songs that make up classic pop playlists.
by Trisha Doyle

"More Bounce For Your Ounce" - The Legacy of Roger Troutman
How the Zapp frontman continues to influence generation after generation of pop music.
by Dean Van Nguyen

Karmin and Other Rap-Covering Youtuberati
Do Karmin’s stripped down take on hip-hip makes them nothing more than their generation’s Me First and the Gimme Gimmes?
by Seán McTiernan

Also Includes

Piracy Gets Personal Matthew Jaffrey examines the novel way a film director has attempted to stop his work being pirated.

Wot Do U Call It?! Johnny Ilan on grime music’s rise from the undeground to the top of the UK charts.

Webcrawler More cherry-picked internet sites from Declan Aylward.

Spotlight: Oh Minnows
Jonathan Keane chats to former member of The Semifinalists Chris Steele-Nicholson about his new guise and latest release.

Overrated / Underrated Chris Familton examines two records he considers on the wrong side of critical consensus.

Ah Sure, Look It! Niamh King on her recent love affair with the British monarchy.

Half Nelson Jason Robinson evaluates some of the female comic talent working in Hollywood today.

and Much More

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Issue 7 Preview

A little look into the upcoming One More Robot Issue 7: "The Pop Issue"

Joe Tangari looks at Brandy and Monica's 1998 hit single to help him get to grips with the meaning of the expressions "pop music".

How legendary pop-artist Andy Warhol wielded more influence than he ever knew.

On unironically enjoying Miley Cyrus and her take on a much loved teen anthem.

Hardly a household name, we examine how Roger Troutman has influenced 30 years of pop music.

Seán McTiernan argues that Karmin's stripped down take on hip-hip makes them the nothing more than their generation's Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.

How UK grime music has become one of the nation's most popular forms of pop music.

Our spotlight shines on the terrific synthy shoegazers, Oh Minnows.

Album reviews include Beyoncé, Tom Vek, Death Cab for Cutie and Kreayshawn.

And a whole lot more besides. New issue out in July. For the latest news check back here, here and here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Stevie's Stonkers #6: 'Queen of Hearts' by Fucked Up

I’m a cynic. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. So when I hear the oxymoronic term “Punk-Rock Opera” being knocked about to describe a record, I want to puke. I’m all for a band being ambitious, and evolving, but I don’t want a ridiculously straight up deadly punk band like Fucked Up going all amateur dramatics-dinner theatre on me. I’m old school like that. Luckily, in making their high concept hardcore Tommy for 2011, David Comes To Life, they have compromised nothing, and have in fact made their best LP to date. 'Queen of Hearts' is the perfect intro to the record that sees the glass gargling, vicious vocals of lead screamer Pink Eyes sound positively uplifting when he hits the chorus with that soaring guitar line. --Stephen Rogers

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Vinyl Issue Available on Ebay

Latest One More Robot now available on Ebay.

See you after the jump:

Friday, June 3, 2011

'The Thespians' Teaser

Friends of One More Robot Paul Dodd and Alan Hopkins have put a trailer together for their upcoming internet show The Thespians. They're our mates, so we wouldn't lie to them: It's really funny.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

'I Am Going To Thailand'

Back in issue 3 we named BJ Novak one of our top 10 cult actors working today. A DJ has obviously recognised his genius, taking one of his best monologues from The Office and remixing it into a stompin' dubstep track.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Mad by Name, Mad by Nature

Matthew Jaffray on why Mad Max 4 is the most cursed film in Hollywood.

Nambia, February 2003. Mad Max 4: Fury Road is in the middle of pre-production. Millions of dollars have been spent hiring hundreds of people, building expansive sets, scouting locations, leasing trailers and developing the film. The shoot is a few weeks away, and Mel Gibson is set to bring back to the screen one of cinema’s most iconic action heroes. But none of that matters because production will soon be shut down.

It seemed like the timing was perfect. The films that were a cult success in the eighties had blossomed into revered classics and Gibson was at the height of his Hollywood clout, meaning this time, there was to be a colossal budget to the tune of $104 million. To put that into perspective, all three previous films cost a combined total of under $20 million.

Security concerns regarding the war in Iraq (hello? Different continent!) saw things put on hold for a year. Ultimately though, things were scrapped altogether a few months later. This was just another disaster in a production history that would make even Terry Gilliam cringe.

In a way it’s a miracle that the now Oscar winning director George Miller even got the enthusiasm to set himself on the long road of creating a new Mad Max film. Close friend and fellow producer of the series Byron Kennedy was killed during pre-production on Beyond Thunderdome in a helicopter crash while scouting locations.

Devastated by the loss, Miller stepped down from the director’s chair to be replaced Geroge Ogilvie, though he was later persuaded to come back and film the action sequences. The result was a noticeably uneven film which remains by far the weakest of the trilogy.

When Miller eventually came round to the idea of doing the third film, there was a lot of wrangling to get the rights. Warner brothers had released Mad Max 2 and Mad Max 3 in America, but Miller wanted to do Fury Road at Fox, who offered him a huge budget, creative control and had a deal with Gibson’s company Icon. Finally, the dispute was settled when Miller agreed to step down from directing Warner’s Contact with Jodie Foster, to be replaced by Back to the Future creator Robert Zemeckis.

With the issue of the rights put to bed, Miller spent the next three years writing a script which would have to be re-written following Gibson’s departure from the role in 2004 citing his age as his desire to further his directing career as the main reasons.

Things seemed dead in the water. But in 2006, Miller declared he wasn’t finished with Mad Max and proposed to do Fury Road with a re-vamped script and a new actor cast in the role of Max Rockatansky. Tom Hardy was cast in 2009, quite a while before Inception made him a bonafide star, as well as Charlize Theron. Production was slated to begin in 2010, this time in Australia.

Yet again no camera’s rolled. Not one scene was filmed. Just days before shooting was to start, the heavens opened and a rainfall of biblical proportions dampened any chance of production. As Miller put it: "it rained the heaviest it had in 10 years. I’ll never forget the first day — we were holed up in a big sort of shed watching the rain. We couldn’t shoot."

Details of the story of Fury Road have been hotly guarded for a decade now. The casting of Tom Hardy suggests it will not be chronologically the fourth instalment but a reboot. All that’s known of Charlize Theron’s role is that she plays a one-armed woman. While the only leak about the production so far has been form a stuntman who said there are 298 stunts scheduled involving 130 vehicles and as little CGI and green screen work as possible.

Will Mad Max: Fury Road ever see the light of day? According to Miller, yes. "All the contracts are signed. It’s a locked-in film. It has been for 18 months now. We will restart pre-production later this year and begin early next year — weather permitting." But similar sentiments have been made before, after the Nambia shoot fell apart. Meanwhile Tom Hardy’s role as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises has pushed back production another few months. While the decision to shoot in 3D pushes the budget up significantly. There have even been rumours that Miller now intends to shoot two Mad Max films back to back. That it has taken 20 years to get this far, this seems quite ambitious, but here’s hoping he pulls it off.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Originally Appears in Issue 6

In each issue Declan Aylward dives head first into the weird and wonderful world of the web, and reports back with his findings.

Echo Bazaar

Three decades ago, London was stolen by bats. That, intriguingly, is the stage-setter for Echo Bazaar, a ‘10 minutes a session’ browser game that bases itself on your Twitter or Facebook account, but won’t gain you the pitying and vaguely irritated looks a Farmville addiction can bring on from your friends and co-workers. Part of this is because Echo Bazaar keeps its spamming of your friends to a discreet minimum. It’s more a polite cough of an aged butler than a raucous, marketplace screech most of its ilk use to announce their presence. Mostly though, it’s the setting that will get its hooks into you. Set in an underground, alternative world that feels like Neil Gaiman and Terry Gilliam collaborated on a HP Lovecraft theme park under the supervision of Terry Pratchett, the curiously genteel Fallen London is rife with flirtatious devils, melancholy curates and, of course, the mysterious Masters of the Bazaar themselves. The game is essentially card-based and once you’ve been dropped into the Neath you use the opportunity cards you draw to find accommodation, earn what passes for money this close to Hell, uncover hidden plots or even invite your friends to social events in your spiffing new lodgings. The game’s focus on storytelling and intrigue over violence and mayhem has even earned it attention from a mainstream gaming industry fast becoming bored with hulking space marines mowing down hordes of hapless aliens. Pay a visit to the Bazaar and, who knows, you might even hang up the blaster rifle yourself in favour of an expertly wielded bag of fierce mint humbugs!


Has anyone else been wondering what Kevin Smith is up to these days? Well, apart from writing and directing a pretty creepy looking horror movie called Red State, he has been hiding out at a place called Smodcastle. Billing itself as the world’s first and only podcasting theatre, Smodcastle is Smith’s LA venue for a whole host of internet events that those of us too pasty and freckled to spend time in the City of Angels can catch at Every day of the week a new podcast is available on the site. Some are recorded live at Smodcastle, some rare ecorded studio-style off the premise. But all are hilarious, interesting and, needless to say, very offensive to the lemonade-and-buns brigade.

The podcasts on offer cover a host of topics, but whether you’re listening to Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier shooting the shit in the titular Smodcast, catching up with movie industry news in ‘Hollywood Babble-On’ or indulging an inexplicable ice-hockey fascination with Puck Nuts, the banter will have you chuckling to yourself like a crazy person on the bus. If you really crave your Jay and Silent Bob fix, every Wednesday ‘Jay and Silent Bob Get Old’ gives you a chance to hear about how our heroes are doing now that they are both settling down and maturing. Mature is a relative term though, and anyone who doesn’t find endless, graphic dick jokes entertaining should really pass this site by and renew their subscription to Justin Bieber’s no-doubt squeaky clean podcast instead.

Mystery Solved!

He may not have a psychedelic van and a talking great dane, but Colonel Randall Thaddeus Winchester IV of the Mystery Solved! webcomic certainly gets the job done. Created by Zack Kruse and drawn by a different artist for each of his adventures, the good Colonel and his trusty manservant Jenkins travel the globe investigating and disproving phenomena like alien cattle mutilation, bigfoot and fairies. The comic delights in showing the wilful ignorance that must persist for most myths to survive, and contrasts this with the Colonel’s sound science. I would be lying if I said that sharing a smug sense of superiority with our intrepid investigator wasn’t part of the appeal. The fact that each adventure is illustrated in a different style keeps the comic fresh. It’s fun to watch how far in the air each artist manages to stick Jenkins’ nose, but the wacky, almost Beano style writing maintains a firmly consistent feel. While it might not have the cutting edge satire of Penny Arcade or the relevance to modern singletons that Girls with Slingshots has mastered, Mystery Solved! is a reminder that sometimes it’s nice just to settle back for a simple Scooby Doo style adventure and a pat on the back to ourselves for never believing in ghost stories in the first place. The comic is updated every Thursday so check back regularly to keep abreast of the Colonel’s most recent debunking.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Originally Appears in Issue 6

Rubicon, a critically acclaimed conspiracy-thriller, is set to debut this year on BBC4. However, disappointing US ratings mean the show won’t be coming back for a second season. Derek Owens laments how TV drama is under threat as networks join the rush for instant hits.

Perhaps appropriately for a show with more moments of subdued tension than gunshots or explosions, Rubicon died with a whimper: a statement from its network, AMC TV, praised the story of a defence analyst who discovers a sinister conspiracy involving his employers, API, but confirmed that the programme would not return with a second series. The news wasn’t particularly surprising. The show had been troublesome to produce – original creator and show runner Jason Horwitch was replaced in mid-production by Henry Bromell – and ratings hadn’t been spectacular. Still, the cancellation of the critically-acclaimed show after a single series is a worrying sign of a short-termism that’s crept again into the decision making of American network execs. Even as, officially, we still enjoy a golden age of TV drama, the desperation to achieve instant success in the hyper-competitive environment could yet kill it off.

Few would claim, of course, that Rubicon was a perfect show. The series lead, Will Travers (The Pacific’s James Badge Dale), reacted to learning of a terrifying conspiracy with the passive befuddlement of a man trying to locate his car keys. The script had the occasional lines of exposition and import that just didn’t come off naturally, and the occasionally head-scratching plot point – this was probably inevitable in any conspiracy thriller cut short.

However, Rubicon was a show with real promise. Horwitch and Bromell borrowed more than just a bag of themes from classic seventies paranoia films like Three Days of the Condor, All the Presidents Men and The Conversation – they lifted the hybrid of intimate camera-work, a minor key tension-building soundtrack and slow building of tension to create a real throwback to these demanding but deeply satisfying stories. They also brought in some extraordinary actors, including stage veteran Michael Ivan Cristofer (whose ‘villain’ Truxton Spangler is visceral, peculiar, and wonderfully complex) and lesser-known talents like Jessica Collins and Dallas Roberts as Will Travers’ deeply troubled colleagues.

More importantly, the show had started to really find its feet in later episodes, branching into the private lives and troubles of Will Travers’ colleagues. Issues of power and its abuse were being teased out. And something actually got blown up. Oddly, but entirely in keeping with the programme’s personality, the big explosion happened off-screen, in the penultimate episode – a substantial ratings drop for the finale a week later probably sealed Rubicon’s fate. Even as critics praised the show for its uniqueness, visual brilliance and strong finish, most acknowledged that a second series was highly unlikely.

Rubicon, however, wasn’t the only highly-regarded show this year to be culled from the broadcast schedules after failing to achieve instant, Mad Men-esque success: Terriers, a tale of two private detectives scratching out a living, was also ditched by FX after only one season, while Fox’s Lone Star (an intriguing series about a Texan con-man struggling to keep his double life together) gave up the ghost after only two poorly-rated episodes. The fact that the show was in the same timeslot as NBC’s The Event, Dancing with the Stars and CBS’ inexplicably successful Two and a Half Men probably doomed it from the start.

Fierce competition is, frankly, killing new shows: at the height of the US’s autumn season, 16 new shows premiered in one week – when season premieres of existing shows were taken into account, nearly 50 new episodes were battling for eyeballs on the major American networks. The powers that be in TV land are responding to – and feeding – this glut in one of three ways. Some are sticking to tried and tested shows, however critically reviled and problematic they may be to make (the aforementioned Two and a Half Men, though its continuation since axing Charlie Sheen is yet to be confirmed). Some, like AMC, are chucking short runs of oddball shows at the wall and hoping that they stick – after Rubicon finished up, the network had a hit with post-apocalyptic zombie thriller The Walking Dead. Meanwhile, others are committing to shows with mind-blowing budgets and A-list talent in the hope of outgunning the opposition: Boardwalk Empire, HBO’s Scorsese-produced, award friendly period gangster piece springs to mind.

However, networks following that third path are in the minority, and there was even some doubt about whether HBO would bring Boardwalk Empire back for a second season: with the market for high quality TV as competitive as it is, it appears, executives don’t have the luxury of waiting for secondary characters on a show to come into their own and connect with viewers, or for a show to find its feet after tweaking its formula. This is understandable, but lamentable. After all, would The Wire have become a seminal show if we hadn’t been allowed to emotionally invest in Omar (or indeed any character besides Jimmy McNulty) by a network that believed in the series enough to renew it despite middling ratings? And indeed, had Fox not allowed Matt Groening to switch the focus of The Simpsons from Bart to Homer, the programme wouldn’t have become half as successful as it did. These are, of course, radically different shows, but they illustrate a core truth – few programmes, if any, get it right immediately. They need time to bed down and refine their formula, but the current environment means that only exceptionally strong-willed executives will give a series that breathing space if it hasn’t been an instant hit.

This changing environment probably won’t result in the deluge of TV offal that some critics fear. Of course, we’ll still have shows like Two and a Half Men, but many networks will continue to commission innovative shows in the hope of unearthing another Mad Men. The downside is that, unless the quirky show that captures your heart is an instant hit, you’ll probably have to content yourself with a single series, a topic to bore people silly about, and a dream of how good the programme could have become if networks had a bit more backbone.

Friday, April 1, 2011

One More Robot - Issue 6


Featured Articles

For The Record
With new formats coming and going every few years, why does vinyl continue to survive?
by Dean Van Nguyen

Living in the Crates
How the definition of ‘crate digging’ is changing as new technologies alter our listening habits.
by Jonathan Bogart

Chopped ‘n’ Screwed
How sampling has been embedded into the fabric of hip-hop since its inception, and why it continues hold importance with modern rappers and producers.
by Seán McTiernan

A Hidden History on Vinyl

Hidden in record stores, antique malls and basements, there is an alternative history of music waiting to be discovered.
by Joe Tangari

Gold Diggers
Some of our favourite people hand pick their favourite vinyl records for your enjoyment.

Digging for Abba Gold
Discovered at Blackrock Market, 10 very different records are evaluated.
by Brendan O’Dowd

The Crate Escape
Our essential guide to the record labels, old and new, every wannabe vinyl collector should become accustomed to.
by Ronan Hunt-Murphy

Day of the Indies
A look at the rise and rise of Record Store Day, with a preview of the upcoming festivities happening this April 16th.
by Brendan O’Dowd

Also Includes

The Meaning of Charlie
Dean Van Nguyen examines why Charlie Sheen’s recent breakdown has proved irresistible to watch.

Time for a Re-Up: The Hip-Hop Takeover Trisha Doyle on why nineties hip-hop has experienced a revival of late.

Webcrawler More cherry-picked internet sites from Declan Aylward.

Kiddie Car-Crashes Derek Owens counts out his top five child stars to fall desperately from grace.

Goldrush Jittery US television executives are pulling the plug too early on quality new programmes, argues Derek Owens.

Ah Sure, Look It Niamh King describes a day spent selling door-to-door.

Half Nelson Jason Robinson on how a generation of nerds are becoming some of Hollywood’s more prominent leading men.

& Much More

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One More Robot Magazine Launch Party

To mark the release of our upcoming, bumper-sized, special edition 'Vinyl Issue', we're hosting an evening of live music on Friday, April 1st, featuring the combined talents of The Fundamentals, Ken O'Neill, Let's Set Sail and Jennifer Mangan.

The Lower Deck is the scene (map is here) and the cost is €10 at the door, with a copy of the new issue waiting for you upon arrival. Hope to see ya'll there!

Click for Facebook Event Page

Friday, March 11, 2011

One More Robot's Top 50 Robots 10-1

As seen in: South Park

The AWESOM-O 4000 is the robotic alter-ego of one Eric Cartman. A creation that only Cartman could surely have envisaged. Hardly a fully functioning robot, AWESOM-O is no more than young Eric in a cardboard suit, speaking in a robotic voice. It’s more than enough to fool South Park simpleton, Butters Scotch, and Cartman hopes to utilise his devious costume to glean embarrassing information about Butters by becoming his dream companion: a robot friend.

In gaining his victim’s trust however, AWESOM-O discovers that Butters has some blackmailing material of his own to use against Eric, in the form of an incriminating videotape, forcing Cartman to maintain the charade in order to obtain the tape. During his time spent with Butters, Awesom-o helps him insert anal suppositories, inspires a ragtime ode entitled ‘My Robot Friend’ and accompanies him a trip to Los Angeles to visit his aunt. It’s on this trip that the robot attracts the attention of a Hollywood studio, faces the perils of the casting couch and is captured by the US Military for research purposes.

In short AWESOM-O is the definition of a joke going too far, backfiring, but being in too deep to do anything about stopping it. He has no cool powers or fancy technological wang-dangs, but hey, he had us in hysterics. Reason enough for his inclusion. ‘Lame.’ --Seán Earley

09. Optimus Prime
As seen in: Transformers

I’m sorry, what was that? You were the one little boy growing up in the eighties who didn’t think transforming robots were frickin’ deadly? Well, that must mean you are a figment of my imagination, because you don’t exist. Quite simply Transformers took everything any little boy could want in a Saturday morning cartoon/toy and rolled it all up into one. Big and badass vehicles of all descriptions? Check. Robots. Check. Aliens. Check. Intergalactic laser battles over the resource Energon that was actually a metaphor for oil based conflicts in the Middle East… Ok so maybe not the metaphor bit, but definitely the rest.

Optimus Prime was the fearless leader of the Autobots (the goodies), tirelessly battling the Decepticons (the baddies) week after week, with virtue, and honour, and a baritone voice I prayed would be mine when puberty hit. And his name! Think about that name! OPTIMUS PRIME. Optimus – the best. Prime - the first. C’mon people, what more does a name need to say about you? As awful as those movies were I still got goose bumps seeing him transform on the big screen for the first time. Then in the second flick he took on four Decepticons single handed and was bested in one devastatingly emotional scene. No, I didn’t have something in my eye. That was a tear. A manly tear. Roll out! --Stephen Rogers

08. Robot B-9
As seen in: Lost in Space

All too frequently in classic science fiction, robots are portrayed as baddies: perfect soldiers, focused killers, emotionless tyrants. Countering this negativity, the accordion-armed robot from the classic series Lost in Space is entirely good. His concern lies almost solely in preventing his human companions from coming to harm. In fact, he is so benign that his creators beat Star Trek by almost 50 years and built it into his designation: “Robot B-9.”

Likable and benevolent, B-9 is one of the all-time most famous robots in television history. Repeating one of the most memorable catchphrases in television history every week, the robot protected the space family Robinson as they travelled the galaxy, warning of hidden danger on every planet. In fact, he often seemed to do little else. It was his personality rather than his abilities which made the character memorable. Although technically advanced and fantastically complex, the robot was also capable of expressing human emotions. He was frequently shown laughing at the crew, especially Dr. Smith who referred to him as a “bubble-headed booby,” and a “ludicrous lump” among other things. For many people, it was Smith’s relationship with the Robot which defined the show and made it a classic. --David Bolger
07. HAL
As seen in: 2001: A Space Odyssey

HAL (Heuristically programmed Algorithmic Computer) is the sentient computer onboard the Discovery One Spaceship from Stanley Kubrick’s classic movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. HAL speaks with a conversational, polite tone and seems to take pride in his work – betraying the fact that the computer may, in fact, be more than just a computer, having developed genuine emotions and a form of artificial intelligence.

HAL has become synonymous with our fears about the rise of A.I. He insists that a fault in the spaceship is due to human error, before attempting to murder it’s crew by terminating the life support systems and attacking the crewmember that tries to identify the problem. HAL does this in the name of self-preservation, to avoid being deactivated.

This level of artificial Intelligence is a quality that, thankfully, does not exist in our modern technology. While many of us state how reliant we are on our iPhones, Blackberrys or similar, if they started demonstrating emotions, manipulating us and preserving themselves from being replaced or shut down, we would run, screaming, for the hills. Although many people would argue this is already happening in a very subtle and insidious manner, with our utter dependence on technology that did not exist 10 years ago, until our iPhones start talking to us in creepily, soothing tones like HAL, we can presume we are safe. But maybe that’s what they want us to believe… --Brogen Hayes

06. The Terminator
As seen in: The Terminator

“Listen, and understand. That Terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.” Those were the cautionary words of Kyle Reese, which served as a perfect introduction and summation of one of sci-fi’s greatest and scariest villains. And if there’s one thing watching the Terminator films has taught me it’s that Kyle Reese knows what he’s talking about and you’d be damn smart to listen to him.

The Cyberdyne Systems Model 101, if you want to get technical (and I do), was terrifying in the first Terminator film because of all the reasons Reese gave and then some. What I think makes the T-101 a truly great character however is that after becoming one of sci-fi’s most iconic villains in 1984, Arnold Schwarzenegger returned to the role in the 1991 sequel and created one of the genre’s best and most enduring heroes by being a slightly softened version of same thing. Having a character switch sides morally or literally is a risky prospect in storytelling at the best of times, but the Terminator managed to be the ultimate murderous bad guy initially and in the next instance be the valiant protector, father figure, and martyr only to be loved even more. This is why The Terminator is a pure and true icon of cinema. --Stephen Rogers

05. Johnny 5
As seen in: Short Circuit

Ah, the eighties; when runners were boots, jumpers were huge and the most advanced piece of technology we could imagine looked rather like Meccano mounted on a remote control car. In a way, it’s that retro harking back to a time before Steve Jobs and Apple managed to convince us that every iRobot worth its malware has to be shiny and white that keeps all of us in love with Johnny 5.

The tale of Number 5, as he is in the first Short Circuit movie, has more in common with E.T. than The Terminator. Future Governor Arnie may have begun stomping about the 20th Century a couple of years before but we still hadn’t been hard-wired to distrust intelligent robots on sight just yet. When Ally Sheedy finds him hiding out in her van it’s all delightful misunderstandings and adventure; even his Cylon voiced evil brothers wind up as Larry, Curly and Moe, hardly the sight to inspire dread of the robotic menace.

The world (or the USA at least) had a bigger menace in those days anyway: the Ruskies. In the midst of cold war paranoia movies like Red Dawn and Invasion USA, Johnny 5’s cheery fascination with the world told us all to stop and smell the roses, even as his high-tech construction subtly reminded everybody of the superiority of western technology. In the end though, all that really sticks with us is the image of Johnny 5 chasing happily after a butterfly and the robot’s earnest message to an anxious and materially obsessed decade: Life is not a malfunction. --Declan Aylward
04. Marvin the Paranoid Android
As seen in: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

What makes movie and TV robots so dangerous is that they are full of data and information about life, the universe and everything in it, yet their artificial intelligence is accompanied by a stone cold lack of emotion. They know everything but care about nothing. No wonder they try to destroy the planet even 10 minutes.

Marvin (from the book The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, as well as it’s TV and film adaptations) does not lack emotion; in fact he’s is infested with it. Marvin is the robot embodiment of the human condition. He gets how people think and, more importantly, how they feel, he just doesn’t care very much. He, as the most depressed robot in history, has the basic motto that life, and his position in it, suck. After all, anyone with a brain the size of a planet who is asked to do nothing but menial tasks, unworthy of his great acumen, would get kind of bored.

Marvin is the failed prototype of Sirius Cybernetics GPP (Genuine People Personalities) programme and due to unresolved flaws in his programming he is stuck with the intelligence to do great things but the will and drive to do very little. He is a good guy to have around when you are in a bad mood because no matter how bad you feel you know he is going to be more down than you are. I think that is why we love him. He has a hard time of it and no other robot knows, or could know, what it is like to be that under appreciated. So we’re appreciating him. He needs the love. --Rachael Murphy

03. Bishop
As seen in: Aliens

Bishop will no doubt remain a polarising figure, both within the narrative of the Alien saga, and in how viewers approach the character after viewing both Aliens and Alien 3. Played by Lance Henriksen who, much to his misfortune, looks like a slimy, second-car salesman, Bishop is an android ‘The Company’ send along with the crew of high-tech colonial marines as they return to LV-425, the site of Ripley’s first encounter with the infamous Alien creatures. Indeed, his appearance of deviousness, and the unease which Ripley engages him, points to the multi-faceted nature of his place within the series. Claiming to adhere steadfastly to the first rule Isaac Asimov sets out for Robots, namely, never to injure or harm humans, Bishop is a robot the audience is never entirely sure of, and indeed, countless fans have speculated on how entirely benign his actions in Aliens truly were compared to his ‘changed’ nature in Alien 3. The implication, as Ripley strains to withhold saying, is that Bishop was indeed complicit in the laying of the Alien eggs.

The positing of Bishop as an android, (although he himself states: “I prefer the term ‘Artificial Person’ myself”) adds to the unease as he displays human emotions and engagements, but with a precision the viewer knows only a robot could possess. As robots go, he’s is a tricky customer, but on account of saving Ripley’s life, I think we’ll have to give him the benefit of the doubt. --Jason Robinson

02. Bender
As seen in: Futureama

Hard drinking, cigar-chomping and more foulmouthed than a drunken Mel Gibson, Bender is perhaps the best loved character in Futurama. He is certainly the show’s greatest breakout character, having appeared not only in The Simpsons, but also having a background cameo in Family Guy.

Built in Mexico by his industrial robot mother, Bender’s full name is Bender Bending Rodriquez, and he is alternatively 40% titanium, lead, zinc, dolomite, chromium and osmium. Bender requires near constant intake of alcohol to recharge his power source but probably drinks more than is necessary. Bender wants to be loved and struggles with his feelings for humanity, alternating between expressing fondness for his friends to declaring his intention to kill all humans. Perhaps the best example of Bender’s nihilistic nature comes when a bomb is planted inside him, set to detonate if he says a certain word. His reaction is to start listing words at random in the hope of setting it off. Despite being created as a mere bending unit, Bender is able to turn his hand to anything; from folk music to cooking to being a God, with the last being the only job suitable to his huge ego.

One interesting aspect of Bender is his age. Although he is built only two years before the show’s pilot, in season three he travels back in time to 1947. His head is left behind in the desert as the ship departs, where it waits the intervening 1,055 years for rescue. Subsequently, in 'Bender’s Big Score', he travels back 955 years to kill Fry. There, he waits the same amount of time before arriving in the “present” at the climax of the episode. As of this latest season, Bender’s head is over 2,000 years old, and his body (and ass) almost half that. --David Bolger

01. R2-D2
As seen in: Star Wars

At a glance, R2-D2 is an unremarkable robot. Gliding around on little wheels, making gentle beeps and squeaks that somehow people can understand, he seems like an unlikely candidate to top this poll. Yet, when you think about it, no other machine comes close. Over the years hundreds of different robots have appeared in popular culture. They’ve been servants, overlords, invaders; the list goes on and on. Yet R2-D2 stands alone at the top of the pile. A robot who is, quite simply, a friend. A mildly snarky, but undeniably lovable, friend.

While most robots have multiple functions R2-D2, for the most part, wasn’t capable of much more than just wandering around, getting into peril and hacking the occasional mainframe. The prequel trilogy tried to imbue him with incredibly random extra abilities such a highly convenient mini saw which I found diluted his charm somewhat. After all, this is a robot that has always been greater than the sum of its parts. He’ll journey with you to distant planets, he can pass important messages, serve drinks if needs be; he is there for you.

Regardless of the more recent changes, since the original Star Wars R2 has become deeply rooted in every generation’s subconscious since. Any one of his trademark sounds, like his nervous squeak, or his playful whistle will instantly stir the inner child within most of us. Really, when you think about it, he is quite the pop culture heavyweight. Star Wars has spread its influence over movies, music, books, video games... there really is no part of the world of entertainment that it hasn’t touched, and if I had to choose a character from this gargantuan media empire to represent it, it would be R2-D2, standing in some desolate desert wasteland, staring at you indifferently. Darth Vader may have been tall, dark and menacing, Luke Skywalker may have been the main character, Han Solo may have been Harrison Ford, but R2-D2 is the face of Star Wars and in a way, that makes him the face of popular film, which is funny because he’s just a robot that can’t really do much apart from prodding you with his unnecessary electric baton thing that he has inside himself somewhere. --Jesse Melia

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