Saturday, April 6, 2013

Weekend Write-Up: AF 709 (aka Rhoda from My Living Doll)

Over on the Doctor Who message board, I'm noted mostly for my rather random selection of character write-ups for the game. So for the blog I'm continuing that habit, and I'm starting off with something really out of the blue, yet fairly game relevant.

From 1964, we have Julie Newmar's first major TV role from My Living Doll. Miss Newmar played Rhoda, an android created for the space program that's wound up in the care of Psychologist Dr. Bob McDonald. It was a short lived sitcom, focusing on Bob's efforts to try and socialize Rhoda. It only lasted one season (with Dr. McDonald's actor Bob Cummings leaving the show before the last five episodes) but it's now available on DVD and some of the episodes are watchable on Hulu though the overt sexism of the era is rather overbearing, especially in the first episode.

AF-709 (aka Rhoda from My Living Doll)

Awareness 3
Coordination 3
Ingenuity  5
Presence 2
Resolve  2
Strength 4

Armour (minor)
Technically Adept
Keen Senses (vision) (minor)
Quick Reflexes

Obligation- to follow any command she is given (major)
Eccentric- (major) repeats what people say, robotic body language, doesn't fully understand human nature
Dark Secret- Nobody knows she's a robot (major)

Fighting 3
Knowledge 5
Science 4
Technology 5 (computers +2)
Transport 5 (spacecraft +2)

Story Points: 6
Tech Level: 5

AF 709 (later named Rhoda Miller) is the creation of roboticist  Dr. Carl Miller as part of the early 20th century United States space program.  When Dr. Miller prematurely activated her, she accidentally wandered out of the secure facility and into the city. Dr. Miller's colleague, Psychologist Dr. Bob McDonald was able to recover the android and hid her in his apartment.

Concerned for how his superiors might react to her unauthorized activation and subsequent adventure, Dr. Miller wanted to deactivate 709 and sneak her disassembled parts back into the lab. His plan was cut short when his superiors ordered him to make a last minute trip to Pakistan.  So Dr. McDonald found himself playing caretaker to the android.

Dr. McDonald gave the android the name Rhoda Miller and claimed she was Dr. Miller's niece. He tried to teach her fit in with human society, though his efforts met with only mixed success. This was partially due to Rhoda's nature, but to a large degree it was Dr. McDonald's own moral hangups.

Uses in the Campaign

My Living Doll was a typically fluff filled sitcom of the early 60's. In a light hearted adventure set in the early days of the space program the players might run into Rhoda and discern her non-human nature.
  • Russian agents might be aware of what she is and are trying to steal her. 
  • Similarly there might be alien thieves after her.
  • Just to keep with the sitcoms-and-space program theme, maybe a crossover with I Dream of Jeannie? Jennie being an all powerful alien like the Celestial Toymaker, but limited by needing to serve a mortal master.
Of course, in a more serious scenario, Rhoda may have found her way back into the space program and has become an indispensable part of the program and serves with the agency for a number of years.

  • U.N.I.T agents in that period might find it useful to have a beautiful android woman guarding their back when the alien invasions start.
  •  Maybe Rhoda is the only one who knows about the Silence? Can she convince the humans around her that there is something, and her programming is not faulty?
  • Androids should be able to last a long time, maybe the players run into her long after the Cape Canaveral Days out in space somewhere.
In general, the main fun is having Julie Newmar as a "guest star" in the episode and played in much of her typical vamping should be amusing.

No comments:

Post a Comment