My Living Doll (TV Series 1964–1965) Poster

(1964–1965)

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Silly, but Sexy Bob Cummings Series...
cariart28 January 2004
"My Living Doll" marked Bob Cummings' return to series television after a short-lived adventure-comedy series, "The New Bob Cummings Show", flopped in 1961. The veteran actor/light comedian, who had enjoyed a memorable film career (IT STARTED WITH EVE, KING'S ROW, SABOTEUR, DIAL 'M' FOR MURDER) without ever quite achieving 'superstar' status, had found, in television, the ideal medium for his likable persona. His second, best-known series, "The Bob Cummings Show" (later called "Love That Bob") offered a crew-cut, energetic Cummings as a fashion photographer with a roving eye and a family and friends who were always interfering with his love life. The success of the long-running comedy extended Cummings' career far beyond many of his contemporaries, and he hoped "My Living Doll" would achieve the same kind of magic.

In "My Living Doll", Cummings played Dr. Bob McDonald, a military psychiatrist assigned to 'train' a human-like robot (portrayed by the astonishingly sexy Julie Newmar, before her 'breakthrough' role as 'Catwoman' on "Batman"), for future space missions. Attempting to keep his 'project' a secret, as he teaches her how to be 'human', he develops an affection for her, although her literal compliance to his orders creates often embarrassing moments. Meanwhile, his hormonally-charged neighbor, Dr. Peter Robinson (played by Jack Mullaney, who made a career out of such roles) becomes smitten with Newmar, and her apparent willingness to do whatever he commands. Episodes would frequently involve Robinson's attempts to get McDonald 'out of the way' so he could share a romantic tryst with her.

While Cummings liked the initial premise of the series, he was not pleased with the one-dimensional direction the series was taking, and wanted to return the focus back to the doctor/'human' relationship between his character and Newmar. Producer Jack Chertok, who had achieved a major success with "My Favorite Martian", a year earlier, disagreed, however, believing the chemistry between Mullaney and Newmar had greater ratings potential than the 56-year old Cummings could provide (even if the actor's strict health regimen helped him maintain a youthful appearance). The series that was supposed to provide Cummings' 'comeback' role had moved his character into a decidedly 'supporting' part, and he quit the show.

With Mullaney now 'in charge' of the robot, however, the lecherous nature of his character had to be changed (maybe it would have worked on French television, but NEVER in America!), and the series quickly disappeared off the air.

The strange thing is, looking back on the short-lived series from a forty-year perspective, what remains in mind is neither Cummings nor Mullaney, but Julie Newmar, who was so devastatingly beautiful as the robot. Long after the silly plotlines were forgotten, her presence, sexy yet innocent, would linger on!
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If you want this shows return we need your help now
pgreenwood-118 September 2006
My Living Doll is a great show that uses many of the same production staff from My Favorite Martian. Having seen over ten of the episodes in a restored state they are funny and entertaining. Julie Newmar is wonderful as the Doll, a child like super machine she displays grace and a comic charm that is timeless. The major problem at this point is tracking down film elements to restore this gem. If you want to see this show complete please contact me as I work for the Chertok company and we are doing our best to bring it back. Be a part of the return of this show, give future generation a chance to see this science fiction comedy complete.
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Pleasant Sixties Fantasy Comedy
earlytalkie20 September 2013
I remember this series from it's original run during the 1964-65 season. It fit right in there with other similar fantasy comedies which were successful and not so successful during the mid sixties. Seen today, the show is most comparable to I Dream Of Jeannie, which came along the year after this did. Swinging bachelor lives secretly with a gorgeous female who is compliant to practically every wish. The show comes off as humorous, with good scripts and performances, but it just dosn't quite hit the button the way Jeannie did. This is probably because of the extraordinary chemistry between Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman, which is not quite matched between Bob Cummings and Julie Newmar here. This show lasted but one season, and was marred by the departure of Cummings toward the end of the season, effectively scotching any chance the show may have made it to a second season. The DVD producers have salvaged 11 of the original 26 shows, and hope to secure more for a future release. While this series remains a "cute" show, it is really no more remarkable than The Baileys Of Balboa or The Cara Williams Show from around the same time.
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5/10
A Tiny Time Capsule from the 1960's
anubis-451 December 2012
Please allow me to add my review of "My Living Doll". Other reviewers have captured the essence of the series, so I can only add my own thoughts on the recently-released MPI Home Video 11-episode DVD 2-disc set.

1964 was a long time ago, and I can well remember watching Julie Newmar as Rhoda the Robot, and Bob Cummings as her protector-cum-human-sidekick in this comedy series. (I know that he was supposed to be the star, but all us guys only ever watched it for Julie...)

Truly, as a 13-year old, I was quite smitten with Newmar and her Amazon- like beauty, but I never cared very much for old Bob, at least not in this particular role. He was 54 years old when he made this, and he was portraying an man at least 20 years younger. It still shows.

After watching my way through all the episodes, I can see much more in it than I ever did as a kid, but I still cannot see any real reason why I purchased it, except as a curio....

Almost 50 years later, I understandably found the comedy to be a little on the dry side. There are some genuine laughs, but they are a little few and far between. Julie is stuck like an attractive fly in amber, and just as Amazon-esque as I recall, but some of the lines that she has to deliver are indeed, cringe-worthy these days. Bob still looks out of place, and extremely uncomfortable in the role. The supporting actors, Jack Mullaney and Doris Dowling do their best with what they are given, and they both tend to liven up the proceedings whilst on screen.

The eleven surviving episodes are just a random smattering of the original 26, and if those missing parts are one day re-discovered and re-released, then the whole thing might just make a little more sense. As it is, it is naturally, quite difficult to follow. Interestingly, the DVD cover is tagged as "The Original Collection, Volume One" so perhaps MPI have some idea that they may be looking at a future "Volume Two"...

The B&W picture quality is quite good, and the sound is crisp and clean, but I feel that the series would only be something of value to an aficionado. I doubt whether any of the younger generation these days would be able, or willing, to try and make any sense of it at all.

The final episode on disc two (number 6 in the series) is obviously from a source other than the main episodes, for the picture quality is not on par with the others. A disclaimer warns of this. It is still watchable, however.

Among the 'extras' included are an interview with Julie Newmar on the making of the series, and a transcript of a couple of interesting radio interviews conducted by Lucille Ball. These extras even extend to a brace of 1960s commercials - for products such as "Aqua Velva Silicone Lather" shaving foam, "Alberto V05" hairspray, "Norelco Comfort Shave" electric razors, and "Taryeton" cigarettes, whatever they were......

And, oh yes, that 'alternative' opening credit shot with Julie in the baby-doll outfit is there, as well....

The episode list is as follows. The eleven numbers are from the original episode listing:

1) Boy Meets Girl? 2) Rhoda's First Date 3) Uninvited Guest 6) Something Borrowed, Something Blew (This is the above-mentioned 'lesser quality' episode, and is actually presented in the 'extras' menu.) 7) The Love Machine 9) My Robot, the Warden 10) The Beauty Contest 14) I'll Leave It To You 17) Pool Shark 19) The Kleptomaniac 21) The Witness

Indeed, a tiny time capsule from 1964/5.
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She Was a 'Doll'
ejzastrologer25 July 2005
As mentioned in the info provided at IBDm that the theme of this show was that Julie Newmar portrayed a mechanical 'Doll' of a beautiful woman. Newmar's character kept getting Cummings into much the same kind of trouble 'Jeanie' (Barbara Eden) got 'Tony'(Larry Hagman) into in their series on NBC later. Not the 'magical' or 'genie' stuff, but 'mechanical woman problems'! Was a great series and the only thing I can figure for why it didn't make it was that the world wasn't ready for that 'concept' just yet. When presented by NBC with the 'Jeanie' and 'astronaut' tie-in, it worked...some 3 years later! Nonetheless, Newmar went on to be Catwoman on Batman (and a great one) and Cummings went home to fly his plane, enjoy retirement until he passed on.
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One Other Person Knew
roy5-111 February 2006
There was one other person besides Bob (and later Peter) who was privy to Rhoda's true identity. That would be Dr. Carl Miller, played by Henry Beckman, perhaps best known as the salty Captain Clancey on Here Come The Brides. Miller was the actual catalyst, having created the robot, but was only seen in two other episodes besides the pilot. Bob told everyone that Rhoda was Carl's niece, which accounts for the last name. I personally wish Beckman had put in more appearances because he seemed like an interesting character. I mean, anyone who can create such a gorgeous robot...In the pilot, he's called away to Pakistan, leaving the robot in Bob's care and creating all kinds of pandemonium for the psychiatrist. A side note--the parallel with I Dream Of Jeannie is very interesting. IMHO, Bill Daily as Roger was a rather cheap carbon copy of Jack Mullaney's interesting portrayal as Peter Robinson.

-Roy
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What a Living Doll!!
timmauk4 April 2001
I was only seven years old when I saw this show and I STILL remember it!

Ahhhhhh, Julie Newmar :] (dreamy gaze) I was amazed by her beauty and that siren voice. She was a stunner. This was a funny show that I recall. Too bad it didn't catch on. I know that I looked forward to watching it with my Dad who liked her too. I think I know why it got sacked. The wives of America MADE their husbands change the channel!!

Why isn't this show on TV LAND??
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10/10
Only 10 episodes FOUND
Gary-Gzak19 March 2016
Found this on HOOPLA. Only 10 episodes have been found and are available on DVD and HOOPLA. Never saw or heard of it before, however it is a lost gem. Quite funny and a precursor to I Dream of Jeannie.

I hope the rest of the episodes are found!!

Many episodes deal with Rhoda learning how human society works. She also begins showing (or at least emulating) rudimentary emotions as the series progresses; in the episode "The Kleptomaniac", for example, she displays a childlike, playful attitude. At one point, McDonald notices this and utters, "What a goofy robot!", to which Rhoda replies, beaming, "The goofiest!" At the conclusion of this episode, Rhoda giggles without prompting after pulling a plot-resolving prank on another character.
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7/10
Astonishingly sexy Newmar..
BatonRougeMike2 May 2019
Ok, although it COULD be easily dismissed these days as outstandingly sexist nonsense I think that Newmar's character is rather subversive in many ways. She often does not function in the was she is supposed to and this generates quite a few humorous situations. And, in doing so, makes Cummings look like the awkward idiot he so desperately tries not to be. It's interesting to dissect and My Living Doll is not so easily consigned to television oblivion. It's, of course, fascinating to study Newmar who seems to be in possession of a great comic gift and is stunning to look at and to listen to, i e a true star. Now..a gripe. Amazon Prime seems to think that cutting off the credits at the end of this show (and many others) is okay. It isn't. It's extremely annoying. There are some of us older viewers out there who would like to see who the guest stars were or, and it's our right, to hear theme tunes and even to see what studio it was filmed at.
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TV's first RHODA!
yenlo9 March 2000
Before Valerie Harper's Rhoda there was another. The beautiful Julie Newmar who later went on to fame as Catwoman on Batman was a robot named Rhoda in this short lived but often times hilarious show. It's been ages since I've seen this show and doesn't seem to be anywhere on TV. Perhaps TV Land could run the episodes sometime.
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10/10
I think that Julie Newmar in My living Doll was simply gorgeous!
ninacake4815 June 2006
I was very young when the series appeared on Television, however even as a boy I remember thinking about how beautiful Julie Newmar was at the time. I have a great memory about my child hood days. I hope that someone, somewhere still has all the episodes from the show. If they do, I would like to see it re-mastered into a complete DVD collection. I for one would happily buy the complete set, and I am sure that their are others, who like me would do likewise. The show was funny, and the risqué aspects totally eluded my understanding as a child, but somehow means a lot more to me as an adult, when I recall what the show was about. The show had a certain sixties innocence, and charm that I tend to appreciate about Classic Television. Something long gone now unfortunately, in the world of Television programs of today. Well there you have it, my comments relating to one of my all time favorite Television shows.

Sincerely I remain, Howard Daniel Rollins III
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