Saturday, 2 November 2013

Ro-Busters: Death On The Orient Express!, Part Two

NAME
Ro-Busters: Death On The Orient Express!, Part Two

FIRST PUBLISHED
2000 A.D. Prog 87

DATELINE
21 Oct 78

PAGE COUNT
6

REPRINTS
Ro-Busters Book 1, The Best Of 2000AD 17, Cyber Crush 01, Halo Jones 09, Sam Slade Robo-Hunter (Volume 2) 02, Judge Dredd Megazine 4.01, 2000AD Yearbook 1994 and The Complete Ro-Busters.

SYNOPSIS
Ro-Jaws deliberates over which human will die and has the decision made for him.

FIRSTS & LASTS
None.

INFORMATION
The First Law of Robotics is that robots are programmed to only tell the truth. The Second Law is that a robot must protect its owners.

RO-JAWS
He presides over a trial to decides who will die so that the other nine may live. When Harold kills Mike Morgan it spares Ro-Jaws the decision.

HAMMER-STEIN
He convinces Harold to look after Tim Morgan.

OTHER CHARACTERS
LORD PETER WYNDIE
According to hid robot, he is in debt, gambles and wastes money.

JAMES
His bodywork is by R.R. Royce, his voice by Bong And Olafsen, his electronics by Hetochi. Lord Peter Wyndie's robot, bought on hire purchase. He testifies against his master.

REVEREND STRANGEWAYS
Not his real name, in actual fact he is Max the Cat Burglar.

HAROLD
He wears clothing to cover up damage to his chassis caused by his master, Mike Morgan. He kills Mike Morgan, in the defence of Tim.

MIKE MORGAN
Stepfather to Tim. He has committed acts of cruelty against Harold. When Tim testifies against he threatens his stepson. Harold defends the boy and kills Mike.

TIM MORGAN
Stepson to Mike. He testifies against his stepfather.

DEATHS
One. Harold kills Mike Morgan.

BEST LINES
Harold (disrobing to show damage): "I refuse to say anything on the grounds that it will incriminate Big Master"

WORST LINES
Survivors: "We're saved!"

CATCHPHRASES
None.

CONTINUITY & CROSSOVERS
None.

INFLUENCES & REFERENCES
James' various manufacturers R.R. Royce, Bong And Olafsen and Hetochi obviously allude to Rolls Royce, Bang & Olufsen and Hitachi. The three law of robotics were introduced by Isaac Asimov in his 1942 short story Runaround (although see MISTAKES below).

MISTAKES
Ro-Jaws states that the First Law of Robotics is that robots are programmed to only tell the truth and Mike Morgan says that the Second Law is that a robot must protect its owners, but those aren't the First and Second Laws at all (see the MISTAKES section of Judge Dredd: 'Robot Wars', Part 1)

RETROSPECT
None.

NOTES
None.

CREDITS
Script: Pat Mills
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Letters: Dave Gibbons

REVIEW
The child abuse is very shocking, the happily ever after ending is odd and both of the main characters are sidelined in favour of those giving testimony during Ro-Jaws' trial. Despite this Death On The Orient Express! is great.

Next Prog: Hammer-Stein's War Memoirs!