Picks and Pans Review: Prototype

updated 12/12/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/12/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

CBS (9-11 p.m. ET)

This engrossing TV movie is a computer-age update of the Frankenstein story. Christopher Plummer stars as a scientist who creates the world's first humanoid, a robot so advanced that it is almost indistinguishable from a real human being. Plummer has a plan to program Michael as a brilliant scientist, but after the robot is taken to the Pentagon for an "examination," he suspects that Michael is going to be reprogrammed merely as a soldier—or worse, as an assassin. In rage and frustration, he kidnaps the robot, but both scientist and creation soon realize that their capture is inevitable. There's some science phobia at work here, but the story is provocative. Plummer is excellent in his role, and David (St. Elsewhere) Morse is surprisingly touching as the intelligent Michael Not since HAL, the malevo lent computer in 2001. has there been such a smart machine. The strong cast includes Frances Sternhagen, James Sutonous, Stephen Elliott and Arthur Hill.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8

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