If you were alive in the 80s then you might recall a TV series called “Small Wonder.” If you missed it, or it’s fuzzy to you, Small Wonder was a show about a dad who creates a robot girl and she becomes a part of the family. They called her “Vicki” but she had the acronym V.I.C.I. which stands for Voice Input Child Identicant. That’s terrible! But it was the 80s so you can only expect so much.
Since I haven’t seen the show in over 25 years, I really don’t remember that much of it. I fear if I did go back and watch it now, it would be terrible. But when I was a kid, the show was great! I’m calling for a reboot. They’ve been rebooting so much of my childhood (Thundercats, Transformers, GI Joe, the MCU) so why not Small Wonder? So the following is a very long vision of how I’d like to see Small Wonder rebooted…
Of course this time I think it ought to be done as a SyFy drama. So here is what I am thinking. Season One starts off with the Dad creating V.I.C.I. at home instead of at work. We’ll update the acronym just like S.H.I.E.L.D. got an update to theirs. The father, Ted will be working for a family-owned tech company, which we will call EvilCorp for now. We’ll also call the family EvilFamily because I’m being lazy. EvilCorp is also involved in robots and Ted must keep Vicky a secret from the company because he’s actually used code from his job to make Vicky run. Code that EvilCorp is using to create war machines and moon miners while Ted has been creating a daughter/housekeeper. Also on the shows cast are the neighbors. NeighborDad works with Ted at EvilCorp. He’s also got a nosy daughter named Harriet who has a crush on Ted’s son, Jaime. Expect Harriet to show up at inconvenient times and we’ll need to explain Vicky’s odd behavior. Of course Harriet will befriend Vicky and will enroll Vicky in her schemes to win Jaime’s heart. Also, the kids are going to be teens in this reboot because teen angst and teen sex are what current TV is all about! EvilCorp will have EvilGrandpa at the helm, EvilDad as the middle manager and then EvilSon will be a teen intern at the company. Jaime and EvilSon will have some conflicts as they have been uneasy toward each other their entire time in high school. They competed in sports and for the cheerleader–haha just kidding! On this show instead of the teen love interest being the pretty blonde cheerleader, both boys will only have eyes for the pretty young goth girl! Ok she won’t be fully goth but she’ll at least dress a bit Emo. As the season progresses, Jaime will learn some interesting things about Vicky and because it is American TV, he’ll keep it from his dad which will keep the drama moving along like something out of a CW show.
So what was Vicky’s secret that Jaime was hiding from Ted? Well it turns out Vicky isn’t just a dumb robot. She was built with some amazing algorithms for learning and also for compressed data storage. We and Jaime learn that Vicky has been drawing and painting (including grafiti). She’s been sneaking out of the house alone at night. She has also been lying and hiding how much she has learned and grown. The end of season one will end with Vicky being gone. She’s left town. Was she abducted or did she leave on her own accord?
Season 2 Vicky will be back with the family of course. Ted learns some of what Vicky has been hiding and he’s not happy that Jaime knew. EvilSon will begin to have a romantic feelings for Vicky which is certainly a bad idea. I didn’t mention Joan, Ted’s wife, in the first Season. She is there but has a pretty minor role but things will change some this season. We know that she has a full-time job but also maintains the home. She is happy to have Vicky there to help do some housework because, hey, robots don’t get tired! In this season however, we learn that Joan might not be all that she seems. She’s been making calls on her cell phone and seems to be reporting about Vicky to someone–EvilCorp? Although she is spying, she also seems to be bonding with Vicky–is this all an act to learn more about the robot or is she truly bonding with her robot daughter? Season 2 will end with EvilCorp learning about Vicky’s existence.
Season 3 will have EvilCorp taking actions to acquire Vicky. For some some hackneyed reason they don’t want Vicky to be outed to the world as a robot. There will be an abduction but EvilCorp is going to be in for a big surprise. This season we also learn that Joan is a spy for a secret Shadow-Government organization ,which we will call “WTF”. They’re all the rage these days so it was either Shadow-government agency or vampires.
The mid-season finale will have EvilGrandpa slain by Vicky and once again Jaime will hide that from Ted. The second half of the season will focus on Vicky and WTF. WTF also hurts EvilCorp pretty badly too forcing the company into bankruptcy. Joan will choose family or work. Ted has been working on a MORality cONtrol chip(MORON chip) to keep Vicky in check. This season ends with the entire family being killed except for Vicky. Vicky takes blood samples from each of their bodies. No contract negotiations for these actors!
Season 4 will have a bunch of new cast as Vicky ends up shacking up with a private investigator. WTF is going to be dealt with pretty quicky by Vicky. Immediately after, Vicky’s MORON chip is activated and she’s no longer a killing machine.
She meets the private investagor at a diner where she’s also befriended a waitress who actually ends up being the owner of the restaurant. Unlike the overly used secret shadow agencies on other shows, WTF is actually going to be gone for good. Vicky is going to help investigate crimes/mysteries. She’ll be able to uberhack and extrapolate and make that nerdy guy from NUMB3RS seem like Forest Gump. She’ll also be a human lie detector which will help the P.I. with his investigations. Because she’s got the MORON chip inhibiting her, there will be some complications when the P.I. needs backup. Season 4 is going to end with Vicky collapsing suddenly.
In Season 5 we’ll learn Vicky’s MORON chip is affecting the rest of her systems too. Unfortunately, it can’t just be removed because it has updated her software. This season will introduce another cast member who we’ll call SmartGuy. He’ll be a college kid who will begin working on a fix for Vicky since he’s a gangsta computer nerd and amateur mixed-martial artist. We also learn that Vicky had stored all of Ted’s files related to her inside of her memories. Vicky also begins having nightmares-memories of the death of her family. We also see the vials of blood that she took from each of them back in season 3. Season 5 wraps up with SmartGuy “curing” Vicky of her ailment and surprise, she’s not ready to go on a killing spree. A man (well call him WTFguy) shows up claiming to be a member of WTF. He says that there was a flaw in Vicky’s design and that she’s dying. SmartGuy confirms this.
Season 6 will be a short season. Vicky had secretly made some investments some time ago and has now acquired EvilCorp which was able to exit bankruptcy. Vicky fires everyone and along with WTFguy and SmartGuy, she begins creating robots that look an awful lot like Ted, Joan and Jaime. While this is actually going down SmartGuy has Happy Days on in the background, its the episode where Fonzie jumps over a shark tank on water skis. Vicky uses her remaining money to buy an island. She uses the blood vials from Season 3. With a combination of memetic memory from the DNA in their blood memories files from her own mind, she brings the family back to life or at least a very similar family. SmartGuy and WTFguy insist that it won’t be the same thing since they won’t be the real Ted, Joan and Jaime but Vicky doesn’t care since she says none of them truly consider her “real” either. The show ends with the family living on the island. Robot-Ted has a workshop where he is tinkering with robotics and after the credits we see learn that 200 years have gone by and somehow the robots are still alive and functioning–I guess Robot-Ted found a way for them to survive after all.
While we wait on someone from Hollywood to read this and contact me to make it happen, Amazon actually has Small Wonder on DVD: Season One and Season Two.