I just watched an old episode of “Kolchack: The Night Stalker” which was first aired in 1975. It involved our intrepid reporter tracking down a killer robot (Mr. R.I.N.G.) which had been created by The Tyrell Institute. Naturally that made my ears prick up!
In 1982, Ridley Scott directed the classic movie “Blade Runner” which involved a detective tracking down dangerous “replicants” made by, that’s right, the Tyrell Corporation.
Coincidence? Homage? Conspiracy? I don’t know.
“Blade Runner” was based on a book first published in 1968 (PKD’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?). I haven’t read it, so I don’t know if the name Tyrell was featured in the book. But if it was, I suppose it’s possible that both productions took their inspiration from the same source material. Or it’s possible that Ridley and his writers were fans of Kolchack. Does anyone know for sure?
PS - IMDb notes the coincidence on it’s Kolchak page, but doesn’t explain it. It’s Blade Runner page makes no reference at all that I can see.
In the book Androids Dream of Electric Sheep the manufacturer of androids was called the Rosen Corporation. I don’t know if it was a coincidence that the movie used “Tyrell” from Kolchak, but given that the screenwriters were Hampton Fancher, a long time television screenwriter active when Kolchak was in production, and David Peoples, a science-fiction oriented writer, it would not be surprising that the reference to Tyrell was either deliberate homage or at least intended as a sly callback. Kolchak: The Night Stalker, of course, was an influential show that was an essential precursor to shows such as The X-Files, Millenium, Alias, et cetera featuring a combination of shadowy government conspiracies, paranormal phenomenon, and cryptozoological creatures, and it is almost certain that both writers would have at least a passing familiarity with it.
If you look carefully in “modern” science fiction, you’ll also find a lot of subtle references to The Twilight Zone (itself on precursor to Kolchak) unsurprising, because this show probably influenced more screenwriters than all other shows combined, and of course serving as a vehicle for many then-unknown acting and directing talents.
Interesting. Never heard of the earlier Tyrell reference before.
While digging around for information on this, I discovered, rather amusingly, there are two pending trademarks in the US for “TYRELL CORPORATION”:
a. TYRELL CORPORATION
Goods and Services IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: Athletic apparel, namely, shirts, pants, jackets, footwear, hats and caps, athletic uniforms; Headwear; Hoodies; T-shirts; Caps; Graphic T-shirts. FIRST USE: 20060805. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20060805 Serial Number 87199703
APPLICANT) JAY KENNETTE MEDIA GROUP LLC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY DELAWARE 16192 COASTAL HIGHWAY JKMG LLC LEWES DELAWARE 19958
b. TYRELL CORPORATION
Goods and Services IC 013. US 002 009. G & S: Firearms; Gun barrels; Guns; Pistols; Pistols and parts thereof; Rifle barrels; Rifles; Rifles and parts thereof; Component parts for guns; Component parts for pistols; Component parts for rifles
Serial Number 87347865
Filing Date February 23, 2017 APPLICANT) Oglesby, Paul A. INDIVIDUAL GREAT BRITAIN The Old Vicarage, Main Street Darley GREAT BRITAIN HG32QF
Both seem unrelated to the movie(s) or any motion picture studio.
Guess they haven’t diversified to replicant design and manufacture just yet.
I don’t know, we’ve got one making killing machines, and one to make their users look more human. I think we’re just one merger away, here.
Interesting how the government put pressure on the press (Vincenzo, specifically) to suppress the story. I guess the First amendment meant nothing back then, either
They always overdid it with computers, didn’t they? It’s one think to create a functional human shaped robot, that can move effortlessly, and give it normal human senses, both of which are very difficult (more so in 1974), AND have it go berserk and kill, but then they had to give it attitude! Making a computer sophisticated enough to recognize a “useless” question, and to make it snark at you for asking, well, that’s beyond every computer but Siri.