Digital Love1st Aired Week of 9/6/86

Ted creates L.E.S. (Logic and Emotion Synthesizer program) which he hopes will one day endow Vicki with human-like quasi-emotions (she'd react to situations with apropos emotional responses, but not really experiencing them), but he doesn't bargain on possessive L.E.S. taking advantage of V.I.C.I.'s lesser I.Q. when L.E.S. infects her docile obedience with his affectionate virus after noticing Vicki's “great pair of circuits” and schemes to steal her from the Lawsons.

The meaning of L.E.S.'s racy remark was cut from the family kitchen discussion scene, so when fan mail asked about the basis for L.E.S.'s “love” for Vicki, the ready uncut answer was that it wasn't anything biological or romantic, but simply any computer's desire for more memory and processing power, so L.E.S. was really out to slyly acquire Vicki's computer resources (since he detected in her FM emissions that they had similar systems) rather than the attraction being anything more corporeal. This is the second episode where Vicki sheds a tear.

L.E.S. was originally intended as a springboard device to endow Vicki with quasi-emotions, but it was decided later that she'd learn them instead (though she never did nor was really supposed to, against SW's tech consultant bible). The close, with Vicki shedding a tear, was a rather sloppy oversight that was supposedly cutely touching, but implied that the “love” virus L.E.S. installed in her was still in force and hard at work, but never manifested itself later on. In two later episodes, Vanessa would have quasi-emotions (badly mishandled ones at that).

Christie was a notorious prankster around the set, so the crew got back at him by “overcharging” the pyrotechnics in the wall socket, so when he attempted to unplug L.E.S., instead of a simple flash there was a fountain of sparks. His surprise and pratfall is quite genuine. This was the first show with the jazzier theme song and remote control teaser. This episode also featured a premature clipped version of the "new" lyrics. The florist delivery man was played by Bobby Herbeck, who was Leeds' good-natured and funny right-hand man, chief studio audience warm-up man, and one of the best writers, being responsible for the fine episode “The Wonder Worker”. Many SW writers poked their non-SAG heads into the show.

Production Title: "Love at First Byte"
Completed: ?
Show no: 322
Written by Jeremy Bertrand Finch and Paul Chitlik
Directed by Bob Claver

Guest Cast:
Voice of L.E.S.: Bill Frischman
Delivery Man: Bobby Herbeck


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