The term Fembot describes a series of powerful and deadly life-like androids, designed and created by former OSI scientist, Dr. Franklin. The original Dr. Franklin used his fembots to infiltrate the OSI and obtain the Weather Control Device.
Despite the fem- prefix, there were also male versions. While not truly artificially intelligent, the fembots still had extremely sophisticated programming and social skills that allowed them to pass for human in most situations. For example, as the fembot Katy demonstrated, they could be designed to react to heat by perspiring just like a human. Fembots could either be controlled from Franklin's base or preprogrammed for missions in advance.
The fembots' default operational setting produced a high pitched transistor hum that Jaime Sommers could hear with her bionic ear, allowing her to often be the first to detect their presence. When Dr. Franklin realized this, he immediately reduced the fembots' transistor output, eliminating the hum.
The fembots could also be detected because of their extreme weight, over thrice what a similar sized human would weigh. According to Dr. Rudy Wells, this was because "even the brilliant Dr. Franklin has to use steel and gears." Steve Austin once discovered that Oscar Goldman had been replaced by one of Dr. Franklin's robots by tossing a pencil in the path of the robot. When the Oscar robot unwittingly stepped on it, the pencil was crushed into tiny fragments.
Fembots' strength was adjustable as the situation dictated; if necessary, it can be increased to surpass Jaime's and Steve's bionics. According to Dr. Franklin, his fembots could do anything Jaime could do. Their inability to think for themselves was their primary disadvantage. When the Callahan fembot grabbed Jaime Sommers' bionic arm, Jaime was unable to pull her arm away. When Jaime changed tactics and shoved the Callahan fembot, it was sent hurling through a bookshelf. In "Kill Oscar" part I, Dr. Franklin was shown to be able to increase the fembots' power from the fembot control base. In "Kill Oscar" part II, Dr. Rudy Wells developed a short-range microwave beam device that disrupted Franklin's communication with his robots, preventing Franklin from increasing their power and allowing Steve Austin to cope with the Oscar robot in battle.
Fembots' facial covering, or "facemasks," were sometimes dislodged in battle with Steve or Jaime, or otherwise by extreme force, revealing their internal facial circuitry and structure.
Numbers and Designations
From the first Fembot Crisis: (1976)
- Number 1 - Katy
- Number 2 - Lynda
- Number 3 - Callahan
- Number 4 - Oscar
- Number 5 - (designation unknown)
- Number 6 - (designation unknown)
From the second Fembot Crisis: (1977)
- Number 1 - Nancy
- Number 2 - Tami
- Number 3 - Gina
- Number 4 - Billie
- Number 5 - Ellen Andrews
- Number 6 - Callahan (formerly Number 3 from the first Fembot Crisis)
Dynamite Entertainment Comics
The 2012-2013 reimagining of The Bionic Woman featured a storyline in which Jaime encounters a small army of fembots (Issues #7-#10). Unlike the individual models seen in the TV series, all fembots looked alike. Jaime allies herself with one who takes the name Katy, and attempts to emancipate the fembots.
- The Fembots appear to be unrelated to the robots designed by Chester Dolenz and featured in a trilogy of Six Million Dollar Man episodes beginning with "Day of the Robot". They do bear a number of similarities in basic design (although a key difference is eyeballs are visible when they are "unmasked") and, like Dolenz' creations, can be used to impersonate people.
- Twenty years after they made their television debut, the fembots were spoofed in the Austin Powers film series.
- The fembots were also spoofed in the "Futurama" series when Bender falsely refers to a female computer as a fembot instead of the femputer she is.
Kenner created a Fembot doll as part of its Six Million Dollar Man/Bionic Woman line. Similar in concept to the Maskatron action figure, the doll came with removable masks that allowed it to be disguised as Jaime or as a generic female character.