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  Max Headroom

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Picture Credit: Wikipedia


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> Description 
To create a background story for their announcer, Channel 4 created a one-hour TV movie describing the story of the creation of the computer-generated person. Titled 20 Minutes into the Future, the movie was a dystopic look at a run-down near-future dominated by television and large corporations. It introduced television reporter Edison Carter and his efforts to expose corruption and greed. In the pilot episode, Edison is hunted down by his own employer, Network 23. In the process, he is injured and his mind is digitized into a computer program. The resulting program takes on a life of its own as the eccentric and unpredictable Max Headroom who can move through computer and television networks at will.

In 1987 the story was turned into a full fledged television series. The original one-hour movie was partially recast and re-filmed as a pilot for a new series on the U.S. based television network ABC.

It was the first cyberpunk series to run in the United States on one of the main broadcast networks in prime time. Like other science fiction, the series introduced the general public to new ideas in the form of cyberpunk themes and social issues. The series portrayed the Blanks, a counter-culture group of people who lived without any official numbers or documentation for the sake of privacy. Various episodes delved into issues like literacy and the lack thereof in a TV-dominated culture (Blank Reg: "It's a book. Non-volatile storage media. Everyone should have one.")

Although it was not a comedy series, low-key humor was a noteworthy part of the entire effect. Some was more overt, such as Max's wisecracking lines, while other was less obvious. One example is the use of traffic signs for character names. The character Max Headroom got his name because, in the original story, Edison Carter crashed into a traffic gate labelled "MAX HEADROOM 2.3m" and was knocked unconscious, and when his brain was digitized that was his last image. Also the president of Network 23's largest corporate sponsor from Asia, the Zik-Zak corporation, is named Ped Xing. It could be a Chinese name, but it is also the common American traffic sign abbreviation for "pedestrian crossing". Technological anachronisms were a recurring feature in the series. As Theora types in computer commands for real-time control of satellites, the camera zooms in to show her typing on the keys of a manual typewriter.

In the end, the series all-too-accurately predicted its own demise. With story lines about TV ratings monitored on a second-by-second basis, the series was a little too far ahead of its time. After 14 episodes, ABC cancelled it. There was some talk about the character returning in a movie entitled Max Headroom for President but nothing came of it.

Show Description Credit: Wikipedia
> Airing History & Information 
Last Airing Oct 16, 1987
Premiere March 31, 1987
Episodes 14
Network ABC
Format/Time Color / 60 Minutes
Country United States
Upcoming Airs Not currently airing
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