20 minutes into the future, the world has become imbued network-television. It's illegal to turn off your TV, and televisions are given to the needy. In this world, Network 23 has a highly-rated news program with a roving reporter named Edison Carter. But Carter uncovers a plot to cover up lethal "blipverts" and is almost killed. In the process his mind is copied into a computer and the computer-generated personality "Max Headroom" is born. Together, Max and Edison, along with Edison's controller (Theora), their boss (Murray), their boss' boss (Ben Cheviot), and Network 23's boy-genius (Bryce) combat crime, placate sponsors, defeat rival networks, and turn in stories. 14 episodes. Written by
All of the PCs at Network 23 were Commodore 128s (That's 128 *Kilobytes*. The average dishwasher now has more computing power than Theora's then-top-of-the-line PC.) See more »
As, 'tis Max Headroom here, and I quote from the bard, Shakespeare, a writer: "The quality of TV is not strained, it dropeth as the gentle ratings dropeth to a very tiny percentage share and, lo, 'tis gone." Of course, Shakespeare would have loved your rating system. Twelfth Night would have been lucky to have lasted *one*!
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This was, and still is, my favorite show to ever grace the flickering screen of my television. The visionary depiction of a TV-driven culture on overdrive piqued the imagination and served as a prophetic parody/warning to the industry that ironically gave it life in the US.
It was a near (20 minutes into the) future where TV wasn't only entertainment but required by law -- just having an off switch was a major crime -- and ratings were EVERYTHING. Hackers, brain-recorded AI, pirate TV broadcasters, TV religion, mercs selling tomorrow's top story, body banks and bodyleggers, blip-verts, cred-sticks, the mix of grit and the glimmer of neon... this WAS cyberpunk at it's purest (with the noted exception being the lack of cyberware). There has never been (and probably never will be) a show that did as much justice to the genre.
With all the drivel available on video today, I can't help but wonder when (if ever) someone will finally come to their senses and release this gem...
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