Top TV reporter Max Edison discovers Network 23 is experimenting with advertising that is lethal to some viewers. His boss tries to kill him and copy his mind to a controllable simulation. Instead Edison survives - and Max Headroom is born.



(teleplay), (based on the British screenplay by) | 1 more credit »


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Episode credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
ADR Voice
John Davey
Ricardo Gutiérrez ...
Heath Jobes
Virginia Kiser ...
Irene Olga López


Top TV reporter Max Edison discovers Network 23 is experimenting with advertising that is lethal to some viewers. His boss tries to kill him and copy his mind to a controllable simulation. Instead Edison survives - and Max Headroom is born.

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Comedy | Sci-Fi




Release Date:

31 March 1987 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Just to the right of Channel 4's (the original UK producers) main entrance is a ramp to their underground parking, and there is a sign saying, of course, Max Headroom. See more »


During the scene where Theora uses the computer to infiltrate the executive washroom, a crew member is reflected on the computer screen standing behind Matt Frewer's shoulder. See more »


Bryce Lynch: I only invent the bomb, I don't drop it.
See more »


Features Max Headroom (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

Max Headroom-Blipverts
1 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A "computer generated person" based on a stubborn renegade reporter (played by the awesomeness that is Matt Frewer), while nursing a head injury (he had broken in to the apartment of a wunderkind kid genius named Bryce, who lives on the 13 floor of the Network 23 Cross-shaped high-rise to document a damaging recording of a rotund victim who "exploded" (!) after an adverse physiological reaction to "blipverts" (multiple advertisements sped up to the nth degree so that consumers don't have time to turn the channel in between televised product)), unconscious, is "given life" when memories of the reporter (in his brain synapses) are digitized into the form of Max Headroom (also played by Frewer; this one of his most famous characters in his career). Max Headroom (cleverly rendered) comes from the caution sign in a parking garage (!) that the reporter, Edison, knocked his noggin on when flying off his motorcycle while trying to escape in one piece. Hoping to find any memory of the "rebus tape" that might exist in Edison's mind, the operation head of Network 23, Grossberg (Charles Rocket, a consummate television character actor with a face wonderfully corrupt), with a difficult decision to make regarding his most famous reporter's fate, hopes he doesn't recollect or hold any account of what took place to the consumer who splattered all over the living room. When it appears, as Max eludes (through humor at the expense, and much to the chagrin, of the station execs) to the rebus tape, that Edison hasn't forgotten, Grossberg decides to dispose of the reporter, planning to hold a press conference announcing his death, televised with the media (and their plethora of cameras and recording equipment). Grossberg has two degenerate punks, Breughel (Jere Burns) and Mahler (Rick Ducommun), take off Edison's body to a "body bank" (a place that holds bodies and pays customers who bring them to their establishment!). Not dead, Edison's "controller", Theora Jones (Amanda Pays, who was just everywhere during this point in her career; she's a very nice-looking woman, too) finds him, bringing him to her home to recuperate. The control of a reporter functions as his eyes and uses technical know-how to help him/her gain access to many a place inaccessible. Theora, unlike Edison's previous control, was willing to help him pursue secrets regarding Grossberg; that, and why Edison wasn't allowed to report on why police injected a knock-out drug to the witness of her hubby's death due to the blipverts. Ben Cheviot (George Coe), is next in line regarding the hierarchy of the station corporate ladder, totally against running the blipverts during commercials for Network 23 but was undermined by Grossberg's decision to air them. Waiting for Grossberg to slip, Cheviot digs his heels in on blipverts and their danger to the viewing public due to hidden knowledge of the potential for future fatalities.

With one hell of a cast, a gnarly premise, an in-your-face style (literally, lots of close-ups and facial shots with some really interesting faces to lens), and a character in Max Headroom that is a hoot (the skip-skip-skipping of Max due to his being a digitized representation of Edison's memories and his humorous punchlines are obviously the show's showcases but the setting sometime in the future (yet so relevant today), from the way technology is so fused with pop culture and everyday life to how the truth can sometimes be concealed or corrupted by those in charge of media and the news, should be of interest to science fiction/tech buffs), this series has so much to offer.

I didn't even mention Jeffrey Tambor (this cast is just flat loaded with talent) as Murray, in charge of the floor of the network (although he answers to Grossberg and eventually Cheviot) Edison works.

The pace of the first episode just freight-trains by; it was so much fun I lost track of time, a very good sign considering I couldn't remember much about Max Headroom: The Series since I haven't watched it since perhaps the late 80s. It is a shame the series lasted like 14 episodes; it seems like yet another show with lots of potential is snuffed out before given much of a chance to shine because those in charge are clueless of the audience that might be attracted to Max Headroom. A loss for us, too.

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