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Micro Men (2009)

In 1979 Clive Sinclair, British inventor of the pocket calculator, frustrated by the lack of home investment in his project,the electric car, also opposes former assistant Chris Curry's ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Hermann Hauser
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Steve Furber
Stefan Butler ...
Roger Wilson
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Jim Westwood
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Nigel Searle
Rhona Croker ...
Valerie
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Cynthia
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Ann Sinclair
Anthony Smee ...
Norman Hewett
Michael Keating ...
Derek Holley
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Bank Manager
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John Radcliffe
Theo Barklem-Biggs ...
Sinclair Journalist
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Storyline

In 1979 Clive Sinclair, British inventor of the pocket calculator, frustrated by the lack of home investment in his project,the electric car, also opposes former assistant Chris Curry's belief that he can successfully market a micro-chip for a home computer. A parting of the ways sees Curry, in partnership with the Austrian Hermann Hauser and using whizz kid Cambridge students, set up his own, rival firm to Sinclair Radionics, Acorn. Acorn beat Sinclair to a lucrative contract supplying the BBC with machines for a computer series. From here on it is a battle for supremacy to gain the upper hand in the domestic market. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Biography | Drama

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8 October 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Syntax Era  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2015 Sir Clive Sinclair has re-launched a modernized version of the ZX Spectrum called the Sinclair Spectrum Vega. The computer has fewer buttons than the original, but will run thousands of retro games. See more »

Goofs

After receiving the news in 1981 that Newbury had pulled out of the tender to build the BBC Micro, Chris Curry heads to the BBC in London and is seen making the journey in a Ford Fiesta XR2. The registration number of the car is A638MMJ which means the car was not registered until 1983 or 1984. See more »

Quotes

Clive Sinclair: Games! Games! Everywhere I go, games! This is what my lifetime of achievement has been reduced to! Clive Sinclair, the man who brought you Jet Set fucking Willy! Apparently there's even a game now about me trying to get a knighthood, for Christ's sake!
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Connections

Features Newsround (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The rise and fall of the UK computer business
8 October 2009 | by See all my reviews

Just saw this on BBC4. A very interesting take on how close the UK came to dominating the world computer development and manufacturing industry in the early 80s, only for it to all fall apart just 5 years later.

Despite some garish and unconvincing make-up, Armstrong shows he can do serious drama in his portrayal of Sir Clive Sinclair, the man who brought affordable computing to the masses. Martin Freeman is good (as always) as the confidante in Sinclair's company who, unable to understand Sinclairs bloody mindedness over what to concentrate their efforts on, leaves and sets up arch rival 'Acorn Computers' with an Austrian business partner.

The production team have done a solid job in displaying the drabness of the era. The mix of archive TV footage of the time inter-cut with this filmed TV drama works quite well. The background story of how the UK became a world leader in the home PC market, and then blew it, is a fascinating tale for anyone interested in recent history. At one point Freemans character turns to Sinclair and says 'We could have been the British IBM but you wouldn't listen to me' is very apt. Sinclairs obsession with the notorious C5 is also addressed. It does make you wonder what would have happened had there been more cohesion in the industry at the time rather than the arrogant self interest of the industry that resulted in the UK losing such a massive foothold.

A thought provoking drama that has just enough momentum to keep itself interesting despite some flaws.


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