Max Headroom TV Series (1987)

One of the oddest pop culture favourites of the eighties has to have been Max Headroom. Played by Matt Frewer, Max Headroom was supposed to be a computer generated, wisecracking being of pure television. In reality, it was Frewer in a mask, show against a crazy background that made him look computer animated – at least by eighties standards. The character made his debut in a British short film called Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future. It was a huge hit in Britain (spawning the careers of the directors who made the Super Mario Bros movie), and Max became an unlikely star, with him hosting music video countdown shows and chat programs in the UK.

Eventually, the idea was hatched to spin Max off into a legit, live action TV show. The short film was essentially remade for American TV, with Matt Frewer and co-star Amanda Pays recreating their roles. The result show was a big enough hit to get a second season, but it was cancelled due to heavy competition for hit shows such as Miami Vice. Yet, the show remains a cult classic, and indeed, it’s a really smart program for its era. Join us on this episode of Gone But Not Forgotten as we examine this cult hit.

This episode is written by Jessica Dwyer, narrated by Travis Hopson, and edited by Michael Robenault. David Arroyo is the producer. Watch previous episodes below and let us know in the comments if you remember Max Headroom!

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