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Max Headroom: The Complete Series (1987)

Matt Frewer , Amanda Pays  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Matt Frewer, Amanda Pays, Chris Young, Jeffrey Tambor, Lee Wilkof
  • Format: Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: August 10, 2010
  • Run Time: 660 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JNU5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,624 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Max Headroom: The Complete Series" on IMDb

Special Features

Live On Network 23: The Story Of Max Headroom – The creative team shares their stories

Looking Back At The Future: An intimate roundtable discussion with members of the cast

The Big-Time Blanks: Morgan Sheppard and Concetta Tomei reflect on Max Headroom

The Science Behind The Fiction – George Stone reveals the role of technology in the creation of Max Headroom

And More!


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Max Headroom is the stuff that cult followings are made of. Max, indelible '80s icon, began his stuttering, glitchy computer-generated existence as the host of a British music video showcase. He went on to shill for New Coke, and then got his own fleshed-out back-story in a British TV movie. Credit ABC for taking the bold leap to give Max his own prime-time series in 1987. "What kind of show is this anyway?" Max asks early on. What, indeed? It's Blade Runner meets Network, a bleak comedy and cyber satire that, even decades later, one can't watch without marveling how something so off-center ever get on the air. Max Headroom's pop culture cachet (featured on the cover of Newsweek, parodied in the comic strip Doonesbury) did not translate into ratings. The show was cancelled after 14 episodes (an unaired episode is included in this set). Decades later, society has caught up to the show that was ahead of its time. The series is set "20 minutes into the future" in a dystopian landscape where instead of a chicken in every pot there is a TV in every homeless tent. Evil and corrupt television executives, in consort with advertising agencies, will literally kill for ratings. In the pilot episode, intrepid investigative reporter Edison Carter (Matt Frewer) discovers his own network is behind blipverts, a potentially lethal brand of advertising that compresses a 30-second commercial into three seconds, causing more-vulnerable viewers to explode. Carter survives an attempt on his life by network goons, but not before Bryce (Chris Young), the network's resident boy genius, downloads Carter's memory into a computer to see what he knows of the scheme. A star is born: Max Headroom (Frewer again), who escapes into the system and pops up at will onscreen to offer wisecracks ("You know how you can tell our network president is lying? His lips move.") and Mork-like societal observations. In one episode, he confuses Missile Mike, a gun-toting character in an ultra-violent children's show, for an actual rampaging killer. "Who introduced [kids] to this?" Max asks. Meanwhile, Carter, with invaluable assistance from his newsroom controller Theora (Amanda Pays reprising her role from the British movie) and incorruptible producer (Jeffrey Tambor), uncovers venal conspiracies such as an attempt to legalize a vicious sport that exploits children so it can be broadcast. It's frightening at times how prescient this show was. This set's bonus features are exhaustive but are missing some key Max-abilia. The British pilot that started it all is absent, as is Frewer from a cast reunion. But talking heads segments with the show's creators, writers, and designers offer a thorough, inside retrospective look at the series. Welcome back, Max. Boy, do we need you now. --Donald Liebenson

Product Description

Television networks battle one another in an unrelenting ratings war. Whoever controls the airwaves controls the dystopic world in which they broadcast. So when Network 23s star reporter, Edison Carter, uncovers a deadly secret that could shake up the dominion the station has over its viewers, the only option is to eliminate Carter before he can make his story public. After his “accident,” his mind is uploaded to create the world’s first self-aware, computer-generated TV host: Max Headroom! But will Max bow to his creators? Or will he be the key to his human alter ago bringing down a network superpower?
Able to boast his own international talk show, music videos, countless endorsements and merchandising, the puckish Max Headroom became more than just a character on television. He was a decade-defining icon, never better represented than in this sardonically witty, adventurous look at society and the place of media within it. Now all 14 uncut episodes — starring Matt Frewer (Watchmen), Amanda Pays (The Flash), Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development) and Morgan Sheppard (Star Trek) — are finally available together in one long-awaited DVD collection!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
160 of 169 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a REVIEW from an OWNER of the set! August 5, 2010
They had this at my local DVD Planet a week early so I picked it up.... I enjoyed this show on its first run, and I do like science fiction. To answer many of the speculations...it doesn't look that great. Most shows in the 70s were shot on FILM but alas the 80's brought on the video age and these shows that were shot that way suffer greatly when they come out on DVD...which seems to accentuate their soft, poor color saturation and poor contrast...which make most of them barely watchable for me. I had just watched an episode of Mannix (from the late 60's) on DVD before sticking the Max DVD in and it was like night and day..sadly.

Many have asked if "20 minutes into the future" is included...it is NOT.
the 5th DVD is a bonus disc which contains..
1) an hour making of ....featuring the behind the scenes/camera/creative folks
2) Looking back at the Future...a 35 minute "round table"discussion with a some of the cast members , Tambor, Pays,Tomei, and Chris Young...(NO Frewer)
3)The big Time Blanks...Tomei and Morgan Sheppard chatting for 12minutes
4)the science behind the fiction...one of the creators discussing the science of the show 12 minutes
5)The writers remember....11 minute interview with a couple of the writers
6)Brian Frankish discusses "producing" the show...8 minutes

I usually enjoy watching the behind the scenes on most DVD sets....these were pretty tedious and seemed inflated....of course they could not resist playing with graphics , sound and textures to try and make them appear videoish from the old 34......
but I can't imagine watching any of these features...ever again.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Max Headroom & The Matrix July 20, 2006
My wife Kathleen & I just watched the Video Tape version for the 1st time in maybe 10-15 years, and we were really surprised at how well it holds up; really much better than I remembered, and I thought it was pretty fantastic back then. I had watched it perhaps half a dozen times in the 1980's.

The other remarkable thing is - there is so much from The Matrix that was 'borrowed' from this production - a controller surrounded by CRT's in communication with and directing the actions of Edison Carter, telling him when to pass through corridors, monitoring the bad guys (agents) - even fighting someone else for control of the "system". And then an actual 'Matrix' with Bryce's code figures in the story (only called 'The Matrix' by Max during the promo contest announcement at the end of the video.) The world outside Network 23 looks so much like the 'true world' Morpheus shows Neo - it is all here.

But Max holds up just fine on his own. Max has Blank Regg, and Edison has Theora. They do not make them like this anymore.
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98 of 118 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of Its Time April 10, 2005
"Max Headroom" was originally a character used by Channel 4 in Britain, in 1984. Matt Frewer portayed Headroom, as he did in the ABC television programme in America.

Predicting a 500-channel smorgasboard of channels, reality television and webcams, MH was clearly ahead of its time. Let's hope we get a DVD soon, complete with clips from the original broadcasts, and even the entire made-for-tv movie by Channel 4.

Incidentally, going by Steve Roberts's novelisation, MH takes place in the year 2004.
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86 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Word to Our Sponsors.... May 20, 2006
...and I don't mean Amazon! This is for you, TV Powers-That-Be.

When Max Headroom came out we watched it devotedly, because we knew good and well that you'd get rid of it as soon as you figured out which switches to throw.

Here it is over 20 years later, and you still haven't figured out that there is MONEY TO BE MADE off this thorn that is still in your sides. People want to buy this show. They WILL buy this show. You can have a tidy little income coming in continuously off it, and you can laugh yourselves sick because when it comes in, most of us will be watching it on--you guessed it--television.

So load it up with commercials (not Blipverts, please!) or do whatever else you have to do, and get it on the market. We're w-w-w-w-w-aiting!
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72 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique January 21, 2007
Given some of the stuff that's made it onto DVD, I'm amazed that we've yet to see "Max Headroom" appear. Heck, the original UK TV movie must be approaching the age where the rights revert to creators - in the UK at least, they didn't sell their soul to Coke. What I'd like to see most (and what I think is most likely to make an appearance first, probably as a PAL DVD) is the original UK TV movie. It's basically the same plot as the US pilot but doesn't pull its punches quite as much, Bryce gets his just desserts, and it's generally got a grittier, darker feel. Oh, and it also benefits from an excellent soundtrack by Midge Ure and Chris Crosss of Ultravox, which I wouldn't be surprised to see as an audio-only release of this appear before any DVD, since I'd be pretty sure that the rights belong to Ure/Cross again by now. The fact that Rocky Morton and Annebel Jankel were behind this one contributes at lot - and explains why Max turned up later on an Art of Noise video.

Me, I'd be happy with just the original UK movie and the soundtrack, but it'd be interesting to see the US series released on DVD - most were aired in the UK much later and while there's a large cast overlap, they just weren't the same.

The third thing that'd complete the set is, alas, unlikely ever to see DVD. That's Max's UK TV series, also aired on Channel 4, which was shown in the UK before the US series and after the original movie. It didn't run for very long, and was only 30 minutes or so, run at something like 11pm on Channel 4, which pretty much doomed it to falure, but it was an interesting mix of "Interviews" (i.e.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Max Lives!!
It's funny how a series produced over 20 years ago painted a picture of the direction in which our world is moving today!
Published 1 day ago by Thomas Ryan
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best duplication
I suspect this version was made with damaged master tapes resulting in small gaps in the playback.
Overall the series is as much fun as the first time viewed.
Published 20 days ago by Melissa R.
5.0 out of 5 stars I always loved this show...
...seems quite fitting for today even to become a BLANK with all the credit fraud. I love Blank Reg's rogue radio bus. WIsh I had one. Read more
Published 22 days ago by MrWizard
5.0 out of 5 stars stupendous!!!!
absolutely fantastic!!-- i have been looking for ions for "maxheadroom" compilations-and to think this "guy" is the ultimate anti-establishment dude-who has shaken... Read more
Published 1 month ago by michael richmond
5.0 out of 5 stars found it at last!
At last the series is available! Max Headroom is a cult classic. I saw a few episodes on TV and considered it way ahead of it's time. Read more
Published 3 months ago by TheMatrix
4.0 out of 5 stars Why 4 stars?
Because they took so long to release it. When it comes to dark comedic prophecies, this Cyber-Punk styled show is still respectable in it's attempt to warn us about where modern... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tim Haugen
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic old geek show.
This is one tv show that I would love to see a remake of. I consider it to be one of the all time classics of the genre too.
Published 4 months ago by Jonathan Nichols
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this series
Max Headroom was so ahead of the times. Everything we thought was so funny and futuristic has literally come true from everyone being "plugged into something" all day (the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by A. Patterson
5.0 out of 5 stars good set
always wanted max headroom in a DVD format rather than a VHS format and now I have it! Would do business again.
Published 5 months ago by Susan C. Fortenberry
5.0 out of 5 stars blank Reg
body part chop shops, pink buses, blip verts, blanks, a babe, and a company with a great future behind it. how could you not like that? how far ahead of its time was this? Read more
Published 5 months ago by dave hulla
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Topic From this Discussion
NOT the TV show...
Even though a tease this is about the TV series because in the plot summary it mentions 14 episodes and the actor list lists Jeffrey Tambor as Edison's boss and the year made 1987.

The British movie is also listed on Amazon as:

Max Headroom: Original Story by Matt Frewer (VHS Tape - 1986)
Apr 3, 2007 by Sam |  See all 4 posts
Will the 2010 release include the original UK version?
Bump... I'm curious about this too.
Jul 2, 2010 by Matthew Farrell |  See all 3 posts
Where's my lenticular cover!?! Be the first to reply
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