Max Headroom: The Complete Series
DVD | Box Set
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
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!
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
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
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I bought this the other week and it arrived really quickly. I have watched the first 4 episodes, and WOW - it's STILL entertaining! I was afraid that it would seem really cheesy after all this time (and it is, a little) but it still holds up REALLY well! The show is just as entertaining and fun as ever! That pilot episode is awesome - it's easy to see why they chose to make this show based on that pilot.
The DVD set is great - I have yet to view the extras, but the quality of the show is fine - just pretend you're watching it back on that old console set your parents used to own, and you'll be fine! Love the show - love the DVD set. Get it!
My only complaints are that it hasn't been released on Blu-ray or Prime yet and there weren't more extras related to non-show Max Headroom media (Coke commercials, highlights from the Cinemax talk show, etc...)
The show was made 10 to 15 years before "The Matrix"; the similarities are interesting. Max is kinda like to The Matrix what Brave new World is to 1984. Soft vs. hard control, but it's still control.
The odd thing about this series is just how close it seems to be when you look at the subcontext of what's going on in the shows. People generally aren't living life as much as they're watching it on tv --and being amused by the antics of Max when he decides to break in. Where the show says "20 minutes into the future" it really could say "This afternoon, today."
That being said, I still am enjoying watching this show from front to back. I would also like to see this updated and remade today--just to see how it could be pulled off. Sure couldn't be worse than 'reality' tv..