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Micro Men title card.
|Created by||Andrea Cornwell|
|Written by||Tony Saint|
|Directed by||Saul Metzstein|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Executive producer(s)||Elinor Day
|Running time||84 mins|
|Original channel||BBC Four|
|Original airing||8 October 2009|
Micro Men is a one-off BBC drama television show set in the late 1970s and the early-mid 1980s, about the rise of the British home computer market. It focuses on the rivalry between Sir Clive Sinclair (played by Alexander Armstrong), who developed the ZX Spectrum, and Chris Curry (played by Martin Freeman), the man behind the BBC Micro.
The drama is centered on two of the leading players and their respective companies in the home computer market of the late 1970s and early 80s focusing on the race to become the provider of a home computer for the BBC's programming for schools. Certain parts of the drama are based on historical fact whilst others are dramatization and a version of events at the time.
Production and release
The programme was created by independent production company Darlow Smithson and was written by Tony Saint, directed by Saul Metzstein and produced by Andrea Cornwell. It was produced as a BBC Drama, shot in the UK, with some scenes shot in and around the colleges of Cambridge on 15 July 2009. Computers were supplied by The Centre for Computing History in Haverhill. Other technical props, including the Sinclair C5, were also provided for the production.
It was first shown on the UK channel BBC Four on 8 October 2009.
The scene in which the BBC Micro prototype was developed under an extremely tight deadline was paid homage to by indie rock band the British IBM in the music video for their self-titled second single. The band's name was also taken from a line of dialog from Micro Men, after a pub brawl Curry says to Sinclair "We could have been the British IBM."
- Alexander Armstrong: Clive Sinclair
- Martin Freeman: Chris Curry
- Edward Baker-Duly: Hermann Hauser
- Sam Phillips: Steve Furber
- Stefan Butler: Roger Wilson
- Colin Carmichael: Jim Westwood
- Derek Riddell: Nigel Searle
- Rhona Croker: Valerie
- Jason Fitzpatrick: David Johnson-Davies
- Amy Beth Hayes: Cynthia
- Nicola Harrison: Ann Sinclair
- Peter Davison: Bank Manager
- Michael Keating: Holley
- Jon Glover: Radcliffe
- Theo Barklem-Biggs: Ralph
- Renny Krupinski: Foreman
- James Garnon: Journalist
- James Fleet: Kenneth Baker
- Rasmus Hardiker: Luke
- Alison Dowling: Shopper
- Perdita Avery: Susan
- Elizabeth Bower: Mindy
- Tim Downie: Tony Wood Rogers
- Mark Mansfield: Rick Dickinson
- Sophie Wilson (uncredited): Pub Landlady
- Louise Wilkinson (uncredited): Barbara
- Teeman, Tim (9 October 2009). "Last Night's TV". The Times (The Times). Retrieved 16 May 2011.
- Sam Wollaston. "Micro Men". The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- Arnott, Jack (8 October 2009). "Micro Men preview". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- Lyle, Peter (7 October 2009). "Micro Men: Sir Clive Sinclair and the heyday of British computing". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- "Museum-piece computers programmed into TV show". Haverhill Weekly News (Cambridge Newspapers). 7 October 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- "British Comedy Guide: Micro Men". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- "Sir Clive Vs The BBC". Edge. Future Publishing. 25 August 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- Williams, Chris (8 October 2009). "BBC4's Micro Men: an interview and review". Drobe. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- Micro Men at BBC Online
- Micro Men on the British Comedy Guide
- Micro Men at the Internet Movie Database
- The Guardian: Battle between ZX Spectrum and BBC Micro to be BBC4 comedy drama
- TechRadar article
- BitterWallet blog entry by Andy Dawson (09.10.2009, just a day after Micro Men was broadcast first)
- The Jitty: Interview with the British IBM