The Max Headroom Show
|The Max Headroom Show|
|Created by||George Stone
|Directed by||Rocky Morton
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||3|
|No. of episodes||29 + 1 Special|
|Running time||30 minutes (including commercials)|
|Production company(s)||Chrysalis Visual Programming|
|Original channel||Channel 4|
|Original release||6 April 1985– 10 March 1987|
The Max Headroom Show started life in the UK in 1985. It was made by Carlton TV and shown on Channel 4 with an initial series of 13 shows. It featured actor Matt Frewer playing the role as computer-generated talk-show host Max Headroom. It returned in 1986 for a second series of 6 episodes plus a Christmas Special. The final series aired in 1987.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||6 April 1985||29 June 1985|
|2||6||13 November 1985 (US)
15 July 1986 (UK)
|18 December 1985 (US)
19 August 1986 (UK)
|3||10||1 August 1986 (US)
6 January 1987 (UK)
|5 December 1986 (US)
10 March 1987 (UK)
The first series was Max playing music videos, often in multiple parts as he interrupted them. Each programme would include hits from the early eighties alongside new releases. The show aired at 6pm every Saturday evening, giving peak time exposure to many artists that were unknown in the UK at the time. These included the bands Makromad, Ledernacken and musician Udo Lindenberg, from Germany, and the Australian band, Severed Heads.
The second series contained clips and music videos from the first series with some additional material. Max often had a guest in a lounge bar setting, with him on a TV on the bar. The interviews were brief and always managed to get onto the subject of Max's obsession with golf. This series was first screened in the US on Cinemax during November and December 1985, where each episode was preceded by Max's intro: "He's the toast of the town (lightly buttered). He's the non-fattening sugar substitute in your tea. He's a bon vivant, a gaucho amigo, a goomba, a mensch, and the fifth musketeer. He's the apple of your eye and aren't you glad he's here. Direct from a wax and shine at the car-wash around the corner, it's the man of the hour, or for at least a good thirty minutes, Max Headroom." This intro was omitted from the UK version.
The third series was a bigger show and had a studio audience which Max would interact with, especially for his regular quiz. In most cases the winner never got their prize, or the quiz never happened, sometimes because he ran out of time after explaining the rules which were different each week. Most weeks there was a performance art type act in the studio. There was a guest each week too - sometimes in the studio, sometimes via another TV. Max would often sing comedic songs of his own in a crooner style. This series premiered in the US between August and December 1986 on Cinemax.
Between the second and third series, an hour-long special, entitled Max Headroom's Giant Christmas Turkey aired on Channel 4 at 10pm on Boxing Day 1986. This programme had already premiered in the US on 18 December 1986, under the title The Max Headroom Christmas Special and was repeated several times over the holiday period on Cinemax. In the UK, the show was repeated by Channel 4 on Christmas Eve 1988.
Following on from the success of ABC's Max Headroom (TV series), another series of Max's talk show was recorded, this time in New York. The six-part series aired every two weeks on Cinemax between July 1987 and October 1987, coinciding with the second season of the sci-fi show. So as not to confuse viewers it was called The Original Max Talking Headroom Show. It was not broadcast in the UK.