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Computer-Generated Beings

Computer-generated being - Max HeadroomMax Headroom - Max Headroom - Computer generated alter-ego of award winning investigative reporter Edison Carter (Matt Frewer) who worked for the futuristic TV Network 23 on the journalism adventure MAX HEADROOM/ABC/1987.

When Edison Carter (Ident No. 74928VDG6629) began to investigate the mysterious detonation of TV viewers, his assignment was quickly terminated. It seemed the executives at his network had devised a commercial called a "Blipvert," (a thirty second commercial compressed into three seconds) designed to keep people from switching channels while viewing.

Unfortunately, the Blipvert had one serious side effect. It caused the bodies of inactive viewers such as the pensioned, the sick and the unemployed to explode.

But, caring more for the money made from their Blipverts than the danger it posed to their viewers, the president of Network 23, Mr. Grosberg (Charles Rocket) decided to keep them on the air, even if it meant silencing their star reporter, Edison Carter, who had penetrated the research and development laboratory on the Network's 13th Floor and learned the secrets of Blipverts.

Escaping the security guards sent after him, Edison hopped aboard a motorcycle and sped through the subterranean parking lot only to be abruptly stopped by a garage exit ramp which rose from the floor.

Edison's unconscious body was held captive while the amoral Mr. Grosberg decided what to do with him. Bryce Lynch (Chris Young), their 16-year-old computer genius and inventor of Blipverts suggested that they read his mind to find out just how much Edison Carter knew about Blipverts. As Lynch explained:

"I can do a memory dump of his synaptic circuits. The brain is only a binary computer, a series of on/off switches, that's the basis of my computer generated people program. I can record Edison Carter's memory into the computer and then regenerate him on screen. Then we can ask his computer regenerated figure what he knows, before he wakes up."

The result was a computer generated head (the computer could only hold enough memory buffer for the upper half coordinates of his body), that began to take on a life of its own, learning from minute to minute, thus becoming Max Headroom, the first ever computer generated person.

Max took his name because the last thing Edison Carter saw while sailing through the air at the site of the crash were the words "Max Headroom 2.3 m" (the clearance height written on the parking lot barrier arm).

When Max Headroom overheard that Mr. Grosberg was going to erase a part of his memory (the incriminating Blipvert part) he escaped into the network's electronics system. Edison Carter's body was found (still alive) at a local body bank and revived. With the help of Max Headroom and Edison's beautiful control room assistant, Theora Jones (Amanda Pays), Carter overthrew the tyrannical Mr. Grosberg.

Now, a living part of Network 23 computer system, Max Headroom, the blonde haired, blue eyed computer image of Edison Carter, popped in and out of regularly scheduled programs with such provocative questions as "How can you tell when our network president is lying? "...His lips move."

The Max Headroom computer character was created by English whiz, producer Peter Wagg. Max Headroom originally appeared in 1985 as a video promotional figure for an English record company. He later crossed the ocean to America to conduct Rock music interviews on the CINEMAX cable channel, and later became commercial spokes-head for a series of highly successful Coca-Cola TV spots.

Actor Matt Frewer actually was the star behind the series. His computer likeness was nothing more than a series of filmed versions of his speaking head translated into a fast-paced, agitated animated format. The series was based on a British screenplay by Steve Roberts. See also - "Automan" and "Edison Carter"
 


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