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August 31, 2015

'Max Headroom' Coming to DVD

by Mike Moody, posted Mar 1st 2010 3:02PM
max headroom dvdThe '80s resurgence continues with the pending DVD release of 'Max Headroom', one of the most ambitious and baffling sci-fi shows to ever hit the small screen.

Too young to remember Matt Frewer's babbling blonde digital hipster? Allow me to play professor: In the mid-'80s, Frewer (you know, that guy) played a strange, spastic (and sarcastic) computer-animated Coca Cola pitchman and music video host that lived inside of your TV. He frightened young children and hypnotized susceptible nerds into guzzling Coke by the gallon.

Perhaps as a meta-comment on his own existence, his creators produced an insane cyberpunk TV movie starring Max that satirized TV marketing, the media, politics, and everything else worth satirizing.

Cinemax turned the flick into a TV show that, if I remember correctly, played like a strange mash-up of 'Robocop', 'Blade Runner', and 'Entertainment Tonight' (the series aired later on ABC.) It was glorious, and way too complicated for me to grasp (I was only six years old at the time).

Thankfully Shout! Factory is packing both strange seasons on DVD. They haven't dropped a release date for the series yet, but the rumor is 'Max Headroom: The Complete Series' will hit stores in August. Expect a "wide range" of new bonus features produced by Warner Bros and Shout! Factory.

Hopefully the bonus content will include new shorts featuring Frewer as Max Headroom. Never seen the man in action? Here's a taste:

Shout! Factory and Warners are also bringing Norm MacDonald's sitcom 'The Norm Show' to DVD. Primetime network TV might not have been the ideal place for Norm to showcase his talent (I still think the guy deserves another shot at late night), but the show is worth a look for the cast alone (Laure Metcalf, Artie Lange, Faith Ford, Ian Gomez).

[via: TV Shows on DVD]

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The inaccuracies in your article have already been covered, so I won't go there.

I'll definitely be pre-ordering this as soon as it becomes available.

As far as extras, I'm hoping for at least the original British telefilm and the recent Channel 4 PSAs for digital rollover. Of course, I'll take whatever I can get.

March 03 2010 at 1:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am glad this show is finally coming out on DVD. Can't wait to see what the extras will be. Already put myself on the wait list on Amazon.

Great timing, my tapes are getting worn out!

March 02 2010 at 11:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Now if they would only bring Frewer's other memorable series, the late, great "Doctor, Doctor" to DVD . . . that would really get me excited. Still furious at CBS for canceling one of the funniest shows of all time.

March 02 2010 at 7:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to davpel's comment

I totally agree. I loved "Doctor, Doctor."

March 04 2010 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

All the corrections are accurate. Also, it wasn't just A cyberpunk series, it is, to this date, the only true cyberpunk series to air on television - which alone demands a little more respect than conflation with a lame short-run talk show based on the same character. It was also a remarkably prescient scifi show, and now that we're living, "twenty minutes into the future" it looks even more so. Replace the "tv networks" with a vision of a corporate controlled web and it plays uncomfortably true to life. One of the final episodes, with copyright stormtroopers breaking down doors of folks trying to use copied materials to teach poor children unable to pay the school content fees remains quite chilling - it also makes you wonder what took so long to release, when far lesser, shorter run shows have already been put out there.

Oh - and Amanda Pays was absolutely smoking

March 02 2010 at 6:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Clarification: There were several shows that starred Max. What you saw on Cinemax was a talk show that originated in England. Max (played by Frewer) was the host.

The BBC also did a TV movie with Max: Twenty Minutes Into the Future. This was the cyberpunk story you write about. This was also what the US pilot of the series was mostly based on. The series ran on ABC, and I loved every minute of it. :)

March 01 2010 at 7:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to CeeJ's comment
King Zilch

One further clarification: the original British movie was on Channel Four, not the BBC.

March 01 2010 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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