Now in news I didn’t expect to see today, it looks like a Max Headroom TV reboot is in the works for AMC. And, as if that wasn’t good enough news, Matt Frewer is set to reprise his role as the iconic AI personality. Marvel writer Christopher Cantwell is attached to write the series as well as act as its showrunner and the series is going to be produced by SpectreVision and All3Media. SpectreVision is the company founded by Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah. And indeed Wood and Noah are both going to be executive producers on this series along with Cantwell, Frewer, and Lisa Whalen.
For those unaware, Max Headroom was a character that was created to be the host and veejay of a music video TV show called The Max Headroom Show for UK’s Channel 4 back in 1985. A TV movie called Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into the Future was created and released that same year to essentially provide a fictitious back story for the character. The film also aired on Channel 4 in the UK but was later adapted into a TV drama series, simply called Max Headroom. The series ran for two seasons on American network ABC from 1987 to 1988. Frewer played the character in all three of these incarnations.
The character went on to become a ubiquitous personality on TV both in America and the UK as he was used in advertising and other TV presentations throughout the later half of the 80s before fading quickly into obscurity.
The dramatic show is often considered the first cyberpunk TV series, featuring many of the tropes of the genre. The Max Headroom character himself an AI amalgamation of human main character Edison Carter (also played by Frewer). It takes place in a dystopian future in which TV networks are all powerful corporate entities and essentially rule the world.
AMC is no doubt banking on the wave of 80s nostalgia that has gripped the world over the last few years. But I’m ok with that. I have a strong affection for the original Max Headroom series. It, along with Blade Runner, was one of my first introductions to the genre as a young child. So yes, I’ll definitely take a modern reboot of this great show, even if AMC is simply trying to cash in. They at least got all the right talent involved to make it good.
I re-watched the show recently and found that it holds up really well. It’s still a lot of fun and its biting, sarcastic commentary on corporate greed and social corruption are as relevant now as it has ever been, possibly more so. Definitely more so. If you replace the TV network oligarchs with Google, Amazon, and Facebook you basically have commentary on today’s big tech and their sometimes detrimental presence in our lives.
No time frame for release has yet been provided but we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this and will report back once we know when this is going to happen.