c/o Network 23
"twenty minutes in the future"
Edison is an award-winning investigative
reporter for the futuristic Network 23 (Ident
No. 74928VDG6629). He is blond, blue-eyed,
single and completely devoted to his work.
When Edison began to investigate the strange
spontaneous combustion of TV viewers, his
assignment was quickly terminated.
Edison Carter and Theora
Apparently, 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 and avoiding a sponsor's ads.
Unbeknownst to the public, the Blipverts had one serious side
effect. It caused the bodies of inactive viewers
such as the pensioned, the sick and the
unemployed to "explode."
Caring more for the
money made from their Blipverts than the danger
it posed to their viewers, the president of
Network 23, Mr. Grosberg 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
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 the extended arm of a garage
exit ramp which rose from the floor.
unconscious body was held captive while the
amoral Mr. Grosberg decided what to do with him.
Bryce Lynch, Network 23's 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
"Ah, love...the walks over soft grass, the
smiles over candlelight, the fights over just
about everything else."
""Have you any idea how successful censorship is
on TV? Don't know the answer? Hmm. Successful.
"Of all the computers in all the systems in all
I had to walk into yours."
Max: What are you la-la-laughing about? Bryce
just tried to kiss me...kiss me!
Edison: Well, you are irresistible.
Max took his name from the last thing Edison
Carter saw while sailing through the air at the
site of the crash – the words "Max Headroom 2.3
m" (the clearance height on the black & yellow
striped parking lot barrier arm).
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, Carter overthrew the tyrannical
Now, a living part of Network 23 computer
system, Max Headroom, the blonde-haired,
blue-eyed cybernetic doppelganger of Edison
Carter, popped in and out of regularly scheduled
programs with such irreverent questions as "How
can you tell when our network president is
lying?...His lips move."
Meanwhile, armed with a shoulder-mounted
Mini-cam, Edison and Theora Jones continued to
expose corruption and crime (like citizens being
sold for parts to black-market "body banks").
Carter and Theora reported to Ben Cheviot, the
head of Channel 23 and Murray the news room
Helping Edison in his fight for justice were
Blank Reg and his partner Dominique, who ran
BigTime Television, an under-funded underground
TV channel that competed with more powerful and
well-funded Channel 23.
And, of course, the computer-generated
sputtering speech style of Max Headroom
continued to make unscheduled sarcastic remarks
about his human creators and their strange
consumer driven society where ratings were
everything and where TV screens were everywhere
and it was illegal to turn them off.
TRIVIA NOTE: 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 filmed series
of his speaking head wearing angular latex
makeup that were later translated into a
fast-paced, sputtering animated format. The
series was based on a British screenplay by
Carter / Max Headroom
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