Episode 7

The Max Headroom ShowMax suddenly has an audience, and begins to interact with them, expounding on the joys of life in Italy and the nature of stardom, and interviewing Michael Caine. When Max tries to steer the discussion toward golf, Caine admits that his golf handicap is that he can’t actually play golf. The esteemed actor is, however, able to explain the origins of a certain rude gesture.

written by Paul Owen & David Hansen
with additional material by Steve Roberts, Jim Pullin and Matt Frewer
directed by David G. Hillier
music by Matt Forrest and Art Of Noise

The Max Headroom ShowCast: Matt Frewer (Max Headroom), Michael Caine (himself), Paul Shearer (Ridley)

Videos: “World Domination” (Belle Stars), “Hot Girls” (Cherry Bomz), “And She Was” (Talking Heads)

Notes: The first Max Headroom Show in over a year, the second series’ opener shows drastic changes, from the live studio audience to Max’s garish new outfit to a major shift in the emphasis of the show. Originally conceived to be a character VJ seen only between music videos (the function he served for the first series), Max was now the center of the show and the music videos had very much taken a back seat, requiring the number of writers on the show to nearly triple (and to include Matt Frewer) to generate new material. Among the writers was Steve Roberts, who, with Frewer and producer Peter Wagg, was one of the very few personnel to participate in all of the major Max Headroom projects in the ’80s (the original TV movie, the Max Headroom Show and the American Max Headroom series).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Episode 8

The Max Headroom ShowMax gets the end of the show out of the way first before bestowing a generous, if somewhat mismatched, dinner upon a member of his audience. He then admires the animal kingdom’s ability to go about its business without human justifications for behavior, and then proceeds to compare playing music videos to an addiction. Max celebrates all things French – including, but not limited to, odors – before interviewing Vidal Sassoon. Max melts down when he discovers that the world-famous stylist would rather discuss dying (hair) than the game of golf.

written by Paul Owen & David Hansen
with additional material by Matt Frewer
directed by David G. Hillier
music by Matt Forrest and Art Of Noise

The Max Headroom ShowCast: Matt Frewer (Max Headroom), Vidal Sassoon (himself)

Videos: “I Spy” (The Untouchables), “Headbutts” (John Otway & Willy Barrett), “Swords of 1000 Men” (Tenpole Tudor), “Shimmy & Shake” (Ledernacken)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Episode 9

The Max Headroom ShowMax speculates about the titles of chart-topping hits in Apartheid-controlled South Africa (hint: with the exception of “Ivory & Ivory”, every title hints at police brutality) before interviewing actor Oliver Green, discussing the censorship of films briefly. Max’s audience completely and utterly fails to win a chance to fly to Las Vegas to see the Boomtown Rats in concert, so they’re left to enjoy Max singing a duet with himself.

written by Paul Owen & David Hansen
with additional material by Jim Pullin, James Hendrie and Matt Frewer
directed by David G. Hillier
music by Matt Forrest and Art Of Noise

The Max Headroom ShowCast: Matt Frewer (Max Headroom), Vidal Sassoon (himself)

Videos: “Away” (Bolshoi), “Square Dance Rap” (Sir Mix-A-Lot), “Runaway” (Luis Cardinas)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Max Headroom’s Giant Christmas Turkey

Max Headroom's Giant Christmas TurkeyMax dreams of hosting his own opulent Christmas special, complete with a Dickensian carriage ride with his face on a TV in the middle, and then awakens so he can host a far more traditional studio-bound Christmas special. Dave Edmunds and Bob Geldof drop by to visit, and Max comments on how amazing it is that none of the “snow” blowing in from “outside” is melting. Max and Bob improvise a short ditty called “Merry Christmas, Santa Claus (You’re A Lovely Guy).” Max meditates on the nature of Christmas and is then joined by Robin Williams to discuss the holiday’s commercial potential. Tina Turner bursts into the studio to bring Max a new set of golf clubs. Max then sings a full version of the song he and Geldof came up with, reminding viewers to contemplate the sacrifices of Santa Claus, who apparently receives no Christmas gifts himself.

The Max Headroom Showscript & songs by David Hansen & Paul Owen
with additional material by Matt Frewer
directed by David G. Hillier
music not credited

Cast: Matt Frewer (Max Headroom), Dave Edmunds (himself), Bob Geldof (himself), Tina Turner (herself), Robin Williams (himself), The Southwark Cathedral Choir (themselves)

Videos: “Run Run Rudolph” (Dave Edmunds)

Notes: The second season of The Max Talking Headroom Show – as it was originally called in the UK – aired first on the American The Max Headroom Showpay cable channel Cinemax, with a delayed broadcast several months later on Channel 4 in the UK (which had the effect of making the second season seem more dated than New Coke); it also had the effect of placing this special between the first and second seasons for the British viewing audience. In America, this was – barring any advertisements for the aforementioned failed soft drink – the last Max Headroom project to appear prior to the American-made series on ABC. The song “Merry Christmas Santa Claus (You’re A Lovely Guy)” was actually released as a single, but Max failed to join the hit list of perennial Christmas classics.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Episode 10

The Max Headroom ShowMax goes insane briefly, ranting about stagehands who sit idle while he rakes in millions, before waxing poetic about America, wondering if cowpokes poke cows, and lamenting that “the Indians have never been forgiven for getting there first.” Max then gives British mime artist Les Bubb his first TV exposure. Tracey Ullman visits Max, who proceeds to ask her questions in a Cockney accent, including the rumor that she’s developing a show for American TV. And finally, Max wants somebody to stop that.

written by Paul Owen & David Hansen
with additional material by Jim Pullin, Bob Sinfield and Matt Frewer
directed by David G. Hillier
music by Matt Forrest and Art Of Noise

The Max Headroom ShowCast: Matt Frewer (Max Headroom), Tracey Ullman (herself), Les Bubb (himself)

Videos: “Panic” (The Smiths), “Breakaway” (Tracey Ullman), “Sledgehammer” (Peter Gabriel)

Notes: Tracey Ullman did indeed go on to create her own series on the new Fox network in the States; it was one of the fourth network’s first original series.

LogBook entry by Earl Green