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Episode 1

The Max Headroom ShowMax Headroom introduces himself and states the purpose of his show, rails against corporate sponsorship and takes someone’s take-away Chinese food order before revealing that they’ve dialed the wrong number. Sting drops in to discuss his hatred of golf, shoe color, and his new solo album The Dream Of The Blue Turtles. When the subject of Sting’s politically-charged lyrics is brought up, Max wonders what happens when those lyrics are sung in countries that don’t speak the same language (such as, Max suggests, America). Max tries to steer the conversation back to golf and shoes; a spat over spats ensues.

The Max Headroom Showwritten by Paul Owen & David Hansen and Tim John
directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel

Cast: Matt Frewer (Max Headroom), Sting (himself)

Videos: “Zoolok” (Jean-Michel Jarre), “Destination Zululand” (King Kurt), “Visions Of China” (Japan), “Sensoria” (Cabaret Voltaire), “(If You Love Somebody) Set Them Free” (Sting)

Note: The lead singer of UK band King Kurt used the stage name of “Smeg“. The song “Kinky Boots” is bizarrely intercut with the shoe discussion, and was actually a 1964 single performed by – of all people – Honor Blackman and Patrick Macnee – as a tie-in to The Avengers (presumably because of Blackman’s jackbooted costumes on that series).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Episode 2

The Max Headroom ShowMax puts out an APB for a missing cowboy and bemoans the lack of truly useful inventions. After sharing a little information about how much the British government spends per week on missiles, Max contemplates how so many people are like windows (in other words, glazed-over and eventually getting smashed).

written by Paul Owen & David Hansen and Tim John
directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel

The Max Headroom ShowCast: Matt Frewer (Max Headroom)

Videos: “Cannonball” (Supertramp), “Love Loaded” *(Waysted), “Rats On A Budget” (Heat N Serve), “Ziggy Stardust” (Bauhaus), “Into The Fire” (Hit List), “King In A Catholic Style” (China Crisis), “Germans” (Udo Lindenberg)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Episode 3

The Max Headroom ShowMax starts warming up early for his next celebrity interview with two members of Duran Duran, though he seems more fixated on such topics as golf shoes and favorite major cities to ask them about Duran Duran (which is just as well, as they’re there to promote a side project called Arcadia instead). Max promises to share valuable tips on how to interview celebrities, shortly before his monitor is switched off by Simon Le Bon.

The Max Headroom Showwritten by Paul Owen & David Hansen and Tim John
directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel

Cast: Matt Frewer (Max Headroom), Simon Le Bon (himself), Nick Rhodes (himself)

Videos: “Steamhammer Sam” (Intaferon), “Heaven” (Bryan Adams), “Over The Sea” (Jesse Rae), “Goodbye Tonsils” (Severed Heads), “Election Day” (Arcadia), “Loving The Alien” (David Bowie)

Notes: Arcadia was a very short-lived side dish featuring three members of Duran Duran, collaborating during a lengthy break between album sessions and tours for their better-known project. It was at roughly the same time that the rest of Duran Duran, with a few other musicians, formed The Power Station. Both extracurricular projects disbanded in 1985 as Duran Duran reformed for another album.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Episode 4

The Max Headroom ShowMax contemplates the possibility that the good luck charms drivers hang from their rear view mirrors may end up distracting them (and making them less safe behind the wheel). After insulting moths everywhere and listening to the London talking clock, Max interrogates The Who’s Roger Daltrey about his budding acting career and his post-Who solo projects. And, of course, Max can’t resist bringing up the topic of golf.

The Max Headroom Showwritten by Paul Owen & David Hansen
directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel

Cast: Matt Frewer (Max Headroom), Roger Daltrey (himself)

Videos: “Love’s Great Adventure” (Ultravox), “Driving In My Car” (Madness), “Let Me Go” (Heaven 17), “Call Me” (Go West), “Jeans Not Happening” (Pale Fountains), “After The Fire” (Roger Daltrey), “Act Of War” (Elton John and Millie Jackson)

Note: Roger Daltrey’s name is misspelled “Daltry” during his interview. Despite the faint derision (and bad spelling) with which Max addresses Daltrey’s acting career, the Who vocalist would later find himself in demand for guest shots on such series as Highlander, Sliders and Witchblade.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Episode 5

The Max Headroom ShowMax’s golf fixation continues unabated, and he bemoans the fact that his producers can’t land him an interview with pro golfer Seve Ballesteros. After a brief, meandering meditation on the art of showing off machismo, Max continues obsessing over golf, even to the point of interrupting the videos, at least until he realizes that he doesn’t have legs.

written by Paul Owen & David Hansen
directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel The Max Headroom ShowJankel

Cast: Matt Frewer (Max Headroom)

Videos: “She Sells Sanctuary” (The Cult), “Shock The Monkey” (Peter Gabriel), “Coronation Street” (Izzy Royale), “Come Dancing” (The Kinks), “Love Is A Battlefield” (Pat Benatar), “Ich Will Dich Essen” (Ledernacken)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Episode 6

The Max Headroom ShowMax contemplates America’s insistence on naming a defense system after Star Wars, and questions whether or not Kramer vs. Kramer would’ve been more appropriate. Max then interviews Boy George about the upcoming Culture Club album, and is shocked when the singer claims to have better things to do with his balls than play golf. Max presents George with a gift, an demands in no uncertain terms that the singer should not thank him for it. In time-honored showbiz style, Max ends the season on a song.

The Max Headroom Showwritten by Paul Owen & David Hansen
directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel

Cast: Matt Frewer (Max Headroom), Boy George (himself)

Videos:Synchronicity II” (The Police), “Imagination” (Bellouis Some), “19” (Paul Hardcastle), “Agadoo” (Black Lace), “Victims” (Culture Club), “I’m The Urban Spaceman” (Bonzo Dog Doo Da Band)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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

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