Friday, January 9, 2009

Max Headroom -- Maximum Override

The title of this post makes reference to two icons of the 1980s, science fiction and horror: 1) Max Headroom being a classic 1980s character oft associated with cyberpunk culture and 2.) Maximum Override being a play on the title Maximum Overdrive - a movie by Stephen King and starring Emilio Estevez.

I am currently working on a novel involving hackers and hacker culture. As part of my research I came across the following videos concerning the aforementioned Max Headroom. Even though I was somewhat of a fan of Max Headroom (even as a child I found the TV series and movie had poor production values... I thought the Coca-Cola commercials were far superior in quality and overall execution of the character) I must admit I had never heard of this incident until conducting said research.

From Wiki:

On 22 November 1987, two Chicago television stations had their broadcast signals hijacked by an unknown person wearing a Max Headroom mask. The first attack took place for 25 seconds during the sportscast on the 9 O'Clock news on WGN-TV Channel 9 and two hours later around 11 o'clock on PBS affiliate WTTW-TV Channel 11 for about 90 seconds during a broadcast of the science fiction series Doctor Who episode Horror of Fang Rock. The second disruption also included the masked Max Headroom getting smacked on his buttocks by a fly swatter.

Here is video footage of the actual intrusion followed by a short documentary on the subject.


No comments: