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Home > Sci-Fi > Max Headroom M-m-mondays #8: Deities

Max Headroom M-m-mondays #8: Deities

October 25th, 2010

Continuing my weekly look back at 1987’s Max Headroom series.


Written by Michael Cassutt

“Let’s leave religion to the televangelists. After all, they’re the professionals.” ¬†–Cheviot

The Story: Vu-Age is a tele-church that solicits donations based upon empty promises of resurrection via a combination of brain scans and cloning. Normally, this sort of expos√© would be right up Edison’s alley, but he seems reticent about pursuing the story.

Max reveals that the charismatic leader of Vu-Age is a woman with whom Edison had a lengthy relationship during college. Torn by his lingering feelings for Vanna Smith, Carter shares with her a copy of his report prior to broadcast.

Aided by Network 23 board member Ashwell–revealed to be a Vu-Age member–the church retaliates by kidnapping Max Headroom. If Edison doesn’t agree to spike the story, they say that they will completely erase the computer personality!

Behind the Screens: Vu-Age is said to be one of the leading tele-churches. In terms of airtime and advertising rates, it’s pulled ahead of Islam, Judaism, IBM and Scientology. Only Catholicism and the 700 Club are bigger. (Hinduism, it seems, has fallen off in popularity 20 minutes into the future.)

As the script itself points out, Max Headroom’s existence demonstrates that the brain scan technology necessary to recreate someone after death already exists. However, Bryce argues that it takes the vast computer resources of Network 23 to maintain just one personality. All Vu-Age can manage is some very low-resolution video with a few pre-programmed responses. (Tellingly, the one deceased church member we “meet” can only repeat “Yes. It’s wonderful, isn’t it?”)

Edison gets himself a little something something with Vanna, another clear breach of journalistic ethics. It’s the first–but not the last–time that one of the cast enjoys some between-the-sheets action.

The Ratings Report:

Theora’s Level of Concern

How Minutes Into the Future Is This Now?

Highly profitable television churches aren’t anything new. What we haven’t had, to my knowledge, is one which offers clone-based resurrection.

Aside from that, there isn’t anything here that seems more than

= 8 Minutes Into the Future

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