Episode CMX.0.1: The Extended Origin Telefilm

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When the origin telefilm was shown on the US Cinemax channel, it was extended by almost a half hour of additional videos and a few extended scenes.

This page is an appendix to the main telefilm page and lists only the changes between the two versions.

The extended version was apparently created and edited to run as four weekly episodes on Cinemax, running in parallel with the later episodes of the UK-import Max Talking Headroom Show. There may or may not be any "official" full length edit of this version, and fan-made single edits in circulation may have variations. Whoever made the extended version had access to original footage shot for the first version, as several scenes not in the original appear in this version.


This version of the telefilm was apparently assembled for Max's debut on the US cable channel Cinemax. It comprises the original telefilm with almost 25 minutes of added Max riffs, video introductions and videos - all purportedly coming from his appearance on Big Time Television, but actually clipped from the UK talk & music show that followed the UK telefilm.

In most places, the new material is inserted in place of or along with the shorter Max repartee of the original. Instead of a short exchange with the Network 23 board in which he accuses them of ex-ex-executing audiences, for example, there is a much longer presentation of Max riffing, and a video, before Grossman explodes in fury.

There are numerous small cuts from the original film, mostly of Max riffing (which is replaced in most instances by other Max riffs and/or the inserted videos). There are also two interesting additions. First is the "Cinemax Presents" credit that leads off the film, ahead of the Matt Frewer and Nickolas Grace credits.

The second addition is a 16-second clip that goes between Cheviot telling Grossman that he would do something about blipverts, and the scene of Carter and Theora reassembling Carter's camera. While the intimacy of the latter scene implies that the two shared something more than a towel, the added 16 seconds makes it explicit. We see Theora pouring a cup of something hot - tea, coffee, some 20-minute-from-now substitute - and taking it to Carter in bed... who then begins to peel Theora out of her robe as the scene fades.

The history of this small snippet is not clear. It seemed familiar to me even though I had not (knowingly) seen the extended version before, so it may be in some releases or broadcasts of the telefilm. It is not in the studio released videotape version. It seems most likely that it was cut from the released version at some early point, but survived in the master given Cinemax for exiting. Although brief, it does make the overall apartment scene between Carter and Theora much more explicit, and creates a sharp contradiction to the series, in which the two are not lovers.

All of the remaining 25 minute extension is added Max material, and videos - videos that are in current play in 1985-6, but are presented as Blank Reg's old free junk in the telefilm.

The editing is somewhat rough, with several duplicated snippets. (For example, the "'Just because they're free doesn't mean they're good' - 'I like them!'" exchange appears, jarringly, twice within a few minutes, and reaction shots of the board listening to Max are repeated as well.) There are no credits for the re-editing or for any of the videos (except a credit line at the end of one of the videos).

Timeline of Changes

A complete summary of the changed and added material is as follows (times are approximate):

  • 00:00 - "Cinemax Presents" credit.
  • 44:37 - Added scene (right before Carter and Theora fix Carter's camera): Theora serves Carter tea and then herself (16s).
  • 47:09 - Added scene (right after Dominique says Max could have his own show): Max introduces himself, with interference from Reg, and finally gets someone to run the video "Is That Love" by Squeeze (3m 20s).
  • 50:30 - Added scene (immediately follows Squeeze video): Max riffs on "Dallas" and "Dynasty" being Russian plots, then shows the video "Do You Dream in Colour" by Bill Nelson (3m 48s).
  • 54:18 - Added scene (immediately follows the Nelson video): Max riffs on the Iran-Iraq war, then shows the video "Radio Ga Ga" by Queen (3m 44s).
  • 58:02 - Added scene (immediate follows the Queen video: Max riffs about starting a band, then shows the video "Walking to the Beat" by Yakihiro Takahashi (2m 23s).
  • 60:25 - Edited scene (immediately follows Takahashi video: After Reg says "Go for it, Max, you son of a bitch!" the snip of Max asking, "I beg your pardon?" is repeated, then Reg's line "Go for it."
  • 61:45 - Added scene (when Bryce says "explain this"): Max riffs on Mozart, then shows the video "Aikea Quinea" by the Cocteau Twins (2m 34s).
  • 64:04 - Added scene (immediately follows Cocteau video): Max tells a joke about a sexual complaint, then shows the video "Turning Japanese" by The Vapours(1m 50s).
  • 68:25 - Added scene (after Reg says "How come he's got a sense of humor?"): Max shows the video "Making Plans for Nigel" by XTC (2m 45s).
  • 72:25 - Changed/added scene (as the Network 23 board notices Big Time TV's rapid ratings climb): Max's interaction with the board is replaced by other material, intercut with repeated reaction shots of the board from the original sequence. Max does a riff on flip-flops, then shows the video "Free Yourself" by the Untouchables. He then riffs on nuclear pollution, and on the "funny lines" behind him. (4m 12s).
  • 81:38 - Added scene (immediately after final credits): A voiceover leads into a final Max riff introducing his new show, and his first interview with Sting. (50s).

A great deal of this material seems to be re-purposed from the earlier versions of the Channel Four and Cinemax talk/video shows. A complete review of this summary is forthcoming now that most of those shows are available on YouTube or in the MaxRchives.