Max: The Details of Max's World

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Every episode of the ABC series contained strange, wonderful and bizarre concepts - some virtual or cultural, many physical and electronic. Here's an ongoing listing and discussion of them.
  • Blanks
  • Body Banks
  • Credit Tubes
  • The Fringes
  • Know Future
A key element of the ABC series was global merchandiser Zik-Zak, whose logo panel included the slogan "Know Future." (See below.) This was a play on the punk slogan "No future," taken from the Sex Pistols song "God Save the Queen":
God save the queen / She ain't no human being / There is no future / In England's dreaming
Don't be told what you want / Don't be told what you need / There's no future, no future / No future for you
The most telling connection made to this anarchic punk maxim might be the bleak observation of Blank Reg, repeated in both the original telefilm and the ABC series remake:
"Remember how we said there's no future? Well... this is it."'
If Reg was an original punk and about 25 in 1985, then this further cements "20 minutes into the future" as being right around 20 years forward. (Other data such as Bryce's 1988 birthdate places the year at 2005-2006.)
A global consumer seller with no limits and apparently no conscience co-opting a vicious punk maxim is... insightful.
  • Land of a Thousand... Networks
  • Oh?-missions
Some of what's interesting about Max's world is what's not there... and thoughts on why.
The Internet
Mobile Phones
  • The Polly Show aka Life with Polly
Beginning with the telefilm, references are made to Network 23's most popular show, called by these interchangeable titles. Nothing is said or shown about its content.
  • Scumball
Apparently the biggest (televised, of course) sport in Max's time. We never learn much about it except a few brief shots of what look like "automotive soccer," played with a huge ball. One of the original creative team has said he has an elaborate writeup of the game; maybe one day we'll lay hands on it here.
  • Securicams
Max's world, especially within corporate buildings, is saturated with remotely-accessible cameras. Called "securikams" in the telefilm and "securicams" in the series, they seem to be accessible to any hacker who can merely determine their location number. We frequently see Theora zoom through a building wireframe model to land on a close image of a securicam and read its access number; a second later, she is looking through it, even in theoretically hostile or secure locations. She is not the only one; she follows the events at the Academy of Computer Sciences by breaking into the students' own hacker network, which in turn accesses the school's 'cams.
Although this may have seemed one of the less probable prognostications, our cities and buildings are increasingly smothered with "security cameras." You need only watch any modern police procedural to see how casually the cops expect to find camera footage of almost any crime... and usually do. What is truly surprising is that the nation most addicted to surveiling itself, willingly, happily and universally, is... the UK. Hardly a public square foot is unobserved by private or police 'cams.
Where's Max when you need him? Or Theora, for that matter? Or even Bryce?
  • The Zik-Zak Corporation
The only major company mentioned by name in either the telefilm or series and apparently a global purveyor of... everything. Max manages to find frequent humor in strange Zik-Zak products that may or may not be real... certainly many of the "real" ones we see are just as bizarre as Max's inventions. Max's globally-satellited humor is painful to the Network 23 board, as Zik-Zak is their largest advertiser and is perpetually on the edge of taking their account to any higher-rated network... or at least away from Max's predations.
The head of Zik-Zak, which is headquartered in New Tokyo, is the inscrutable Ped Xing - at least the second character to be named after a traffic sign.
One of the unproduced episodes was to introduce competitor Zlin, with whom Zik-Zak would go to war in Antarctica over mineral rights.