Max on Video

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In his era and beyond, Max Headroom was virtually a standalone definition of every version of the word "video" - which makes the twisted history of Max on video an even deeper puzzle.

Max is video. It's as simple as that. He was born into a fictional world where video is all, even most of reality... and he was created for an era when "videos" on the telly were the hottest market in all of media. In both cases, he ruled all he could see, and all those who could see him.

But in a pre-internet, pre-streaming, pre-on-demand world, video could only exist in two forms: that which was broadcast or cabled to your set, or on hard, fragile and fairly primitive memory storage devices... VHS tapes. Which meant that someone had to produce them from TV shows and movies, and then sell them across counters like ham sandwiches.

Max, of course, had the handicaps of being a television creation, which put him below true cinematic offerings from video rental stores and sales outlets.