Season 1 Summary
The original show was closer to other music video/VJ shows of the era on MTV, VH1 and similar cable channels, except that Max was allowed to get a little more bizarre than Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman and others on the more "sensible" shows. (Using the term loosely.)
Max Headroom clips from the first season.
This YouTube compilation is believed to be the only publicly-available (or otherwise known) video from Season 1 shows. It contains a number of Max quotes and skits mentioned elsewhere below.
The "latticework" background of slightly fuzzy, sparkly neon lines that change from "cells" to lines and uniformly change colors across the spectrum is believed to be unique to the first season. There are several variations, and at least one Season 1 clip has multi-colored lines but of the same fuzzy, sparkly neon look. Any clip of Max with these styles of background can be presumed to be from the first season until proven otherwise.
The better-known "bouncing colored box of lines," more finely drawn and with a less garish neon effect, indicates a clip from a Season 2 or later show. Again, as far as we know.
We have a substantial collection of audio quotes from the Season 1 shows, from which selected examples will be posted here. Eventually.
The following Max quotes and quips are believed to be original from the first season, although some were reused as filler or re-performed in later shows. Unless noted, there is no data on which show they appeared within.
- Max: "The Iran-Iraq War: Iran has issued a statement accusing Iraq over Iran's denial of Iraq's allegation that Iran has lied about Iraqi planes attacking Iran's positions on Iraqi territory claimed by Iran. Experts on both sides are studying the statement."
A classic, in the era of the the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988) or any other time of Middle East strife... which is to say, a perennial classic. Re-used as filler in the Cinemax Extended Telefilm.
- Max: "I reckon that all these high-rating T-T-T-TV-V-V-TV shows like 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty' are put on by the Russians. Think about it: there's two evenings a week when most of Britain and America are only looking on one direction, right? Straight at the TV, right? So who knows what's going on behind their backs, right? Now just think about what could go on if they show another royal wedding: it's the perfect time to strike. That's why I've come up with this plan: to make sure we're safe for at least half an hour a week, The Max Headroom Show is only going to show videos that the Russians will enjoy too."
Unfortunately, Max's plan failed in that 'Dynasty' was one of the two competing shows that doomed the ABC series to low ratings. Max would snipe at that show further in Seasons 2 and 3 as well. Re-used as filler in the Cinemax Extended Telefilm.