36 best science fiction TV series, ranked worst to first

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Image: ABC

28. Max Headroom

Max Headroom was much more than just a science fiction TV show. Max Headroom was a cultural icon in the ’80s. He was introduced in 1984 as the “world’s first computer-generated TV host” — but this was before CGI was realistic and actor Matt Frewer used makeup and prosthetics to make it look like he was a computer-generated character.

Max Headroom was originally introduced in a 1985 television film called Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future and that led into The Max Headroom Show, which ran from 1984 to 1987 in the UK and on Cinemax in the United States.

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Finally, Max Headroom made his way to America and got his own ABC television series from 1987 until 1988. That American series was a science fiction dystopian TV series where society is ruled by television networks.

This was an interesting concept, where even the governments of the world are run by television networks and was a strong indictment of the Reagan Era. The only person on the show that was not under the thumb of television was an investigative reporter who tried to pull back the curtain while many wanted him dead.

Max Headroom is the computer reconstruction of this reporter and while his human counterpart is seriously investigating the networks, Max just makes fun of everything. There were six episodes in the first season and eight in the second before the series ended.

Max Headroom ended in mid-season, unable to beat powerhouses Dallas and Miami Vice in the ratings. Despite that, Max Headroom remains a pop culture icon and the series was the first cyberpunk TV series in American history to run in Prime Time.