BOSTON — After watching a film like "Toy Story," the computer animation used in Max Headroom looks like fingerpainting. But for many, it was the first taste of what was to come.
A stuttering, smart-aleck "cyberpunk" set in front of rainbow-streaked, ever-shifting walls, Max was created in 1984 to host a British music video show. The show's trailer, a made-for-TV movie, explained who Max was and where he came from.
But most of us met Max when he jumped across the pond to do commercials for New Coke from 1986 to 1988. The commercials spawned an ABC spin-off series, based on the original British movie. Thirteen shows ran before the show was cancelled in 1987 - effectively marking the end of Max.
Recently, however, Max Headroom has enjoyed new popularity. The Sci-Fi cable channel has just finished running the series and will run it again in January. He's also on the web (http://www. scifi.com/headroom/index.html).
As for Matt Frewer, the actor who played Max, he has since acted in such movies as "Lawnmower Man II" - appropriately, a movie about cyberspace - in addition to providing the voice for the new Pink Panther cartoon. He is also involved with the upcoming Disney film "Hercules," to be released June 20, 1997.