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Starring the Computer is a website dedicated to the use of computers in film and television. Each appearance is catalogued and rated on its importance (ie. how important it is to the plot), realism (how close its appearance and capabilities are to the real thing) and visibility (how good a look does one get of it). Fictional computers don't count (unless they are built out of bits of real computer), so no HAL9000 - sorry.

Please let me know if you spot any mistakes, or have any tips about films not mentioned here that feature computers.

James Carter <james@starringthecomputer.com>


News

2022-08-06 23:50 Eight-bit variety bucket
Here's a wide selection of eight bit machines. We start with a pair of machines making their Starring-the-Computer debut: the Sord M5 in "The IT Crowd" episode Jen the Fredo and the Tatung Einstein TC-01 in the "Auf Wiedersehen, Pet" episode The Return of the Seven: Part 2. Next we have a couple of American machines: a Commodore 64 in an episode of As the World Turns and a Tandy TRS-80 Model 100 in the "Family Ties" episode O'Brother: Part 2. And finally a collection of British machines: an Amstrad PCW 9512 in Colin's Sandwich, a Sinclair Research ZX81 in Another Flip for Dominick and in the miniseries Code of a Killer some Acorn BBC Masters and a BBC Micro (along with some incidental IBM PC XTs).
2022-07-24 16:34 A British 80s TV trio.
We start with Outmoded, an episode of "The Bill" which features a Commodore 64, an HP Vectra and a Tandy TRS-80 Model III. The never-broadcast pilot of According to Daisy has a brief role for a Amstrad CPC 6128. Finally, making its Starring-the-Computer debut in the unlikely role of a sentient computer, there is a Torch TX in the "Hot Metal" episode Casting the Runes.
2022-07-17 22:15 A Melange of Macs
The Half Load episode of "The Closer" has a Macbook Pro. There's another in Thunder Force along with a Macintosh SE which also appears in Graffiti Bridge. Der schöne Tag has an iMac G3 and a Macintosh Classic. Nirvana has a Power Macintosh 5000 and a mutilated Powerbook 180. And finally, Smother features a Macbook.
2022-07-10 20:29 PC trio
There's a Zenith Z150 in Metamorphosis and a PC XT in the "Magnum, P.I." episode Paper War. Finally making its Starring-the-Computer debut is the Gateway P5 in Doctor Dolittle.
2022-07-03 12:36 Old Apples and new TIs
Bigbug has an Apple IIe, an iMac G3 and a Macintosh Classic along with an Amstrad CPC 464. The final episode of Quincy M.E. has an Apple II and III and the Identities episode of "Hotel" also has an Apple II as well as two machines that are new to Starring the Computer: the Texas Instruments TI-960 and TI-990.
2022-06-26 22:24 Play It Again
Here are a couple of appearances I missed the first time round. In A View to a Kill there is a Philips P2000C and there's a Casio PB-100 in Ghostbusters.
2022-06-12 17:30 A triplet of Commodores
Here are three more Commodore appearances. Fear Street: Part One - 1994 has an Amiga 2000, there's a Commodore 64 in the "Dimension 404" episode Polybius, and the Scarlet Cinema episode of the "Friday the 13th" television series has a PET.
2022-06-03 17:30 Atari 800x2
Two more appearances of the Atari 800 in this update in One Crazy Summer and the "Family Ties" episode A Tale of Two Cities: Part 1.
2022-05-29 13:39 Stranger Things, Season Four, First Volume
Here are all the computers I could identify in the first volume of "Stranger Things" season 4. There is Commodore Amiga 1000 in Chapter One: The Hellfire Club, a Kaypro 4 and a Tandy 2000 in Chapter Two: Vecna's Curse, a Heathkit H89 in Chapter Three: The Monster and The Superhero, a IBM PC XT in Chapter Four: Dear Billy and the Amiga makes its second appearance in Chapter Six: The Dive along with a DEC DecMate II.
2022-05-14 11:12 More PCs
Patriot Games sees the debut appearance of the Data General Dasher/386 as well as an IBM PS/2. There are IBM PC XTs in Miami Connection, X-Men: Apocalypse and "The Ray Bradbury Theatre" episode The Coffin. There is a Zenith Z150 in the "Hunter" episode The Usual Suspects, and finally a Compaq Prolinea makes an appearance in The Fast and the Furious.