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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

2022-11-19 16:35 A British and a Swedish newcomer.
Two 1980s computer make their debut appearance in this update. The Swedish Luxor ABC 800 plays a vital role in The Ninja Mission, whereas there is just a tiny role for an Apricot Xi in Defence of the Realm.
2022-11-06 20:08 A Random Collection
Here's a random collection of appearances. The "Remington Steele" episode Red Holt Steele has a Tandy TRS-80 Model III and a Vector Graphic Vector 4. The first episode of Dekalog has shots of an Amstrad CPC 6128 and there is a brief appearance of an NEC PC8001 in the "Misfits of Science" episode Three Days of the Blender. And finally we have a couple more Apple appearances: a Powerbook G3 in Frequency, and an iMac G5 in Tomb Raider.
2022-10-23 17:24 The ICT 1201
This update is the debut appearance of the ICT 1201. It appears in two episodes of "Out of the Unknown": Sucker Bait and The Counterfeit Man (along with the briefest of glimpses of the Honeywell H200). It also appears a few times in The Beatles' Help!.
2022-10-15 16:59 Some more laptops
Smilla's Sense of Snow has a fleeting glimpse of a HP 110 Plus, the Seven Bells episode of "The Umbrella Academy" has brief appearances of a Compaq SLT and a Panasonic Toughbook, and Brain Donors has a Toshiba T3200. Then there are some Apples, a Powerbook 180 and Powerbook 5300 in Marley & Me and a Macbook Pro in Blockers.
2022-10-02 16:54 Choose Computers, or Die
There's a great selection of computers in Choose or Die. There are fleeting background appearances of an Acorn BBC Master and a Commodore 64, but the Commodore 64C and Sinclair Research Spectrum +2 play pretty important roles.
2022-09-10 13:55 Tandy Turnout
Here are some Tandy machines. The "Young Sheldon" episode Pongo Pygmaeus and a Culture that Encourages Spitting has a Tandy 1000HX and a 1000SL/TL (along with a collateral Apple IIe). Then there is a collection of Tandy TRS-80 Model IIIs in "The Walking Dead" episode New Best Friends, season two of both The Greatest American Hero and Remington Steele. Also the "Remington Steele" episode Steele Framed features the debut appearance of the TRS-80 Model 16B.
2022-09-03 17:16 Five Macs
There's a Macintosh IIsi in the "All Together Now" episode Computer Games and a Macintosh SE plays a prominent role in Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud (along with some of the least convincing typing committed to film!) And finally the original Macintosh appears in "The Goldbergs" episode Animal House, My Boyfriend's Back and Love & Basketball.
2022-08-28 11:29 DECs and things
There's a brief glimpse of a PDP-11/35 in Concorde Affaire '79 and a really hard to spot MINC-11 making its debut appearance in Resurrection. A VAX 11/750 makes an appearance in A Great Wall and there are VAX 11/780s in Invitation to Hell, along with some GE 635 panels and another Starring-the-Computer debutante: the Eagle PC.
2022-08-14 16:51 August Big Iron
Here's a collection of television appearances for some big old machines. The "My Friend Tony" episode Computer Murder features a Burroughs B200 and there a Burroughs B220 in the "Laverne & Shirley" episode The Right to Light. An IBM 1620 plays a critical role on "The DuPont Show with June Allyson" episode The Man Who Wanted Everything Perfect, and the "Judd for the Defense" episode Epitaph on a Computer Card has a number of machines: the Burroughs B205 and B220 and the IBM AN/FSQ-7.
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).