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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

2022-10-02 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).
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.