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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

2024-02-18 11:06 Veteran Machines
Here are some appearances of 1950s and 1960s computers. The short-lived series Turn-On had a crucial role for an IBM 1620. The "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." episode Alien Commies from the Future! has panels from the ever-popular IBM AN/FSQ-7. Finally, the "Doctor Who" episode Meglos has some old British machines: the ICT 1301 and, making its Starring-the-Computer debut, the Elliott 405.
2024-02-04 22:33 Yet More Commodores
Here are a few more Commodore appearances. The "Inspector Morse" episode Happy Families has an Amiga 2000 in the police station. Then there are Commodore 64s in the "GLOW" episode The Good Twin, "The Mandalorian" episode The Pirate and "The Hardy Boys" episode A Disappearance (along with Apple Macintosh Classics and Tandy TRS-80 Color Computers).
2024-01-21 19:40 Any Old Apples
Here some more appearances for older Apple computers. The first episode of The Midnight Club has a Macintosh Classic and there are Apple IIes in the "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." episode Broken Promises. Finally, an episode of The Littlest Hobo has a couple of rarities: an Apple III and an Apple Lisa.
2024-01-15 00:04 New Year Amstrads
Here are some Amstrads for the new year. The recent Doctor Who episode Wild Blue Yonder has a CPC 464 as part of the TARDIS and the Loki episode Science/Fiction has a PCW 8256 and a crucial role for a PPC 512/640 (as well as an incidental BBC Micro).
2023-12-31 15:32 Pam & Tommy
We'll round out the year with a collection of machines from episode 8 of Pam & Tommy. Tommy himself uses an Apple Power Macintosh 5000 and there are other brief appearances of an Apple Macintosh II/IIx, a Toshiba T3200, and, making its Starring-the-Computer debut, an NCR PC286.
2023-12-02 21:43 Under the Banner of Commodore
The limit series Under the Banner of Heaven has a couple of Commodore machines (a Commodore 64 and a Commodore PET) and an HP 85.
2023-11-19 15:35 Another Pair of Acorns
A BBC Micro makes an unlikely but very welcome appearance in an episode of Secret Invasion, along with brief shots of a Sharp MZ-80K and an IBM PS/2 Model 56SX. There are two episodes of "Howard's Way" that feature the Acorn Archimedes: Publish & Be Damned and Screwdriver.
2023-10-29 15:35 Assorted laptops
Here's a collection of laptop appearances including a few debuts. We start with Deceptions where you need a sturdy lap to accommodate an IBM 5140, and there's an Apple Powerbook 180 in an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210. KamennĂ½ most has two machines making their debut: the Canon NoteJet and Olivetti Quaderno 33. And finally, Dagon have a good, if brief appearance, for another debutante: the Toshiba Satellite 1620CDS.
2023-10-19 23:45 TRS-80 Trio
Here's a collection of Tandy appearances. There's a TRS-80 Model I in The New Adventures of Heidi, a TRS-80 Model III in A Million Miles Away and a few more Model IIIs in White Noise (along with a brief glimpse of an Apple II).
2023-09-17 13:57 British Eight-bitters
Here are some appearances of eight-bit British machines. Gabrielle and the Doodleman has a prominent role for a BBC Micro and It's Nice Up North has a minor but fun part for an Amstrad CPC 6128. The "All in Good Faith" episode No Stone Unturned has a glimpse of of a Sinclair ZX Spectrum and The Cortez Connection is the second "Dempsey and Makepeace" episode to feature a Torch C series machine.