Cyber Art

The Cyborg

The Cyborg

Cyberpunk Anime, Film & TV

Max Headroom

Blade Runner

Last modified March 23, 2005


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Early in the 21st Century, the Tyrell Corporation advanced Robot evolution into the NEXUS phase - a being virtually identical to a human - known as a replicant.Blade Runner, 1982.

The character Max Headroom of Max Headroom and the NEXUS 6 Replicants of Blade Runner go far beyond the simulated humans of today. As far as hardware goes, the furthest we have gotten with humanoid robots is the Honda Asimo, Sony QRIO, and their peers. And in terms of software, we are still a long ways from a Max-Headroom-style artificial intelligence.

However, severe limitations distinguish both Max Headroom and the NEXUS 6 Replicants from ordinary humans. Max is forever lacking physical form, while the Replicants have very strong bodies but only live for four years.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why do both Max and the Replicants have severe limitations when compared to humans, while surpassing humans in other ways? How does this generate tension?
  2. How are Max Headroom and the Replicants different, and how are they the same? Which are we more likely to see in the future?
  3. What does it mean for an artificial being to die? Is "retirement" or "murder" a more appropriate term?
  4. How do the infinite lifespan of Max Headroom and the extremely brief lifespan of the Replicants affect their respective psyches?
  5. Is the government's response to the Replicants justified? Was there any other choice for the humans than to hunt down the Replicants?


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