- Micro Men
Micro Men title card.
Genre Documentary Drama Written by Tony Saint Directed by Saul Metzstein Country of origin United Kingdom Language(s) English Production Producer(s) Andrea Cornwell Running time 84 mins Broadcast Original channel BBC Four Original airing 8 October 2009 External links Website
Micro Men is a one-off BBC drama television show set in the late 1970s and 1980s, about the rise of the British home computer market, particularly the rivalry between Sir Clive Sinclair who developed the ZX Spectrum, and Chris Curry - the man behind the BBC Micro; played by Alexander Armstrong and Martin Freeman respectively.
It was produced as a BBC Drama, shot in the UK, with some scenes shot in and around the colleges of Cambridge on 15 July 2009.
The drama is centred on two of the leading players and their respective companies in the home computer market of the late 1970s and early 80s focusing on the race to become the provider of a home computer for the BBC's programming for schools. Certain parts of the drama are based on historical fact whilst others are mere dramatisation and a version of events at the time.
It was first shown on the UK channel BBC Four on 8 October 2009. The programme was directed by Saul Metzstein and produced by Andrea Cornwell. The programme was created by independent production company Darlow Smithson and was written by Tony Saint. It originally had the working title Syntax Era.
Sophie Wilson, part of the Acorn development team, played the part of the pub landlady calling time (around 1h 21m).
Jim Westwood can be seen reading a magazine behind Martin Freeman in WH Smith.
In the pub at 5:20, it shows someone playing a Tempest arcade machine, which would not be released until 1981, 3 years after the scene is meant to be set in. At the computer show, where Curry is promoting the Acorn Atom and Clive Sinclair is promoting the ZX80, library footage at 27:04 shows visitors using Amstrad CPCs, embedded in a counter, with their distinctive coloured keyboards and integrated cassette decks. However, Amstrad had not entered the computer market at that time and the Amstrad CPC would not be introduced until 1984. Throughout the show, they call the Z80A processer the ZX80A processer. In the advert where Clive Sinclair announces the ZX Spectrum, it shows MIDI OUT port, the MIDI standard would not be published until 1983, one year after the Spectrums release, however the MIDI OUT port would be part of the Sinclair Spectrum 128 model.
- Alexander Armstrong: Clive Sinclair
- Martin Freeman: Chris Curry
- Edward Baker-Duly: Hermann Hauser
- Sam Phillips: Steve Furber
- Stefan Butler: Roger Wilson
- Colin Carmichael: Jim Westwood
- Derek Riddell: Nigel Searle
- Rhona Croker: Valerie
- Jason Fitzpatrick: David Johnson-Davies
- Amy Beth Hayes: Cynthia
- Nicola Harrison: Ann Sinclair
- Peter Davison: Bank Manager
- Michael Keating: Holley
- Jon Glover: Radcliffe
- Theo Barklem-Biggs: Ralph
- Renny Krupinski: Foreman
- James Garnon: Journalist
- James Fleet: Kenneth Baker
- Rasmus Hardiker: Luke
- Alison Dowling: Shopper
- Perdita Avery: Susan
- Elizabeth Bower: Mindy
- Tim Downie: Tony Wood Rogers
- Mark Mansfield: Rick Dickinson
- Sophie Wilson (uncredited): Pub Landlady
- Louise Wilkinson (uncredited): Barbara
- ^ Teeman, Tim (2009-10-09). "Last Night's TV". The Times (The Times). http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/tv_and_radio/article6866534.ece. Retrieved 2011-05-16.
- Micro Men at BBC Online
- Micro Men on the British Comedy Guide
- Micro Men at the Internet Movie Database
- The Guardian: Battle between ZX Spectrum and BBC Micro to be BBC4 comedy drama
- TechRadar article
- BitterWallet blog entry by Andy Dawson (09.10.2009, just a day after Micro Men was broadcasted first)
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