Set in the early 1980s, is a fictionalized dramatizations of the personal computing boom through the eyes of a visionary, Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace of "Pushing Daisies”), an engineer, Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy of “Argo") and a prodigy, Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis), whose innovations directly confront the corporate behemoths of the time, “ Big Blue” aka IBM. Their personal and professional partnership will be challenged by greed and ego while charting the changing culture in Texas' Silicon Prairie.
The visionary, Joe MacMillan, formally of IBM, extorts a little tech company, that he now works for, into building a machine that he hopes will supplant IBM’s PC. He does this by convincing an once promising engineer, Gordon Clark, a man that lost it all in failed computer venture and who now works for the same tech company, to reverse-engineer an IBM PC. What’s the big deal? The big deal is IBM loves nothing more than to destroy every company that infringes on their copyrights. Knowing this, Joe inform’s IBM on what they did, which in turn forces his new company to build their own totally unique PC, thus proving the insertion that the reverse-engineering was just for the purpose of research. A little known legal loop-hole that may keep the company from being sued out of existence. So the company reluctantly gives Joe MacMillian all the personnel and resources he needs to complete his vision, including Gordon Clark and the programing prodigy, Cameron Howe.
Joe MacMillan, I feel, is televisions next Don Draper, but maybe worse. A self-centered, calculating metrosexual with a huge ego, no moral ethics, and almost no real empathy. But has an innate charisma and charm that’s the epitome of ever good salesman man. As for Gordon, he is a bored computer engineer with a wife and two kids. His wife (Kerry Bishé, also, of “Argo”) is a engineering genius, in her own right. She is continually helps Gordon with key elements of the new portable computer. And for Cameron Howe, she's a brilliant programing misfit with a devil may care attitude and an impulsive control problem, which Joe found at a community college.
I think it could be the Mad Man for the computer age. With a great young cast of relatively unknown actors and pretty good writing. I know it's early but I have high hopes for this show.
Halt and Catch Fire (AMC)
Friday, August 1, 2014