14

What I remember is the show was

  • Live action
  • Sci-fi'ish
  • In English
  • At earliest late 80s, most likely 90s, definitely not more recent than early 2000s.

One crucial early plot device was a portable computer, roughly suit-case sized, that a younger wiz kid receives, (possibly wins at a computer related competition in their school).

The kid is then accepted to some (shadowy?) organization or school, and to get into the building, he has to insert the computer into some slot in a wall next to the door: the computer acts as a key of some sort. Later, his (brother and) friends try to save the accepted kid from the institution.

There was probably multiple similar kids also there.

Unfortunately that's about what I can recall about the series.

I've searched around and the closest was Dark Season where they hand over computers to kids, but since it lacks the scenes I described above, I'm all out of ideas.

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  • 2
    Do you remember if the show was American, British, or something else? I ask because the plot is vaguely similar to some parts of "The Demon Headmaster" as well as an episode from the Dr Who reboot, so it's making me wonder if it's likely to be a British show.
    – ConMan
    Aug 24, 2023 at 1:04

2 Answers 2

25

Sounds somewhat like The Demon Headmaster to me, specifically the second half of the first season (adapted from The Prime Minister's Brain).

The main character, Dinah, is a genius (as shown earlier in the series). She enters the "Junior Computer Brain of the Year" competition, after qualifying for the finals by beating the game Octopus Dare. Entrants must go to a certain address in London, and must bring a specific computer (an S-7) with them; Dinah's new adoptive parents buy her the computer. After entering the building (by scanning a handprint and typing her name), she has to place her computer into a slide out tray so that it joins with the monitor and keyboard already in place. There are a number of children who have completed the game in the building, and they are hypnotised by the Demon Headmaster to work at their computers and further his plan of global domination. Dinah brought her friends (the other members of SPLAT) with her to London, including her two adopted brothers, and they look for a way inside to rescue her.

3
  • This is it! Looks like the decades had mixed my memories wrt the S-7 docking and building's entrance authentication. (The scenes are S01E04 13:59 and 16:30 dai.ly/x6zrg4l for anyone curious) Thank you so so much, I have wanted to watch this since I was a kid!
    – maqp
    Aug 24, 2023 at 13:10
  • As an addendum to Showsni's answer, the part about inserting of the computer into the wall to get in that you remember was included in the novelisation of that series Aug 25, 2023 at 16:46
  • @private_bryan could you please be more specific, by novelization, do you mean the 1997 TV series, or the book The Prime Minister's Brain? I'm quite certain it was the TV series I saw. According to WIkipedia the DVD release is an uncut version, so the series 1 episode 4 on Daily Motion shouldn't have any scenes deleted from it. If I'm reading the article correctly, the VHS had no other differences than how many episodes were combined in each of the two parts.
    – maqp
    Aug 25, 2023 at 21:29
5

Codename Icarus

Codename Icarus is a five-part British children's television drama serial written by Richard Cooper, which was produced by the BBC in 1981.

The serial combined elements of teenage drama and conspiracy thriller, and involved child prodigies being manipulated as the basis for a complex scheme involving nuclear missiles and the mysterious Icarus Foundation's plot to take over the world.

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    I don't think "Codename Icarus" had a scene where a character inserted a computer in a slot in a wall though. Aug 24, 2023 at 8:20

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