14

These are the points I can remember:

  • It was live action
  • It would have been late 80's / (very) early 90's
  • I'm fairly sure the show aired in the UK on the BBC (I don't remember ad breaks)
  • A school was providing pupils with free laptops
  • I believe the pupils were teenage - early teen rather than later though
  • A strange symbiosis occurred with the laptop which meant the pupil upon extensive use could control it with their mind (and I believe became smarter)
  • As part of the above, the laptop when connected could also in some way influence the pupil
  • The whole idea of giving away the laptops was for some nefarious plan - however I can't recall what that was
  • The program the laptops were running were based (I think stolen) on a Professor's work in AI/human interaction originally designed to enrich computer/human interaction
  • The bad guys kidnap a man they believe to be said Professor, to stop him from accessing and shutting down the aforementioned program to stop nefarious plan
  • What the bad guys don't realise - is that the actual Professor is the man's wife - and she manages to hack into and destroy the program before the plan comes to fruition

I have a feeling it had Danny John-Jules as a bad guy - however, looking at his IMDB profile I can't find anything that even looks remotely like a match. Although - it's possible I've mis-remembered that, so take this paragraph with a large pinch of salt.

  • Is this live action or cartoon? – FuzzyBoots Mar 18 '15 at 12:18
  • Laptops, in the eighties? – Mr Lister Mar 18 '15 at 12:19
  • @MrLister Well - the kids did take them to/from school... I don't recall it in-universe being set in the future. I guess I'm using "laptop" in the generic sense that they were portable... although you've got me doubting myself now... :( – Jon Clements Mar 18 '15 at 12:27
  • @SeanDuggan it was live action - I've edited post to include that... thanks for your help – Jon Clements Mar 18 '15 at 12:29
  • My father had an early laptop form that time period, it was enormous by today's standards. – Mark Rogers Mar 18 '15 at 15:15
13

I think this could be Dark Season.

  • It was live action

Check.

  • It would have been late 80's / (very) early 90's

1991

  • I'm fairly sure the show aired in the UK on the BBC (I don't remember ad breaks)

It's a BBC show.

  • A school was providing pupils with free laptops

Not quite laptops, but a mysterious donor is giving advanced computers to every pupil at the school.

  • I believe the pupils were teenage - early teen rather than later though

3rd form and 5th form, so I think they were 13 and 15.

  • A strange symbiosis occurred with the laptop which meant the pupil upon extensive use could control it with their mind (and I believe became smarter)

Two of the kids take a computer home and discover one of them can control it with his mind.

  • As part of the above, the laptop when connected could also in some way influence the pupil

One girl has her mind possessed by looking at the main computer.

  • The whole idea of giving away the laptops was for some nefarious plan - however I can't recall what that was

The entire show is about nefarious plans. I don't remember what it was either though.

  • The program the laptops were running were based (I think stolen) on a Professor's work in AI/human interaction originally designed to enrich computer/human interaction
  • The bad guys kidnap a man they believe to be said Professor, to stop him from accessing and shutting down the aforementioned program to stop nefarious plan

The kids identify the professor as the next door neighbour, but arrive at his house just in time to see him being bundled into a van by the villain.

  • What the bad guys don't realise - is that the actual Professor is the man's wife - and she manages to hack into and destroy the program before the plan comes to fruition

The nefarious plan is foiled, although I can't remember if this was the reason. This happens only halfway through the series though - things get even weirder from here.

  • Spot on! Thanks... after reading the wiki and the IMDB entry - that's definitely it... The names "Behemoth" for the main computer and "Professor Polzinski" rings bells. Thanks very much. – Jon Clements Mar 18 '15 at 13:00
  • Would you mind if I asked how you found this answer? Was it something you knew... or did you just happen to search engine the right terms/check some list somewhere... I spent a good hour and a half with various search terms and ended up empty before resorting to SF&F... :p – Jon Clements Mar 18 '15 at 14:09
  • I watched the show back in 1991. Something about the kids being given computers resonated, and I originally thought of The Demon Headmaster (which did have Danny John Jules in). On the IMDB page for that there was a link to a news story about Doctor Who, which suddenly reminded me of Dark Season (it was written by Russell T Davies who also did the 2005 Doctor Who reboot). – ssav Mar 18 '15 at 14:44
  • 1
    This is what I love about sites like SF&F... As long as you can remember a few things about something (that aren't overly vague or misleading - my reference to DJJ was - now I'm trying to think what the heck I did see him in as a bad guy. I know he was in the Demon Headmaster, but he was a show host - not a bad guy) then someone somewhere must have read/seen what you're talking about - and the human brain in that case is so much more efficient than a search engine. Thanks very much again for a detailed and accurate answer - it's made my day. – Jon Clements Mar 18 '15 at 15:27
  • @ssav: that’s the thing about Dark Season, it makes a lasting impression on your emotions. One might even say that, despite being off-air for many years, its heart will go on. – Paul D. Waite Mar 18 '15 at 19:07

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