Watch the First Trailer for AMC's 1980s-set Computer Drama Halt and Catch Fire (VIDEO)

By Kaitlin Thomas

Mar 31, 2014

According to my extensive research on the subject, AMC's newest drama, Halt and Catch Fire, is named after internal code instructions that cause a computer's CPU to "cease meaningful operation." It's a silly title for a TV series, even one that's about the rise of the computer age, but it's also the equivalent of what happens to my brain when I'm watching Lee Pace in anything, so I will let it slide. 

Halt and Catch Fire stars Pace as Joe MacMillan, a former IBM employee who, in 1983, decides to reverse-engineer the IBM computer for his current company, Cardiff Electric. With the help of a former engineer (Scoot McNairy) who's always wanted to create a revolutionary product and a prodigy (Mackenzie Davis) who risks everything to join MacMillan's rogue project, the trio attempts to break into the computer race. And now AMC has released the first trailer for the series, which premieres Sunday, June 1 at 10pm:


What do you think? Does Halt and Catch Fire look good to you? 


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  • DesertWolf May 21, 2014

    I've seen the pilot and it was great, full of computer stuff i didn't get at first, but it looks promising...

  • Hellspirit87 Apr 01, 2014

    I'll have trouble remembering the show's name till it starts, but I do look forward to it. Excellent use of the song Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics, I LOVE the '80s :D

  • Carla-Wexler Apr 01, 2014

    I think I might pass on this too, but Lee Pace is still a hunk biscuit!

  • Sproxar Apr 01, 2014

    Not having watched Betas or Silicon Valley, I'm a bit intrigued by this. Starting a new tech company, and bringing your first product to market, especially when you're competing with the likes of IBM, could make for some interesting drama. The challenges and setbacks involved should provide lots of fodder for the writers, and of course the stakes will be enormous. Think Compaq, or Dell, before they made it big.

    As for the title, it's based on a humorous and period specific bit of computer-speak, that figuratively (and sometimes literally) describes what can happen when engineering a new product. The more modern, and Windows specific BSOD, would be an anachronism, and not nearly as appropriate.

    Today, personal computers have become such a ubiquitous commodity that we often forget how they started. Having worked in the computer industry between 1980, when the first PC came out, and 1984, when the Macintosh arrived, I remember the excitement that surrounded each new product release, that either added capabilities, improved performance, or lowered the price significantly. Think of the way Almost Famous brought back the the 70s music scene, and hearing Elton John and David Bowie for the very first time. If they can capture some of this kind of excitement, and draw viewers into this world and era, the show should be well worth watching. If they get bogged down in techno-speak and engineering details, it might be less so. But the tunes should at least be good.

  • cuculhain Apr 01, 2014

    looks promising

  • Bottron Apr 01, 2014

    Betas, Silicon Valley and now this? Why do executives think this is cool right now?

  • Laurpr2 Apr 01, 2014

    Lee Pace = I'm watching it.
    The trailer looks good too.....but then, I just really like that song. And Lee Pace. And whoever the blonde chick was.....she really pulls off the short hair.

  • RobinRyschlic Apr 01, 2014

    The trailer was really bad, didn't grab my attention at all. Booo AMC.

  • sleepingbeauty Apr 01, 2014

    Maybe they should have called it 'Blue Screen of Death'. I've always liked that phrase.

  • docspector Apr 01, 2014

    Before there was a Blue Screen of Death, there was the Black Screen of Death. (an emtpy black screen with an underline cursor blinking in the upper left corner.

  • sleepingbeauty Apr 02, 2014

    I got one of those once. So much for that PC.

  • Laurpr2 Apr 01, 2014

    I was convinced my brother was pulling my leg about that being a (semi-)official term for the longest time....

  • tracibargen Apr 01, 2014

    AH! June 1st can't come soon enough... but in the words of Thranduil, King of the Woodland Realm... "I'm patient. I can wait."

  • macnotacno May 19, 2014

    http://variety.com/2014/digital/news/amc-previews-halt-and-catch-fire-tv-series-on-yahoos-tumblr-1201186021/

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