During the rise of the PC era in the early 1980s, an unlikely trio - a visionary, an engineer and a prodigy - take personal and professional risks in the race to build a computer that will change the world as they know it.Created By: Christopher Cantwell | Christopher C. Rogers |
Season 1 2014 | 10 Episodes
Halt and Catch Fire - premiered on June 01, 2014
In 1983, personal computing was anyone's game. Navigating the thin line between visionary and fraud, genius and delusion, an unlikely trio - a visionary, an engineer, and a prodigy - take personal and professional risks in the race to build a computer that will change the world as they know it. The battle for CTRL begins.
Season 2 2015 | 10 Episodes
Halt and Catch Fire - premiered on May 31, 2015
Joe, Gordon, and Bosworth are caught up in their own "online" wave while attempting to heal old wounds. This season explores the thin line that separates genius from self-delusion and the desire to leave a meaningful mark on the world.
Season 3 2016 | 10 Episodes
Halt and Catch Fire - premiered on August 21, 2016
Season 3 returns six months after the move from Texas as each character faces new challenges trying to find their place in this new environment. Cameron and Donna hunt for an idea that will launch Mutiny as a key player. Gordon struggles to find a place within his wife's company. Joe continues to build upon his empire, reinventing himself which ultimately ...
Season 4 2017 | 10 Episodes
Halt and Catch Fire - premiered on August 19, 2017
The final season chronicles the tech industry and the birth of the Internet in the 1980s and early 1990s and sees each character navigate the early days of the Internet as they search for answers, both personally and professionally, while the competitive nature of the tech world continues to grow and affect their relationships.
|Lee Pace||Joe MacMillan|
|Scoot McNairy||Gordon Clark|
|Mackenzie Davis||Cameron Howe|
|Kerry Bishé||Donna Clark|
|Toby Huss||John 'Bos' Bosworth|
**Perhaps the best show on television.** I found myself a new favourite among TV series. Exceedingly strong performances from the whole cast, a gripping, dynamic plot, and script and direction that will have you laughing aloud before hunkering at the edge of your seat. As TV goes, I honestly don’t think it gets much better than this. The character of Joe MacMillan is just unrivalled in complexity and depth. Lee Pace is beyond magnetic in the role, he’s electric, and the writers recognise that and use it beautifully. The storylines are broad, sweeping and powerful, skipping triviality in favour of weighty topics that shaped the computing world and the world we live today. The casting is spot on, the acting stupendous. I only hope that AMC top brass realise that this is shaping into one of the best TV series to have graced our screens. Watch it; laugh, weep and fist pump. This is one of a kind.id : 58b8a3999251415fba003052
An interpretation of the ending + the meaning of the series as a whole * * * SPOILERS AHEAD * * * It was about Joe all along. Profound conclusion to a transcendental experience 10*++ At first glance this series seems to be about the world of tech. It takes place during an exciting time in the evolution of this field and it gives us a glimpse into the background of that era, even if it is a fictitious account. But this is in fact the story and evolution of Joe McMillan. The force of nature which stirs the lives of everyone he touches. His immense will power is going to move all the main characters from their trajectory and into his orbit. (He also has a secret which he initially doesn't know himself, and none of the others really understand either. He's a man who grows by every step and doesn't go back but only forward). We meet Joe as a man with a controversial and mysterious past who chases after the future. At the beginning of the series he is the embodiment of the American "can do" attitude. He first gives Gordon the motivation to outdo himself. He hijacks a whole company to face IBM head on. Then he recruits the aimless whizz kid Cameron. All with the goal to create the greatest portable computer ever built. Bosworth and Donna are collateral damage, but end up orbiting Joe nonetheless. After the completion of the Giant computer Joe takes off unsatisfied leaving Gordon behind. Joe feels he had compromised too much for a mediocre result and also cannot entertain the thought of sharing leadership of the company. In addition due to his actions he can't profit financially from this experience. His fiancee also leaves him around this time. Joe needs to pause and reflect. He still feels the hunger. After Cameron's virus sabotage of his server endeavor, he builds a rotten empire on the stolen anti-virus idea from Gordon and becomes famous. The embodiment of the American dream. He is however trapped in a golden cage of servitude and guilt. He understands this and frees himself by giving it all to Gordon. By that he redeems himself. Then he goes on to build a server hosting company with Gordon, moving him once more from his trajectory. The ones close to Joe still don't fully trust him, but he is changing. The company goes well but he has a bigger dream. He wants to create. Cameron had always called him a parasite (Joe also listens and learns). So he goes and creates a browser with the help of Haley. They name it (Haley's) Comet. Donna on the other hand steals his idea this time and goes on to achieve her rotten fortune and fame by copying the browser idea. At the same time Gordon needs to slow down. Facing his mortality makes him wiser. He doesn't need to chase after the future but only to enjoy the moment. But this is end of life wisdom. Not attained wisdom. He feels alone watching all the others around him chasing after some personal goal. Chasing illusions. Joe on the other hand also starts building his personal life. His way of presenting himself has evolved. He is kind and helpful in speech and action. He builds a relationship with Cameron. With Gordon's girls, especially Haley. And with Gordon who becomes a close friend. He then wishes to have a family of his own. Cameron opposes him, as is her volatile nature and he realizes having kids with her isn't in the cards. After Gordon's death and the end of the Comet he has a momentary crisis of faith and goes to see a fortune-teller to see what the future holds for him, but he eventually achieves transcendent insight. There is a scene at the end in his office showing his material achievements and the pictures of all his friends. They are dear reminders of his path. But between them lies a hint. A Buddha statuette. Joe finally understands that there is no thing to be had by way of a thing. The whole THING is to live in the NOW. To stop chasing after the future. After the next great thing. Also to resist inertia in life and career which will drag you along without even realizing it, sometimes (important distinction: we are NOT our careers and they should ideally be significant in the process of our personal growth). It turns out that it was Joe who was halting and catching fire all along. So he quits the rat race, returns to his home town and becomes a humanities teacher (self-less action). What could be a nobler occupation? And further from the hectic world of capitalistic tech. He had gone into the World and played the social game. He had traveled many roads. Imposed his will upon the World (aggressive self-centered action). Cheated (bad action). He had won and lost and won again (samsara = going round towards obtaining, perpetuated by desire), and in the process he had obtained the one thing impossible to teach: wisdom (nirvana = liberation from cravings/ dukkha). Hence he could move forward. Forward not in the career sense, but in the personal journey sense. This shows the very deep transformation of Joe which is only fully graspable by the viewer at the very end of the series in that last scene. While Joe achieves all this and goes thru such a profound positive transformation, he also leaves the two girls behind. Aimless. They subsequently decide to go back instead of forward. Cameron hesitates and lacks direction as she always did (the fall in Donna's pool is a manifestation of her unconscious act of submission and recognition of Donna's Alpha status in their relationship. Donna is fully aware of this. This is a masterful depiction of primal non-verbal communication). Donna on the other hand is trying to redeem and recapture what she has lost by her own hubris. Without Joe she also loses true North on her compass, as she had been entangled with him in the competition with the Comet browser for a long time. So the two girls give into a lukewarm complacent revival of the past and start working together once more. They remain trapped in the illusion. Maya. (there is a scene where Donna is also given a glimpse into Buddhist view by her daughter Joanie which is traveling in Thailand, but alas she is not ready to follow the signs). Bosworth is a good friend for the most part, but for the complete duration of the stir is out of his element and gets his peace only after retiring. The world of tech only serves as a pretext, here. It could be replaced with any other social background or time period (although computers and technology in general are great examples of things we think might take us somewhere. But do they, fundamentally?). The essence of the story is about the view going into life and what one can get out of it according to each of our level of understanding. Joe changes his view of the meaning of life. He transcends his Ego. That's why at the end he is asking the class the same question he was asking his colleagues at the beginning of his journey. "So, let me ask you a question? Where do you want to go ?" That question has a much deeper meaning than it seems. It took Joe more than a decade to answer it. This is a very powerful ending to the series and to the character arc of what has become one of my favorite characters ever portrayed and an impressive study of positive personal change: the path on the Middle Way of Joe McMillan. Also a reminder that some people are just temporary travel companions, and must be left behind as they don't share the same trajectory or capacity to attain other levels of understanding. "Should a seeker not find a companion who is better or equal, let them resolutely pursue a solitary course." The Buddhaid : 619e882335db450043373794