New BBC comedy celebrates 'Syntax Era'

Were you a Spectrum owner in the 1980s? Or were you more of a C64 type gent?
Were you a Spectrum owner in the 1980s? Or were you more of a C64 type gent?

The BBC is set to broadcast a new comedy celebrating the classic years of British computing in the 1980s.

The superbly-named Syntax Era is set to feature Martin Freeman of The Office and Hot Fuzz and Alexander Armstrong of Armstrong & Miller and Mutual Friends fame playing Sir Clive Sinclair.

Syntax Era is only the working title for now, but we hope that they don't change it, as it is spot on!

Race for computer supremacy

"Syntax Era provides an affectionately comic account of the 1980s race for home computer supremacy," reads the BBC's release.

"The drama documents the lengthy rivalry between maverick visionary Sir Clive Sinclair (Armstrong) and his former colleague Chris Curry (Freeman) as they go head to head to achieve domination of the growing home computer market."

"Those of us that lived through the eighties will remember the sense of excitement when gadgets and technology started to appear in our homes," says Controller of BBC Four, Richard Klein.

"But not many of us will know the fascinating stories behind their arrival. Alexander Armstrong and Martin Freeman are excellent choices to portray Sir Clive Sinclair and Chris Curry at a time when battling to have the UK's most loved home computer was their number one priority."

Archive footage from Newsround

The 90-minute drama was written by Tony Saint and uses archive footage from the likes of John Craven's Newsround "to help illustrate the buzz around Sinclair and Curry's inventions."

If you have fond memories of Sinclair's ZX Spectrum, Curry's BBC Micro or of nearly being killed by a lorry while testing out a Sinclair C5 then this is a TV comedy drama to look forward to.

Stay tuned for more from the writers, cast and producers of the BBC's Syntax Era on TechRadar in the coming weeks.

Adam Hartley