On November 22, 1987, Chicago-area Doctor Who fans experienced a crossover with Max Headroom that would go down in the history books. The only problem? Neither show had signed up for this clash of universes, and Max ended up getting his naked ass smacked on a PBS station.
That Sunday evening, two stations found themselves at the mercy of spank-happy hackers with a Max Headroom mask. The hackers first targeted WGN-Channel 9, where they interrupted The Nine O'Clock News for 30 seconds with a buzzing broadcast of Max swaying against his usual silvery background.
The next hack occurred at 11:15 PM on WTTW-Channel 11. At the time, the PBS affiliate was airing the Doctor Who serial Horror of Fang Rock. Viewers who had tuned in for the exploits of the Fourth Doctor instead were treated to the bare bottom of an AI New Coke spokesman. Here's the play-by-play of what happened during this fairly incomprehensible hack (above):
The person in the Max Headroom mask appeared, as before, this time saying, "That does it. He's a freakin' nerd," before laughing and jeering, "Yeah, I think I'm better than Chuck Swirsky. Freakin' liberal."
The picture suddenly cut over to a shot of the man's lower torso. His buttocks were exposed, and he was holding the now-removed mask up to the camera while being spanked with a flyswatter by an unidentified accomplice wearing a dress, as the man exclaimed "They're coming to get me!". The transmission then blacked out and cut off, and the hijack was over after about 90 seconds.
The FBI never discovered the hijackers' identities, but this anonymous Redditor claims to know the parties behind the hack. The moral of the story? Tom Baker and light sadomasochism sort of mix.