|Written by||Douglas Adams|
|Presented by||Douglas Adams
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||1|
|Running time||50 minutes|
|Original channel||BBC Two|
Hyperland is a 50-minute long documentary movie about hypertext and surrounding technologies. It was written by Douglas Adams and produced and directed by Max Whitby. It ran on BBC Two in 1990. It stars Douglas Adams as a computer user and Tom Baker as a personification of a software agent.
In the show Adams has a dream where he is browsing through various media. While Adams is browsing, many people and projects related to the general theme of hypertext and multimedia are presented:
- Vannevar Bush and his Memex concept
- Ted Nelson explains hypertext and Project Xanadu.
- Hans Peter Brøndmo talks about the idea of animated icons.
- Robert Winter talks about an interactive version of Beethoven's 9th Symphony.
- An idea from Kurt Vonnegut's book Palm Sunday is presented: stories and narrative structures have shapes that can be represented mathematically as graphs.
- Robert Abel shows his multimedia version of Picasso's Guernica.
- Apple Multimedia Lab employees Steve Gano, Kristee Kreitman, Kristina Hooper, Michael Naimark and Fabrice Florin talk about a multimedia version of Life Story, a BBC TV movie dramatisation of the 1953 discovery of the structure of DNA.
- Amanda Goodenough presents Inigo Gets Out, an interactive story for children using Hypercard.
- Brad deGraf and Michael Wahrman talk about their digital puppet Mike Normal.
- A NASA Ames Research Center scientist presents a prototype Virtual Reality helmet called Cyberiad.
- Marc Canter makes a cameo (non-)appearance as an animated icon that is not "clicked" by Adams; the audience never gets to see his interview.
The dream (and the documentary) ends with a vision of how information might be accessed in 2005. Hyperland does describe a number of features of the modern web. This is especially noteworthy because it predates the public release of the first Web browser by about a year.