Max arrived in Emmerdale in early 2005, nearly a year after the introduction of the rest of his family. He and his girlfriend had been backpacking around the world but Max went home for his father's ill-fated wedding to Charity Tate.
Max was seen by many as the black sheep of his family and was, like his elder brother Jimmy, a lot less hard-headed than a "typical King". He did not work for the family business King & Sons like his brothers as he had recently finished university, where he had trained to be a vet, and then went on an around-the-world trip. He came to Emmerdale for his father's wedding, planning to continue his trip later but Tom got him a job at Paddy Kirk's practice after telling him that if he continued on his travels he would need to support himself.
However, in late 2005, he helped his father get some land he wanted. He used his position as a vet to poison the animals kept by the owners who refused to sell the land to his father. Tom had insisted he do this to show gratitude for allowing him to go to university.
After having been bullied into poisoning the Briggs family's calves by his father, a guilty Max decided to leave the village in October 2005, sick of his family's chicanery. He and Robert Sugden were going to leave Emmerdale and drive to London but Robert's adopted brother Andy got into a fight with Robert. Max broke up the fight and decided that he did not want to go with Robert and got into Andy's land rover and asked him to drive him to the railway station. Robert, who had driven off, turned his car round and drove straight at them, causing Max to grab the steering wheel and send the rover off the road and through a brick wall. Max was trapped in the Land Rover and was killed instantly when it exploded after rolling onto its roof, just weeks shy of his 26th birthday. After the tragedy, Tom blamed himself for the amount of pressure he had put upon Max; for the horrific death of his youngest child.
It was revealed on the day of Donna Windsor's wedding to Marlon Dingle in February 2006, (this was after Max's death) that Donna had developed feelings for Max. Marlon was devastated by this revelation but they still got married in a double wedding with Donna's mother Viv and stepfather Bob Hope.