It seems odd to think that a small white plastic box with a flickering black and white screen introduced me to my obsession with with the six-hour-a-day medium of my childhood.
In the 1960s I sat cross-legged, ducking left and right to avoid the obstacle that was my mother’s legs as she stood right in front of me, ironing. Andy Pandy. Stingray. Camberwick Green. ATV Today.
In the 1970s it was the wonder of colour, of Jon Pertwee and hovercraft, dancing to Marc Bolan during Top of the Pops, Catweazel and Timeslip, Arthur of the Britains, Tiswas, the beginning of my aversion to football thanks to non-stop Grandstand and World of Sport on a Saturday, and waiting to see my dad’s hand as he held up the latest mug-shots on Shaw Taylor’s Police Five.
In the 1980s it was the Richard Carpenter or Fugitive-inspired show-of the week, the regular struggle to choose between Erin Grey’s silver catsuit and the JNT era Doctor Who, the time when I was at last old enough to watch horror films, and the years when Star Trek and V provided background noise for teenage fumblings.
Golden years, as David Bowie called them, but they gave way to the the of wall-to-wall telefantasy of the 1990s. Cable TV, endless imports and a time when I videoed all and watched little. An odd time that.
The naughties weren’t much better. TV did become cool again though, as American Cult TV gave way to the return of Doctor Who, and the 27″ gave way to the 33″, the 40″ and eventually the 50″ TV.
I ask myself: in an age of on-demand television, do you need reviews? Well, there’s just so much, past and present, it behoves me to and get my thoughts down on occasion.
Guide to my star ratings:
- Above Average