It has been a strange week. I no longer have transport as the Cataracts in my eyes are too bad for driving. I have been referred for Kidney problems and have medical appointment letters almost daily. there are other issues but nothing too serious. Today I don’t wish to go on about these so I thought I might escape to the past.
I was born in 1961 and we got a TV when I was about 5. The first program I wanted to watch I had heard about in the school playground. It was this……..
I had never heard the word Camp and wouldn’t have known what it meant. I just knew they could climb the walls on a rope and drove a really cool car. The visual onomatopoeia during fights appealed to me at the time. I didn’t realise that this character, several re-boots and console games later, would still be an obsession. The latest re-boot, Fox’s Gotham, is a reasonably intelligent but very violent. I have had the privilege of being around to pick up Batman lore almost from the start. I can judge any Batman themed media by all the Batmans, Robins and villains who have gone before.
So how have other TV shows of my youth fared? How’s this one done for instance…..?
O.K. To my knowledge there has been one attempt at an action movie. Suspend disbelief and it was O.K.’ish. Thunderbirds was never really meant for live action though. It took C.G.I. for a credible new attempt.
There were several other favourites over the 60’s and 70’s, mostly Gerry Anderson shows. Joe 90, Captain Scarlet, Space 1999 and U.F.O to name a few. None have been given a re-boot but they were great in their time.
This next one was one of my absolute must watches in the 70’s……
There were two re-boots for this one. The first never really made the mainstream. The second one did but it was a total hash up. The original series was similar to Dr Who but the American T.V. network CW tried to make it a vehicle for shirtless teenagers to engage in fist fights on a regular basis. It was a terrible series and, though it had elements of the original, was totally unlike it. When guns became involved I lot all interest. The characters were angst ridden youths and the occasional fun elements of the original were totally missing.
For my next selection-Star Trek the original series.
This has possibly the most Re-boots in the history of Sci-Fi. You can tell I was, and proudly proclaim myself to this day, a geek. There were other T.V.show genre that interested me but Sci-Fi was my main interest on the box.
Strangely, neither ST-TOS or it’s sequels hold much interest for me now. Next gen, Voyager, Deep Space 9, Enterprise and all the films have ensured that I get bored whenever I try, for old times sake, to watch one of them. Even the latest film takes on the original crew leave me cold.
This applies to Dr Who too.
This was the first of the Doctors. The series ran until the early 80’s.It was re-booted in the noughties. The newer series have great production values, the monsters are cool and the stories well thought out. That’s the problem, there must be a story arc spanning each series and by the end you find yourself trying to remember the little detail that was, it turns out, all important. The stories are grand and sweeping but add so much to the lore of the Doctor that it does not seem capable of many more series. It was a tenet of faith, in the original, that no Time Lord could regenerate more then twelve times. Recently another actor wanted to leave the part and this would be the twelfth death. Mysteriously the Time Lords, despite having been outside the universe for millennia, manage to lob the Doc enough regeneration energy to defeat a Dalek army besieging him AND give him 12 more lives. I know it had to be in order for the show to continue but it seemed to be breaking an unbreakable rule.
Sapphire and Steel was another favourite, though maybe not as well known, hence the link. Now if anything cried out for a re-boot this is it. It was spooky, very British and unique as far as the story goes.There were horror elements. I know horror now means either gore or sudden unexpected action but this built the tension up through every 3 or 4 part story. It scared me but I was enthralled.If it were re-booted it would need to be a British producer and someone sympathetic to the original.
That’s it for now but for all you T.V. and Film makers out there, I have a rule. When dealing with past successful British shows please remember that these were from a time and a place. You can not translate successfully into a violent action show with lots of guns. Dr Who is still managing it but it is at least still British and the Doctor relies on his wits not weapons and HE always wins. Take note of the fate of the American ‘Tomorrow People’ It tried to re-boot a British children’s show with adult American values. It took the relatively innocent motives of the original and tried to insert great romances, jealousy and many other emotions alien to the 70’s series. It failed to please us over here and the American audience it was designed for didn’t like it either. It was cancelled after 1 series so if you want to do this, watch the original and what made it what it was before deciding.
I may run through some my favourtie non science fiction series at some stage but Science fiction was my first T.V. love. I am after all a nerd, albeit a 55 year old nerd. Who needs to grow up anyway?