For a while now I’ve been interested in exploring back and finding the things I used to watch as a kid to find out how they might’ve influenced what I like now. A few of these things that I’ve rewatched have been awesome – much better than I remember, like Miami Vice. Then others have been shudder-worthy, like Night Rider. I should say I never purposefully rewatched any Night Rider, but happened to see a bit on Korean TV one night while stuck in a hotel room. Then there’s The Goodies.
The Goodies was on at 6pm on the ABC for ages and I can remember watching it when I was 7 or 8. Some of the ideas for episodes were very memorable. Like the Pirate Radio station, and the one where they were cemented into their house and stuck there for the whole episode. And there was the one where Tim and Bill went to the moon to find the rabbits they’d blasted up there, only to find the rabbits had become supra-intelligent. While in the rocket and talking to ground control they said “Beep!” after each sentence. I can remember a lot of kids at school the next day were saying beep! after everything they said.
I like seeing some of the fashions from back then too. The above shot is from the season 2 (1971) episode, Gender Education. Some of the early episodes had an environmental theme. Apparently they’d complain about being pigeon-holed as a kids’ show, but every episode would include these long no-dialog slapstick scenes layered with bad music from Bill Oddie. While rewatching that was where it was falling dead for me.
And despite the green angle, and doing an episode about women’s equality there’d be these occasional bits of weird, antiquated racism. Then I watched the South Africa episode from season 5 last night, and it was fucking horrible. Constant talk of ‘nig-nogs’ and black minstrel impressions. I’m sure most of that would’ve been cut from the episode when shown in Australia in the 1980s but nevertheless, it’s strange to think that was on TV in Britain in 1975. It’s not that long ago. I’m deleting the rest of that torrent file and will have to find something else to watch while eating dinner.