Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The future I imagined is finally here

Back in 1979, when I was about 7, my Dad told me about a wonderful invention called a video. "It lets you watch any tv program whenever you want," he said. I imagined that this would be a human-sized box, with a keyboard inside, like a typewriter, with a tv screen. You would climb inside, type in the name of any tv program or film, and instantly be shown that program.

I imagined the day when I could watch my favourite tv programs - The Phoenix and the Carpet, or the Enchanted Garden, whenever I wanted.

When we finally got a video player, a few years later, renting it from the Redifusion store, I was quite disappointed to find out that my imagination of what a video was like, was rather optimistic. Instead, you had to rent a cassette from a limited choice. As most of my favourite tv shows never came out on video, I never got to see The Phonenix and The Carpet again.

And now, finally, the future has caught up with my 7 year old imagination.

You type in the words, and there it is. The only thing I got wrong was that you had to climb inside a box to do it.

Having not seen this in 32 years, it's quite a strange experience revisiting it. I remember being particularly terrified at the end of episode 1 when the children use up their three wishes and end up trapped at the bottom of a tower in France. It all worked out OK in episode 2, but I had a week of worry about it. It's reassuring to know that the future arrived. Now all I need is a holiday on Mars.


Old Cheeser said...

Gosh I remember that. The talking phoenix is funny. I think I wanted to be Cyril (the superior, older boy). I had the E Nesbitt novel with a photo from the TV series on the front.

Anonymous said...

In my seven year-old imagination, I was Dusty Springfield. Once, I even raided my mother's makeup bag and effected a semblance of 'panda eyes'. Oh how she laughed - clearly unaware of the subtext to my efforts.

Anyway, the future actually caught up with your seven year-old imagination. I'm still waiting for it to catch up with mine.

your traveller pal.