I’ve been thinking recently about my introduction to science fiction. There were some books I remember but, for the most part, British television served as my gateway to the wonderful world of science fiction novels, short stories and series.
One of the earliest I remember is The Tomorrow People (1973-1979). In this program a bunch of kids has evolved to the next stage of human evolution, including telepathic powers and the ability to teleport. I was hooked. And I still wish I had the power to “jaunt.”
Another one (that scared the crap out of me, incidentally) was The Changes (1975). In this one the whole world has gone nuts and destroyed all technology, launching them back into a pre-industrial society. A young girl wanders through this post-apocalyptic landscape, searching for her parents and trying to figure out what has happened. *shudder* It was great!
Sapphire and Steele (1979-1982) was another one. A pair of beautiful and mysterious inter-dimensional agents tries to heal ruptures in the fabric of Time. It was atmospheric, creepy and totally confusing. I loved it, but never really did figure out what was going on.
Blake’s 7 (1978-1981) remains a huge influence on me to this day. In this series a bunch of political exiles and criminals capture a glorious spaceship and throw themselves into revolt against the evil Terran Federation. I still watch this series from time to time. Big love!
And during this whole time, of course, Dr Who (1963-1989) continued its phenomenal run. “My” doctors were Pertwee and Baker. I can still hum the theme song and intone “we will exterminate you” in a Dalek voice. My kids don’t get it, but they’ve accepted the fact that mommy is weird.
These shows are the reason I delved into science fiction reading. They were a terrific introduction, despite the cardboard sets and laughable special effects that were part and parcel of British television in those days. What about you? Any particular TV shows that fed your appetite? I haven’t even mentioned the American shows that were shown on British TV. I’ll keep them for another post!