The first TV I remember watching was a black and white television set. The kind of TV that contained itself within its on wooden cabinet with doors that when shut would cover the TV screen. When you switched it on, the screen did not light up instantly it took several minutes while a humming noise was one of the tell-tale signs that it was on. If you were an enquiring mind such as myself and crawled beneath the TV you could see the capacitors light up through the ventilation slots on the belly of the TV while you waited for the screen to power on, first came the sound then later the picture.
The first programme I remember watching on TV was a something called Button Moon. When I ask people about it, no one seems to remember it and I almost feel like I imagined it along with its theme song:
We’re off to Button Moon!
And we’ve followed Mr Spoon,
Button Moon! (Button Moon!)
Button Moon! (Button Moon!)
The characters were puppets made from what looked like empty bottles with wooden spoons for hands, they flew around in a spaceship that looked suspiciously like a Heinz baked bean tin, with a funnel on the top and of course the moon was a giant button. That’s pretty much all I remember and I am fairly sure I did not much like watching it.
Then there was Worzel Gummidge, I remember watching this in colour. The scarecrow who came to life and got himself into various pickles trying to impress an Aunt Sally doll and Mr Crowman sir who would put him back together
“….a bird has two legs and a sheep has four legs… that’s about all the math a scarecrow needs to know…”
“you need more than a handsome head you need to be beautiful on the inside”
“but on the inside I only have straw, twigs and a robin’s nest.”
And then there was Voltron, defender of the universe. But of course most people are familiar with this one since our national broadcaster kept showing the reruns over and over again for close to two decades; that even the opening monologue (narrated by Peter Cullen the man behind the voice of Optimus Prime in the Transformers) is burned into my memory:
“From days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend. The legend of Voltron: Defender of the Universe. A mighty robot, loved by good, feared by evil. As Voltron’s legend grew, peace settled across the galaxy. On Planet Earth, a Galaxy Alliance was formed. Together with the good planets of the Solar System, they maintained peace throughout the universe until a new horrible menace threatened the galaxy. Voltron was needed once more. This is the story of the superforce of space explorers. Specially trained and sent by the alliance to bring back, Voltron: Defender of the Universe.”
Young me found Voltron fascinating only the first couple of times then I started asking the question(s) why didn’t they form Voltron as soon as the bad guy’s robeast attacked them and when they did why did they not just form the blazing sword and chop up the robeast. Well obviously the cartoon would end in thirty seconds or less but what was the point if the good guys always won, you knew no matter how dire the situation looked they would win they always did.
It was thinking like that that also made me not care much for Captain Planet another favourite from my childhood. There’s a post on Life With Dimples with a list of the other 80s and 90s cartoons which I also grew up, watching, its an interesting stroll down memory lane.
The other programming we used to watch were some UK , Australian and New Zealand television series such as Skippy, Danger Bay, Tomorrow is Saturdee, Miror Mirror, Halfway across the galaxy turn left, The Odessey, Under the mountain, Round The Twist, Miraculous Mellops.
Do any of these sound familiar to you, connected across time and distane by TV programmes from yesteryear.
Day 11 of my blog everyday challenge: Africa Stories from home