Lazy Luddite Log


Episode Emporium

Another 'note' of mine on Facebook is called Episode Emporium. It describes itself as follows:

Watching old and sometimes obscure TV shows online has become a hobby of mine. Occasionally I manage to watch an entire series while at other times I select an isolated (and hopefully representative) episode. It can be something I barely remember from childhood or something entirely new to me. They are usually nerdy and fannish and sharing them with others can be fun.

I post links to this ‘note’ so that you too can marvel at the entertainment of decades past... Rarely if ever will content be longer than an hour. Here you may find shoddy effects, wooden acting, porous plots, dated fashions, daggy music and even dodgy mores. However depiction and endorsement are distinct things and as adults we can hone our own moral compasses to moderate these cultural influences.

The last sentence there rings a sober note in something otherwise intended for enjoyment. For much of my life I have defended products of popular culture from the criticisms of wowsers and killjoys. Advocates of traditional mores declared that our games, albums or movies were corrupting us despite evidence of our resilience and personal judgement. I have a somewhat more nuanced position now but still value the ability to share tales of different experiences and mindsets despite what my society or peers deem proper.

However media content can have an impact on some and I think we need to revive the practice of paying attention to ratings and advisory statements. What sort of audience do the censors say something is aimed at? What warnings are offered to those with a sensitivity to particular content? If we get better at metaphorically 'walking away' from content that vexes us then that allows others to keep enjoying it if they wish. I call that a win-win scenario.

Many different scenarios are explored in the old content I have so far shared. Over 12 months during 2016 I made twelve posts. In some cases I shared a long (say 45 minutes) episode of some adult or family oriented show. In other cases I offered two short (20ish minute) episodes of a show specifically for kids. These are the shows I shared (series name then episode names):

UFO (1970) - Exposed

Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971) telemovie

The Greatest American Hero (1981-1983) - Wizards And Warlocks

Land Of The Lost - The Stranger (1974) + The Musician (1975)

Space 1999 - Earthbound (1975)

Dungeons & Dragons (cartoon) - The Hall Of Bones (1983)
+ The Girl Who Dreamed Tomorrow (1984)

The Secrets Of Isis (1975) - Fool's Dare + Bigfoot

Department S - The Pied Piper Of Hambledown (1969)

In Search Of... Dracula (1977) + The Castle Of Secrets (1981)

The Littlest Hobo - The Genesis Tapes Parts 1 & 2 (1984)

Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas (1977) holiday special

Monkey (1978-1980) the 'lost' episode involving the
Fraction Demon...

My intention with that set of links was to represent the childhood TV viewing of this particular Gen-Xer. Most of it is US or UK speculative fiction but I did try to go beyond that with some success. Many of the links I posted have since 'broken' but the content can usually be found online regardless (for the work of copyright defenders on YouTube or Dailymotion is never done).

Following that twelve months I was a bit fatigued with this personal project of link sharing and so Episode Emporium went on hiatus. It interests me how even a small monthly task I enjoy (including the writing of an informative blurb) can become tiresome because of its regularity. However I eventually got in the mood once more and so in 2018 I did the same thing. Here is what I shared:

Honey West (1966) - Pop Goes The Easel
+ It's Earlier Than You Think

Buck Rogers In The Twenty Fifth Century (1979-1981) -
Cruise Ship To The Stars

Blakes-7 - Startrive (1981)

Take Hart (1977-83) pilot +
The Amazing Adventures Of Morph (1981-1982) compilation

Wizards & Warriors (1981) - The Unicorn Of Death

The Ray Bradbury Theater (1985-1992) - The Screaming Woman
+ The Toynbee Convector

The Famous Five (1978-1979) - Five Go To Kirren Island
Parts 1 & 2

Fantastic Journey (1977) - A Dream Of Consquest

Kolchak (1974-75) - Chopper

Giant Robo (1968) - The Doom Of Drakulon + The Evil Dr Eingali

Worsel Gummidge - A Cup Of Tea And A Slice Of Cake (1980)
Christmas special

Ark II (1976) - Omega +
Space Academy (1977) - The Phantom Planet

And then I was once more over it and declared another hiatus. Nonetheless this is a pretty cool assortment of what the past had to offer us on TV. It promoted some discussion and a few friends even got to reminiscing over shows they loved as kids. These included the German show Space Patrol Orion (1966), the UK serial The Tripods (1984-1985) and Canadian series Forever Knight (1992-1996).

As I look back over these I think some are still pretty awesome while others I now realize are awful. But they have all been part of our lives in one way or another. It is fascinating to see how things have changed and how they have stayed the same. It is also interesting to note how frequently the things we think of as progressive now were actively promoted (particularly to children) back in the 60s to 90s.

I'm in a hurry now but sometime I hope to add comments here to record those blurbs I posted for each TV show. However anyone can look into this stuff for themselves. Even our imagined pasts are a facet of our present.

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