Being a child of the 60's.....i grew up straining my eyes at a tiny screen inside a huge 2ft wide box that was 4ft deep, due to thosemassive cathode ray tubes and glass tubes that took about 20 minutes to warm up once the set had been turned on. The actual act of turning on those early sets was a risky operation as the switches were mainly clunky knobs. The twisting of those clunky knobs was a hernia -producing task.
The on off was one huge clunk, but the channel selector was a mass of clunks, well a few as there was only two channels , the good ol 'beeb' n' ITV. Later ,of course came the intellectual odd one ,BEEB2. In those old days the pictures were not so much black n' white, but grey n' grey. I seem to remember lots of cowboys and American detectives and British cops as in Z-Cars with its distinctive theme tune which they still play at the Everton ground at Goodison park.
Lots of Irwin Allen stuff like 'Voyage to the bottom of the sea'; 'Lost in space', but we beat them when a certain white haired bad tempered time lord in a telephone box arrived quietly , but then exploded with the pepperpot Daleks! With its distorted blobby opening titles and etherial music with hissing and ashmatic wheezing was wonderful and at the time terrifying with the famous possible urban myth that people hid behind the settee when the good Doctor and various lousy special effected monsters were on. The fact that you could hide behind the settee shows how things have changed. The settee was in the middle of the room close up to the telly. Not over against the far wall where it doesn't matter how far away you are from the 76 inch flat screen telly on the far side of the room. Even if you could hide behind the settee the kids wouldn't ,they've been spoiled by wonderful realer than reality special CGI effects the wonderful fear the imagination could instill has dissappeared and gone.
Another favourite of mine which many dont remember was a telly version of the 'Dirty Dozen', but there was only four in 'Garrisons Gorillas!'....Always behind enemy lines in German uniforms blasting away with Schmeisser machine guns. I got the DVD's and like many revisits to your past , it never quite hits the hoped for nostalgic G-Spot. One that did ,i still love was the spy series with the meanest assassin of all, Edward Woodward as 'Callan', still brilliant.
Boyhood excitment peaked with Apollo 8 going around the back of the moon, then Apollo 11 landing on the moon. At this stage i was a space mad nut thanks to a certain Gerry Anderson and his puppet and string Supermarination series of Thunderbirds, Stingray,Superca,Fireball XL5 and my favourite the real life UFO.
The clunky knobs were replaced by swimming pool diving board-like press buttons and ,wonderful colour! In those long never to be forgotten days we used to go outside to play, but if there was a big film on ,like on a Saturday evening we'd go home to watch it ,as stuff didn't get repeated very often. so if you missed it ,you waited for years. I remember the excitment of the first Bond film on telly.
We never had BBC2 for a long time and on a Monday evening at 8 o'clock, ITV had news in 'World in Action ,whilst the 'BEEB' had Panorama, yet another news show, but on BEEB2 which we could hear, but not see they used to have 'The High Chaperal', or Alias Smith and Jones'. Then 'Oh joy be unrestrained we finally got BEEB2 with a picture so lots of cowies n' indians and no more news and current affairs.
As the years and tellys evolved the main drawback about colour telly was that colour telly was a lot clearer and the effects which were crappy in the days of black n' white were missed , but not with colour, remember the Jon Pertwee Doctor Who onwards for many years and the great soap 'Crossroads', a Birmimgham motel made of cardboard.
Then came the video and you could keep all the programmes in the growing heap of tapes that we all have and i'm afraid to admit still have. All the action and adventure dried up and replaced by soaps and game shows were ,if you were lucky you'd win a toaster. More channels flooded in with the onset of sky.
Nowadays the millions of channels we flick through with our very handy and looseable hand sized remote controls, have mainly repeats of stuff thats been on twice that same day. These days people dont want to be in a band or musicians playing gigs, etc, they just want to be pop stars ,so singing into their hairbrush is enough to get them onto the talent spotting shows that infest our telly weekend nights as in The X-Factor. The talent moved from singing to dancing to ice slating and everything is geared to 'the Celebrity!', a person whose just famous for being famous. The calendar doesn't chart the year anymore ,its what celebrity talent show is on ,Strictly Comes Dancing'; X-Factor and 'I'm a celebrity get me out of here!'
A very odd thing is the amount of adverts for training and sport training DVD's as we all need our core developed and a 6-pack ,by dancing to the instructions coming from your telly as you dance or shadow box on the mat in front of the set.....Very odd!
We're all spoiled for choice ,but unlike in the days of 2 channels were every day was different , now we have hundreds of channels all the same ,shite!