Monday, 6 August 2012

No strings attached…

When you were a kid… what did you watch on telly?

I remember hiding behind the sofa. I was terrified. ‘Dr Who’ was real. The Yeti’s walked along the London underground tunnels. I was afraid. I have a grainy grey and white memory of a scene when the army tried to defend London. It was too authentic, so I hid. This episode aired in 1968!

However: Thunderbirds, Stingray and Captain Scarlet were no where near as scary as Dr Who. Just listen to the soundtracks on You tube.

Stingray ‘Anything can happen in the next half hour.’

5,4,3,2,1 ‘Thunderbirds are go.’

Captain Scarlet ‘The Mysterons, sworn enemies of earth!’

Despite the passage of time these soundtracks hold a special place in my heart and even though these shows had few special effects compared to today’s block busters… I wanted to be Destiny Angel, or Lady Penelope or Aqua Marina.

These shows were marionette puppets; make believe with visible strings and wobbly scenery. Interspersed with close up shots of genuine hands and occasion shots that felt realistic. But we all knew that how ever spectacular the rescue attempted by International Rescue, the Thunderbirds team weren’t going to arrive in real life.

The storylines convinced the younger version of me. And I would happily watch these old series with my young nieces and nephews, (given an opportunity) to transport them to time when the world seemed a different place.

But is it? We all still want the same things. Don’t we? Good to fight evil. Goodness to triumph and win the day? The message hasn’t changed, has it?

My characters for my novel need to be convincing. There needs to be a protagonist and an antagonist. One of them needs to be a baddie who finds redemption. Now that’s sorted… I just need to settle down to write my blockbuster. If only it was that easy.

Which series did you love watching when you were a kid that you would re-visit now?

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