Yes, yes, happy new arbitrary point in the earth’s orbit and all that. I have more important things to talk about. Like TV.
(If I were running things then the year would start/end at a solstice or equinox or something. You know, a date that means something. Hrumph.)
Anyway, I remembered a TV show the other day that I haven’t thought of for years. The trouble is I don’t know the name of it, and can only remember a few fragments of plot. This is driving me nuts so I thought I’d start off the new year by putting all the details I can remember about it up online, thus making it someone else’s problem.
It was a live action show. I have a vague suspicion that it was made somewhere in Europe, and dubbed into English – or at least it was filmed in English but in association with a French or Belgian or Dutch (or maybe German) TV network. The plot (insofar as I remember it) was that at some point in the future the world is threatened. You see, in the future everyone wanders around in white robes in a big white building, listening to a super intelligent computer – which appears to be nothing more than a large perspex cube. This computer predicts that some kind of cataclysm is going to occur – a comet, or a planet or an asteroid is going to collide with the earth. Oy gevalt!
Now, the super civilisation of the future is based around the discoveries of a brilliant scientist who was born in the 20th century. In his memoirs he mentioned that he once developed a formula that could be used to move a planet – exactly what the future people need to do to save the earth. But, the formula doesn’t appear anywhere in his papers. So the future people decide they need to travel back in time to the 1980s (when the scientist – about 12 years old at the time – says that he developed the formula) and get it off him – without disturbing the time line by walking up to him and saying “Hey! We’re from the future!”.
So a small team travels back to the 1980s and spends most of their time stumbling around, not actually achieving anything.
They do however (somehow) become involved with a local tramp, who wanders around whitling things. Right at the end of the series they rescue the tramp from being hit by a car (and for some reason) immediately need to return to the future without the formula. Because the tramp is supposed to be dead, they take him with them. Once back in the future they get all mournful about how the mission failed and they’re all going to die.
Meanwhile the tramp notices that the perspex cube supercomputer isn’t level, and quickly whittles a wedge to correct the situation. The computer then announces “Hey, guess what! I wasn’t on a level surface so my calculations were off, the comet/asteroid/planet is going to miss us, hooray!” and everyone lives happily ever after.
The series ends with the boy genius and his girlfriend sitting on a pier back in the 1980s. She asks him what he’s carving into the wood, and he tells her it’s a formula to move planets. THE END.
It was a very weird show – everything was very grey and grim. Lots of melancholy shots of salt marsh and things. I remember a couple of other scenes, one of the future people ransacking the kid’s house (which in the future is a scheduled monument of some kind), and a couple of the time travellers sitting around at a party noting that all of the songs the locals are singing are about love. But that’s it.
So, what the hell was I watching? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Happy new year y’all! 😀