Dreaming with One Foot in the Past
9 of #100DaysToOffload
Aside from holidays, one distraction from writing is the allure of YouTube.
When I switch on the desktop and begin to plan or flesh out a new post, YouTube accidentally opens a time travel doorway to the past.
My addiction to time travel began at the turn of the century, with the purchase of my first home computer. I wanted to test the young internet's diversity. So, I set the search engine a test and looked for The Tomorrow People.
The Tomorrow People was a cheap but intriguing sci-fi adventure series for children made in the 1970s.
To my surprise, I found a Tomorrow People gold mine with fan clubs and episode guides. I thought nobody would have heard of it.
By today's internet capability, it doesn't sound a surprise at all. The internet has server space for everything from ecosexuals, who want to make love to plants, and others who believe the world is flat. The latter should come with me on my running route.
Today some of my favourite childhood programmes are on YouTube:
- The Six Million Dollar Man
- Sapphire and Steel
- Adventures of Black Beauty
- Dick Turpin
Oh, and Mrs Amworth (1975). After the lady vampire terrorised an English village, I slept with the blankets tucked hard around my neck for months.
But forget about adventure stories. What if you wanted true escapism?
A place you could go to where nobody got harmed and where the BBC wrapped you up in a warm cosy blanket of nostalgia?
What about a programme on English heritage and architecture?
Please, keep reading. 🙏🏻
Welcome to One Foot in the Past
There was a time when the late 1990s was the present moment.
The technology we know and love had its birth pains around this time. We had computers, one-handed mobile phones and the internet.
Unlike the pandemic-ridden present, the weekends back then were an oasis at the end of a mediocre working week. I'd unwind in front of the TV, and a little programme made me right again.
One Foot in the Past made me melancholy and happy at the same time.
The programme was a beacon of human achievement, invention, and the demise of the same.
If the main stories didn't evoke something in you, the interlude clips did with aerial shots of steam trains, super bridges and village folk waving to the camera which linked the main features.
One Foot was pure escapism to a world of intelligence, proper speaking English and world-class journalism.
The series ended in 2003 though I waited and waited for more.
I missed Kirsty Wark's soft Scottish accent. Kirsty, the main presenter, gave One Foot charm and ensured the programme avoided being aloof.
Kirsty then and now, anchors BBC's late evening review programme Newsnight. Kirsty is my constant reminder of the much-missed One Foot.
Thank you, Kirsty, Joan Bakewell, Dan Cruickshank and Lucinda Lambton, for the journey through time and the hope of human achievement.
Thank you One Foot in the Past for the Friday feeling, no matter when I watched.
Thank you, #YouTube, for saving the gem for others to see.
I invite you now to sit back and enjoy a 9-minute clip, have a cup of tea and escape to an innocent past, captured by something called videotape.