What is television? It seems a fair and timely question to ask, now that it’s coming at us from so many angles, on so many platforms, from so many producers. Television has always been in my life, it’s the norm nowadays.
So let’s begin near the beginning. An interview with my Dad, Nigel, has changed my perspective on television.
My Dad being the story type started the conversation like so, “Once upon a time there was a thing called a television set. You knew where you stood with it, and you knew where it stood: in your house, in a fairly stationary, semi-permanent, prominent way — a box, ours was a very big box, a piece of furniture really, it sat on a table that could convert into a chair. It didn’t hang on a wall, you couldn’t carry it around in your pocket or wear it on your wrist”.
“My mother, father, younger brother and I lived in a house at Charlottes Pass. Our television was in the living room, it never occurred to us of wanting one in our bedrooms it just wasn’t the normal thing, unlike nowadays, having a laptop is like having a portable television. My memories of television were spent watching Dr Who and The Goodies, right after school or just before dinner. You see, we only had one channel, ABC. My brother and I mainly watched telly as a way of recovering after an exhausting day of school, we would sit and have milk and a cookie before heading right outside again to play. Right before dinner was when the good shows were on”.
“School holidays gave us an opportunity to watch more, only if we went on vacation in Sydney, we looked forward to having more than one channel and better channels at that. We could watch cartoons for a change, ABC never had cartoons, all the while being in black and white”.
Television has changed dramatically over the years, it is sometimes easy to forget how lucky we are, being able to actually channel surf, or even click through Netflix. My dad didn’t have much to talk about television, he said it was not a big part of his life until much later. I on the other hand, can talk about my television childhood memories for ages. It just goes to show the major breakthrough in television only over a few years.
Thank you Dad for your help and mixing it up by answering my questions through story. Love you.