Writing about the current crop of tv programmes the other day led to me coming over all nostalgic about those that have gone the way of other extinct television dinosaurs even though they had life left in them.
The most obvious example for me is a recent one. The plug was pulled on Spooks last year after ten series and I’m still in mourning for Harry Pearce and co.
We’re told that Hunted is its new incarnation, but I am yet to be convinced. I know it’s only two episodes in, but I’m finding ti hard to work up any attachment to the pouting Sam Hunter.
But I’m meant to be talking about programmes past that I think could still hold their own among the current crop of offerings on the box.
Red Dwarf would have sprung to mind immediately, but the cult adventures of Lister, Rimmer, Kryten and the Cat that was dumped by the BBC in 1999 have been revived on digital channel Dave, proving that the Beeb was premature with the axe.
It would be nice to think that Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister could hold its own again, but I don’t think so. It may have accurately reflected the relationship between politician and civil servant in the 1980s, but The Thick Of It is the way it is today.
Another programme that was cut down in its prime for me was The Crystal Maze, a game show that was a genuine challenge with its tests of physical and mental skills hosted by the eccentric Richard O’Brien and Ed Tudor-Pole.
Yet it disappeared from our screens in 1995 after five series even though the French show, Fort Broyard, that it was based on is still going strong. There’s even a Crystal Maze app for the iPad generation.
This is the sort of post that could ramble on and on, but I won’t. One last programme I will mention though is Time Commanders that enjoyed just two seasons from 2003 to 2005.
It was quite a simple concept – to use computer game technology to recreate ancient battles and then invite teams of four to re-fight them as generals and captains.
I was able to dig out all 24 episodes on YouTube and here is one of my favourites – the Battle of Hydaspes of 326BC in what is now Pakistan. It’s a long watch, but think it’s 45 minutes well spent!