Five Things – 2.6.17 – Two Simple Digits

The Y2k Family Survival Guide Leonard Nimoy lends his credibility to this alarmist video produced to aid those concerned with the potential societal collapse caused by the world’s computers’ refusal to acknowledge the year 2000. This video is one of several attempts to cash in on the hysteria around the Y2K phenomenon.  1999 was the…

Five Things – 1.30.17 – I Guess You’d Look Like A Garden

Isaac Asimov’s Robots VHS Mystery Game This 1986 VHS game envisioned a murder mystery set in the universe of Isaac Asimov’s Robot books.  Loosely based on the book Caves of Steel, it’s an ambitious effort and carries a high production value – particularly for the mid-1980s, when so many were getting away with so much less….

Five Things – 1.2.17 – Sure, Mac, Sure

Connections: AT&T’s Vision Of The Future AT&T’s got a record of anticipating future trends and technologies that extends almost as far back as they do. They kind of have to; that’s their business.  This 1993 video, Connections, takes the emerging technologies of the internet and mobile phones and imagines a future that combines the two. And,…

Five Things – 12.19.16 – Go Find Your Mother

The Spirit of Christmas This strange Christmas special first hit broadcast in 1953, presented by “Your Telephone Company”. It was really Bell Telephone, but for some reason that’s never mentioned in the special. That’s just the first of many things that feel….off….about this video. The unnamed host addresses us in a poor overdub, explaining how…

Five Things – 12.12.16 – Alphie Says I Got It Right

Mr. Ed’s Christmas Story What holiday season would be complete without the ritual viewing of that one Christmas episode of that one show about the horse that can secretly talk and makes life miserable for the awkward suburban man who owns a horse that can secretly talk? Mr. Ed’s Christmas Story opens with Ed and Wilbur…

Five Things – 11.21.16 – He Collected Old Things From Ships

Sapphire & Steel If there was ever a premise that deserved a better go than it got, it’s the 1979 ITV Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series Sapphire & Steel. Sapphire & Steel focuses on the adventures of the two titular characters, transdimensional Operatives charged with keeping our timeline intact. Not really clear on what’s meant by ‘our’ timeline – Earth’s? This whole dimensions?-…

Five Things – 11.14.16 – Ticky Tacky

Homes Of The Future Walter Cronkite takes us on a 1967 journey through the home of 2001. Like most “blank-of-the-future” media from the ’50s and ’60s, lots of predictions hit the mark and others are way off.  A house with a recirculated water supply, drawing power from its own fuel cells, and a central point…

Five Things – 10.31.16 – All Manner of Ghoul and Monster

Once Upon a Midnight Scary The title of this 1979 Horror Anthology gives me a “Jonathan Livingston MURDER” vibe. That’s a compliment. Once Upon a Midnight Scary is made up of three children’s (scary) stories and was broadcast on CBS in October of 1979. Vincent Price – he of the infinite availability – hosts the set,…

Five Things – 10.17.16 – Never Known To Fail

  Robot Odyssey I’ve never been as simultaneously captivated and out of my league as I was when I played Robot Odyssey as a child in the 1980s. Robot Odyssey, created in 1984 by educational game company The Learning Company, had a unique sort of difficulty to it.  Other games by The Learning Company of the…

Five Things – 10.3.16 – This Is My Door

Jim Henson’s The Cube In the late 1960s, NBC had a short-lived Sunday afternoon anthology show titled NBC Experiment in Television. From what I can tell the show seems like a general-audience-aimed The Outer Limits, with an expectation for the audience to cut the NBC some slack if episodes strayed from traditional themes and formats.  In 1968, Jim Henson…