Better TV VS Failing Eyesight


I recently bought a new TV. It has a screen suitable for drive-in movies. It’s as thin as a credit card. It’s HD and 3D. You can see the hairs on a mosquito’s legs. You can see inside Susan Boyle’s nostrils. But of course if you watch reruns of ‘Dad’s Army’, it looks like you’re viewing everything through a paper bag.

Meanwhile my eyesight is getting worse. I figure that as TV improves and my eyes worsen, we’ll hit an equilibrium where everything will look like it did on TV in about 1966. I can live with that.

Or at least I thought I could. But now they’ve gone and remastered all the episodes of The Avengers, and what once looked nicely blurry is now rendered into crystal-sharp focus. See the sets wobble! See the boom shadow! See every single one of the continuity errors!

But you know what? The dialogue is still so far ahead of any other fantasy-based TV show that it really doesn’t matter. Once again, it’s all about the writing. So, keep your glitzy US TV fantasy shows with their stargates and battlestars and reams of worthy dull dialogue. Give me a guy in a bowler hat and a girl in a catsuit, and have them talk smut while investigating a village where time stops.

And somebody, please, have another go at the franchise. But don’t allow the people who remade it or the new version of ‘The Prisoner’ anywhere in the building. Thank you.

11 comments on “Better TV VS Failing Eyesight”

  1. keith Page says:

    Yes, The Avengers still looks good.The film version proved that Patrick Macnee is a really
    difficult act to follow. Can anyone think of a suitable current actor? Also, I’m not sure that
    the bowler hat/ Edwardian suit would quite work in 2010

  2. Porl says:

    excellent taste!

    I’ve recently bought the early Julie Stevens / Honor Blackman ones. The quality is fantastic, given the shoddy prints that were shown by Bravo/Granada Plus or whoever did in the nineties. But the writing is bang on, and way ahead of its time…

    PS – Nigel Havers and Gina McKee perhaps?

  3. You realize of course that asking for a remake is just asking for grief and heartache? Even if English TV has far better writers than the US one (let’s not even mention the French one), there’s pretty little hope that thunder will strike twice.

    Something along the lines of the PRISONER remake/updating/variation/whatever is far more likely.

  4. Martha says:

    Alan Rickman and almost anybody

  5. J. Folgard says:

    Oh, the Avengers. I’ve watched countless tv shows and it still stands as my favorite, something you can always return to. It was classy without being dull, never stupid but always fun -I hate waxing nostalgic but I fell like a ten-years old again when I watch it. Can’t beat that, right..?

  6. J. Folgard says:

    -Oh, and Alan Rickman as Steed would be intriguing!

  7. Steve says:

    We have to pay extra to get HD channels. My wife won’t do it because…speaking of eyesight…she can’t see the difference. We have an HD set, so at least I can watch all those British DVD’s in High Def. We watch more British than American TV, mainly because the writing IS much better.
    The Avengers….yes, loved it.

  8. I.A.M. says:

    Steve: there’s a surprising number of channels whose HD versions you can get over the air with an antenna (as opposed to true specialty cable HD stations that aren’t broadcast over the air at all). There is no need to get any special antenna, either. Hell, our’s is made of two sections of coat-hanger, some old coaxial cable, and a cardboard box! Here’s the plans: and that also has a link to another site where you can discover what stations broadcast over the air and where their tower is in relation to where you are.

    I’ve just finished watching the last half of the entire run of Blake’s 7 on a 46″, flat-screen, LED, 1080 HD, 3D ready television. Not only were there vast chunks of the screen un-used (square-ish picture on long rectangle screen), the results were wonderfully… oh who am I kidding; it was originally a tiny bit of really low-quality SFX, and now was just a massive version of that. Really really big and still just as really really awful-looking sets. One prop drove me to open a second bottle of wine last evening: what was purported to be ‘a particular computer circuit’ from the advanced, highly complicated computer, looked for all the world like a baking sheet with four thin strips of bright pink gelatin. Heck, they didn’t even use much gelatin, because the sheet was a good 10-14 inches wide and the pink bits were only about 3/4 inch by six inches at the most. This was 1981! I could’ve done a fancier and more effective prop at the time, and I was only 14!

    That said, yes: The Avengers is wonderful. Jennifer thinks it’s “very silly” and doesn’t care for it. Heavens! It’s the silly parts of it that make the show GREAT!

  9. Steve says:

    Yes, I knew about over-the-air HD channels, but…we have DVD’s, Roku, and Satellite. And we ALWAYS watch TV together when we DO watch, unless I’m watching “Fringe”, which my wife doesn’t like…all that alternate universe stuff bores her. Her preference is for monsters. Something to do with her mother, I believe.

    And yes, I agree – “silly” rules!

  10. Helen Martin says:

    Watched a girl on ‘Daily Planet’ do a perfect Avengers thing. blowing away the smoke from her gun and standing – well, you know, the way she did.

  11. Helen Martin says:

    Mrs. Peel, I mean. My mind blanked there for a minute.

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