There was a time when the best way to see a film at home wasn't on a shiny disc. There was a time when the debate over 2001-A SPACE ODYSSEY on VHS or Betamax hadn't even been thought of. There was a time when the only way to watch a science fiction film at home was to catch it on BBC2 as part of the regular science fiction film seasons that used to pop up there.
Part of the reason, a quite sizeable part in truth, that I am an incurable sci fi freak is because BBC 2 would schedule a season of science fiction 'classics' at a reasonable hour of the evening (6.30 or something like that) so that I could watch them between dinnertime and bedtime.
The films were always the same ones, but that didn't matter. Some of them were good, some of them were great and some of them were bloody awful, but they were science fiction and they were there. What more does a growing geek need?
It was there that I first discovered the real joys of SILENT RUNNING, FORBIDDEN PLANET, COLOSSUS - THE FORBIN PROJECT, WAR OF THE WORLDS and THEM! These are films that I have loved all my life it seems and copies of them on tape and disc have always lived in my house. Giant ants, cute robots, killer computers, invading martians and a machine as big as a planet. That was the stuff of imagination.
In the second rank of movies there would be THIS ISLAND EARTH and WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE - pulp to be sure, but quality pulp.
And then there was INVADERS FROM MARS and TARANTULA, movies that were never any good, but always got trotted out to fill out the season.
Without these movies I wouldn't be the sci-fi obsessive that I am. Some would say that's a good thing, but if the alternative were an interest in Morris Dancing? I shudder to consider it.
So, a heartfelt thank you to the schedulers of BBC2 for helping me to find the larger universe that is available out there. And if you fancy doing a quick season of sci fi movies on BBC 2 I could get my kids to watch.