As many of us Ozzers who are Gen X will remember (and having had our seminal teen years in the mid to late 80's), our TV screens loved the repeats. And I mean loved them. They honoured 20 year old TV series well into our teens in that all important crucial block of time of arriving home from school (around 4 to 4.30 pm) and being called for dinner (6 - 6.30 pm).
Now as a kid I did not have the ability to properly contextualise television. For example, when the 60's Batman series was run again I was I think in year one or two. I believe it repeated on us, like a bad curry, at several periods right into high school. Same bat time - same freaking bat channel.
And I ... f_cking ... loved it.
I did not see the camp side of it. I only saw the kewlness of it. Like the fights. Batman going the uppercut (BAFF !), the swinging Robin around in a circular motion to catch advancing henchmen (SWONK !), then diving off a staircase and hanging off a curtain rope / chandelier / noose /electrical cord and knocking more henchies down like nine pins (WHACKO !).
Left: Batman sorting a crim out with some sock action.
Did this translate to the school yard? You betcha. I can remember playing Batman and Robin for hours at an end. Of course all the sexual subtext was missing in action as far as I was concerned, as was the references to the 60's throughout like the lurid pinks and purples, and the references to swinging ('How about a Bat Sandwich Robin?')
And of course the always useful utility belt. That had anything and everything, all prefaced with the word Bat. Bat Shark Repellant. Bat soap on a rope. One episode, at the end, Batman pulled out a fish to feed a particularly helpful seal. Pure gold.
And we cannot fail to mention the spinning logo and the 'duna - lunna - lunnel - la' music to indicate a scene change. I used to do that at the dinner table when the switch was made from main to dessert.
And as I kid I had a complete ignorance about things like logic (for example Henchman that had the words 'HENCHMEN 1#' on their skivvys - which made them stand out in a crowd). Not to mention and the complete inability of super villans to assassinate Batman properly, or kill him outright upon capture (which routinely happened every second episode to provide a cliff hanger).
Left: Robin and Batman in a cliff hanger - obviously poisoned with some bad acid. If only batman had something in his utility belt that Robin could fumble for to get them out of this dastardly scheme.
Like Scotty says. 'Dad, I got a gun in my room. Let me go get it and we'll pop them.' To recall more Batman goodness go here
Man I'm pounding my fist into my hand now, just thinking about watching all this golly gosh goodness.
The other routinely replayed program, that stood the test of time, was of course Get Smart by the redoubtable Mel Brooks.
Again, I was a kid. So the fact it was a comedy completely escaped me. 'Missed him by that much' entered the lexicon. As did 'Would you believe two girl guides and an escaped inuit mental patient.' And let's not forget 'the old (insert surprise) in the (common occurence) trick' eg 'the old midget assassin in the mailbox trick'. Didn't get the underlying humour - but it just seemed the right thing to say.
I loved the opening sequence with the ten or so doors, and the phone booth lift (I'd stand behind the couch and hit a pretend button to 'vanish' out of sight). At school we'd whip off our shoes and make calls to each other. Villains of course all spoke in a dodgy German accent ("Schmart !").
Left: Ahh, the shoe phone. Now comedy gold - and a useful plot device in an era where mobile communications was not possible.
The Cone of Silence. Man how kewl was the f_cking Cone of Silence? Everytime I'd be raging 'Why are you using that you fools? It NEVER WORKS !' I think I used to run in and complain to mum about their IDIOCY !
Left: You frickin' idiots. Again with the Cone of Silence.
But the best thing of all was that emergency code thing that Max would yell, and the alarms would go off, and in come three guys. I can only remember two of them. One was a frogman in the full get up with a submachine gun and flippers. The other was a fireman in a hazmat suit that would periodically squirt foam from an extinguisher.
For more Get Smart recollection see here.
Occasionally I'm home from work sick during that golden glow of the day between 4 pm and 6. And I will flick on the TV. And what's on? Shit all. It's all frickin' pony club bitches and their 'do I ride Silver, or stick with Andrella?' woes and tribulations, or Bold and the frickin' Beautiful (which is neither bold - nor beautiful), or Totally vomit inducing Wild, or shithouse game shows for kids, or various other mind sapping dross.
What kids need is a damn good repeat of Monkey !
At least the ABC has gone back to its roots with Dr Who repeats. And it's on the same time as when I was a kid too. I may be too fat to crawl under the couch away from the Cybermen. And the exotic alien locations may now be recognisable as merely them shooting footage in the steam pipe room at the BEEB, or the roof, but I don't care. It's still awesome tellie and it kicks the poo out of today's lameness for kids.
Rock on 80's repeat TV. I salute you.
(Punters - what awesome afternoon TV from the 80's do you cheerish with a warm inner glow? Monkey got your tongue? Are you a Ghostbuster's Cartoon Booster? Goodies fanatic?)