Sunday, 15 January 2017

582 The Real World



First  viewed  : 29  November  1982

I'm  pretty  sure  this was  the  only  time  I  tuned  into  ITV's  rival  to  Tomorrow's  World .  It  was
however  the  TV  event  of  the  week  as  the  programme  was  going  to  present  some  3D  images  and  special  glasses  were  given  away  with  TV  Times  that  week  to  enable  viewers  to  enjoy  them.

TVS  had  poached  Michael  Rodd  from  the  BBC  to  present  the  series  alongside  the  mumsy  Sue  Jay  ( and  later  Jackie  Spreckley )  . It  had  a  more  thematic  approach  compared  to  Tomorrow's  World's  magazine  style  though  the  most  intriguing  scientific  mystery  of  all, how  not  a  single  strand  of  Michael's  hair  had  moved  since  Screen   Test , remained  unsolved.

The  3D   episode, which  seems  to  be  pretty  much  the  only  thing  anyone  can  now  recall  about  the  series, was  something  of  a  let  down. The  team  had  cobbled  together  some  cheap  effects  to  throw  at  you  - a   bull  in  a  china  shop  coming  towards  the  screen, a  boxer  throwing  a  punch, girl  on  a  swing  etc,  then  repeated  them  all   at  the  end   to  eke out  the  time  if   you  hadn't  been  disappointed  enough  the  first  time  round.   The  rest  of  the  programme  was  technical  and  drab; Rodd  was  an  effective  communicator  but  this  stuff   was  a  tough  sell  for  a  7pm  audience. The  fact  that  35  years  later  we  still  don't  have  3-D  television  shows  how  effective  the  "experiment"  was  although  the  predictions  about  3-D  cinema  eventually  came  true.

The  Real  World   ran  for  three  seasons  before  being  ditched.  Apart  from   a  short  series  on  Channel  4  in  1987,  ( Circuit  Training,  which  must  have  entirely  passed  me  by )  Rodd  hasn't  had  a  regular  TV  gig  since,  although  he's  alive  and  well  and  still  running  the  company  he  set  up  to  advise  businesses  on  new  technology.

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