Yesterday's Tomorrow Today!
November 26, 2011 10:18 AM   Subscribe

The BBC broadcasted the science and technology showcase show Tomorrow's World (titles on piano) on 7 July 1965 on BBC1, it ran for 38 years until it was cancelled at the beginning of 2003. Unlike the boosterism of US science programs, Tomorrow's World was more famous for it's live stunts and wry outlook ( James Burke experiences the "convenient" office of the future and the future of home gardening and crushing ennui). The BBC has an archive of episodes and clips for UK visitors, everyone else will have to be content with clips concerning Home Computers, New Banking, Nellie The School Computer, The Elliot Light Pen, Mobile Phones, and Moog Synthesizers.
posted by The Whelk (17 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I was just thinking recently I should go look for old episodes of Tomorrows World and Beyond 2000 (Australian equivalent I guess) to check out what amazing new technology actually lasted, thanks!
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:51 AM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thursday evenings were my favourite TV schedules - Tomorrows World + TOTP in one glorious hour. yay!
posted by dash_slot- at 11:07 AM on November 26, 2011 [7 favorites]

--wonders how to get around the geo restriction--
posted by bz at 11:44 AM on November 26, 2011

Featuring, near the end, theme music by the Divine Comedy.

Also an obvious inspiration for the second series of Look Around You, which everyone should really check out if they haven't all ready.
posted by subbes at 11:50 AM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

bz, maybe something like this, allegedly
posted by Z303 at 12:07 PM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Grew up watching this with my Dad, really the first science I can remember, lots of good memories, still love the 80's version of the theme tune.
posted by Z303 at 12:23 PM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I like the clip wherein Maggie Philbin predicts Instagram.

Via @revdancatt
posted by Jofus at 12:39 PM on November 26, 2011

I still miss it, really. The Gadget Show helps, but it's not the same.
posted by Segundus at 1:17 PM on November 26, 2011

Amongst UK inventors, there was the notion of The Curse of Tomorrow's World: if your invention appeared on TW, it would never make it into production.
posted by scruss at 1:32 PM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Apparently the family blew all their money on the home computer, and cannot afford to buy little Nicholas any toy cars for his track...
posted by obscurator at 1:36 PM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ah man ... The post-war, driving gloves and slacks stiff-upper-lip of Raymond Baxter, the godlike James 'Connections' Burke, the iconic 70s title sequence...

Still remember my jaw dropping when they demonstrated an early sampler synth ... Synclavier maybe.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:52 PM on November 26, 2011

Kraftwerk's 1975 appearance blew my mind then - it still does today.
posted by UnreliableNarrator at 5:23 PM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I love the "school computer" one where they teach kids how computers work by getting them to add together in binary. Excellent idea and no reason it still couldn't be done today.
posted by modernnomad at 6:16 PM on November 26, 2011

I am forever forgetting to check my computer's oil level.
posted by pompomtom at 10:24 PM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I was really impressed by the neutrino detector in the bottom of the mine in Lead, SD, which was just after James Burke's segment.... the amount and size of the equipment is impressive.
posted by MikeWarot at 12:29 AM on November 27, 2011

Watching the home computer one, I first thought "Ha ha, isn't it funny how it never occurs to them that home computers would be more than a dumb terminal with the brain elsewhere?" And then I remembered the internet and cloud computing. They were ahead of me all along.
posted by lollusc at 1:47 AM on November 27, 2011

Not complete without a link to series 2 of Look Around You.
posted by Acheman at 4:33 AM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

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