Saturday, 26 February 2011

Watch Micro Men

I seem to spend a large amount of my online time bashing the good old BBC. Forget their politics for a moment, and look at drama...

Micro Men is having a second showing and is available on iPlayer for a week:

BBC iPlayer - Micro Men

I urge you to watch it. If you remember the ZX Spectrums and BBC Micros that many of us (ahem) learned about computers from, if you remember the excitement of the time, you simply must see this. In fact if you've no interest watch it anyway  - wonderful fun.

We live in anti-patriotic times in the UK. When I was growing up there as still just an iota of the feeling that we might be growing up to achieve great things - at least in one of my schools. There the teachers excitedly showed us these new little contraptions, put together by eggheads like the strangely charismatic Clive Sinclair.

Micro Men tells the story of the development of these computers. It misses out lots of things, but there's thousands of little nods to bits of history the nerds will know about. Also actors from Blakes 7 and Doctor who in the early 80s are entertainingly cast as minor characters. Sophie (formerly Roger) Wilson, an important character in the story, makes a cameo appearance as a pub landlady in the closing shots*

Near the end Sir Clive talks about the boffin in his workshed being one of the things that made and kept this country great. I've mentioned this idea in discussions of the Industrial Revolution (earlier). Compare and contrast..

*If you think "who the hell is she", look up the ARM processor on wiki, and quite possibly inside your very modern phone...

No comments:

Post a Comment