The World at Large

Moving to the US

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I'm able to remember quite a lot from my early years due to the fact that we moved several times. Having a place to associate memories with seems to help me recall things that I doubt I could remember otherwise. It also helps give me an approximate age of the memory. I know my mother doubted some of my earlier recollections, but I was able to convince her by drawing a plan of the house we lived in before I turned 2.

One of the things I remember vividly from my earlier years was watching TV with my father. Dad enjoyed science fiction, and since he was my hero it was natural that I would get into it as well. While in New Zealand I remember watching quite a few TV series with a SciFi theme:
The last two were definitely favorites. Unfortunately, almost ALL of these series were unavailable when we moved to the family farm just before I turned 5. It was very frustrating for me, and I probably idealized many of them while growing up. Some of them have proven to be disappointing for me when I watched them again decades later, but some of them were just as good as I remembered. On the other hand, we expect different things out of TV shows these days, so it's hard to judge the quality objectively.

My final memory of New Zealand was watching TV at the house of family friends while waiting for our flight back to Australia. The show that we watched was Thunderbirds, though I don't recall the episode. I didn't get to see it again for years, but I always made time for it whenever I discovered it.

So when I found a DVD of Thunderbirds at Borders, I couldn't help but bring it home to indoctrinate my own sons. It's been an eye opening experience.

Through my rose tinted glasses I never stopped to think about what type of show this is. The themes are for older children than Luc and Nicolas (such as greed, near death situations, and the occasional gunfight), but fortunately the fact that the action is all performed by marionettes makes it a little more palatable. What really astonished me was how completely taken they are with the show. Everything from the factory exploding in the opening credits, through to mid-air dogfights have completely captivated both boys. It's strange to hear a 3 year old pretending to fly around the house suddenly yell out, "I've been hit! Mayday! Mayday!"

Luc is constantly building impressively inventive spaceship designs with his "Builders and Benders" and other building blocks, and he often gets us involved in a 5-1 countdown for various actions. Nic runs around holding toy rocket ships up high and saying "fshhhhhhhhhh!" for the sound effects. Just today Luc told Anne that he wants to be an astronaut. It's so amazingly stereotypical "boy" behavior. It really makes me wonder what I was like when I was obsessed with the same show at the same age.

I'm happy, because now I have enthusiastic company whenever I want to see an episode. Anne's attitude is more one of blaming me. Good thing she loves me, else I'd be in serious trouble. :-)


At 9:05 PM, Blogger nancye said...

PAUL. So pleased to know you loved and still enjoy, the Thunderbirds. I cannot wait to get to Borders to buy the DVD. You will not remnember me but I was married to Jim your Father's youngest brother. I remember visiting your family when you were young and you were concerned about being on time. Csannot remember where we were going but you constantly looked at your watch.
I enjoy reading your Blog. Regards Nancye


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