And so it begins: April 1976

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It occurs to me as the first scene (between Rita and Mavis) from April 5, 1976 comes on screen that I was only 18 months old at the time this screened, yet I still know who these people are. Many things are familiar and yet a lot of it is rather strange. The Rovers and the rooms of the houses seem much larger than they do in later years (perhaps the set designers got a bit more realistic about the size of a two up two down terraced house and a local pub). Every external shot is simultaneously grotty, brown, gritty and windy. I dimly remember the 70s, and this seems completely appropriate. (That’s the thing retro stuff like That 70s Show gets totally wrong: pockets of colourful grooviness were very small. Everything was brown and there was a shitload of macrame and strong-assed cigarettes.) As Deirdre and her first husband Ray walked along by the world’s most hideous canal, I couldn’t have blamed either of them if they had flung themselves into it. No wonder punk happened.

2 thoughts on “And so it begins: April 1976

  1. I suspect the room size might be down to older technology – larger cameras; bigger lights; a lot of the audience would still have been watching on tiny black and white screens and they weren’t great for detail…

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    • These are all really good points. I’ve also noticed that the sets seem to have all four walls during this period, while current shows tend to avoid showing the fourth wall if they can help it. So the larger cameras must have had to be completely within the sets instead of filming from slightly outside them as they seem to do now.

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