I'm quite heavily into nostalgia at the moment.
LOOK-IN: THE BEST OF THE SEVENTIES is a lovely reminder of a time when children's tv (and children's culture in general) wasn't obsessed with or dicated by the phenomenon of the Short Attention Span. The programmes were just there and were all the more special because you only got to see them once - or maybe twice, if they were repeated. THE TOMORROW PEOPLE and SPACE 1999, in particular, were personal highlights but there were many others as you'll discover all over again.
A mirror to its elder sibling (peak-time ITV), some really quite awful stuff was commissioned in the name of the young throughout the decade that taste forgot (see final paragraph) but, for all that, much of it remains memorable. Why? Well, it may not have seemed like it at the time, but there was a reassuring discipline to children's viewing habits then which doesn't exist now. And I, for one, am glad there was.
In complete contrast to virtually the entire spectrum of its dismal output today, ITV in the early to mid-70's really had the upper hand over the BBC when it came to classic family-oriented television - the good stuff was good indeed. ACE OF WANDS, FOLLYFOOT, MAGPIE, HOW, TIMESLIP, MARC, ROBERT'S ROBOTS, ARTHUR OF THE BRITONS, CATWEAZLE, UFO...without realising it, we were very lucky. And so to this book...
Articles, interviews and comic strips are all perfectly reproduced, as are many of the classic covers - bright, cheerful and exciting and responsible for attracting me and thousands of other children to regularly part with our limited funds. Maybe at the expense of a pack of Spangles or Treats (Minstrels), or a couple of Totem Poles or a Zoom, it was always worth it though. Known as the 'Junior TV Times', LOOK-IN (along with COUNTDOWN and TV ACTION) was an essential part of this boy's boyhood and may explain many things - especially to my wife. Having said that, for those few wonderful years between 1971 and 1976, I wouldn't have done without it.
You could argue that it's precisely BECAUSE we've moved on technology-wise that the archive material celebrated here is now easily researchable online and need gather dust no longer. Fine. And scary too (did I mention PAULINE'S QUIRKES or 'pop sensations' THE ARROWS?). Whatever the case, take a good look back through these pages first - if you're in your early to mid-forties, LOOK-IN: THE BEST OF THE SEVENTIES, will evoke many happy childhood memories and, for that reason alone, it comes-
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED