Last night I set the video to tape Cry, The Beloved Country on Channel 4. But that’s not quite what I found on my tape this afternoon…
I had woken up at some point during the night, whilst the video was recording, and glanced at the TV set to see the Big Brother house. Even in my semi-wakeful state, I knew that wasn’t right. I looked again, and saw that it was a flickering still image from the live Big Brother feed, resembling a very low quality video capture. I grabbed for the remote and mashed the buttons, just in case I had switched to something else before falling asleep. But everything had been exactly as I’d left it.
Right channel. Wrong picture.
And yet, the plot thickens. I turned up the sound on the TV, and immediately heard the unmistakable baritone of James Earl Jones. That could only mean one thing. The film was being broadcast, alright; I just couldn’t see it.
_What the fuck is up with that?!?_ Don’t they have people in the broadcast centre who’s job it is to notice these things?? I know it was the middle of the night, but there’s still no excuse for this kind of bullshit.
Of course despite my anger I was so tired that I promptly fell back alseep and forgot about the whole thing until earlier this afternoon. As I rewound the tape to the starting point I thought to myself, _what happened last night was far too real, it couldn’t have been a dream, could it?_
Alas, a dream it was not. The whole film is technically captured on the tape, and potentially enjoyable if, maybe, I were blind: the first 57 minutes, you see, are completely invisible. And not even so much as an acknowledgement, let alone an apology, from Channel 4.
(Presuming that the problem lies with them, that is; though if NTL were responsible there wouldn’t have been any audio either.)
Sure it’s not the end of the world, you might say. But what if they started pulling shit like that all the time? They wouldn’t last much longer if they did. The least Channel 4 can do is reschedule the film for some other night within the next few weeks, but somehow I doubt that’s going to happen.
And so ends my hydrophobic ranting for now. Regular programming (and blood pressure) will resume shortly.