Which quality television shows deserve to be put in a time capsule to be opened 100 years from now?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by vincefan, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. vincefan

    vincefan Stunt Coordinator

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    All genres can be counted including, drama. comedy, talk and variety, news magazine shows. Below is my list.

    Ben Casey
    Twilight Zone
    All in the Family
    Mary Tyler Moore
    Dick Van Dyke
    Seinfeld
    Rockford Files
    Hawaii Five O
    Edward R. Murrow
    60 Minutes
    The Anthology Series
    Jack Benny
    Dean Martin
    Mash
    Law and Order
    I Love Lucy
    Police Story
    Tonight Show w/Johnny Carson
    David Letterman

    I could go on. I would love your input. Thanks. I am blanking out.
     
  2. DaveHof

    DaveHof Stunt Coordinator

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    So many possibilities. I think anything that goes in a time capsule should show how people lived at the time the series was filmed. So while I Love Lucy should go in because of its sheer brilliance, Leave it to Beaver should be in there as well. Say rule should apply for the 60s, 70s, 80s, etc.
     
  3. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I agree with most of the shows above.

    Here's some excellent shows (in alphabetical order) from the last 20 years or so that can proudly stand with what's already listed:

    Lost
    Seinfeld
    The Shield
    The Simpsons
    The Sopranos
    Twin Peaks
    The Wire
    The X-Files
     
  4. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Cinematographer

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    Howie
    The Adventures of Superman (George Reeves)
    The Avengers
    The Bob Newhart Show
    The Donna Reed Show
    Fawlty Towers
    The Flintstones
    Gilligan's Island (yes, I said it... someone had to, although it'll probably still be playing somewhere)
    The Jetsons (TOS)
    Jonny Quest (TOS)
    Leave it to Beaver
    Mission Impossible
    Monty Python's Flying Circus
    The Outer Limits (TOS)
    The Prisoner
    Star Trek (TOS)
    Wild, Wild West

    Of course there are more and almost anyone will tend to include some of their favorites whether or not they are truly deserving. I know I have...
     
  5. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    David's idea is a good one, reflecting the era, etc.

    Adam-12. Late 60's-early 70's cop show. To me, captured a realistic day in the life of an LA patrol car's calls.
    Barney Miller. Being around then, this one to me reflected that mid-70's NYC era
    Bewitched. Nope, not "Sam" twitching
    Hogan's Heroes. Enough said. Classic.
    Honey West. Lesser-known '65 detective show with an unusual female lead.
    The Lone Ranger. Clayton Moore seasons only. Later 50's memories watching that one after school.
    Looney Tunes. Can't omit some of those.
    Rawhide. One of the best Westerns ever, imo. Captured that cattle-drive hostoric era.
    The Rifleman. One of the best "father-son" shows ever, imo. Having met Johnny Crawford years ago, special memories for me.
    Time Tunnel. My all-time "kid" memory scifi favorote.
    Wild Wild West. Especially the 1st B/W season. Robert Conrad had that part nailed with great acting repport between him and Ross Martin.

    A couple of miniseries to finish up:

    Centennial. Wow. What a series depicting several generations of Colorado history.
    Rich Man, Poor Man. 70's icon miniseries
    Shogun. Early 80's series. imo, one of the best ever miniseries.
    Winds of War & War/Rememberance. WWII historical dramas with stellar cast.
     
  6. Cheetah

    Cheetah Stunt Coordinator

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    Without question Saturday Night Live due to how each season addressed life as it was during the time it originally aired (including the politics, news and entertainment/music of the day) and in turn how it impacted popular culture.
     
  7. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    STAR TREK (oiriginal)
    M*A*S*H
    THE TWILIGHT ZONE
     
  8. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    MATT LINCOLN
     
  9. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    My picks --

    Cinderella (the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, original broadcast w/Julie Andrews)
    Dick Van Dyke
    The Fugitive
    Hill Street Blues
    Law & Order (the original, not SVU & CI)
    Leave It To Beaver (yeah, I know -- but it's an icon)
    Mary Tyler Moore
    MASH
    Playhouse 90
    St. Elsewhere
    Victory at Sea
    You Are There

    But --

    Here's a question for you: what format will you put it in? Film will likely fade in 100 years and today's formats -- both digital and analog -- will be obsolete and unreadable. Remember 3-1/2" floppy disks? 5-1/4" floppies? LPs? 45s? Two-inch reel tape? Quarter-inch reel tape? Punch cards? Videocassettes? Eight-tracks? How about audio cylinders and dictaphone reels? And HD DVD? They all came and went in the last 100 years -- HD DVD in the last five! Predictions are that CDs will be gone soon. Anyone think DVD and Blu-ray will be around in 2109?

    Even if you take the safest choice (film), and manage to keep the film from fading, don't count on projectors being around, especially for specialized formats. More and more Hollywood films are being shot digital and shown digital, so the days of those big 35mm projectors are probably numbered. Heck, who knows how long Kodak will even make film? As for any other film format, ever try to find a 16mm projector recently? You can do it, but it ain't easy.

    Conclusion: I don't envy anyone in the time capsule business!
     
  10. Curtis F

    Curtis F Stunt Coordinator

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    Originally Posted by Rick Thompson
     
  11. Guest

    Roots
    The Brady Bunch
    Dallas
    All in the Family
    The Honeymooners
    The Twilight Zone
    I Love Lucy
    The Flintstones
    Seinfeld
    Survivor
    Jeoardy!
    Wheel of Fortune
    Wonder Woman
     
  12. Guest

    Roots
    The Brady Bunch
    Dallas
    All in the Family
    The Honeymooners
    The Twilight Zone
    I Love Lucy
    The Flintstones
    Seinfeld
    Survivor
    Jeoardy!
    Wheel of Fortune
    Wonder Woman
     
  13. Guest

    duplicate post
     
  14. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    A few documentaries:

    The Ascent of Man
    Cosmos
    Connections
    & Connections 2 (the later series were not as good, in my view)
    Ken Burns' The Civil War
    Civilisation
    Planet Earth
    The Blue Planet


    Mini-Series:

    The Adams Chronicles
    Pride and Prejudice (the 1996 BBC version with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle)
    The Winds of War
    War and Remembrance
    I, Claudius

    Ursala K. Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven (the 1980 PBS adaptation which Le Guin herself was involved with and approved, not the execrable 2002 "Lathe of Heaven" produced by A&E, which abandoned half the plot and characters from the novel and the earlier film, as well as most of the philosophical underpinnings of both. Le Guin pronounced it "misguided and uninteresting", and from what I saw of it, I agree.)
    QBVII The first mini-series on American television launched Anthony Hopkins as an international star. Follows the lives of two men who come from different worlds and follow very different paths through the horrors of WW2 until their paths finally cross in a London courtroom during a sensational libel case that could destroy one or both of them.
    Shogun. Historical drama set in Japan. Heavily fictionalized, which loses huge points with me, but still a fascinating epic that has scale, sweep, color and some wonderful performances, beginning with Richard Chamberlain as a shipwrecked Englishman who becomes the first European to join the ranks of the samurai.

    I'll doubtless think of more later.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  15. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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    Magnum P.I.
    Simon & Simon
    Battlestar Galactica (latest version)
    SCTV
    Six Feet Under
    Deadwood
    Cheers
    Frasier
    Band Of Brothers
    From The Earth To The Moon
    Babylon 5
    Star Trek: The Next Generation
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
     
  16. LizH

    LizH Second Unit

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    Max Headroom
    I Dream of Jeannie
    The Golden Girls (Even now, 25 years after its premiere, it's as fresh and funny as ever. )
     
  17. Venice-H

    Venice-H Agent

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    I'm not sure how to answer the original question. Do I choose for my own interests, or do I choose for the sake of history? Do I choose high-quality shows with limited interest (at the time), or do I choose shows that were "typical" for the era?

    A more intriguing and answerable question came later:

    Digital, by definition, is a bunch of 0s and 1s, which are easy to store, copy, and translate. I'm not sure if DVD and Blu-Ray will be the reigning formats in 100 years (I very much doubt it), but the format used then is likely to still be digital. I don't know if film will even have a role then.
     
  18. smithb

    smithb Screenwriter

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    While I agree with many already posted, I have to add two more:
    - Honeymooners (classic 39 episodes)
    - Andy Griffith Show (seasons 1 through 5)
     
  19. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    Film probably won't (though low-tech things have been written off before and survive still. Books, anyone?). As for digital being "easy to store, copy, and translate", it ain't necessarily so, to quote the Gershwins. Remember, whatever medium you put it on will stay locked away in a box underground for 100 years. It won't be transferred to something newer, like data on floppies being copied to CD.

    Consider this from Cliff Stoll, who in 1979 helped record the data from the NASA Pioneer spacecraft's flyby of Saturn: "To make certain that we didn't lose any of this precious data, we saved it in four formats: 9-track magnetic tape, 7-track tape, paper tape, and punch cards. Fifteen years later, all those cards and tapes survive in a Tucson warehouse. They're in fine shape, but I can't read 'em. Punch-card and paper-tape readers just don't exist any more. Nor do those big reel-to-reel tape recorders." He was writing in 1994, and you see how high-end technology got obsolete real fast.

    In short, it's not the data that's the problem; it's how you store it. Anyone assuming DVDs will be readable 100 years hence, good luck. You're assuming that you have a player (and as suggested above you could put one in the capsule). You're also assuming however:

    (a) The player will power up in 2109 and hasn't gone bad from sitting unused for a century (and that 110-volt alternating current is still in use, probably a safe bet but who knows for sure?) -- if it doesn't power up or skips, who'll know how to fix it?;

    (b) The DVD itself hasn't fallen victim to rot of some kind (even the manufacturers aren't claiming 100-year lifetimes, and while plastic may be almost forever, substrate layers staying stuck together and uncontaminated is not); and

    (c) The screen has NTSC compatibility.

    On that last, you could put a player with built-in screen into the box, but that still leaves you with (a) and (b).

    Like I said, I don't envy anyone in the time capsule business!
     
  20. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    I agree with perhaps four or five of the programs some of listed above but no more than that.

    I would add the documentaries by Ken Burns.
     

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