Electric Dreams

Electric Dreams starts on the 29th of September, 9pm on BBC4.

Here are a few photos I took during filming…

My desk (click for larger pics) with Star Wars, Mr T, Scully, Beetlejuice, Pee-Wee Herman figures, a PacMan table top game, a Little Professor and a guy made out of Lego by my son:

One of my shelves with various annuals and retro tech books:

Another shelf with a PacMan boardgame and Microserfs by Douglas Coupland:

My favourite bit of filming so far was at CERN where I interviewed Robert Cailliau about the development of the World Wide Web.

Tim Berners-Lee’s original proposal for what would become the World Wide Web:

The computer the World Wide Web was developed on:

10 Responses to “Electric Dreams”
  1. I’m a complete dufus for not knowing anything about this, but – thank the lord for Google Reader :)

    Looks good and I’ll tune in too.


  2. neil h says:

    Excellent! I’m really looking forward to this programme – did you get to keep any of the gadgets off of the set? :-)

  3. giagia says:

    Neil, no, I didn’t get to keep anything! Some people did though. I already have a bunch of retro tech stuff and didn’t want to fill my house up with loads more!

  4. Karim says:

    I watched today’s broadcast episode of Electric Dreams about the 70’s. WOW! what a nostalgia trip.

    I can’t wait for next week’s 80’s episode.

    I’ve been putting together an 80’s nostalgia trip video for a few months now. It’ll be about 80’s gadgets and I’ll upload to YouTube soon.

  5. Andy says:

    I see a NeXT cube! Nice! I would love one of those, but they are still quite expensive. I know we have one at http://www.computinghistory.org.uk , but I want one of my own! :)

    I also spot a Little Professor! Nice!

    Im looking forward to the 1980’s show. I spotted a BBC Model B in the preview clips!

  6. Neil says:

    Dear Gia,

    Just saw the 1980s episode of Electric Dreams on iPlayer and had a question: who chose the gadgets that would go into the house? I know that the family themselves picked between a ZX Spectrum and BBC, but I was specifically wondering why, as the decade wore on, they remained stuck with something invented in 1981 (the BBC).

    I appreciate that there are restrictions within a 60-minute programme, but it is quite misleading to suggest that anyone would be using a BBC home computer in the late ’80s. There was some great plug-and-play console gaming technology available in the UK from 1987 onwards, but I suspect that the programme’s producers excluded it because it would not fit with this particular episode’s premise — that “nothing worked” in the 1980s. Is that a fair perspective? Or am I bring unreasonable (to, clearly, go along with being totally geeky about it all)?

    Best wishes,

  7. giagia says:

    “Nothing worked” cos, well, nothing worked! We did have alot more trouble with the tech in the 80s than in the 70s or 90s…

    The reason they still had the BBC Micro is both a time thing *and* cos they couldn’t get things to load on it! It would have been a shame to have snatched it away before they got to use it.

    Also, there were a lot (a lot) of things that were given to them and filmed that never made any of the programmes. eg in the 90s they had loads of different computers, but I don’t remember any of the upgrades making the final programme at all.

    There was definitely well over 100 hours filmed for each of the decades- in the house and with the Tech Team- so you can imagine how difficult it was for the directors!

  8. Karim Ahmad says:

    Saw the 80’s episode last night (Sky +’ed it). I had a BBC Master in the 1980’s. I got my dad to buy it as the school got a few of them also.

    I also think that they were used by the Beeb for Ceefax (is that correct..?) I used to program it for the same sort of graphics/menu’s.. (Sad, I know but I loved it).

    I also spotted a Sony ‘Cube’ radio/alarm clock in the show – I had one!

    Great show I can totally beleive how the 80’s gadgets had to keep being repaired because I KEPT FIXING THEM. (I always wondered where I got my passion for electronics and computing from..)

    I love the memories it brings back while watching the show.


  9. james says:

    Watched the whole series with my girlfriend beside me. Oddly nostalgic for the both of us even though we only both really remember the 90s. Then again my dad only decorated once every 10 years.

    Besides my gripes about how ‘typical’ the household depicted (in various guises) would have been, I did feel like more could have been lent over to the later years as the pace of change was so fast. I guess that was always going to be an issue though.

    Any chance we can see more of the interview between you and Clive Sinclair??? Pleaseeee

  10. Karim says:

    Just watching the 80’s episode again.

    I love the memories this brings back to me and the thought of how far we’ve come in 30 years.!

    Just around the corner we may even have Glasses-Less 3DTV.