Television, the miracle explained.

Saturday, January 25th, 2020

We watched an old (a 13 year old!) episode of 30 Rock tonight where Jack Donaghy complimented Kenneth, the NBC Page: “I wish I had your passion for television.”

I think my passion for television is more than a half-century out-of-date and focused in the technical nooks and crannies, far from the spotlights and stars. TV for me was science blended with design and entertainment, with just a touch of magic and good luck.

In recent days I came across these two parts of a stunningly old documentary that attempts to explain the technical side of ‘The Miracle of Television,’ set at Portland station KPTV in the mid 1960s. It was uploaded to YouTube by ‘doggies2009‘, ask for him? her? by name.

Here’s part one. Here’s part two.

It’s…best experienced under the influence of…something strong. From the perky fake needle-drop music to the authoritative narration of Blaine Hanks, this documentary…well, it’s not awful. It is accurate, and it most definitely is of a time. A time when I was less than 10 years old. A time when I thought the idea of live television entering the huge turrets of a gigantic camera and pouring out into our living room was miraculous indeed.