Perhaps I shouldn’t admit to finding this so fascinating, but there are a lot of complicated stories around old telly – specifically, around what exists, and why it comes to exist in the form it does. It seems strange that mainstream artefacts of our culture – programmes that were enjoyed in the homes of millions of people – often no longer exist, even though they might have been made less then fifty years ago, which is no time at all really.
So if you’re at all interested in reading about how it has recently become possible to take a black and white copy of a programme that was originally made in colour, and turn it back into colour again, I recommend this article.
For emphasis: a black and white programme. Turned into colour. Well, I was impressed. And don’t be side-tracked by the mention of computer colourisation at the start of the article: obviously this technology has been around for a while, and there’s nothing special about applying a made-up selection of colours to a black and white image; the real meat is the bit about restoring the original colour from the black and white image. So read on…
Word of warning to those not familiar with vintage Doctor Who: the episodes concerned are, sadly, dreadful. Technically and historically fascinating though the whole thing might be, I’m not sure even I’d actually buy the DVD.