Heading home for the holidays can mean home-made meals, gifts ranging from awesome to socks, and sitting around the television together like a family. You may not realize it, but there is a good chance your parents were pretty big geeks themselves.
Many of today’s most popular series like Star Trek, Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, and Batman all got their broadcast beginnings back in the 1960’s and 70’s when T.V.s were boxy and you changed the channel with a dial. These cinematic delights were new and exciting and paved the way for the modern incarnations that we love today. As you sit down with your family this year, why not suggest watching a few of the classics and their counterparts. It’s a great way to get a conversation started around the dinner table and saves you from the long arguments over politics or the news.
The original Doctor first made an appearance on the BBC back in 1963. William Hartnell played the aged Doctor alongside Susan Foreman, the Doctor’s grand daughter. Susan was the first person to name the doctor’s time machine a TARDIS (from the acronym “Time and Relative Dimension in Space”). Since Hartnell first stepped inside the blue box, there have been eleven other Doctors and a long, long list of companions.
Conversation starter: A great way to strike up a conversation with your family is to ask who their favorite Doctor was. Are they a fan of Tom Baker’s scarf-clad Doctor with his robotic dog K-9 or do they prefer the manipulative seventh Doctor played by Sylvester McCoy?
Video Credit: BBC
Three years after we first met Doctor Who, mankind boldly went where no man had gone before. The U.S.S. Enterprise set forth on its first mission; captained by the Indomitable James T. Kirk. The show was forward thinking for its time. It featured progressive themes that had not been shown on television before. By creating Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry, the creator, is noted as saying “I could make statements about sex, religion, Vietnam, politics, and intercontinental missiles. Indeed, we did make them on Star Trek: we were sending messages and fortunately they all got by the network.”
Conversation starter: If your family were fans of the original series, why not ask them what they thought, the first time they saw Kirk and Uhura kiss or a man wearing the Skant uniform (Basically a short-sleeved dress and he rocked it, by the way).
Video Credit: CBS
If you’ve never hear of the Batusi, ask your parents. If you are lucky and they are a bit goofy, they might just perform it for you. Back in the 1960’s Adam West began his caped-crusade on TV as Batman. Together with Burt Ward as Robin, they worked to take down infamous criminals like the Joker and Catwoman, but old Bats wasn’t the dark, brooding hero we know and love today. Back then the show was just about as goofy as any cartoon. The show even used speech bubbles like “POW!” and “BIFF!” to illustrate fight scenes. I will never forget the episode where Batman runs holding a comically large bomb over his head while dodging nuns, a baby carriage, and a two man marching band only to utter in dismay “Some days, you just can’t get rid of a bomb!”
Conversation starter: Ask you family what scenes cracked them up the most or which insane villains hatched the most ridiculous plot ever.
Video Credit: ABC
Battlestar Galactica hasn’t been around as long as the other shows. It first aired in 1978 after the success of Star Wars. The premise of the show is pretty similar to the 2004 re-make. Cylons blow up original human colonies and it’s up to the survivors to search for a new place to live while fending off cylon attacks. Some of the major differences really stand out when watching both series. Instead of the stealthy, human-looking foes; cylons used to look like Kit from Night Rider had a baby with a mechanical bull dog. Also, even though the 1978 series had many references to Mormonism, religion and politics had a much bigger role in the new series. Some characters also saw changes, such as Starbuck becoming a woman.
Conversation starter: There is a lot to compare between the two shows, so sit down and see if your family likes the new Starbuck or if they miss the series that introduced us to Muffit, the disturbing looking dog robot.
Video Credit: ABC
Were your parents geeks as kids? What were their favorite shows? Do you share their love for all things geeky? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured Image credit: Evert F. Baumgardner/Commons