Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Size Is Everything ... Or Is It?

At one time, the best way to determine how long ago a contemporary film or television series was made was to look at the fashions. In the 60s the skirts got shorter, and the colours more garish; in the 70s the skirts got longer, much longer, the trouser bottoms got flared, and flared some more; the 80s saw the heyday of the punk, of safety pins, and make-up for all; the 90s ... well you get the idea.

It was while watching a programme on BBC Four last night about Juliet Bravo, the ground-breaking police drama that had a woman police inspector as its central character, that I realised that there is another device, in fact a couple of devices, that can firmly establish the vintage of television series, and particularly police dramas.

What are these devices? The police radio and the mobile phone, of course. Items that were the size of bricks, or that had to be permanently fixed in the car, rather than being a truly portable device, were there at first. Today, the devices are small and can double up as a portable computer for the truly computer literate, such as Sgt Hathaway, in the Inspector Morse spin-off, Lewis.

It just goes to prove that size isn't everything.

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