Wednesday, December 05, 2007

2001:A Space Odyssey - ITV Blunder

I don't know how many people will remember this and if they do then it'll be only the people in the UK who read this blog. When ITV first aired 2001:A Space Odyssey back in the 70's the film was shown as all films were then in Full Frame/Pan and Scan, but when the space scenes came on the movie actually went into a widecreen ratio, a good idea you might think. With this ITV made one of the biggest blunders I think it's ever made, some bright spark had the idea of putting stars in the black bars at top and bottom of the screen, thus making it look like the spaceships were appearing from nowhere mid frame, and making the FX crew on this film look like complete idiots.
At the time Starburst magazine made comment on ITV's almighty screw up and it was never shown like that again. It makes you wonder if Kubrick was watching at the time, I just hope he didn't have a mouthful of tea when the shot first came on !!

I've mocked up a frame to show roughly what the effect looked like, anyone else remember this ?

8 comments:

allen said...

Hope someone lost their job for that mistake. WOW!

Andrew Glazebrook said...

It was a real joke.

Michael G Clark said...

Your recreation is a lot better than the original one. I got the idea it was bbc 2 though. Perhaps that's because the stars were generated on a bbc micro (circa 81) there may have been up to 7 stars top and bottom.

All square.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

I'm pretty sure I remember this being ITV because not only did I have this to contend with but they had ad breaks too !! I'll try and find out for sure though, I'll try and dig out my Starburst on this matter.

Fraser Lovatt said...

It was definitely ITV - it was the first time I ever saw it and still remember the profound effect it had on me.

The ad breaks were especially traumatic because I was worried my parents would get bored (it wasn't really their thing) and change channels.

I've often wondered what the exact date was and if there is an archive of TV Times somewhere.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

I'm sure in this world wide web there's an achive for everything Fraser !! :) I remember only getting to see half of Silent Running on TV when I was a kid as I had to go to bed, I think it was ages before I seen the rest!!

Moonwatcher said...

I don't think I've heard about this before, I have a mate at work who's a bit older and a 2001 fan, I'll ask him and see if he recalls it. Looks like a total cock up to me.

paulhd said...

Oo, that's bad, putting Murphy Anderson faces on Kirby's Superman kind of bad. Who comes up with these ideas?