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When you think about it, there’s a good chance that our early reading habits were influenced by what we liked to watch on the telly. 

When I was a kid, the first live action TV shows I watched, that weren’t specifically aimed at children, were definitely in the science fiction genre. 


Not that I knew anything about genres back then.  As far as I was concerned, TV shows were divided into two clear categories: Ones I wanted to watch, and ones I didn’t.


My earliest memories of live action, non-kiddy, TV include:
                                                                                         Doctor Who (with Patrick Troughton)  

 Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea .  
                                 I learned about red-shirts from here, long before I ever saw Star Trek.

                 Bewitched with the first Darren.  
                                                          By the time the second one came along I'd gone off the show.

The Time Tunnel .  I had my first 'why don't they send someone else back to before those guys went into the tunnel and stop them doing it?'  tangle with temporal mechanics here.

And my favorite at the time, Lost in Space . To this day, the thought of Jonathan Harris and his portrayal of the selfish and cowardly Doctor Zachary Smith , brings a smile to my face.  .

Decades later, I recognized his voice when he portrayed Manny, the preying mantis, in Pixar’s A Bug’s Life,


Looking back at my early TV diet, I guess it’s not surprising that I went on to read so much science fiction and fantasy in my teenage years.


How about you?


What were the first live action, non-kiddy TV shows you can remember watching on a regular basis?


Did the genres of those shows influence your teenage reading habits?

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( 63 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 25th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
Battlestar Galactica was post Star Wars I think, in which case I'd probably left home by the time that started. I forgot about The Tomorrow People, that was in the early 70s, right?

You make a fair point about being prone to liking a genre already, though I don't suppose we can ever know for sure unless people didn't watch sci-fi on TV but read the books, or vice-versa :)

Thanks for sharing :)

Edited at 2009-07-25 06:39 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 25th, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 25th, 2009 08:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 25th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
Let's see...I was about to mention cartoons until I noticed it said live action.

There really aren't that many for me. I think Star Wars, which is the first movie I really remember liking a lot had a big impact.

But T.V. wise I would have to agree on Battlestar Galactica, there was also Buck Rodgers, and there was those campy Batman shows with Adam West *Bam *Pow *Boom "Holly Bat cow, Bat Man!"

There were some others. I remember a show called Shazam or at least that's what I think it was called. And let's not forget the Six Million Dollar Man and the Six Million Dollar Woman. Good Shows both.
Jul. 25th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
I'd forgotten about Batman, though I'd say that was a kid's show.

I remember seeing Buck Rodgers at the Saturday morning pictures back in the late 60s. Lol. I feel old!!!!!!!!!
Jul. 25th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
I am not going to give away by age by revealing what I used to watch! But I will say that I find it interesting how much bigger science fiction and fantasy are in media like TV and movies, and in YA fiction, and yet somehow the adult reading audience is so small.

Jul. 25th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
You can tell us, we can keep a secret ;)
Jul. 25th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
I think you and I are about the same age. I remember all those shows you mention, but I only watched Lost in Space and Bewitched; and then there's Gilligans Island, of course.Oh! And I Dream of Jeannie! In reruns, I think. As an adolescent, I watched Fantasy Island and the Love Boat and reruns of Star Trek. And let's not forget Happy Days, and Laverne and Shirley. I always love the sci-fi-flicks and shows, but when it came to reading, it was always the fantastic that held me in thrall. From Pippi Longstocking as a kid, to The Once and Future King as a teen, the best books were always the magical ones.
Jul. 25th, 2009 08:00 pm (UTC)
I'm old(ish). I'm too shy to say exactly how old, but if you were to guess at somewhere between 47 and 49, you wouldn't be far wrong. My Avatar takes of 20 pounds and at least 20 years :)

I remember I dream of Jeannie (it had JR Ewing, right?), but I never really got into it, as it were.

Ever since I put up this post I keep thinking about Lost in Space. I wants to see it again I does :)

(no subject) - bogwitch64 - Jul. 25th, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 25th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bogwitch64 - Jul. 25th, 2009 08:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 25th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bogwitch64 - Jul. 25th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 25th, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 25th, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
Hm. Perhaps when I was younger TV might have has some influence, but probably not much. But today my TV watching time is almost non-existent so I know it has no influence on what I read now.
Jul. 25th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
I don't doubt it, but I was thinking more about the TV shows we watched as a kid, and how those genres compared to our teenage reading habits.
(no subject) - kmarkhoover - Jul. 25th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 25th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kmarkhoover - Jul. 25th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 25th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kmarkhoover - Jul. 25th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 25th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
I watched all those as a kid, plus The Wild Wild West, which was sort of SF, actually rather steampunk-Western. And the original Batman TV show. Though campy, it was fun. And My Favorite Martian. And then Star Trek came along and blew them all out of the water.
Jul. 25th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
That icon is FABUTASTIC!!! I love that thing! I want to make it a tattoo!!!!!! :)
(no subject) - marshallpayne1 - Jul. 25th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 25th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - marshallpayne1 - Jul. 25th, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 25th, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kmarkhoover - Jul. 25th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 25th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kmarkhoover - Jul. 25th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 25th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 25th, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
Definitely Star Trek and yeah, my favorite shows always leaned towards the sci-fi/fantasy section. I'm a little younger, so the ones I remember are from the 80s like Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica, V, and the like :-)
Jul. 25th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
I really liked V. I'm sure I read somewhere that they're either making a movie, or re-doing the TV show soon.

Thanks for sharing :)

How's the writing going?
(no subject) - worldmaker_13 - Jul. 25th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 25th, 2009 10:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 25th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
I don't watch much TV anymore, so no. When I used to watch shows, no, it still didn't influence my reading habits. Even when I was a teenager I read lot of genre.
Jul. 25th, 2009 09:34 pm (UTC)
Lol, well that's me told :)
(no subject) - alaneer - Jul. 25th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 25th, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kmarkhoover - Jul. 25th, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 25th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 25th, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
The summer I was 12, I discovered Star Trek novels and read them obsessively until I was 15. So, I guess that's an obvious tie-in to telly. =)

What I read now shows more relation to my earliest habits though. Youngling-me was glued to Bewitched, I Dream of Jeanie, The Addams Family, and The Munsters. So, small wonder I'm a paranormal fiction junky.

After those shows, I got into Star Trek and Doctor Who, but not until I was eleven or so. Around the time that ST: The Next Generation was starting. It was generally the kind of science fiction that I think of as science fantasy that attracted me, both onscreen and in books.

My late teen years were a mix of science fiction and fantasy reading. I probably would have been really into urban fantasy, but there weren't very many examples of it yet. Not enough to fuel a five-book a week reading habit, anyway. ::g::
Jul. 25th, 2009 10:58 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I forgot about The Munsters & the Adams family.

Thanks for sharing. Oh, and congrats again on the beloved's promotion :)
(no subject) - ladyhedgehog - Jul. 25th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 25th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ladyhedgehog - Jul. 25th, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 26th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC)
Hmmm . . . I remember watching Hogan's Heroes, Gilligan's Island, and The Beverly Hillbillies. In my teens I watched Doctor Who (same doctor as you) and Benny Hill and Monty Python (praise the Lord for PBS back then).

I mostly read Lord of the Rings and romance novels as a teen. I appear to be inexplicable.
Jul. 26th, 2009 01:12 am (UTC)
Oh! I forgot the Munsters and the Addams family, too. I also watched Bewitched (1st and 2nd Darren).
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 26th, 2009 11:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 26th, 2009 11:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 26th, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
Bewitched: My heroines are often witches. Princesses are not as cool.

Man from UNCLE: Totally influenced my reading habits. I wrote one novel about the guys as a teen.

Avengers: Mrs Peel and Kathy Gale are still my role models.
Jul. 26th, 2009 11:28 am (UTC)
I forgot about The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and now i come to think about it, I used to watch Get Smart too. :)
Jul. 26th, 2009 07:19 am (UTC)
All of these! I watched ALL of these ravenously, Jon. We're were watching the very same shows. LOL! Only my Doctor was Tom Baker, as you know, and I didn't run into Doctor Who until my early 20s.

And add to the list the original Batman, The Avengers, Land of the Giants, Wild Wild West, the original Star Trek, and everything Sid & Marty Krofft. I was a kid at the drive-in with the whole family when Star Wars debuted.

Oh my. The memories.
Jul. 26th, 2009 11:10 am (UTC)
I liked The Avengers (with Diana Rigg). I don't recall Sid & Marty Krofft though. What show were they in?
(no subject) - dynastic_queen - Jul. 27th, 2009 11:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Jul. 28th, 2009 09:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 26th, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC)
shows from ago-comment
I can't say that I knowningly directly copy or are influenced, but I know that when I want to read for fun or trivia, I look up biographies of those actors or shows from way back when. In some of my latest writing, I name-drop a lot of pop culture references. (Amy Sherman-Palladino was brilliant at that when she wrote Gilmore Girls)
I do make a serious effort to make sure that I don't name a character Potzie or Horseshack.
Jul. 26th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
Re: shows from ago-comment
Hi Jim :)

It's strange. Since I posted this, I can't stop thinking about all those TV shows. I'm sorely tempted to order up a copy of Lost in Space :)

How's things with you? Done any signings recently?
Jul. 26th, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)
It's funny how all the live action tv shows I remember were things I watched when I visited my Gransie during the summer. Hey Dude and Salute my Shorts were two of the main ones I remember, along with a bit of Charlies Angels and I love Lucy. And I don't feel like those influenced me at all. My fantasy obsession began way before that with the Never Ending Story and David the Gnome. Strangly enough, my family was opposed to the fantasy phase I went through (which never ended....) Had to go through hell to even read Harry Potter or play Final Fantasy.... and I was in high school back then... sad...
Jul. 26th, 2009 10:06 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed the movie they made of Never Ending Story :)
Jul. 29th, 2009 10:30 pm (UTC)
The Wild Wild West.
The Tomorrow People.
The Cisco Kid.
Tales of the Gold Monkey.
Logan's Run.
Land of the Lost (kiddie, yet cool)
Eerie, Indianna
Greatest American Hero
Mister Ed
The Mysterious Cities of Gold (cartoon)

Plus ones you mentioned, but I was a Tom Baker generation "Who" watcher. I've got to say the episodes don't hold up at all. Except for K-9. :)
Jul. 30th, 2009 12:07 am (UTC)
Truth be told, a lot of them probably didn't hold up at the time either. It's just there wasn't much of an alternative back then :)
( 63 comments — Leave a comment )

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