Saturday, 17 November 2012

COMPASS OF THE STARS...


 

Long ago and far away, in a dimension which can be accessed only
through the mystical portals of memory, I popped into the neighbour-
hood newsagents on my way to school one day and purchased a copy of
TV CENTURY 21 #3. Within this great comic, paradoxically dated a
hundred years in the future, was a sheet of card from which could be
pressed out a model of FIREBALL XL5.


When I got to school, before lessons began I sat and assembled the
folded pieces into their predetermined shape while my teacher and
classmates looked on, fascinated. I wasn't one who particularly enjoyed
being the object of of such rapt attention, but I was so engrossed in what I
was doing that I paid them scant heed and just got on with it. When I had
finished and the teacher had expressed approbation for the fruits of my
labour, lessons began, and although I couldn't tell you anything else
that happened that day, that particular moment is a fond recollection
nigh-on forty-eight years after the fact.

Relax - mine doesn't have 'Northernlad' stamped across it

I never saw that cardboard 'model' from childhood again until nearly
twenty years later, when it was reproduced in black and white on the back
cover of  S.I.G., a magazine devoted to the puppet programmes of GERRY
ANDERSON. I remember thinking that it was a shame it wasn't in colour
and hoping that someone would one day get around to producing a
proper facsimile of this free gift which I greatly coveted.

 

Well, almost three decades on, someone has finally done it. Printed on
card ('though not perforated for pressing out), it enables nostalgists like
myself to relive a part of their cherished childhood and bridge the span
between past, present and future. Future? Sure - after all, the comic was
dated February 6th, 2065, so technically it's not due to be published for
another fifty-three years. Thanks to a rift in time and space, however, I
managed to obtain a replacement for the actual comic a good while back.
It's immensely satisfying to finally be able to reunite it with a copy of
its original free gift after so long a period.

Suddenly I'm an eager five year-old child once more, sitting in a chalk-
dusty classroom in a different century - when the one we now live in was
 the stuff of dreams and seemed too far away to even contemplate.

4 comments:

TwoHeadedBoy said...

Goodness points go to your teacher for allowing your creativity to come out rather than confiscating/destroying your XL5 - didn't realise they were so tolerant/open to things like that in your school days.

Kid said...

Well, technically speaking I was still an 'infant', so I presume teachers were more tolerant than their secondary school counterparts. Also, I imagine her curiosity about what the results of my efforts would look like over-rode any natural teacher-type instincts.

John Pitt said...

This is yet another one that I JUST missed as my first issue was #4 after I learned that the Daleks were on the back. After #4 I was completely hooked and ,for me, TVCentury 21 in its tabloid format has to be one of the greatest British comics ever . Really wish I had kept mine.

Kid said...

Good as TV Century 21 was, I thought it lost something when the Daleks strip ended with issue #104.