Monday, March 16, 2015
Cult-TV Theme Watch: Typewriters
A typewriter is a machine used for writing. Obsolete in the age of computers, typewriters utilize an ink ribbon which stamps impressions of alphabet letters on paper.
The typewriter has appeared frequently in cult-tv history, especially on series that feature investigative reporters or journalists.
For example, the opening credits of Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974 – 1975) feature Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin) entering his office late at night, and he starts to pound out an article on his typewriter, which is seen in close-up.
Before the age of Smallville (2001 – 2011) and personal computers and tablets, Clark Kent and Lois Lane had a regular ally in the typewriter, on Adventures of Superman (1951 – 1958).
The great bane (Bain?) of some Space: 1999 (1975 – 1977) fans is the presence of an electric typewriter, rather than a computer, in a beloved episode of the Gerry and Sylvia Anderson space epic. In particular, “Dragon’s Domain” features a scene of Dr. Helena Russell (Barbara Bain) typing out a report on an orange typewriter and paper. Some devoted and highly-talented fans have lovingly re-edited the sequence to have her at work on a more era appropriate keyboard and monitor.
And in the Deep Space Nine (1993 – 1999) episode “Far Beyond the Stars,” the writers and editors of Incredible Tales, a 1950s pulp sci-fi magazine, tap out their stories on old-fashioned typewriters.
The shift from typewriters to computers came with the missing link of the “word processor” in the 1980s, and stories such as Tales from the Darkside (1984 – 1988) “The Word Processor of the Gods.”
In “Cruise Ship to the Stars,” Buck (Gil Gerard), Wilma (Erin Gray), and Twiki (Mel Blanc) board the space luxury liner Lyran Queen on ...