When I was a small boy, there was a lot of wonderful British and American cheesy TV. programmes that really captured the imagination. There were all sorts of fictional heroes and as an infant I had very naïve optimism about the world I lived in. Good was good and bad was bad. It was a world of black and white with no grey areas. Of course this is not the way of the world, it never has been and it never will be.
The other day my youngest son, Ryan, brought something to my attention when he was on net and it let in, one of those moments. I had to put it here on my Retro Brit scrap book.
Sometimes it is nice to go back and live within that bubble – that fake old world – now packaged in memories of kiddie nostalgia. I clearly recollect one of these three adverts in the above short clip. The one with the free badge from the Captain Scarlet TV show. As soon as I saw the advert as a boy; I was on at my mother to buy that particular serial. This breakfast serial advert was cleverly done in collaboration with one of the old British science fiction puppet shows. They were from the Gerry and Silvia Anderson stories that all children loved in Britain’s sixties decade. It must have worked wholesale, for the breakfast company, because I remember my mother bought two boxes of serial, one for me and one for my sister. This was because we both wanted badges. I got Lieutenant Green and my sister got Captain Scarlet – the prize of all the badges. I was so upset – I was a boy and she was a girl. Girls did not even like Captain Scarlet – it was a show for boys. The entire sulky little boy things within me, bubbled to the surface. For a short time my sister was adamant that she did like Captain Scarlet and wanted to wear the badge, but eventually she gave in and let me have it – the ultimate of all the breakfast serial badges – Captain Scarlet himself.
I went to school wearing my Captain Scarlet badge and other boys had their badges – their parents also buying the breakfast serial. I was the only one who had the Captain Scarlet. This made me the centre of attention and I was about six or seven years of age. It went to my head and I struggled with the temporary celebrity of it all. The school boy champions wanted to swap their badges with me. I remember one having Colonel White and the spectrum emblem badge. These were the best footballers and best fighters in the school and I had hit the big time. All because of my Captain Scarlet badge.
Even in the school boy world of commerce, there are decadent moguls and one such tubby little boy came in with an outrages offer that swamped everything else other school friends could swap. The heavy currency this particular little boy offered was a toy Aston Martin, James Bond car. This was with the obligatory ‘I’ll be your best mate’ thrown in to the bargain as well. I relented and exchanged the badge and acquired this toy with a little man that flew out of the roof when you pressed a clip on the side. My celebrity had been sold short, but I had aquired a James Bond car - another British hero from a world of good and bad - black and white with no grey areas.