Sunday, 10 July 2011

Beckindale Meets The Real World - 1980s Pop Culture In Emmerdale Farm...

Beckindale was not immune to 1980s pop culture. The show took some of the fads from that fast-moving decade and provided us with some on-screen fun. In 1981, a Space Invaders machine was delivered to The Woolpack. Of course, it was all a mistake. Amos Brearly looked down his nose at such new fangled abominations - far more up Ernie Shuttleworth's street. The Invaders had been invented in Japan in 1978, previewed at a UK trade show in 1979 and then invaded the early 1980s, becoming one of the decade's first major fads.

Mr Wilks and Amos waited for the game machine company to pick up the Space Invaders machine and deliver it to the rightful address. Before this could happen, Mr Wilks was disturbed in the early hours of one morning by high tech noises emanating from the living room. He went downstairs...

To find Amos, he who (apparently) looked down on modern technological fads, absolutely glued to the machine...

... valiantly fighting a losing battle.

This article is from the Cambridge Evening News, 1981, and proves just how topical Emmerdale Farm was being by including Space Invaders in its story lines.

More about Space Invaders here.

In 1982, Sam Pearson became seriously ill with pneumonia. Recovering in hospital, he met a young fellow patient called David, who introduced Sam to the Rubik's Cube. Sam had a go and then dismissed it as too "new fangled" for him.

The Magic Cube had been invented by Hungarian Erno Rubik in 1974 and the first test batches released to Budapest toy shops in late 1977. In 1980, the Cube was re-manufactured, renamed Rubik's Cube and released in the Western World. The first Rubik's Cubes reached England just before Christmas 1980, although the country was not fully stocked until the spring of 1981 as there was a worldwide shortage.

The pictured article from The Sun, May 1982, shows that people were doing the Cube everywhere, and that Emmerdale Farm was once more absolutely on the button when it came to pop culture!

More about the Cube here.

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