A few years ago I took a chance on “Scarred For Life”, a weighty nostalgia-fest that waded through stuff from the 70s that was basically horrific and aimed at kids. Public Information films, comics and the like were poured over in an entertaining way – it was the book that kept on giving.
I was delighted to see that a sequel was planned, this time moving forward and concentrating on 1980s television, the vast majority British or at least screened here. It is, after all, the author’s own memories for the most part, backed up by extensive research of course. It’s now in the wild, and although its a twenty quid book the sheer enjoyment in it’s 500+ pages (with quite small print) make it a bargain.
Whilst you could sit down and plough through a book like this in order, marking your place with a lolly stick from a Funny Faces lolly you had when you were twelve, it’s a very difficult task. You see, the first thing everyone will do is check out the stuff they personally remember, just to find out what it was that may have scarred them for life. For me, my first call was the section on Grange Hill spin off “Tucker’s Luck” (all grainy episodes on youtube, no DVD). You see, I didn’t think it was particularly scarring, but reading the excerpt I realised it was a pretty bleak look at leaving school and signing on. Anyone watching it in their final school year would have shat themselves for sure.
There is, of course, way darker stuff, like the ridiculously disturbing “Noah’s Castle”, or the creepy perversity of Channel 4’s “Mini Pops”. Maybe you were terrified of going blind after watching the BBCs definitive (still stunning) version of cover star “Day Of The Triffids”, or maybe you were just terrified of leaving the house after watching children’s nightmare fodder Noseybonk from the BBC “Jigsaw” programme. They’re all here and much more, so you can show your kids and have them call you a liar because they will not believe that this stuff was put on kids TV. Of course, you can then sit them in front of YouTube and give them some trauma of their own, just like real parents used to.
Quite obviously, I recommend this wholeheartedly. If you can afford it, you really should get the first volume as well, as they will have you dipping in and out for years to come and also make excellent visitor scaring toilet books. You can also get 15% off at the moment by using the code INSPIRE15 at the checkout, so do that.
Click the link to purchase and get the discount