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Sundays at 5:00 on CTV were a time of wonder and discovery. The fields with their chaff-like growths blowing in the wind signaled the start of a highly informative and haunting half-hour documentary. The thin straight lines speeding in a single direction, albeit staggered, brought us the silhouettes of images (offset by pink, orange, red, and teal backgrounds) that would have been lost in time if not for a YouTube account. And then the announcer, one Alan Small, would finish off almost every episode with "the Untamed World." I remember being scared half out of my wits by, yet strangely drawn to, these simple images (all of which repeated in the outro accompanied by five others) and Mort Garson's haunting theme, but now that fear seems just silly and ridiculous.
During school holidays in the UK of the early seventies, BBC and ITV
broadcast lots of kids programs on weekday mornings (if you happened to
be living in the rain-soaked North of England this was very welcome,
believe me). One of those programs was Untamed World. It stood out from
the rest with its slightly strange resolution, its vivid colours
(though I'm pretty sure we only had a black and white TV) and unusual
animated graphics. It had a very catchy theme tune which was impossible
Even at the time, Untamed World seemed primitive and certainly there were better nature documentaries, like 'Survival' for example. It was, however, aimed specifically at children and we were kids hungry for TV. It was one of those programs which exercised a strange kind of magic that subsequently fuelled many intriguing reminiscences. The baritone narration was very authoritative and conveyed a sense of awe and mystery; it gave the impression that the images we were watching were of animals, places and peoples that were in the process of being lost forever.
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