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A priceless time capsule
jacksflicks from Hollywood
14 July 2006
Along with Omnibus, one of the gems of TV's Golden Age. Pat Weaver
(Sigorney's dad), the pioneer who invented the Today Show, plucked its
host Dave Garroway to host this weekly Sunday special. As the
description says, NBC made available crews to span the continent in
search of interesting subjects and venues - live of course. The result,
irreplaceable documents of America, it's culture, society and landscape
(pre-interstate-highway). It also waxed philosophical, with Garroway's
signature "Peace" preceded by the opening lines of Edna St. Vincent
Millay's "Renascence" - probably over the heads of today's audience,
dumbed down by a medium which during Wide Wide World's era sought to
edify its audience rather than corrupt it.
The originals were superb quality; unfortunately, in those pre-tape
days live broadcasts were recorded by the dreadful kinescope process,
which consisted of a film camera pointing at a TV monitor.
Nevertheless, even in this degraded form, a show like Wide Wide World
(and Omnibus) highly deserves distribution. It's not only a priceless
artifact in its own right but a wonderful document of an era.
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