Do you know what my wife said when she saw this had arrived through the post? "Oh, lush."
I'm not saying she is Joanna Page or Stacey, just that sometimes the similarities get a little spooky.
Anyway: Gavin & Stacey, bit of a sleeper hit during its first series on BBC3, won surprising amounts of awards, then suddenly went through the roof during series two, which went on to win even more awards.
Now series two is going to be repeated on BBC1 (starting this Friday) just in time for a Christmas special, also to be aired on BBC1, and for this DVD release.
It's a lovely little sitcom about a girl from Wales and a boy from SE England who meet, fall in love and get married (rings some bells. Hmm). But as the tag line almost says, it's not just the two of them and the story is as much about their best friends and family as it is about them.
You know, for an awful 20 minutes or so, I thought this was going to be bad. Not Bonekickers bad, simply daft. Because it's very, very easy when you're dealing with demons, exorcisms and faith to put one foot wrong and mess the whole thing up.
Certainly, Apparitions starts off by putting that foot right into its mouth, revisiting 1997 and the death of Mother Theresa.
The 70s was a great time for TV. Whether it was drama, comedy, documentary or stupid escapist tatt, the 70s turned up some of the best television ever made - although sometimes ambition exceeded either the budget or the technology.
Even kids TV was great, particularly if it was science-fiction or fantasy. Not only was it well made, it was intelligent. Whether you watched the Beeb and caught Doctor Who, The Changes or The Moon Stallion, for example, or watched ITV and tuned in for Timeslip, Ace of Wands or Children of the Stones*, you could pretty much be guaranteed something interesting that made you think.
The reasons for the high quality of kids' sci-fi TV are clear. Not only were there people with an ethos of creating decent programming for kids at both networks, a competitive duopoly that encouraged innovation and a captive audience with little else to do but watch tele, thus avoiding lowest common denominator worries, there was access to really good, high grade hallucinogenic drugs.
Whether it was magic mushrooms, LSD or even peyote, TV writers were knocking back quite extravagant amounts of not quite illegal substances, giving them a new view on reality, writing and the creative process.
Sky is perhaps the most obvious example of a kids' show written by people on drugs**. Created by Bob Baker and Dave Martin in 1975, it was a curious seven-part serial about an alien that comes to Earth.
So far, so simple, no?
What differentiates it from other similar fare is that it's clearly off its face. Sky is a time traveller with incredible powers from another dimension. Or maybe another universe. Except he might be a god. Just like Jesus and any other religious figure in fact, since they were all time-travellers too.
He's arrived here before the correct time - we're still "before the chaos" - and needs to get to the future where he can show the surviving people of the Earth the right way to live in harmony with the Earth. Trouble is, the Earth of today senses that's he's alien and tries to repel him, just like an immune system repelling a bacterium. While he searches for 'the Juganet' - the way to the future - Sky is attacked by trees and plantlife, before eventually the Earth creates something in human form - 'Ambrose Goodchild' - to destroy Sky.
It's never been repeated, it's never been released on VHS or DVD, but you can watch it some of it on YouTube. It's a Lost Gem. Here's the title sequence followed by a clip to get you in the mood. You might need to be taking something though.
About the blog
A UK media blog focusing on the best scripted TV from around the world, with daily news, views, exclusive reviews and good conversation. There's a bit of a bias towards the latest and greatest US TV, but we also cover Scandinavian, Canadian, European and Antipodean TV, as well as UK TV ranging from new Doctor Who to old Z Cars, and BBC4 to S4C.
Add in film, theatre, art, books, events, competitions and even weekly reviews of Wonder Woman comics, and you've (hopefully) got officially the fourth best blog on the web for media lovers. Oh yes, and there's The Barrometer, the ultimate guide to quality TV.
Praise for the blog Cision: fourth most important UK TV blog Blogging Edge: Blogger running Britain 2013
"For most of us watching the telly of an evening is a way to wind down and relax, but for Rob Buckley it’s his blogging bread and butter. With reviews of cult classics and up and coming US and Brit television shows, The Medium is Not Enough is fast becoming essential reading for TV buffs, with over 50,000 hits a month."
"The Medium Is Not Enough is a light-hearted look at TV, often from the US, but also from the UK. With varied, well-written content, the blog features healthy engagement and features well in search engines."
"Billing itself as 'officially the fourth most popular UK TV blog', there are several whimsical regulars here that could help it climb as high as number three…"
I'm Rob Buckley, a freelance journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of, although you might have heard me on Radio 5 Live's Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I've edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for trade magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider and the equally short-lived Death Ray and Filmstar magazines; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it "web site for urban hedonists" The Tribe. I'm freelance now and have contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network and TV Scoop.