Channel 4 3D

Channel 4 kicked off their 3D Week last night with a couple of shows… one called The Queen in 3D, the other called Derren Brown Presents: The 3D Magic Spectacular.

The last time I recall being this exciteable about 3DTV was sometime in the ’80s when, if I remember rightly (which it’s fair to assume I don’t), Tomorrow’s World had a feature, which saw me giddily throwing on my 3D spectacles and thrilling at the way some rubber bat flew ‘out’ of the screen.

So last night, I sat down, ready to be amazed… with a pinch of trepidation in case it all went tits up.

Naturally, the whole thing didn’t work perfectly. It took a while messing around with the settings on my TV and switching the lights off in my room, cupping round my eyes with my hands and trying to make my right eye go out of focus before I started getting somewhere. Of course, if I’d just left everything alone and waited for my brain and pupils to settle in, it probably would’ve righted itself much quicker.

However, that’s not really the point. The whole thing was a fun way to pass some TV time. Aside from the fact that everyone looks cool in a pair of 3D glasses, I loved the idea of tinkering with my surroundings and squinting at the idiot lantern at the same time as millions of other houses in Britain.

Of course, it was kinda silly, but in a good way.

The Queen show (which, bizarrely, featured Brian May from Queen) wasn’t really about Her Madge, but rather, the technology. The old footage didn’t work sometimes, whilst at others, I drew up genuine coos at the depth of image.

Same went for the Derren Brown stuff. Some segments refused to work in my head, whilst others made me giggle with glee. The Magic Spectacular also showed clips of Seigfried and Roy… sadly, we didn’t get to see the mauling one of them got from an albino tiger in full three dimensions. This was made-up for by the appearance of Sooty and Sweep and Barry and Stuart’s glorious self mutilation symphony.

If the first night is anything to go by, you really should get some glasses and join in. It’s silly fun… and Christ knows we need some of that now and then.

Tonight, Channel 4 goes 3D. Have you got your special 3D glasses yet? Y’see, if you already own a pair, they probably won’t work as the ones you’ll need tonight have a dark blue lens and an amber one. The ol’ red and cyan pairs will fail. I’ve tried ’em. They’re no good to you.

So, if you’re passing a Sainsbury’s on your lunchbreak today, pop in and get yourself a pair.

Why? Well, tonight you’ll be able to see some old footage of The Queen in 3D. The images will come from 1953 when young cameramen, Bob Angell and Arthur Wooster shot some stereoscopic movies.

For those who aren’t to thrilled at the prospect of some royal action, there’s also a Derren Brown show to sink your eyes into.

Of course, this isn’t just some daft novelty scheduling. 3DTV looks to be on the way to our homes. With Avatar hitting the silver screen this Christmas, 3D is something of a buzzword in media.

The big question is… will it take off?

Sky are promising a new 3D service and manufacturers have unveiled 3D-ready screens. This means 3DTV that doesn’t need special glasses. That sounds inordinately exciting! Some people in the industry are claiming that 3DTV will be a similar leap to black and white to colour TV.

Either way, it doesn’t really matter if the 3D shows this week mark the start of a brave new TV world or whatever… it’s a bit of fun… a flight of fancy… and we should all stop over-analysing it and have some fun joining in.

So get yourself to the shops and snag a pair of 3D specs today.

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