Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Yesterday's News Today - It's The Spectrum Show!

It's back to the humble ZX Spectrum for today's blog post, as I want to point you in the direction of YouTube, and more specifically, The Spectrum Show.

Currently up to episode 8, The Spectrum Show is a semi-regular series of documentaries covering the history of Clive Sinclair's rubber-keyed-wonder, month-by-month, from March 1983 onwards.

Each episode (weighing in at just under 15 minutes each) covers the Spectrum news of that particular month, charting the highs and lows from that particular point in time.

Alongside a roundup of news from months gone by each show also contains a feature. Examples include a roundup of Space Invader clones, game creation, and Moon Patrol clones.

Production values of each episode are of an extremely high standard, and the narrator is clearly spoken, interesting and informative.

The eight episodes currently online and available for your viewing pleasure are:

Episode 1 - March 1983
Sinclair recalls a batch of Spectrum power supplies amid rumours they could be dangerous. There's news of delays for the forthcoming ZX Microdrive, and Penetrator and The Hobbit from Melbourne House, along with Arcadia from Imagine are riding high in the charts. This month's feature is a roundup of Space Invader clones.

Episode 2 - April 1983
This episode includes a review of the Wafadrive, a look at the games charts from this month in time, plus new games including More Tea Vicar and Maritrini are investigated.

Episode 3 - May 1983
Episode three covers the Spectrum news and new game releases. There's also an arcade shoot-out and comparison of various Spectrum versions of Asteroids. If that wasn't enough the show also reviews some early Quicksilva games and looks at some newer releases.

Episode 4 - June 1983
Along with the latest Spectrum news and new game releases, this episode tracks the evolution of the joystick interface, reviews some early Software Projects games and looks at a couple of newer releases.

Episode 5 - July 1983 - This July 83 episode features the first part of a game creation feature along with the usual old and new game reviews. They take a look at early and not-so-early CRL games, and report that 3000 Spectrum's (worth approximately £380,000) have been stolen from a warehouse by a gang wielding shotguns. Also this month, WHSmith confirm they will no longer be stocking further ZX81 titles as demand for the machine has dropped.

Episode 6 - August 1983
Here you'll find the second part of the game creation feature, a look at a couple of titles from Incentive Software, and a mix of old and new game reviews. The big hardware release this month is the Alphacom 32 printer, and the majority of 3000 stolen Spectrum's are recovered after the people who stole them attempted to sell them back to the suppliers they were originally intended to go to.

Episode 7 - September 1983
In this episode they take a look back to September 1983 to get all the latest Sinclair news and latest Spectrum game releases. There's also a Spectrum arcade shootout - this time it's Moon Patrol. Which of the Spectrum versions will come out on top? As well as this there's reviews of some older games and a few newer titles.

Episode 8 - October 1983
Here, the team go back to October 1983 to get all the latest Sinclair news and up-to-the-minute Spectrum game releases. They also "go large" (their words, not mine!) with Spectrum gaming, reviewing a selection of older and more up-to-date titles.

That little lot should keep you busy for an hour or two, and please, if you like what this guy's doing, make sure you leave him some feedback. Hopefully this will encourage him to keep going.

Happy viewing!

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