I’d barely started reading The Friendly Orange Glow last year when I suggested it could be pitched to a television network as “a real-life Halt and Catch Fire”, about a genius bunch of semi-outsiders ahead of their time who weren’t the “winners” and so (mostly) no one remembers them. Thinking about it again this week, I’d pitch it as a kind of anthology show, with each season telling a different part of the “untold story of the PLATO system”, allowing the writers to avoid narrative pressures to include characters from season to season other than the ones who actually threaded in and out of the story over the longer timeframe. I want to see dramatized the reaction to finding that the system is being used to discuss impeaching Nixon. I want to see the high schoolers. I want to see “the Doomsday Machine sequence” which “nearly had me in tears”. I’m still waiting, television writers. So is Brian Dear.
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