Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Alternative 3

Doing our homework for the British Invaders podcast sometimes brings up some gems like the Nigel Kneale 1984 I have already blogged about. Another little oddity that we discovered was Alternative 3.

Alternative 3 was a documentary put out by ITV in 1977 and is available dirt cheap on Amazon. You can also find it fairly easily on google video. I had a dim memory of it and in particular of a certain image which impressed me greatly at the time (and scared me quite a bit if I'm completely honest). I was quite delighted to find that it was the show I remembered and was able to recommend it to Brian in Canada and we put it on the schedule for our podcast. We have recently recorded our discussion and it's now out on the feed at British Invaders and on iTunes.

It's a fun show with a slow but steady build towards a couple of big revelations and I honestly can't imagine it cropping up on many other podcasts. However if you do know of anyone else who has discussed it please let me know.

Now a spoiler warning! I'm going to mention how I rediscovered the show and doing so will give it away a bit. If you don't want to be spoiled then go and watch the video before coming back to my last paragraph.

Last year I read an interesting book called Telling Tales: A History of Literary Hoaxes by Melissa Katsoulis. It has no obvious science fiction connection, instead it details stuff like fake Shakespeare plays, the Hitler diaries and the poetry of Ern Malley. But it did lead me to a wikipedia article about hoaxes in general and that was where I found a reference to Alternative 3. And of course that gives it away a bit and qualifies Alternative 3 as science fiction and not fact. It was all a hoax and an April Fool's joke, and a pretty good one that fooled lots of people and has inspired quite a conspiracy theory following. It's great fun and only about 50 minutes long. Check it out and let us know what you think at British Invaders.

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