Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Wilderness Road

Back when I were a lad, in yon misty days of 1986, on, as I remember it, a dreary summer holiday somewhere in Dorset with my mum and dad and little sister, there were sitcom on t'telly called Wilderness Road. I didn't remember the title, I only found it out after trawling through the names of 1980s sitcoms looking for possible matches, during a very dull day at work. Written by Bob Goody, who didn't have anything to do with The Goodies, the show had two main characters, called Cage and Moon, a slovenly pair who spent their time between a dilapidated flat and a dilapidated boozer. I liked those names so much I stole the name Cage for a character in my as yet unwritten masterpiece, which I began not writing in 1989 and still think of fondly. The main thing I remember about Wilderness Road is that one of Cage or Moon was reading Joyce's Ulysses, the big black Penguin edition, which he used in order to get to sleep at night. "Before I've read a page, I've dropped off," he said, or words to that effect. I must have liked the show, since I think I modelled my habit of being a complete loser on the two protagonists, and I've also never read more than a page of Joyce's Ulysses. It clearly made an impression on me anyway.  Despite my patronage, however, Wilderness Road was somewhat of a flop. It never got past the first series, was never repeated and has never been released on DVD or shown on UKGold. No clips are up on youtube. No wikipedia page delineates every scene and plot-twist. Thanks to the internet's passion for nostalgia, I've relived almost every notable televisual moment of my youth, to limited benefit. This one, however, has escaped the net: Wilderness Road remains in the wilderness.