Daily: 7th July 2011

7 July, 2011 at 00:00 (GMT+01:00)

By Colin McBain

Hidley Ho, Sidepoderinos!  It's another day and it's another daily.  And this time, it's slightly different to my last two.  Thank god.

This weekend, millions of eyes all over the world will be fixated on Silverstone for the 2011 British Grand Prix, which is convenient, since a Formula 1 race will be happening at the time.  And not a hint of a mention of Donington in sight.  Things are good.

However, as I type this, I am still reflecting on events 2 weekends ago.  For those of you young enough to have been aware of it, between 1999 and 2003 Channel 5 screened a TV show called The Tribe.  It was a post-apocalyptic teen drama filmed in New Zealand, in which all the adults had been killed off by a mysterious virus and the kids were left to fend for themselves and survive on their own.  The show has gained cult status and its fandom thrives to this day.  On Sunday 26th of June New Zealand time, there took place an event called The Tribal Gathering, a special 13-hour marathon - set up by Cloud 9, the production company behind The Tribe - of discussions, quizzes, behind-the-scenes videos and live chats with some of the actors.  It also featured a video introduction by the show's creator Raymond Thompson (who, incidentally, has written scripts for EastEnders and Howard's Way).  The on-line marathon began on Sunday morning in New Zealand, which was Saturday night UK time.  This meant I carried on until 4am before I called it a day - or morning, rather.  However, it also meant that I did watch the IndyCar Series race at Iowa after all.  And no, Takuma Sato did not make it an entire race without crashing into something or even going off the track, as I had ruminated on last fortnight's Daily.

Anyway, the reason for mentioning this, apart from proclaiming my fandom of the show, was that while I was thinking about what subject to write today's Daily about, I thought to myself, 'how could I link aspects of Formula 1 into this cult kids TV programme?'  So I gave it a go, and this is what I came up with:

  • The very first episode of The Tribe, broadcast on 24th April 1999 on Channel 5, sets up the world of the show.  The sense of anarchy, confusion and the urge to survive sets the tone for the rest of the series.  The very first F1 World Championship GP at Silverstone on the 13th May 1950 sets up the world of organised professional motor racing.  The standard of the cars, track and safety really shows us how far we've come in the sport.
  • Here's an example of actual competitive racing in The Tribe.  A roller-blading competition is taking place between KC [the guy with the green hair] and Dal [the guy with the black hair], with Jack [the guy in the red hair] commentating.  Okay, he's no Murray Walker, but it's a jolly sight better than Jonathan Legard.  Anyway, it's developing into an exciting race until KC crashes into Jack and breaks his leg, in the same way that Rene Arnoux crashes into Riccardo Patrese at the start of the '82 GP in Brands Hatch and breaks his suspension.
  • This is one scene that not only features a motor car, but also involves something near the region of true motorsport.  The 1st part of the footage, when Bray jumps into the dune buggy, is reminiscent of Nigel Mansell giving Ayrton Senna a lift after the '91 British GP.  Then we see the dune buggy Luciano Burti-ing over a little mound.  That is, if you pretend that the mound was Michael Schumacher at the start of the '01 German GP.  The last bit is probably a bit too gruesome to mention an F1-related similarity.
  • For a Tribe episode that has spins galore and a few more, there's the Tribal Gathering in the first series.  Both clips feature a dance competition, where people are break-dancing and making some graceful moves.  For a race that has spins galore and a few more, there's the 2008 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.  It's a wet race where several drivers are acting like break-dancers and making some graceful moves of their own.
  • Vehicles are actually used quite a lot on the show, such as to show power and intimidation towards your fellow tribes.  All that waving and fist-pumping is similar to Nigel Mansell winning the '92 GP at Silverstone.  An audience is present in both examples, but with not necessarily the same level of ecstasy.
  • 1999 is a race Michael Schumacher would rather forget.  His breaks fail on lap 1, ploughs straight into the tyre barrier and ends up breaking his leg.  Meanwhile, imagine finding an object that's fallen off something and picking it up.  Whether it's someone losing a feather from his hair or Mika Hakkinen losing a wheel from his McLaren... okay, you can tell I'm starting to clutch at straws here, but you get my drift.

Crikey, that was an effort.  Anyway, in closing, I really like The Tribe and the British Grand Prix is on this weekend.  Enjoy.



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