from the archives of Essex Terror: A Minute At A Time

Notes: This was published on the Essex Terror website on October 16th, 2014. It was itself a reprint of a short lived wikipedia article, which was deleted due to it’s failure to be in the public interest. Any similarities to this are purely coincidental.]

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A Minute At A Time (1978-1979) was a British Television arts programme that was broadcast on the Anglia Television region of ITV. Each episode was exactly one minute long and consisted of a fixed-camera shot of an object or location, usually (although not always) devoid of humans. The programme is unique [citation needed] for being broadcast soundlessly.

1. History
2. List of episodes
3. Controversies
4. International versions
5. Theories of meaning
6. References

History

A Minute At A Time first appeared on Anglia Television at 00:00:01 GMT, 1 second after the scheduled programme time, on Friday, 16th June 1978 [1][2]. It was to be a weekly programme, running indefinitely, although in the end it lasted just 43 weeks. Although commissioned to fill the difficult “Midnight Minute”[3], the programme was intended for a family audience and to help fulfil the ITV franchise’s educational programming commitments[4]. However, the programme was not to prove a success, and was discontinued within a year[5]. Although little seen at the time[6], it has since gained a cult following among advocates of the New Boringness movement[citation needed].

List of episodes

The episodes were presented with a superimposed title at the lower edge of the screen, showing the name of that particular episode and, beneath it, the date and time at which it was filmed[7]. It is unknown if the shown dates are factually correct[8] (and some are clearly fabricated, as they would have occurred after the original broadcast date). The title disappeared from screen at the end of the fourth second of each episode.

Each broadcast ended abruptly, with no end credits or titles, instead leading directly into the next scheduled programme.

Original broadcast date – Title – Episode description

1. June 16th, 1978 – The wind in the trees, June 11th, 1978, 7:23am-7:24am – The upper reaches of several horse chestnut trees, shot from below.

2. June 23rd, 1978 – A bridge, June 12th, 1978, 12:34pm-12:35pm – A wooden bridge across a woodland stream, shot at an oblique angle so that the far end of the bridge cannot quite be seen.

3. June 30th, 1978 – WindmillJune 13th, 1978, 5:01pm-5:02pm – A child’s windmill on the top of a sandcastle, rotating in the breeze.

4. July 7th, 1978 – Tap, June 14th, 1978, 6:29am-6:30am – A close-up on a water droplet welling at a tapmouth.

5. July 14th, 1978 – Milk, June 15th, 1978, 8:24am-8:25am – A pint bottle of milk is picked from a table, taken out of view, and then placed back down on the table having been completely drunk.

6. July 21st, 1978 – Cat, June 10th, 1978, 9:59pm-10:00pm – A cat eating some processed cat food.

7. July 28th, 1978 – A summer drink, June 30th, 1978, 1:08pm-1:09pm – Ice cubes melting in a tall glass of red liquid.

8. August 4th, 1978 – Automation, July 12th, 1978, 6:45am-6:46am – A washing machine during a spincycle, filmed from outside.

9. August 11th, 1978 – Toad, June 30th, 1978, 12:58pm-12:59pm – A frog sat in the summer sun.

10. August 18th, 1978 – Swimming pool, July 29th, 1978, 12:03am-12:04am – Ripples on a pond.

11. August 25th, 1978 – Cow, August 12th, 1978, 11:02am-11:03am – A close up of a fly on a white furred surface.

12. September 1st, 1978 – Pollen, June 28th, 1978, 5:48pm-5:49pm – A meadow in summer, the air thick with floating pollen.

13. September 8th, 1978 – Children, September 5th, 1978, 3:25pm-3:26pm – This episode has been lost.

14. September 15th, 1978 – After the harvest, September 12th, 1978, 6:21pm-6:22pm – Wheat fields burning.

15. September 22nd, 1978 – Bicycle, September 13th, 1978, 11:46am-11:47am – An upturned bicycle, its rear wheel spinning slowly to a stop.

16. September 29th, 1978 – Robeson, September 14th, 1978, 9:11pm-9:12pm – An unusually sized vinyl record (identified by the use of freeze frame as 16 Spirituals by Paul Robeson) playing on a record player.

17. October 6th, 1978 – Out of season Essex seaside resort, September 30th, 1978, 12:22pm-12:23pm – An exterior shot of an amusements arcade on Southend seafront.

18. October 13th, 1978 – Out of season Essex seaside resort in the rain, September 30th, 1978, 12:23pm-12:24pm – An exterior shot of an amusements arcade on Southend seafront during a sudden downpour.

19. October 20th, 1978 – Fish (no date given) – Dead fish on crushed ice, presumably in a fishmongers.

20. October 27th, 1978 – Violin, October 1st, 6:32pm-6:33pm – A woman playing a violin in a living room.

21. November 3rd, 1978 – Tea, October 18th, 8:30am-8:31am – Water coming to the boil in an open pan.

22. November 10th, 1978 – Crow, October 22nd, 12:59pm-1:00pm – A crow pecking at the camera lens.

23. November 17th, 1978 – The aftermath of a one-sided war, October 23rd, 7:34am – A spider rebuilding a shattered web.

24. November 24th, 1978 – Bonfire, November 5th, 7:56pm-7:57pm – A ragdoll with a crow’s head burning on a twig bonfire.

25. December 1st, 1978 – The aftermath of a one-sided war, November 30th, 4:59pm-5:00pm – Blood being swept into a runlet in an abattoir’s floor.

26. December 8th, 1978 – Happy Birthday, June 16th 1979, 4:32pm-4:33pm – A solitary candle burning on a mis-shapen cake.

27. December 15th, 1978 – A sink full of filth, December 12th, 1978, 6:54am-6:55am – Clumps of hair drop into an unfilled sink.

28. December 22nd, 1978 – Fish, October 19th, 1978, 3:12am-3:13am – Unremarkable fish in a fish tank.

29. December 29th, 1978 – Presents, December 25th, 1978, 9:00am-9:01am – Scraps of wrapping paper blowing down a dead grey street.

30. January 5th, 1979 – Television, December 26th, 1978, 7:41pm-7:42pm – A television shows an image of a television that shows an image of a television that shows an image of a television that shows an image of a television that shows an image of a television that has not been turned on.

31. January 12th, 1979 – A winter drink, June 30th, 1978, 1:06pm-1:07pm – A tall glass being slowly filled with a red liquid.

32. January 19th, 1979 – The sun at midnight, January 1st, 1979, 12:00am-12:01am – An entirely black screen, possibly the result of underexposure of the film.

33. January 26th, 1979 – Crab, June 16th, 1978, 12:00pm-12:01pm – A crab dangling from a piece of meat dangling from a fishing line.

34. February 2nd, 1979 – Washing, January 17th, 1979, 2:32pm-2:33pm – Clothes frozen stiff on a rotary washing line.

35. February 9th, 1979 – The Moon (no date given) – The moon, half full (nighttime).

36. February 16th, 1979 – The Moon (no date given) – The moon, half full (daytime).

37. February 23rd, 1979 – The average lifetime of a cumulus cloud is sixty three minutes, July 17th, 1978, 11:56am-11:57am – A cumulus cloud that looks slightly reminiscent of a hag.

38. March 2nd, 1979 – Melt, February 27th, 1979, 11:55am-11:56am – Close-up of a snow covered holly leaf.

39. March 9th, 1979 – The film was not an enjoyable experience at all, March 6th, 1979, 9:47pm-9:48pm – A crowd of people leaving a cinema.

40. March 16th, 1979 – A photograph of my mother, March 15th, 1979, 10:39:am-10:40am – A shot of a photograph of an unidentified woman.

41. March 23rd, 1979 – Waiting in line, March 6th, 1979, 7:36pm-7:37pm – A close up of the feet of people in a queue.

42. March 30th, 1979 – Southend United versus Liverpool, January 10th, 1979, 7:44pm-7:45pm – An orange ball on a snow covered field.

43. April 6th, 1979 – Crow, April 5th, 1979, 7:58am-7:59pm – A crow eating a chip.

44. April 13th, 1979 – The Sun at midday, April 13th, 1979, 12:00pm-12:01pm – An entirely white screen, possibly the result of overexposure of the film.

Controversies

Several complaints were directed towards Anglia Television over episode 9, which was claimed to have almost certainly involved a chance of severe harm to the animal involved. Anglia Television claimed that all necessary procedures were overseen[citation needed], and no further investigation occurred.

International versions

The series was broadcast on PBS in America, shown consecutively in a single hour slot on the 16th June 1979, although episode 13 was omitted. The reason for its omission is unknown.

Due to running time discrepancies introduced by the format conversion process[9], each minute ran to 62.5 seconds, giving the series a total running time of 44 minutes 48 seconds.

Due to archiving mistakes at Anglia Television, several of the original broadcasts have been lost (episodes 6, 7, 13, 14, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 34, 36, 37, 40 and 42), meaning the only surviving versions of these episodes are from the American broadcast. Because of this, episode 13 is currently considered lost, and, owing to the low viewing figures of the original broadcasts, its contents are unknown[10].

Theories of meaning

Several theories of meaning have been proposed over the years[citation needed], most of which centre around the final episode’s broadcast date coinciding with Good Friday. However, it is more likely that the over-reaching theme is one of artistic redundancy on the part of the director [original research?].

References

1. Radio Times, June 16th, 1978 – www.everyradiotimes.com/19780616.com
2. The Anglia Television Synchronisation Project – www.anglialive.co.uk/synchronisedlivefeed.html?date=19780616&clock=bigben
3. The Most Troublesome Time – Lord Reith And The Midnight Minute, by Greg Dyke (BBC Press, 2011)
4. The Government Report On Television Standards And Requirement, 1977 (Her Majesty’s Stationery Office)
5. Anglia Television – A History Of Abject Failure, by Trisha Goddard (Norfolklore Books, 1999)
6. Anglia Television Viewing Records, 1979 – www.televisionviewingfiguresonline.gov.uk/angliaregion.html
7. Reference irretrievable
8. An analysis of sunlight patterns in A Minute At A Time – www.davidicke.com.co/research/aminuteatatime_analysis_and_discrepancies.html
9. NTSC vs PAL – www.diffen.com/difference/NTSC_vs_PAL
10. A Minute At A Time – The Truth of The Missing Minute – www.davidicke.co.com/articles/aminuteatatime_international_conspiracy_british_monarchy.html

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Elon Musk

Elon Musk was on the telly, his dead face glistening under the studio lights.

“Rrrrrrrrr” he said, as the motors that powered his jaws slowly powered up. “Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”

A single drop of blood welled at the edge of his final human eye, seeming to defy gravity at first until you realised it was a fake, made of resin or wax or plasticine or from carbon nanotubes or jam or something, created to evoke a sympathetic response in the viewer. “See,” your brain went, “he’s human just like you.”

You hated your brain but it was the only one you could afford.

His other eye pulsed through sixty trillion colours a second, each one newer and more expensive than the one before.

“If we’d kept the old tv, we’d never have been able to see them all,” your brain said.

“I like that one,” your mother said, freezing the image and then cycling back through the frames until his eye was teslorange (a sort of purple). “I wonder if I could get some antimaccassars that colour.”

You pressed his eye and the catalogue opened up directly into your brain and crowded out most of your other sensory inputs until it had loaded the page.

“They cost $87348732.21,” you said, glumly.

“Oh, that’s quite a bit,” your mother said, but by the end of the week you knew she’d have one over the arm of every chair in the pod.

You wondered sometimes where the old antimaccassars went, but you never quite dared ask.

The image on the tv unfroze. “Hsssssk,” Elon Musk concluded, as his hour came to an end. “Hsssssssssssssssk.”

It was Mark Zuckerberg next, the camera centred on his jumper, the top half of his head protruding out of the shell of the telly and half way up your living room wall.

“Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaater,” he began. “Proooteeeeeeien.”

Your mother was entranced. You feigned disinterest. Later you bought four decilitres of water and several unsorted proteins.

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Notes:

1. Written on September 3rd, 2018

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Our recent excavations

Our recent excavations underneath this site unearthed a sealed and untouched incontamination chamber, dating from sometime before the Shift.

The following documents are transcriptions of the text contained on the printed matter found within. Visual matter beyond the scope of words is currently being checked against the corpus for possible rights issues, and will hopefully be cleared for inclusion presently. Descriptions of any relevant visual material needed to contextualise the written contents are presented for illumination purposes only, and pre-suppose no claim to their ownership.

The physical artefacts from the chamber, including food receptacles, mechanical and electrical devices, clothing, waste products, are currently being scanned for reproduction and facsimiliation, and an exhibition of these items is currently planned for the endmonths of this year.

The desiccated corpse of the inhabitant of the chamber is currently under investigation by the genetics department and will be released only when the consent of itself or any cloned derivatives are able to be obtained. As forced maturation techniques are uncertain to work on pre-shift brain matter, if undesiccation of the body is not successful the obtainment of consent will be unable to be legally accepted for at least a further 19.54 years.

Item 001: The Racist Cop in The Zoo Of The Future (#8 in a series of 183)

Printed card measuring approximately 13.4yn by 8.93333333333333333yn. Full colour printed picture on upside, text on obside. Found on floor, although analysis suggests it was likely to have been affixed to the wall (picture side visible) near desk by an adhesive of some kind.

The picture on the card depicts a clothed humanoid individual hollering aggressively directly at the [holder of the] camera.

Racist Cop

Timespan: 19th – 21st Century
Area: Prevalent everywhere except Antarctica
Diet: Meat, Fish, Bread
Characteristics: Racist Cops were a common subspecies of the parasitic Cop organisms of the early industrial/commercial periods of human history, characterised predominantly by severe and extreme violent tendencies, allied with a strong herd instinct and a subservience to a rigid social hierarchy within their own populations.

Shorn of their uniforms and weaponry, and separated from their protective power structures, however, Racist Cops are revealed to be incredibly timid and cowardly creatures, although still obnoxious, as can be seen with our specimen here in The Zoo Of The Future.

Although likely to withdraw from the view of passing crowds, if the Racist Cop sees its chance it will leap from hiding and attempt to attack or abuse any isolated figure it deems weaker than itself. For your own safety, please do not linger by the enclosure unaccompanied.

There is some scientific disagreement as to whether the Racist Cop and the Sexist Cop (#9) were distinct subspecies or just slightly different variations of the same.

The Racist Cop in The Zoo Of The Future is card #8 in a series of 183.

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Item 002: The Forever Parade

Encyclopaedia article printed on a single sheet of yellowed paper (32.1yn by 21.4yn approximately), text on one side only. At the bottom of the page, text indicates that this was page 1 of 3, but the other two pages were not contained within the chamber. Found on desk.

The Forever Parade

The Forever Parade is a conceptual public gathering, consisting of a continuous, oblivious, and ever-changing grouping of pedestrians that, when followed through time on mapping sites, surveillance channels and other publicly available data, constitute the titular Forever Parade. The length of existence and the minimum sizing of the group for such a grouping to be considered a Forever Parade have long been under debate, but, at a minimum, a constant presence of at least two members must always be maintained.

Although the concept of a Forever Parade was first outlined (but not named) by the Descriptionist Ichid Naer in her book “The Poetics of NoSpace” (published in 2021), it wasn’t until the introduction of live image data to Apple Street in 2029 that a real world example could be shown and followed.  

As of today, the longest currently running Forever Parade is London Forever III, which has been existence for over 17 years. However, there is some discussion over the legitimacy of this, due to the tendency for it to be artificially maintained by tourists, sponsors, and other organised groups (see Controversies).

1. Conceptual Framing and Mathematical Underpinning
2. Real World Discovery And Naming
3. Records
4. Controversies
5. A list of current Forever Parades

1. Conceptual Framing and Mathematical Underpinning

In an aside in The Poetics Of NoSpace, Ichid Naer outlined a scenario thusly: “Given this density of humanity, there is, if we could only trace them, certain to be flocks of people that, viewed as a mass rather than as individuals, have been perambulating across the city together for some time now and will continue on for some time yet. It would be interesting to see whether there is any pattern to their routes, to find out whether these unknown, unaware, herds, constantly shedding and gaining new members as they roll onwards, loop back and forth between two points like the seasonal migrations of birds, or if they snake erratically through the streets at random in the fashion of a photon trying, futilely, to escape the heart of the sun.”

After much online interest and discussion of this passage, she, along with the mathematician Ogawa Naoko, attempted to set out the statistical like-

[article ends]

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Item 003: untitled poem

Handwritten poem, red ink on green paper (6.1yn by 6.12yn). Found screwed up on desktop.

Fractured heart
beneath shattered ribs
Crooked hands
around my throat
Is this enough
if its all there is

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Item 004: The Metamorphoses

Encyclopaedia article printed on sheets of yellowed paper (32.1 yn by 21.4 yn approximately), text on one side only. The article consisted of 4 sheets of paper, held together by a coiled loop of stiffened metal. Probable fifth page of article missing. Found on floor by extraction tube.

The Metamorphoses

This article is about the television show. For the viral infection, please see The_Metamorphoses(Virus) or The_Metamorphoses(2049_Outbreak). For the work by Ovid, please see Metamorphoses. For the work by Jean Michel Jarre, please see Métamorphoses.

1. Overview
2. List of Episodes
3. Controversy
4. Legacy

1. Overview

The Metamorphoses was a short-lived lifestyle and makeover television programme, created and produced by the BBC and broadcast on six consecutive Saturday nights between October and November 2037. The premise of the show was based around the contemporary fashion for transformational surgery. The programme’s unique selling point was the use of metamorphical designs created by some of the foremost visual artists of the day, as well as the lavish cost and large-scale scope of some of the resulting human-sculptures. Contestants/subjects were chosen by the producers, except in the case of Helen Shapiro, who was chosen at (longtime fan) Damien Hirst’s request.

On a per-episode basis it was one of the most expensive television shows ever produced. Due to the cost and its low viewing figures, it became a symbol of the decline of the BBC, and was specifically cited in the Jackson Report as evidence of the public service failures of the then tax-supported media network, and of the shortcomings of the public service broadcasting paradigm as a whole. For a more detailed look at the Jackson Report and its outcomes, please see Jackson_Report(BBC).

2. List of Episodes

Episode 1 – The Angel Of Hull
Broadcast Date – Saturday, October 10, 2037
Artist – Brian Froud
Subject – Fran Masereel

Fran Masereel, a primary school teacher from Hull, was given fully functioning fairy wings, granting her limited powers of “flight”.

Episode 2 – Aural Sensations
Broadcast Date – Saturday, October 17, 2037
Artist – Toby Vok
Subject – Toby Vok

The musician and artist Toby Vok finally transformed himself into his long-proposed “All Body Theremin”.

Episode 3 – For The Love Of God Again
Broadcast Date – Saturday, October 24, 2037
Artist – Damien Hirst
Subject – Helen Shapiro

In this episode Damien Hirst recreated his famous sculpture For The Love Of God by embedding over £200 million worth of diamonds into 90 year-old Helen Shapiro’s face.

Notes: During filming, Damien Hirst fell off his skateboard and broke his leg, hip and elbow.

Episode 4 – It’s What Inside That Counts
Broadcast Date – Saturday, October 31, 2037
Artist – Olajire Ojo
Subject – “Barry”

This week’s subject, appearing anonymously and pseudonymously, was a sufferer of extreme body dysmorphic disorder who had been seeking psychiatric help for his condition. In a collaboration with both his doctor and the artist, it was decided that his flesh and bone structure be removed and his internal organs placed in a series of crystal cubes connected by a complex series of osmotic membranes. The various organ cubes could be stacked in any order.

Note: This was the only episode where the basic human form was completely discarded during the metamorphosis.

Episode 5 – You Will Never See My Perfection No Matter How Long You Stare
Broadcast Date – Saturday, November 7, 2037
Artist – CHU
Subject – Desmond Tenpence

In a direct response to the previous week’s work, the renowned conceptual artist CHU took Desmond Riley, an extreme narcissist, and made him perfectly transparent by means of a cloaking device fashioned from an internal woven mesh of carbon nanotubes.

Episode 6 – The Averaged (Wo)man
Broadcast Date – Saturday, November 14, 2037
Artist – Armelle Bourgoin
Subject – Mary Rose Hannigan

Supermodel Mary Rose Hannigan, long-feted as the most beautiful woman in the world, wished to retire and live a normal life. To this end, the French artist Armelle Bourgoin gave her the “average” British face, which ended up being almost perfectly featureless.

3. Controversy

Along with public, political and press unease over the cost and quality of the programme, there was also a specific controversy concerning the use of private customer data in the sixth episode’s metamorphosis. Although it was later claimed by the artist that he had not actually accessed the licence fee payer’s database to create the “averaged face”, instead having used a simple photo-manipulation smear effect in a freely available software package, it did not prevent the corporation being levied with a record fine for data insecurity.

4. Legacy

A persistent urban legend has arisen concerning a supposed seventh episode (or possibly an alternate regular episode) in which a child’s hands were replaced by crab’s claws (some variants of the tale have them as lobster claws). However, no firm evidence of the creation of this episode or of its broadcast has ever been discovered.

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Item 005: Notes on reading dates, times and orders of magnitude in historical documents.

Large book. Dimensions approximately 33.3yn by 18.43yn. Cover only, all internal pages ripped out. Analysis suggests cover made of (unidentified) animal matter. Found in desk drawer.

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Item 006: Untitled placard

Mounted and framed placard, placed on the wall above desk. Dimensions: 35.99yn by 25.34125yn. The glass in the frame had been cracked (although not shattered), seemingly by a single blow.

For many years I walked across the earth, so as to encounter new things and thus gain an increased knowledge of the world. But eventually I came to the belief that constant novelty hindered the pursuit of wisdom, for it allowed no room for the contemplation of events, nor of meaning.

So I returned to my home and sat down in my room, and vowed to remain there until I truly understood the few meagre things contained within – the walls, the floors, the ceilings, the bed, and myself.

After many years of solitude, the only epiphany I experienced was that, when I walked the earth, I walked because I enjoyed it. And when it was solitude that I craved, I sat here. The reasons I constructed around these decisions were delusions constructed to create a mythology of purpose around my actions that they themselves did not warrant nor deserve.

Yet there was no importance in anything I had ever done, no purpose, and there never was in anything. And in understanding this I could live and die freely, however I pleased.

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Item 007:

Text, scratched onto the wall near bed.

Nostalgia eases the present by erasing the past

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Item 008:

Text, scratched onto the wall near extraction tube.

I remember so much and so little at the same time

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Item 009: fragment

Scrap of paper ripped from a larger sheet, found in corpses trouser pocket. Roughly triangular in shape, 8yn in length along longest edge. Text printed on both sides.

Side 1

is, Geo
y friends li
ereas your penis
ing disgusts them, you kno

Side 2

e monstr
nd said, “Lo
f it. It’ll never fit
she nodded and said, “That’
my problem, is it. It’s your anu

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Notes:

1. Written in January and February 2016
2. Although I think bits of it came from the year before

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If you like the things you've read here please consider subscribing to my patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.