My father in law used to watch this program, and I would occasionally watch an episode with him.
If you want to know about story telling, watch this program. The writers were experts at making a drama out of very little. When you’re writing SF it’s easy to create conflict. Destroy a spaceship, a city, an entire planet and let the other side retaliate.
This programme didn’t have the luxury of such exotic material, and yet it somehow contrived to keep viewers on the edge of the seat as we watched a driver attempting to move a load from Leicester to Milton Keynes! A distance of 55 miles! In under 2 hours!
The commentators breathless delivery was such that you could easily forget that 55 miles in 2 hours is an average speed of just under 30 miles an hour. Not that it mattered when a red traffic light could take on the aspect of a major catastrophe.
When storytelling is this effective you might ask yourself Who needs robots? And there is a certain truth that some SF stories get so caught up in the sound and fury they end up signifying nothing. But it’s equally true that I was never moved by an episode of Trucks and Trailers in the same way I was moved by say Slaughterhouse 5...