Taipei Air Station - 1966 - - - " What you have in the end are memories"......... Photo Courtesy of Richard Reesh.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Taiwan Television - The Early Days

Television in the Early Days

On the right is a copy of the "China Post" Tourism Page, dated June 11th 1968. Click on either photo to view a larger copy.

On the left, a copy of the daily TTV (Taiwan Television) schedule for Tuesday, June 11th 1968.

Interesting note on the "China Post." It was being type set in 1968, notice the uneven letters and numbers. I do recall that the China Post came out with a very slick newspaper or insert which was on magazine quality white paper and had very nice color. I do not remember if they only ran special editions in the new format, or they were into commercial printing and ran a special edition of the paper occasionally, such as Double 10 or Chinese New Year..... It was quite an improvement from the normal paper which I believe cost 2 NT.

If you retired to the barracks or your home after work and wanted to watch television, your choices we limited to the TTV channel. There was not much to watch, a cartoon at 6:30, then eat dinner, come back at 8:30 for the television show Mission Impossible, followed by a short feature on the Circus and then the Taiwanese Drama, which was "live" and interesting to watch.

On Sundays you could watch a movie, they featured a Chinese Opera show and other goodies on Sundays, which I believe was the best day to watch television.

On Friday nights they ran "Combat" with Vic Morrow. Any drinking establishment or club you walked into had their television set tuned to Combat. Thinking back to the day, I would guess Combat was probably the number 1 show in Taiwan. I'm thinking of the old solders who came over from the mainland with Chiang Kai shek, this program must have been heart warming for them. I wonder what their feelings were on returning to the mainland? One would guess that they were ready to return home, I guess we all would want to go home. Anyone have any observations on the military personal feelings about Taiwan and returning home to the mainland? There has to be something written about this, not the government, but personal writings by individual soldiers.

What are your thoughts on Taiwan Television? My history is limited to the mid 1960s and I'm sure television improved after I left the island.

Here is a short history on TTV:


Dennis said...

I remember I had a TV in my apartment. I cannot remember much about the programming. I do remember watching Hawaii Five O. My Chinese Girl Friend liked the show. She thought the star Jack Lord was really a handsome guy. Man, I hated him -- no no just kidding but that is what I would tell her.

Dennis said...

O ya the years where 1973 and 1974.

Bill said...

I remember three channels. Not 100% sure but maybe TTV, CTV, ????. My experience was in the 70's.
It seems to me that the three channels had shows between 9PM -11PM.
Combat, Hawaii 50, Mission Impossible, Vegas come to mind.
I actually would watch Chinese shows if bored. I know in 1977 I got a Sony Betamax machine and joined a video club ran by an EX-PAT in Tien Mou. He had movies, TV shows, and sporting events. At the time I thought it was really great technology. The Betamax machine was $800 or so and I can't remember the monthly club fees might have been

Don said...

I really don't recall what programs were on. I had a small black and white Sony portable (about 10 inches square, as I recall) in my room at the hostel but didn't watch it much. It was still running when I sold it at a garage sale about ten years ago.

Anonymous said...

On the subject of old soldiers returning home. In fact many of their families have since returned to mainland China. It was quite a shock to those returning when they were first allowed to travel back in the early 90's as there was a marked difference in the quality of life. Now that the standard of living in China is quite high many have returned *home*. Consider though that most old soldiers will at least be in their '70s so it is more a case of retirement.

Lacey said...

I didn't own a TV. All I remember is watching the Ed Sullivan show on the TV at the stag bar at the 63 club. This would be 1968-69

Don said...

I just remembered another tidbit from Taiwan television, though I can't guarantee that the memory is accurate. As I recall, they used to say "nee hao ma" after the hourly chime in the evenings.

Does anyone else remember the time signal or the words, or are my neurons firing randomly again?

ferguson6552 said...

I was in Taiwan first as a 15-17 year old from 1967-69. During those years I remember "Fireball XL5" - an American marionette drama aimed at kids. They also aired the occasional movie at random times, and frequently they would interrupt and stop the movie if the clock struck the hour and it was time for another show. That used to anger us kids a lot!

I returned during the summer of '78, then for a year from '79-'80, and the three most popular shows on TV were: Hawaii 5-0, Three's company, and Denny Terio's Dance Fever.

Judy said...

I loved Taipei, worked at the post office at the naval station from 1977 to the close in 1979. The Air Force ran the post office with about 15 of us.

Rory O'Neil said...

Thanks for the post and comments - memory refreshed!