Long ago in a faraway land called Britain, there was a television service. And this television service was young, and small, and consisted only of five channels. And these five channels were free to all who watched them and were broadcast daily across the whole land. Indeed, only those channels could be seen on an ordinary television.
Then came the evil Baron Murdock who looked upon the land and felt it ripe for a takeover. Unable to control the television media after his recent success in acquiring a newspaper, he decided to launch a new kind of television service - one which would require a satellite dish! But then his plans grew ever more cunning... "What I need," he mused evilly, "Is a way of getting people hooked and desperately needing my television service in addition to their regular service."
So he plotted, and he schemed, and he stole the football away!
And he plotted, and he schemed, and he stole Star Trek The Next Generation away!
And he forbid the showing of ST:TNG on ordinary, free to all television for two years, and that the football would be restricted to one hour of highlights per week, unless his evil demands were met. And the people grumbled, and the people moaned, and the people paid him for they were desperate.
And from then on, his evil plans expanded. The new series from America would be snatched up by the evil Baron and his confederates and held to ransom. The only way to gain access to this treasure would be through the Baron's satellite dish. And all across the land the people became used to satellite television, and terrestrial television (as the ordinary service became known). Indeed, to this very day, (even after cable television has come) 'terrestrial' is still used to refer to the main five tv channels free to everyone in the country.
Now, who wants to hear my war stories?
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Apologies to draconin and alixtii whom I confused when I started talking about the Torchwood viewing figures yesterday. Mind you, they're probably more confused now....