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Finding hope in old-made-new television

Albert Einstein burst upon the world’s stage when he presented his thesis on the relativity of time. You would think that concept alone would have been enough to keep mankind busy for the next 1,000 years. But in just about a century, new concepts about time have emerged. The most perplexing, at least for my limited brain capacity, is the new scientific thinking suggesting that time isn’t even real.

Television used to be bound by time. There used to be a beginning, middle, and end to programming. Back in the day, a television program was on at a set time: it had a debut, a run and then death, either by natural causes or by network executive fiat. Television had “seasons” way back in time — if time itself is real, of course. It used to have a certain sense of rhythm, with fall being a time for new shows to make their debuts, and summer being the time for reruns.

Streaming has changed all that. New television series can appear with great fanfare on streaming services and many others come out of nowhere. But this “out of time” nature of streaming television shows is also liberating, and allows us to discover shows that may have had their run on regular television formats without us ever hearing about them. Due to the voracious appetite streaming services have for content now, myriad shows have found new life and are defying time, if time actually exists in the first place.

While searching for a new (or old, for that matter) mystery series, I landed on a show that had been on the BBC several years ago. It was a show that already experienced its beginning, middle, and end on the BBC, but for me it was new again. I’m not sure if this fits under

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