Douglas Adams and Tom Baker in 1990 documentary “Hyperland.”

Back in 1990 Douglas Adams and Tom Baker (the Fourth Doctor) were part of an hour long documentary for the BBC all about the early development of Hypertext. Here’s the writeup about the film from the official Douglas Adams Homepage:

In this one-hour documentary produced by the BBC in 1990, Douglas falls asleep in front of a television and dreams about future time when he may be allowed to play a more active role in the information he chooses to digest. A software agent, Tom (played by Tom Baker), guides Douglas around a multimedia information landscape, examining (then) cuttting-edge research by the SF Multimedia Lab and NASA Ames research center, and encountering hypermedia visionaries such as Vannevar Bush and Ted Nelson. Looking back now, it’s interesting to see how much he got right and how much he didn’t: these days, no one’s heard of the SF Multimedia Lab, and his super-high-tech portrayal of VR in 2005 could be outdone by a modern PC with a 3D card. However, these are just minor niggles when you consider how much more popular the technologies in question have become than anyone could have predicted – for while Douglas was creating Hyperland, a student at CERN in Switzerland was working on a little hypertext project he called the World Wide Web…

It’s fascinating to take a look back at a period that doesn’t seem all that far away to me until I realize that was the same year Courtney was born. To see how far things have come in just 16 years is amazing. Of course I get the same effect from playing old 8 bit video games from the 1980’s as well. Still, this video has two of my favorite people in it so I can’t resist watching it. I’ve embedded the video in the extended section for those interested in watching it.

Link found via Boing Boing.

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