Friday July 30, 2004

Wall of TVs Meme

In an article in Slate, Dana Stevens laments:

If only it were possible to monitor all the channels at once from a wall-size bank of television monitors, like a crazy millionaire in the movies!

Hmm, the image of an evil genius watching a wall of TVs is really familiar. Where's it from?

The example that leaps immediately to mind is Adrian Veidt (AKA Ozymandias) in Alan Moore's Watchmen. He's the smartest man in the world, and he watches his TV-wall to get a gestalt sense of general cultural trends. He uses these insights in building his business empire (and for other, more nefarious purposes, too).

Are there other, earlier examples of this "evil genius/wall of TVs" meme in fiction? It seems to me that I've seen it many times, but I can't think of any other examples. I've re-read Watchmen repeatedly over the last 15 years, so maybe that's why it's so familiar.

[Now playing: "Eighties" by Killing Joke]

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How about evil geniuses watching walls of security monitors? That must happen a lot.

Posted by: anon at Aug 2, 2004 10:58:20 PM


What I believe to be the seminal,if not the original, "wall of TV" is still standing. This dreary hole is a windowless room in the slightly run-down and surprisingly small home that is Graceland.

It's right off the Jungle Room.

"With a handgun, any TV is remote control."

Posted by: at Aug 3, 2004 10:33:43 AM

'Sfunny, I thought of Watchmen and Ozymandias first thing too. Must be something in the water.

Posted by: Trochee at Aug 20, 2004 10:21:04 PM

The first time that I saw the "wall of TV's"
was in the 1974 TV movie 'The Questor Tapes'.

Posted by: startraveller at Nov 24, 2005 5:20:38 PM