He acted as an ambassador showcasing the greatest invention of mankind, cable television. They would actually have the family sit down around the television and give a in home tutorial on the usage of the equipment. There was no remote controlled, infra-red digital boxes or anything like that. It was a Hamlin 43 Channel slidebox. Man it was a beauty, and you had to have skill to split second navigate thru all the channels to never miss a second of quality programming spread throughout. I myself became a pro.
At any given moment i could be watching WPIX 11, jump to HBO (i do believe it was channel 24), then back to WNEW 5. This would come in handy on a Saturday morning/afternoon when so many cartoons/sci fi movies/ kung fu features were on at the same time. Back then if Destroy All Monsters was on at the same time of the Five Deadly Venoms you watched them at the same time. It would also come in handy nearing puberty sneaking a watch of Bo Derek roll around in nothing more than white paint in Tarzan, the Ape Man while my parents were in the next room. But thats another story.
Having all these new channels, my main focus was HBO. There was always something new and exciting on that channel. Apes screaming at black monoliths, Families running in terror from swarms of bees and packs of rabid dogs, Tim Conway and Don Knotts, and time traveling little people.
Time Bandits just appealed to me as the grandest form of escapism. To know that myself, a fat misshapen kid could one day have a map that would let me jump out of my grammar school existence to face off against a minotaur, ride the Titanic, or become one of Robin Hood’s merry men jumpstarted my imagination. Without movies like this, Star Wars, Blade Runner, Poltergeist, Indiana Jones and Jaws I’m not sure i would be the person I am now.
About 10 years ago i started trying to track down any information on who owned the map(s). It is rumored that after filming, Terry Gilliam kept one map and his production partner (and former Beatle) George Harrison took the other. It appears that the filming map went to Harrison while Gilliam kept the newer map used for the credits sequence. So i would assume unless i hit the lottery or would have not sold those shares of apple stock i owned back in 2001 that i just can’t afford even entertaining the idea of owning this obscure bit of hollywood history.
What i have come across though is someone took the time to actually, painstakingly recreate the map from video footage. You can actually purchase the replica HERE!
So a replica, for now, is fine