Sitting around watching television might not be as useless as you think. Certain shows have been remarkably accurate in their forecasts of the future. The list suggests that British TV producers are far more prophetic than their American counterparts. But that's OK; when someone invents Warp Drive, I'll revise the list.
1. The Troubleshooters (1965-1972)
This drama about Mogul, a British multinational oil company, had its finger on the pulse. Three days after BP struck oil in Alaska, viewers saw Mogul do the same "“ in an episode that had been filmed months earlier. In another episode, Mogul took over a chemical firm. BP did the same later that week. One episode included a huge explosion on an oil rig, but it wasn't even broadcast before a real explosion happened on the North Sea. Troubleshooters even showed people living in underwater houses as they probed the sea for oil. Within three years, even this piece of science fiction was a reality. Thankfully, none of the episodes portrayed nuclear disaster. "I am staggered how accurate they are in technical matters," said a Shell executive. "Of course, in real life we don't have blondes lying about on beds. We miss this facility."
2. The Year of the Sex Olympics (1968)
3. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1981)
4. MI5 (2002-)
5. The Lone Gunmen (2001)
Mark Juddery is a writer and historian based in Australia. See what else he's written at markjuddery.com.