As I’ve hinted before, I was interviewed in suburban Seattle last fall by a team that told me they were developing a program on accidental inventions for the Discovery+ streaming service.
It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that the independent producers made their own discovery: that I hadn’t signed the Appearance Release. This is the document that permits “the company” (unnamed) to use that video forever, until death do us part, and then some.
I’m told this is the standard release for this kind of “unscripted” program. It covers people who appear in documentaries, light entertainment, and even big-name game shows. And it’s written full of boilerplate designed to cover all those contingencies.
Among other things, the agreement says that “the company” controls all the publicity and that the signer must not disclose any information about appearing on the show. And because I don’t know for sure if I am in any episode, or which one, or when, there isn’t much to disclose.
However, I can confirm this much, because the trailer is already out there: a six-part series called “Inventions That Changed History” will debut on Discovery+ on March 31. It will be released, two episodes at a time, through April 14, which is a significant date in our family history. The trailer is out, as you can see above.
From what I can tell, the inventions featured in this series are fun stuff–nothing like the steam engine or the telephone or the Internet. Think pop culture: Mr. Potato Head, Twister, lava lamps, and Pop Rocks.
Although not pictured in the trailer, Bubble Wrap might be just the thing to wrap it all up. Or maybe not.