They are tiny fragments of black plastic and metal, found deep within the folds of a DFS corner style sofa model number 3976UX. But they could well have their own story to tell, a story untold for nine years. Now investigators are becoming ‘a little more sure’ that the anonymous looking bits of domestic flotsam ‘could possibly be’ the remains of lost TV remote control Sanyo SRC-493V which disappeared on Christmas night, 2005 after what witnesses describe as a ‘difference of opinion’ about whether to tape Dr Who and watch the Bond film or vice versa. As yet, proof has yet to emerge.
Bystanders claim the remote control was hurled on a yet-to-be established trajectory which took it outside the realms of most domestic search procedures. The immediate result was a need for manual control of the ‘mother’ receiving apparatus. In and of themselves, emergency manual operator conflict related to viewing choices (including Booze Cruise II) did not lead directly to the tragedy that ensued. It’s understood volunteers sitting closest to the TV agreed to operate the controls on the unit itself, including volume and brightness as well as channel, but not hue.
But on the 27th December a full scale search for the missing unit using vacuum-based equipment (Henry H0001t) on sofa model number 3976UX took place. It did not lead to the SRC-493V. Instead finds included a Foxes Glacier mint, coins to the value of £2.66 plus a partially sealed contraceptive device. Investigators at that time said scenarios related to the contraceptive find opened a number of hypotheses, none of them savoury.
Meanwhile, it’s understood one suggestion was to replace the mainframe TV unit in its entirety at the January Sales, a suggestion which led to conflict and, say campaigners divorce and family instability resulting in poorer-than expected GCSE results in mathematics and Spanish (module 2,Ola Niños!).
‘There are still many more questions than answers,’ said one relative. Was Sanyo SRC-493V deliberately smashed back in 2005, and if so, by whom and why? Might the tell-tale plastic shards be part of another, less significant unit of redundant cable-free domestic hardware? Some are pointing the finger at the replaced Phillips DEC cordless phone ZX980, decommissioned in 2006 after battery failure and nothing to do with the lost remote at the centre of the crisis.
Experts point out that Panasonic has now taken over Sanyo. ‘Panasonic is unlikely to be able to come to a conclusion about equipment that relates to a previous manufacturing era, ’ said Mike Smythe, head of lost control consultants Smythe and Co. Smythe told TV Quick magazine: ‘Despite the ensuing tragedy, all involved may have to come to realise that the likelihood of reaching 100% proof about the control remains remote. No don’t say ‘remote’, it sounds wrong. Look, you know what I mean. You’re the journalist, I’m sure you can find the right word.’