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inflatable dalek
2013-01-05, 09:15 AM
Just in case any Brits have missed it, the CITV channel is celebrating 30 years of the brand (as opposed to just children's telly on ITV) with lots of nostalgia. I suspect there's at least a few shows on here every one watched religiously, even if they were more of a posh CBBC kid (well, except for you insanely young pups like Summerhayes).

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=541586892535434&id=541584389202351



Saturday 5th January 2013

9:25am Mike and Angelo (1990)
9:50 Super Gran (second episode, 1985)
10:15 Wizadora (last episode, 1998)
10:30 T-Bag (1987)
10:50 Engie Benjy (s3, ep1, 2004)
11:05 The Raggy Dolls (1994)
11:15 Puddle Lane (1986)
11:35 Count Duckula (1991)
12:00noon The Sooty Show (1986)
12:25pm Art Attack (1992)
12:40 The Big Bang (1997)
1:00 Finders Keepers (1991)
1:30 Fun House (1994)
2:00 Knightmare (1993)
2:30 Fraggle Rock (1983)
3:00 The Worst Witch (1998)
3:30 Woof! [Eric] (first episode, 1989)
4:00 Dramarama: Blackbird Singing In The Dead of Night (1988)
4:30 Press Gang (first episode)
5:00 The Tomorrow People (1992)
5:30 Children's Ward (2000)

Sunday 6th January 2013

9:25am Mike and Angelo
9:50 Spatz (1992)
10:10 Huxley Pig
10:30 Rainbow (1984)
10:50 Button Moon (1985)
11:05 The Riddlers
11:15 Rosie and Jim (first episode, 1990)
11:35 Dangermouse (1986)
12:00noon Sooty & Co (1993)
12:25pm How 2 (1995)
12:40 Fingertips (2002)
1:00 Jungle Run (2001)
1:30 Fun House (1995)
2:00 Knightmare (1993)
2:30 Fraggle Rock (1983)
3:00 My Parents are Aliens (2005)
3:30 Woof [Rex] (1993)
4:00 Dramarama: Back to Front (1989)
4:30 Press Gang (last episode)
5:00 The Tomorrow People (1992)
5:30 Children's Ward (unknown)

I'm especially looking forward to the episodes of Woof! and Mike and Angelo (especially if it's the "Regeneration" episode between the two Angelo's).

The Tomorrow People is worth keeping an eye out for as they'll have almost certainly picked the one with Christopher Lee as the villain from his wilderness years as an actor.

Denyer
2013-01-05, 11:08 AM
Cheers for the reminder. Hoping to find download sources for this, or maybe their catch up site is recordable.

Can't think why they're running the last episode of Press Gang, though... It isn't representative at all.

The swipe keyboard added to Android recently is remarkably effective, isn't it? Or did your tablet already come with one?

inflatable dalek
2013-01-05, 11:25 AM
Both my phone and tablet have one, but I only really use the only on the phone myself, on the larger scale it seems a bit harder to use for some reason.

Mike and Angelo was terrible sadly, and that was the original Angelo as well who I remember being better than the second one...

The sound on Supergran was really poor, Wizadora was strangely entertaining (shame it wasn't the original actress though. And the moral about how being important doesn't matter was slightly undone by George-off-George and Mildred just getting the second most important person he knew to open his shop for him when the Princess fell through).

T-Bag was probably undone by it being an episode from a middle of a serial, and seemed to be completely ad-libbed by a bunch of people on drugs. Odd they didn't go for one with the second T-Bag as well considering she's in Emmerdale now (plus in the ones from the later years T-Shirt has grown up to be about 12 foot tall, which was hilarious as his friendship with the new small girl every year looked creepier and creepier as he got older and older and taller and taller).

The pirate lesbian singing a song about how she really, really, really hates men and only wants a ship full of "Lasses" was awesome though. "Men do we need them? HA HA HA NO!".

Best not to think why she was so keen to have a juvinile Bonnie Langford clone join her crew though.

inflatable dalek
2013-01-05, 01:39 PM
Considering CITV stars seem to have escaped the scandals that have enveloped their CBBC counterparts it's amazing how everything Pat Sharp says makes him sound like a paedophile. "Show me your boogie!".

Loved Neil Buchanan slapping the kids about on Finders Keepers though.

Denyer
2013-01-05, 02:49 PM
Supergran's more of a 70s feel show -- the sound's not terrible, but what's on ITV Player doesn't use stereo as we're familiar with it these days. Can't remember whether the original was mixed the same. Most of the vocals are on one channel only, with the other used for sound effects or directional sound (eg, in the theme tune at the start.)

inflatable dalek
2013-01-05, 03:04 PM
Based on Facebook, the entire country has pretty much shut down due to everyone watching this.

It's strangely reassuring to have so many people go at once "That's not the proper Knightmare opening!".

Oddest highlight of the day has been Sooty of all things. I mean, it had Geoff Capes in it, what's not to love?

I was slightly disappointed by the episode of Fraggle Rock shown being the American version rather than the British one with Fulton Mackay doing the "Human" links. Though apparently only a few of the masters of those survive.

Indeed, I suspect the reason why a few of the long runners were represented by later episodes rather than from their "Classic" (or when Pat had the mullet) periods is that the archives of a few ITV regions are supposed to be rather barren or even non-existent due to stuff being chucked out everytime there was a merger/take over. (or in the case of one now owned by Disney, no one's allowed to look at it to find what is there).

electro girl
2013-01-06, 06:44 AM
I managed to catch Fun House today and it made me so happy. One of my fave shows as a kid was Rosie and Jim But I have to be out when its on so I'm gutted.

I sort of switched between CITV and CBBC seemingly at random. I know that my main reasons for prefering it were Pokemon and the fact that Goosebumps on CBBC was too scary (Did you see that ****ing haunted sponge thing?!?!).

I am unhappy that they are not rebroadcasting SMTV Live or even just segments like Chums.

Skyquake87
2013-01-06, 08:23 AM
Like you Electro Girl, I used to flick between CBBC and CiTV. Looking back, I seem to have watched a lot more ITV stuff than the what was on the Beeb. The only Children's BBC shows that i can bring to mind are spooky drama Moondial (nice how they used video effects to create 'night' in this) - written by Helen Cresswell whom did Woof!, Maid Marian And Her Merry Men, The Lowdown (a sort of current affairs for children with cool opening titles), Simon And The Witch, The Album (f**k knows why I remember this, probably the irritatingly catchy theme tune) and stuff that didn't air in the usual after school slot that somehow now gets lumped in with kids stuff like Sunday teatime family dramas Alice In Wonderland, The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe and The Box Of Delights.

I haven't managed to catch any of these re-runs, but a lot of them I can recall very vividly ('Who you going to be today, Huxley Pig? oink oink/ A suitcase full of clothes/ everybody knows/ So who you going to be today, Huxley Pig? oink oink') . One thing I could never stand was bafflingly awful Children's comedies, Spatz I remember being terrible, if only because of the incongrouous American Diner setting, but I don't suppose setting it in a greasy spoon would have been the same. Mike And Angelo I thought was alright, but I really could not stand My Parents Are Aliens. A one joke sit-com that somehow trundles on to this day. Awful, eye gougingly bad stuff that made the BBC's Alonso Bonzo look like comedy gold by comparrison. I think I couldn't stand this forced sort of comedy because when CiTV got it right with things like Your Mother Wouldn't Like It (and spin off Palace Hill - a Grange Hill Spoof), Round The Bend, Gilbert's Fridge and the oddly scheduled The Whinging Pom - on on a Saturday teatime?- it made rubbish like MPAA even more unbearable because you knew they could do so much better. CiTVs crown jewel (in my eyes) has to be Sir Gadabout, which was a ridiculous comedy about a load of inept knights. A fairly modern offering (early 2000s, I think) that was the last kids show I remember thinking 'this is really good' as a grown up, before the Beebs MI: High and SJA came along... All this probably says a lot about my viewing habits and interests as a child which pretty much remain unchanged. I could never get into present day dramas like Press Gang and so on, no matter how good folk told me it was. It was just normal people talking in a room doing normal stuff, and it baffled me that this kind of thing was so popular. I like TV when its proper escapist. I think that's why I don't get the mass appeal of soaps - watching stuff based around real life seems a waste of time when you could be living it yourself, instead of through some ficitional avataars.

In terms of Saturday morning telly (sadly not represented by CiTVs retro weekend), again, CiTV got more of a look in. Number 73, Get Fresh, Motormouth (the original with the big inflatable mouth presented by Neil Buchanan, Gabby Roslin, Andy Crane and someone else possibly that also had that weird 'behind the scenes' soap/ comedy thing going on), Ghost Train being my favourites. I always had a lot of time for the BBC's Going Live! though, which until SM:TV came along, was the greatest Saturday morning kids tv...ever!

God, this is bringing back so many memories. Saturdays I used to be glued to the telly from a ridiculous hour of the morning, watching those gloriously weird Australian/ European animated shows on Channel 4, a bit of the Wide Awake Club, whatever Saturday morning fun fest was on, The ITV Chart Show (RIP) and Captain Scarlett after that ( which ITV had a fit of rerunning at the time). And then it would be off to play out! woo!

Cliffjumper
2013-01-06, 02:33 PM
Think the only ITV stuff we ever watched was the Cosgrove Hall cartoons. The rest of it was shite, especially the long line of bad sitcoms badly imitating bad American sitcoms, usually featuring some **** with a baseball cap on backwards.

The Beeb had proper links (especially from Philip Schofield, a man so great that he could have spent the entire decade raping 12-year old girls and I'd still think he's great), better cartoons (Mysterious Cities, Willy Fogg and I think Dogtanian, plus Racoons and X-Men on weekends), Trevor & Simon, comedies that were funny (Maid Marian is one of the few kids' shows that's actually good), quality imports like Round the Twist, someone calling ASWAD "twats", the pantomime villainy of Shaun Ritchie in Run the Risk, the best ever show to never-ever-ever rewatch in Grange Hill and that shit RTD wrote no-one claimed they'd watched until he started doing Doctor Who.

I would mention Blue Peter but TBH I only ever used to half-watch in the (often fulfilled) hope that Mark Curry would injure himself. The uni-coinciding Konnie/Matt/Gethin dream-team was better than anything we had as kids.

Auntie Slag
2013-01-06, 05:21 PM
Bloody hell Skyquake, I thought I was the only one who remembered Moondial. I remember liking it because it felt quite grown up for a kids programme, and probably because I fancied the main girl in it; Minty I think her name was.

Aside from that, Johnny Briggs was a staple, as was Seaview, Jossy's Giants, Heartbeat with Tony Hart and all others mentioned above. Had a soft spot for Towser, Bertha, Mysterious Cities of Gold, Really Wild Show etc.

If we're going on this nostalgia trip, then I really miss BBC2 and Channel 4's output for kids. BBC2 had an awesome Sunday morning line-up for a while, which included Maid Marion & Her Merry Men (were these repeats from earlier in the week, or were new episodes aired on Sundays?), and Boxpops which was one of my favourites. Channel 4 had Network 7, Run the Gauntlet (kids version), The Crystal Maze, The Rough Guide and the ****ing awful POB.

BBC2 also did episodes of Jim Hensons' The Storyteller, which was fantastic and featured John Hurt with a prosthetic nose and a Sprocket-like dog!

No rose-tinted specs here though, modern kids TV... like Cliffjumper said, pisses all over our stuff. Horrible Histories being the prime example. Others include 'Sorry, I've got no head', and slightly older cartoons like Rocko's Modern Life, Cow & Chicken, Courage the Cowardly dog, Hey Arthur and so on.

But Christ, Skyquake... I swear we had identical childhood tastes according to what you've written here. Carbon copy, all the way down to the Saturday ritual and the weird European stuff. I bet you can you recite the lyrics to the Wide Awake Club too!

Cliffjumper
2013-01-06, 06:01 PM
I do hate the lazy "kids' stuff now is shit compared to what we had back in the day" crap. I mean, it's a moronic truism for a start - you enjoyed the kids' TV you saw as a kid more than the stuff you're seeing as an adult with your tastes congealed? **** a duck. Oddly my dad always reckoned the kids TV I watched was shite compared to what he watched - whodathunkit?

The whole "Child of the Eighties" manufactured nostalgia industry pisses me off, a bunch of people letting advertising executives sell their childhood back to them.

Auntie Slag
2013-01-06, 06:22 PM
I like that the live action Transformers films brilliantly subvert the lazy nostalgia side you mention. They contains some excellent references to the old cartoons and comics (wreckers, Sentinel, "One shall stand" etc), but none of these things stand in the way of the brutal and fun nature of what we see. Or the 'Rik and Ade' style farts, violence and crude sexual allusions.

Appreciation without the Justin Lee Collins school of arse.

inflatable dalek
2013-01-06, 08:54 PM
Considering both the beeb and ITV have pretty much given up on making their own kids stuff the 80's/90's/00's (what there was) stuff is technically better by default.

Haven't had chance to see any of today's output, meaning missing Rainbow. :(

But it also means having missed Spatz, which my sister loved but I despised. :)

Of the CBBC stuff the RTD show about the waterfall was brilliantly ****ed (and indirectly responsible for the return of Doctor Who as the editing of it made him quit the beeb for good so when wanted something to get him writing for them again they needed the one vanity project he couldn't refuse). Don't really remember the school one though.

In terms of links, I was surprised Tommy Boyd only did their version of the Broom Cupboard for a couple of years at the start of the 90's. I'd have sworn he'd done it forever before being replaced by the voiceover.

Terome
2013-01-06, 11:18 PM
As I left the country at the age of six to absorb South African children's television (which consisted of even scarier puppets and Ducktales), even the text listing of some of these shows is causing some extreme pressurised nostalgia bubbles to erupt beneath my dermis. T-Bag! I had no idea what was going on in that show and likely never will.

Also, Woof was terrifying. It was right up there with the live-action Incredible Hulk and the Sugar Puff adverts in terms of nightmares. Metamorphoses were just horrible to my young mind.

Similarly, the face-peeling-to-a-skull animation in Knightmare was too much to bear.

Cliffjumper
2013-01-07, 08:20 AM
Considering both the beeb and ITV have pretty much given up on making their own kids stuff the 80's/90's/00's (what there was) stuff is technically better by default.

So because the BBC and ITV have stopped kids' TV no longer exists? Or are we using an incredibly narrow frame of reference to guarantee a certain outcome here?

TBH, if the RTD/kids' TV thing led to the CBBC version of Who I'm seriously tempted to say it makes it even shitter. Though I'd point out that Who is an example of the BBC still making television for children - while it's pitched at a family audience a big part of the way the show's set up now is to shift merchandise to small impressionable kids.

I would certainly say most channels are better off simply importing shit American sitcoms rather than doing them themselves.

Spangles, eh?

Skyquake87
2013-01-07, 08:57 AM
@ Auntie Slag :) I think because of where I lived growing up was strangely isolated, I do remember watching quite a lot of telly up to around starting secondary school in 1989 (kids telly featuring a lot less after the age of 11...mostly because my shcool hours were 9 - 4.30, so by the time I got home I'd missed everything - kids today don't know how lucky they are finishing at 2:30 - 3:30 in the afternoon..!). See, I knew there was some stuff on the Beeb I watched - Johnny Briggs! What an awesome show that was. I liked that that show was about your 'everyman' in class whom had things go wrong for him all the time. Gave me hope (!) Oh! And that girl whom started every proclamation "My mum, who's a nurse..." causing her classmates to roll their eyes. I remember a slice of wedding cake made out of toothpaste and bread, Humphrey and the sister whom spent an episode going on about Angorra sweaters. Jossy's Giants. Football team shenanigans, right? Awesome theme, as I recall. And I have just remembered Gruey, whom went onto be Cracker's son. So the BBC did also do stuff that I watched. Hoorah! Ooh! And I has just remembered that Tony Robinson cartoon show that was on on a Saturday - Stay Tooned- that fillled a void after Rolf Harris f**ked off to CiTV to start up Rolf's Cartoon Club ('you can join today!' - so I did) and I always remember for featuring awesome Canadian cartoon 'The Cat Came Back'

I loved those weird early morning cartoons on C4. Sharkey And George ('The crime busters of the sea/ Sharkey And George/ clear up any mystery') , that one about the human body (educational, but not nauseatingly so), Kaboodle, Dennis, Heathcliff and Cats & Co (was that what it was called, it was the cats that lived in a junk yard cartoon that was double-billed with Heathcliff and had that alarmingly hot female cat) and loads of weird Eastern European animation that was really eerie.

...and yes, I probably can still remember the Wide Awake Club theme 'We're Wide Awake/ It's good to know you're ready/ And you're Wide Awake/ So on your marks/ And get set go!/We're Wide Awake!' . Strangely, the show got retitled as 'WAC '90' in er, 1990. And lost the theme tune and it was largely downhill from there. Although TVam getting Chris Evans and his forgotten chum to inject some life into their kids segment with 'TV Mayhem' (1991-2) was a stroke of genuis - and probably what led to him getting The Big Breakfast gig when TVam lost is broadcast license thanks to Thatchers tremendous 'competition' wheeze (that has strangely never been repeated - and was how we lost stalwarts such as Thames Television, which only survive now as production houses for a handful of programmes).

@ Cliffy, I think you're right in that kids shows are probably more sophisticated these days. The criticism about things 'not being as good as they were in my day' is down to the frame of reference changing. For instance, the appeal of Tracey Beaker is utterly lost on me. A girl growing up in a foster home whom manipulates, outright bullies and uses every trick she can to discredit others to and get her own way is a puzzling role model. Without the inner monolgue you get from Jacqueline Wilson's prose, the character comes across as a total b*tch using her unfortunate background to her advantage, which is an odd thing to show kids. You too can get your own way by being completely selfish and self absorbed!

Worse though, is the stuff that tries too hard (Spatz, MPAA). The endless witless comedies, that weird prison variety show on CBBC with a parade of slightly embarrassed struggling bands coming on every now and then.


It's a shame that Jamie Oliver pretty much destroyed CiTV overnight with his healthy eating campaign - the 'ban' on junk food advertising to children before 7pm* (or whatever) really put the nail in the coffin of a set of programming that was already on the ropes- as it was always good to have a brash, chaotic counterpart to the Beeb's more considered output. Since CiTV and CBBC transferred to digital, it feels like children's telly has fallen off the radar somewhat. Whereas in years gone by, the really really good stuff made a dent outside its demographic, nowadays that doesn't seem to happen and its just a weird stew of forgettable cheaply made programmes (a lot of factual /science based stuff on a budget of 10p seems to be the order of the day) leading imported cartoons and shows like the gloriously mental Aquabats to plug the gap our own home grown stuff should be filling. I suppose in this age of tiny audiences, the impact of multi channel broadcasting and online catch up probably makes it easier for commerical broadcasters not to bother. Both C4 and C5s children's output is largely pre-school, with nothing much on offer for anyone over the age of four.

*whilst managing to catch a re-run of Fun House (Pat making awful , awful unfunny jokes - on purpose, but just embarrasing himself!), there was an advert for McDonalds, but the focus was on the milk you can get as a drink with a Happy Meal, so is this how they get around the 'ban'? 'Look! Its healthy really! Honest!'

RE: RTD and the Beeb. Good point, and interesting that the Beeb comissioned him to come up with something to fill the void left by the premature ending to the SJA and he's come up with ...Wizards Vs Aliens, which seems a bit of a desperate throw of the dice and shamelessly populist.

I would disagree that imports are the way forward. I hate the creeping Americanisation of the world. We really are heading towards a depressing monoculture. I think the problem comes when programmers directly mimic US tropes. The most successful British tv shows are the ones that come from our own history and culture (I loved those weird Chidren's Film Foundation movies the BBC went through a phase of showing - the dead children in the mine being my favourite). RTD also did SJA as the Beeb's original pitch was for a Harry Potter style the Doctor and The Master growing up on Gallifrey and getting into scrapes - can you imagine how awful that would have been? They clearly wanted something (Totally Doctor Who being a terrible show designed purely to capitalise on Who's huge popularity), and I think the compromise was a good one. It's just a shame that as with adult telly, its not lead to more experimental kids tv, but has rather put something of a full stop on it.

Skyquake87
2013-01-07, 09:15 AM
...sorry for the double post.

Just re-read my last comment and the irony of saying that on a forum dedicated to a franchise that is an American thing isn't lost on me. I guess with Transformers, it was the stamp of the British creators on it that leads to a sense of ownership - and even thinking that our take was superior to the US version (something that's starting to be reflected in Dalek's excellent reviews of the old UK comic). see, it's what you do with those American standards that counts!

inflatable dalek
2013-01-07, 09:28 AM
So because the BBC and ITV have stopped kids' TV no longer exists? Or are we using an incredibly narrow frame of reference to guarantee a certain outcome here?

Just comparing like for like. I don't think it's crazy blinkered nostalgia to suggest that if the two main stations in the UK are putting almost zero effort into making children's TV (the beeb to be fair are maintaining a tokenistic presence, most obviously with the brilliant Horrible Histories) then the days where they actually had some do have a huge advantage in the comparison stakes.

I do think the raising of a white flag over children's TV by the main channels is a big mistake on their part. Arguably traditional television is an inevitably doomed medium anyway but there being no real place for them on main TV (and most digital channels only having the budget for imports) is going to accelerate the speed we're heading towards where we'll have our first generation of kids grow up without it as their primary form of entertainment provider.

Of the stuff I did see it seemed to be the things geared to the younger kids that had stood the test of time better (Sooty; Wizadora; Raggy Dolls. Though the later has a real broken Aesop going on with the idea that segregating different and disabled people from the rest of society lets them have exciting adventures. Points for having "Being French" as a valid reason for being chucked in The Reject Bin though). I don't know if that was a strength of ITV's or if my brain is just undeveloped though. I may belong in that Reject Bin with Frenchie.

Woof! Was bloody terrible.

TBH, if the RTD/kids' TV thing led to the CBBC version of Who I'm seriously tempted to say it makes it even shitter. Though I'd point out that Who is an example of the BBC still making television for children - while it's pitched at a family audience a big part of the way the show's set up now is to shift merchandise to small impressionable kids.

I'd say it (and Merlin) is definitely more in the Strictly/X-Factor side of things in trying to bring everyone in together myself. And if there really is some Evil Merchandising Mastermind behind it all they've done a terrible job this year with their "Just six episodes with heavy reuse of costumes done to death as toys, plus the already widely avaliable avaliable dinosaurs and the nebulous concept off a black featureless box" masterplan. Unless they were counting on Cowboy aand the Cherrubs carrying things alone. Were there even any Who toys out this Christmas at regular retail?

Cliffjumper
2013-01-07, 09:47 AM
I didn't say it was a good thing; I said compared to the myriad attempts to clone the style by ITV and the BBC importing probably made more sense. And as you say Americanisation has been around as long as we have. Arguably our generation, seduced by Star Wars, Transformers, Thundercats, He-Man, GI Joe etc (don't tell me where the animation studios doing work for hire were based) into watching American cartoons, reading American comics (occasionally with stories written by British people set in America based on characters devised by Americans) and filling our homes with toys made by American companies based on American-devised companies, are the most guilty of all.

Like you say, kids' TV has simply been moved to digital. The reason we don't know as much about it anymore is because we don't watch it, though I can tell by sorting magazines in the shop I work at that the BBC have a steady stream of popular shows. It doesn't mean it doesn't exist and it doesn't mean it's not doing its' job. I'm sure when kids now hit 30 they'll have plenty of shit to banter about on "I Love the Teenies" on BBC78.

Stuff that surfs the zeitgeist tends to be more family orientated - Anderson, Who, Pixar. I'd be very, very hesitant to sit a six year old down in front of Johnny Briggs though.

I'm not entirely sure Tracy Beaker is meant to be a role model anymore than Marmalade Atkins or Tucker Jenkins were. She's meant to be entertaining, and probably is if you're the right age.

I mean, I wonder how many kids actually sat down and enjoyed Old "Skool" (nice!) CITV. Because kids' TV is like the NME. How great you think it is has nothing to do with how good it is, but entirely down to how old you are when you were watching it. Anything you watched between about 6 and 9 was great, at 10-11 it's beginning to jump the shark apart from the stuff that was live action from about 4:30 onwards, from 12 up when you're hitting puberty it's all shite. And then you go to college and uni with people from the same generation and have lazy drunken conversations where you find out that, Holy ****, you all thought Watt on Earth was great unlike the shit they make now for people half your age. Thus reinforcing that your childhood TV was a lot better than anyone else's.

Hell, this place is basically solid proof of that. We all think Transformers is great. When I got here I was about 20, and so was everyone else - 80+% of the board was 18-24. Now it's probably closer to 28-34 ten years down the line - most of whom like G1 the best. Attitudes congeal and the older you get the more likely you are to largely talk and associate with like-minded people, especially with the internet on hand.

I mean, Dalek mentions about the Old "Skool" (nice!) CITV stuff being all over facebook, and it was. From the people I went to "skool"/college/uni with and are roughly the same age as me. The ones more than 5 years older/younger? Not so much.

Skyquake87
2013-01-07, 11:10 AM
Given the cyclical nature of revivals/nostalgia, the lack of any enthusiasm for a 1990s revival-despite the required 20 year gap c.f. '70s retro gracing the early 1990s and '80s nostalgia in the early 2000s- points that for the time being at least,society seems done with such wholescale reselling of such things. In terms of the era, there wasn't the same kind of explosion of cultural ephemera.the biggest kids franchises of the '90s were what, power rangers and pokemon? The childrens programming of the decade is largely forgotten -even stuff like rtd's efforts were a footnote until who hit,with most folk remembering him for queer as folk. Perhaps with the decade itself being feeling both fairly recent and,culturally, being a remix (how appropriate,given the cult of the dj) of what had gone before, there's less thats unique and original from that decade to hold onto. Not that to say any of that is wrong, as its more healthy to move on from things, but does point to there being a definate sense that in terms of childhood toys and telly, the best days are behind us,despite the bbc still funding original programming. It struck me how much of the bbc's 'i love shows' had a huge focus on stuff like danger mouse, he-man, transformers that were as important to the culture of the time as other developments in society, yet by the time the 1990s rolled around, suddenly it all seemed to be much more grown up and there was a feeling that there wasn't so much of a buzz around what kids were into which persists to this day. The last toy mania of the kind that gets on the news was for zhu zhu hamsters about five years ago.coming off the back of things like cabbage patch dolls, transformers and which happened fairly frequently, that does seem to mark a decline in the patterns we grew up with.

Cliffjumper
2013-01-07, 11:37 AM
Arguably traditional television is an inevitably doomed medium anyway but there being no real place for them on main TV (and most digital channels only having the budget for imports) is going to accelerate the speed we're heading towards where we'll have our first generation of kids grow up without it as their primary form of entertainment provider.

Ummm... good?

Woof! Was bloody terrible.

Woof! ran from when you were 8 to when you were 16. QED.

And if there really is some Evil Merchandising Mastermind behind it all they've done a terrible job this year with their "Just six episodes with heavy reuse of costumes done to death as toys, plus the already widely avaliable avaliable dinosaurs and the nebulous concept off a black featureless box" masterplan. Unless they were counting on Cowboy aand the Cherrubs carrying things alone. Were there even any Who toys out this Christmas at regular retail?

Yes. Not to mention sundry other merchandise. It's not the sole reason for its' being but it's a damn good bonus for the Beeb - especially as it's in that sweet spot of being able to attract both kids and adult fans who'll spring for stuff. Are they still bringing out episodes 2-3 at a time soon after broadcast to make a few quick quid from impatient fans and nagging children before doing a boxset or so later?

TV's taking a battering from computer games and the like (again, not really a bad thing - games at least involve basic interaction and puzzle solving, while the Wii is the best thing to happen to children for decades - a fun computer system that requires physical exercise of some degree to work); the way forward is family-orientated shows like Who - and as the show currently gives the Beeb a licence to print money they're unlikely to want to change that right now.

inflatable dalek
2013-01-07, 09:15 PM
I didn't say it was a good thing; I said compared to the myriad attempts to clone the style by ITV and the BBC importing probably made more sense. And as you say Americanisation has been around as long as we have. Arguably our generation, seduced by Star Wars, Transformers, Thundercats, He-Man, GI Joe etc (don't tell me where the animation studios doing work for hire were based) into watching American cartoons, reading American comics (occasionally with stories written by British people set in America based on characters devised by Americans) and filling our homes with toys made by American companies based on American-devised companies, are the most guilty of all.

I don't think anyone is suggesting imports are evil, but there should be room for a large number of homegrown as well. Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, hell even something like T-Bag with its panto pretensions that hasn't stood the test of time so well are uniquely British shows. Kids deserve and should get that but they've now only got the BBC providing it with any regularity and in much reduced amounts.

Like you say, kids' TV has simply been moved to digital. The reason we don't know as much about it anymore is because we don't watch it, though I can tell by sorting magazines in the shop I work at that the BBC have a steady stream of popular shows. It doesn't mean it doesn't exist and it doesn't mean it's not doing its' job. I'm sure when kids now hit 30 they'll have plenty of shit to banter about on "I Love the Teenies" on BBC78.

Though with the requirement that entertainment in general and kids TV in particular be "Multi Media" there's a good chance that dozen or so magazines represents the vast majority of CBBC's- and therefore all original British kids television- output in a year (unlike when we were kids when ITV stuff would mostly just end up in look Out and BBC stuff in... whatever their version of Look Out was called). It's not actually that impressive an amount and not even close to what they were producing even a decade ago.


I'm not entirely sure Tracy Beaker is meant to be a role model anymore than Marmalade Atkins or Tucker Jenkins were. She's meant to be entertaining, and probably is if you're the right age.

Is Beaker a good example of a current show? I thought it had finished a few years ago? She certainly seemed [Daily Mail]All Grown Up[/Daily Mail] on Strictly.

I mean, I wonder how many kids actually sat down and enjoyed Old "Skool" (nice!) CITV.

Demographics would be interesting actually, though with ratings twice as high as normal for the channel (on just the overnights before recordings and time delays get added) I suspect they don't care. A lot of people did seem to be watching as families, but of course we all remember what it was like watching telly as a kid and how ADD we were so how many were actually paying attention is harder to say.

I wouldn't be surprised to see them extend their hours to add a couple of hours of a permanent "Old Skool" slot on the end of the day though.



I mean, Dalek mentions about the Old "Skool" (nice!) CITV stuff being all over facebook, and it was. From the people I went to "skool"/college/uni with and are roughly the same age as me. The ones more than 5 years older/younger? Not so much.

I may have been non-literal when I said it brought the entire country together...

Given the cyclical nature of revivals/nostalgia, the lack of any enthusiasm for a 1990s revival-despite the required 20 year gap c.f.

Good point actually, I wonder if the ubiquity of the internet now plays a factor? It breaking out at just the right time likely helped the '80's boom but for 90's kids they've had it there as a means of looking up half remembered shows all along. The '90's may never have gone away for them.

I mean, The X-Files is now older than Transformers was when Dreamwave happened, but I can't see a situation where that show got the number one comic (let alone a successful new film or TV show) regardless of how big it was at the time.

Though I'm not suggesting kids OF THE FUTURE won't have nostalgia, it's just going to be all Moshie Monsters style online stuff.



Ummm... good?


I didn't say it was a bad thing as such, anymore than us not having Saturday morning movie serials like our Grandparents was. It's just surprising to me that the TV stations seem to be working so hard to speed up the process and sign their own doom.


Woof! ran from when you were 8 to when you were 16. QED.

On the other hand, there were shows that still stood up and one in Sooty I enjoyed much more than I remember doing so as a kid (did Little Cousin Scampy ruin it?). So what all that proves is hard to say.

Is this where I tell my Matthew Corbett's Brother Story? Or have I dined out on that too much?


Yes. Not to mention sundry other merchandise.

I'm surprised we didn't get any of it in at work, whatever they were selling to kids directly this holiday seems to have completely passed this area by, can't even recall if we had any in during the last mini-season.

They don't make enough episodes in a year now to bugger about with the DVD's. So that's a plus.

Summerhayes
2013-01-07, 09:46 PM
As one of the last people here to acceptably watch children's TV, I'd like to say that I used to sit through UK television anxiously awaiting something decent and American to come on. Which I suppose was pretty awful, really.

Is Beaker a good example of a current show? I thought it had finished a few years ago? She certainly seemed [Daily Mail]All Grown Up[/Daily Mail] on Strictly.

I was in the target audience (just) while Beaker was on. It was sh!t then. I think it came back recently, and she was old enough you couldn't forgive her lack of acting chops.

Skyquake87
2013-01-08, 06:53 AM
@ Dalek *Pedant Alert* Look Out was called Look-In. It started as a tedious educational title, before becoming a weird tv listings/ pop music/ strip cartoons jumble. After years of looking rubbish, it got a really nice make over around 1988 but folded a year or two later as it hadn't improved its content, the like of which BIG! magazine was doing much better (and I remember featuring a pre-SMTV fame Cat Deeley in a photo shoot with Sean Maguire off of Grange Hill/ Eastenders/ feeble pop career where they were both dressed as thingy and thing from Grease) - I think i may still have an excellent Trevor And Simon poster from this with them dressed as the 'Pop Fish' duo, Trevor's character clearly bassed on Pat Sharp whilst Simon was the ridiculous 'Moon Monkey' - a nod and a wink to rave culture.

The BBC's equivalent was Fast Forward (for years, I kept a copy of an issue with Sophie Lawrence on the front as I had a massive crush on her around the time she left Eastenders in 1991 and embarked on a short lived pop career - two singles only, one a cover of 'Love's Unkind' and the other I can't remember, but I am sure it was er, great). Fast Forward was a bit crap as a magazine. And it had an Eastenders comic strip - just what the world needs.


It's interesting how children's TV in the UK is regressing to the point it started back in the 1950s where it was all about catering to pre-schoolers. I'd like to think that Cliffy is right and that Who should usher in an era of more family drama, but Merlin has been axed and ITVs own Primeval and Demons have long since fallen by the wayside, and nothing has come along to fill the void and we're just left with terrible reality tv to pick the slack. bleurgh.

inflatable dalek
2013-01-08, 07:43 AM
The odd thing with Merlin was it was hugely succesful, often getting higher viewing figures than Who (and the decision to end it seems to have been the produces due to them deciding they couldn't really play out the boy wizard thing further rather than the Beebs, and Aunty is already keenly looking for a replacement). But it never seems to get talked about much in "casual" conversations about TV. Perfect harmless wallpaper TV?

Good point about older kids having been given up on entirely, is there anything in that Grange Hill/Byker Grove group anymore?

The nicest surprise about the weekend was The Worst Witch. At the time I was pretty much growing out of kids TV but thanks to a younger brother and sister still saw a lot of it (I certainly wasn't still watching because CITV had gone back to in vision presenters and the female one had breasts you could crack coconuts on. I don't know why you'd suggest it) and was very dismissive of it because, as a pretentious twat, I was firmly convinced that the Tim Curry TV movie thing from about a decade earlier was definative and a remake was pointless.

But it was actually good well made fun, and rather sweet. I suspect J.K. Rowling must have made notes whilst reading the books though. Mainly "What if it was Wizards rather than witches?". Even the two main teachers were basically Richard Harris and Alan Rickman with vaginas.

OK, late 90's- As shown by a virtual reality subplot I'm betting isn't in the book-means this version was probably made to cash in on the success of the early Potter books, but I'm a grumpy bastard who hates Harry Potter because it fills the heart of small children with joy.

Certainly makes me want to track down the Tim Curry version.

Summerhayes
2013-01-08, 09:16 AM
Good point about older kids having been given up on entirely, is there anything in that Grange Hill/Byker Grove group anymore?

Perhaps Hollyoaks? I think the thing is, as soon as kids grow out of kids TV these days, they move straight onto adult stuff- regardless of whether they're actually old enough.

Skyquake87
2013-01-08, 10:45 AM
If not hollyoaks, then certainly neighbours and home and away. Hollyoaks is a ridiculous programme.its like logan's run with hair extensions.there's no adults!

Although now a shadow of what it once was,channel 4 's t4 is the only other youth programming we have and that caters mainly for teens. Sigh. I miss popworld.

As for merlin,yeah i think wall paper tv is a fair description.the performances were all great (although the dragon seemed utterly redundant) and it was a cheery little show, but nothing much seemed to happen between the beginning and end episodes of each series that was of any consequence, which is my biggest criticism of it. That and the lack of much in the way of character development as everything is pretty much reset at the end of each episode.

I've just remembered the bbc also did robin hood. That venture undone by itv's still great '80s version and er, maid marian.

Summerhayes
2013-01-08, 12:56 PM
I've just remembered the bbc also did robin hood. That venture undone by itv's still great '80s version and er, maid marian.

I loved Robin Hood! Certainly better than the recent Scott abomination. And Marian was mighty fine in my opinion.

Cliffjumper
2013-01-08, 01:00 PM
Kids deserve and should get that but they've now only got the BBC providing it with any regularity and in much reduced amounts.

Thing is the main reason it's slowed down is that kids just aren't as interested. Kids' TV in Ye Olde sense has been wiped out by digital allowing kids a much wider choice and it turns out a significant number would rather watch American cartoons than cheap British panto. Had the range of choice been there 30 years ago it could even have been different then.

Is Beaker a good example of a current show? I thought it had finished a few years ago? She certainly seemed [Daily Mail]All Grown Up[/Daily Mail] on Strictly.

No, but Skyquake mentioned it up-thread.

Good point actually, I wonder if the ubiquity of the internet now plays a factor? It breaking out at just the right time likely helped the '80's boom but for 90's kids they've had it there as a means of looking up half remembered shows all along. The '90's may never have gone away for them.

Digital too - a lot of 1990s stuff (e.g. the Marvel cartoons, most of Nickleodeon's output) is always on somewhere; not to mention that most 1990s output came out on DVD or before that VHS, often quite close to broadcast. And if it's been out on DVD it's out there on the internet somewhere too, be it as rips or YouTube or whatever. I would say it's even possible that oversaturation of avaliability means 90s and 00s kids are probably completely ****ing fed up of what they saw as kids whereas older generations rarely got to do anything systematically.

80s (and to a lesser extent 70s) kids might be a broken generation to build trends and systems from. Rather than there being something 'wrong' with output it's possible there's something wrong with us as a generation to be yearning after pop culture fads decades down the line.

My parents, despite being respectably wealthy, seem to have very little active nostalgia for the decade they both grew up in (60s) - the odd Bootleg Beatles concert and that's about it; their tastes in most things are far more up to date than mine are. My brother got swept up in the 1990s Thunderbirds revival and my dad - despite really enjoying the things first time around - was interested as a parent but not as a TB fan reborn. It's possible not every generation is particularly hell-bent on rediscovering their childhood.

Also the influence of football in this country simply cannot be underestimated. When we were growing up it was all hooliganism and racism (the storms in a teacup of recent years are nothing compared to the routine systematic treatment of black players 30 years ago) with scattered coverage and very short shrift from a lot of the media because it was seen as a thug's game. 1992 the PL started, Sky Sports is in more homes each day and so on.

I mean, The X-Files is now older than Transformers was when Dreamwave happened, but I can't see a situation where that show got the number one comic (let alone a successful new film or TV show) regardless of how big it was at the time.

Certainly; TBH as a case study both would seem to tie into what I say above.

Transformers: "Eighties" (like the Bay films; of course the thing never went away but how many older non-fans really knew that?) franchise picks just right nostalgia comic when most fans are 20-ish with a bit of disposable and often in tertiary education surrounded by like-minded people, gets mondo sales.

X-Files: Videos out around broadcast for most of the run, repeated frequently, show as a whole burnt out by running far longer than most people cared (even the film was probably a year or two late), mainly teenage-up audience less likely to revisit (because nobody upon hitting adulthood is particularly proud of anything they did about 13-17).


As a generation we have been dominated by television like no other. There was no real competition - we bought comics and toys based on television (basically, however much you want to faff about historiography), music tastes were based on what was shown on TV and radio, computer games (and recorded media) were a rich kid's thing for much of the decade and so on. It wouldn't surprise me if that produced a freakish 'shared childhood' we all indulge ourselves and each other in that past and future generations are less likely to be susceptible to.

did Little Cousin Scampy ruin it?

Nope, he was like a boss the whole time.

Auntie Slag
2013-01-08, 05:38 PM
Woof! Was bloody terrible.

I thought Woof! was great. Though that was probably because I kind of fancied Lisa Goddard. She was Bergerac's girlfriend you know.

I think modern TV still has some good standard bearers; Deadly 60 and the other wildlifey programmes, and Blue Peter still follows much the same format. Lately there's been this BBC kids programme called 'Young Dracula' which features TrueLove from 'This Life'. This bloke is a fantastic actor. Sod the other bloke going off to find fame in Pirates of the Caribbean and the other one being in Teachers... TrueLove's only gone on to become Dracula!

http://images1.fanpop.com/images/photos/2200000/Truelove-waking-up-keith-lee-castle-2276101-720-450.jpg

as coke-whore Truelove in mid-90s Grange Hill for adolescent grown-up's 'This Life', and;

http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Natural-keith-lee-castle-714242_600_450.jpg

As family-friendly coke-whore Dracula (with Mark E. Smith in the middle, which could be a great title for a show).

inflatable dalek
2013-01-08, 09:01 PM
No, but Skyquake mentioned it up-thread.

Oh sure, that was aimed at both of you un-cool fools who don't follow kids TV closely enough to know what's still on.


Digital too - a lot of 1990s stuff (e.g. the Marvel cartoons, most of Nickleodeon's output) is always on somewhere; not to mention that most 1990s output came out on DVD or before that VHS, often quite close to broadcast. And if it's been out on DVD it's out there on the internet somewhere too, be it as rips or YouTube or whatever. I would say it's even possible that oversaturation of avaliability means 90s and 00s kids are probably completely ****ing fed up of what they saw as kids whereas older generations rarely got to do anything systematically.

Certainly in comparison to how things are now, it's hard to think of any more recent TV show that ran as long as Mike and Angelo did where there wouldn't be any episodes or clips with the original lead actor on Youtube anywhere (it's possible the episode they showed on Saturday was the first time anyone has seen Peter Butterworth Jr's take on the role in a quarter century).

Reminds me of a discussion I once read about Picard's love of cheap nasty pulp fiction in TNG, where the question was raised that would the arrival of cheap digital storage in years to come mean that quality would no longer be the deciding factor in what things endured but that now every single piece of entertainment ever made would be available to everyone for centuries to come regardless of whether or not it was any good.


My parents, despite being respectably wealthy, seem to have very little active nostalgia for the decade they both grew up in (60s) - the odd Bootleg Beatles concert and that's about it; their tastes in most things are far more up to date than mine are. My brother got swept up in the 1990s Thunderbirds revival and my dad - despite really enjoying the things first time around - was interested as a parent but not as a TB fan reborn. It's possible not every generation is particularly hell-bent on rediscovering their childhood.

Conversely though, I saw my first William Hartnell Doctor Who; Blake's 7 and Adam Adamant Lives! because of my Dad gleefully picking up the videos of his childhood favourites, plus Sapphire and Steel; Survivors and Peter Davison Doctor Who because of my Mother doing the same (if only just for the 5th Doctor).

I'd certainly say all the 60's stuff that popped up at the same time was part of a relatively smaller scale nostalgic push for the decade (smaller because of the lack of internet to fuel it, meaning the nostalgia was basically limited to what TV stations and video companies were prepared to share). All that Def 2 stuff was very successful for BBC2 at the time, though the burnout there was fairly quick as well.

If anything I'd say the '60's generation is the one that has trouble letting go, despite being half a century ago the now Grannies still keep banging on about it and it's still very persuasive in culture (despite its presence being promoted in trailers mine seems to not be the only cinema screening where the appearance of the DB5 got a big cheer in Skyfall).

So in short your parents are strange. :p


As a generation we have been dominated by television like no other. There was no real competition - we bought comics and toys based on television (basically, however much you want to faff about historiography), music tastes were based on what was shown on TV and radio, computer games (and recorded media) were a rich kid's thing for much of the decade and so on. It wouldn't surprise me if that produced a freakish 'shared childhood' we all indulge ourselves and each other in that past and future generations are less likely to be susceptible to.

on the plus side, we could put this shared consciousness to good use and become the Borg.

Nope, he was like a boss the whole time.

See, I remember him being the best thing in it as well.

One surprising commission from the whole weekend (and I don't believe there was any mention on the documentary as well, but apparently if it didn't involve Ant and Dec or a future Corrie star the history of thing wasn't very interested in it) was Rod Hull. Considering how iconic a figure he was and that he had both The Pink Windmill and Grotbags on at the same time you'd have thought he'd have come up. Considering he apparently had a somewhat troubled private life I hope he wasn't left out because the organisers were half expecting him to get named in the next scandal.

I hadn't actually realised how long ago he'd died until I was reading Richard Herring's new book this week and he talks about the news coming in at This Morning With Richard Not Judy was about the start... back before the end of the century. That's ages ago! Where did the time go? [Apparently Lee and Herring had pre-filmed a load of Fake-Rod Hull sketches for This Morning that would have seen him try to do some simple everyday task each week only to wind up killing himself due to his refusal to use both arms... which is basically what he did in real life].

Skyquake87
2013-01-09, 07:14 AM
...there was a lot of stuff i was surprised not have seen over CiTVs old skool weekend ( i mentioned some of it up thread). But Rod Hull was a fairly ubiquitous presence at the time, so his ommission is surprising. The use of Corrie actors and Ant and Dec doesn't surprise me - it's an easy frame of reference to hook people. It was quite a busy hour that show, but i did like the interview with the guy now doing Sooty whom was clearly so chuffed to have landed the part.

Mention of Rod Hull and what Summerhayes said has reminded me of something Kate Thornton (who she?!) said on 'I Love 1983' - 'I remember getting home from school and waiting for He-Man, and bless him you had to sit through that Rod Hull thing in the windmill waiting for it to come on'.

Even back then, stuff like He-Man did seem quite sophisticated against our own domestic cartoons and shows. I can't recall any UK animated show that I grew up with that had the same sort of storytelling chops as the US imported shows. We had more juvenile fare like Superted, Bananaman and Count Duckula. Did Action Man have a cartoon in the 1990s? That guy seemed to be massively popular during the '90s and the toys were everywhere so I wondered if there was a supporting show.

I'd agree with Dalek that the '60s do still have something of a stranglehold over British culture. We never seem to be too far away from hearing about how fantastic the swinging sixties were, and they are always held up as some sort of golden age in British pop culture. It took Big Beat for me to have any enthusiasm for '60s stuff, as i get put off things if there's someone at every turn telling you how awesome something was/ is.

inflatable dalek
2013-01-09, 10:49 AM
...there was a lot of stuff i was surprised not have seen over CiTVs old skool weekend ( i mentioned some of it up thread). But Rod Hull was a fairly ubiquitous presence at the time, so his ommission is surprising. The use of Corrie actors and Ant and Dec doesn't surprise me - it's an easy frame of reference to hook people. It was quite a busy hour that show, but i did like the interview with the guy now doing Sooty whom was clearly so chuffed to have landed the part.

Is it still the little ginger guy? I was surprised when I found out he wasn't a Corbett, they seem to have gone for someone who looks as much like the show was carrying on the family business aspect as possible. I think they have (or at least had) a female host as well now don't they? It's probably been a worryingly long time since Corbett did a George Lucas and sold the whole thing.

I didn't see the documentary myself (though based on what others have said this is probably a good thing), but was glad to hear Matthew Corbett was interviewed and thus all those wasting desieses killing him stories were an exageration.

Mention of Rod Hull and what Summerhayes said has reminded me of something Kate Thornton (who she?!) said on 'I Love 1983' - 'I remember getting home from school and waiting for He-Man, and bless him you had to sit through that Rod Hull thing in the windmill waiting for it to come on'.

Mind, it's worth noting with those shows that, based on what king of I Love 1983 Andrew Collins has said since, is they usually go like this:

Interviee: Hello Mr. Director, what are we doing today?

Director: We're doing the top 1000 Shoes In Television, we'd like you to say X about Y so it fits in with my overall plan for the show, here's the clips so you have a rough idea what it is.

Interviewee: OK!

And then they just say what they're told (sometimes with an actual script) regardless of whether they'd heard of what they're talking about or not.

There's a great sign of that when (here's that man again) RTD talks about the effect the vandalising of the Blue Peter Garden had on his school playground when he'd apparently have been at collage at the time and likely not even watching Blue Peter...

Which is a show that is sadly getting the '80's Who/early 200's Top of the Pops treatment these days. It's an odd one in that there's a good argument for it being a redundant show, yet at the same time its rather thankless task is exactly the sort of thing the BBC is for. So you've got this strange dichtomy between the Beeb clearly wanting rid of it but not quite having the balls to pull the plug in one swift go.

Even back then, stuff like He-Man did seem quite sophisticated against our own domestic cartoons and shows. I can't recall any UK animated show that I grew up with that had the same sort of storytelling chops as the US imported shows.

We had more juvenile fare like Superted, Bananaman and Count Duckula.

Now Sir, don't go saying He-Man is more sophisticated than Duckula or there may have to be a fisty cuffs. I think "American" just equals "Sexy" to kids for children are stupid.

You know, I think we're probably being a bit harsh and cynical on how well most of this would stand up to kids of the age each show was originally made for.

A puppet show wouldn't be done any differently to Fraggle Rock (probably wouldn't have the obvious budget either), Sooty is fairly timeless, Fun House and Finder's Keepers could pretty much be brought back as is being based around the timeless kids love of making a mess (repeats would only be done in by some dodgy fashions. Actually, considering the stock joke about British quiz shows is the prizes were crap before Millionaire, Fun House was giving out some seriously good shit); the Worst Witch and The Tommorow People are fairly interchangable with lots of Nickleodoen shows and Cosgrove Hall is awesome as always.

T-Bag is the only one out of those I saw that was pretty much totally irredemablely dated. Even the gags in Mike and Angelo (American pretensions aside it managed to run for ten years and a total change of cast, so it must have been doing something right) and Woof! are probably still funny to the target age range.

Come to that, we copped well with a lot of our parents stuff (or in the case of things like Loony Toons... our grandparents) kids TV being passed down to us. As well as the aforementioned Anderson shows there were things like Hannah Barbara cartoons as well. Plus, from a British perspective, even widely regarded as crap shows like Rentaghost and Clive Dunn's Grandad did well enough to be shown in their entirety. Not in some obscure low priority time slot either but as part of whatever was trying to take on Going Live that year...

Mind, that's not to suggest they'd be flocking to watch these older shows- any more than they flocked to watch the ones made for them before CiTV gave up entirely- just that they'd probably be able to cope with and even enjoy most of it if they were the right age and happened to see it.

Though other commitments kept me from watching on Sunday, it was nice to read on Facebook how many people's children liked Zippy on Rainbow. But of course, that series is pretty much ingrained in the DNA of two generations of the British (don't deny it, every time you see George you want to give him a big hug), it's hardly surprising the next have caught that one.


Did Action Man have a cartoon in the 1990s? That guy seemed to be massively popular during the '90s and the toys were everywhere so I wondered if there was a supporting show.

Did Hunter Off Gladiators just do the commercials or was there some sort of (no doubt very nasty and cheap) live action thing with him in as well? It seems oddly big casting for just a commercial, but on the other hand... how would you make that work as a show?

Summerhayes
2013-01-29, 09:23 PM
Did Hunter Off Gladiators just do the commercials or was there some sort of (no doubt very nasty and cheap) live action thing with him in as well? It seems oddly big casting for just a commercial, but on the other hand... how would you make that work as a show?

I distinctly remember some friends having some Action Man video tapes. I think there were cartoons on there, with brief live action bookends, but they were the bits we watched. It was guns and action, like Commando or something! Except, of course, it was probably shit. The only bit I can remember is the old Buster Keaton gag with the building facade falling down but Action Man was okay because he was stood where the window landed.

Denyer
2013-01-29, 09:49 PM
As a generation we have been dominated by television like no other. There was no real competition - we bought comics and toys based on television (basically, however much you want to faff about historiography), music tastes were based on what was shown on TV and radio, computer games (and recorded media) were a rich kid's thing for much of the decade and so on.
More-so if talking strictly 80s. A couple of releases of the Speccy in, there were a lot of second hand computers around; Whizzer and Chips, the Dandy, Beano, et al were doing well off parental memory; and personally music was mainly influenced by parents -- 60s, 70s, and a bit of Shakespear's Sister. It wasn't really until the 90s that cheap audio kit achieved market penetration and I more-or-less skipped britpop and picked up with things like Meat Loaf, Iron Maiden and Green Day.

[Side note: Dani Filth blatantly ripped off Fahey in the video for Stay.]

Skyquake87
2013-01-29, 11:35 PM
Whilst this thread has been rattling on, I've been racking my brains to remember a US sitcom thing where the lead guy's life was interspersed with clips from old film and tv shows (to illustrate various developments in his life, a bit like he was human Junkion), and the opening credits show him effectively being raised by the tv, as his mum repeatedly plonks him in front of it to keep him quiet and occupied.

It came to me in a dream (appropriately enough) as the show was called 'Dream On', becasue in somuch that Cliffy is bang on with what he's saying, there was a generation before us also tainted by the lurid glowing box in the corner.

The big difference for us growing up in the '80s was the relaxing of rules in the States that prevented TV shows for children from promoting a matching toyline. I think He-Man was the first, although I do wonder if G.I. Joe got in there first in 1982, but I seem to think the cartoon came after the tie in with Marvel Comics had launched... I think its that combination of TV show/ toyline/ comic/ t-shirt that really got its claws into us, for better or for worse (probably worse given that it caused a massive shift in the way other products and services were martketed to a generation or four)

I don't know if anyone saw it (I've just watched it on BBC iPlayer), but BBC Four had a lovely documentary as part of its TimeShift series called 'The Joy Of Sets' which detailed the rise of the model train, which was fascinating to watch - I did not know that they started life as high end artifacts sold to millionaires! It just got me thinking how there is some 'thing' that captures the imagination, and for some, runs into adult life... :)

Cliffjumper
2013-01-29, 11:59 PM
I know GI Joe was one of the first to actually to the big two-pronged "comic/cartoon exist just to sell toys" thing in '82; not sure if MOTU was earlier but both were in like a shot when the legislation relaxed and it wouldn't surprise me if they were more-or-less simultaneous.

Action Force was probably the first British line to try it, but only really had the Fleetway comic... I think from about '83 but might have been 84.

The Star Wars figures sort-of paved the way by showing kids would really fork out for 20+ toys from the same line that did basically the same thing; the original GI Joe, for example, had something like four diverse characters often mentally different (Atomic Man, the guy who was basically Steve Austin etc.) but that was just canny merchandising off the back of a successful film.

Marvel did do a few toy tie-in comics beforehand - Rom, Shogun Warriors, Micronauts - but IIRC there were severe restrictions on how toy-based they could be; SW only had three figures featured and even then not really that much, Rom had a full cast supporting the Space Knight and IIRC Micronauts ended up so distant from the toyline a bunch of the characters turned up in some Marvel books long after the licence expired.

inflatable dalek
2013-01-30, 08:26 PM
He-Man is the one I've always seen credited as the first to be allowed to promote a toyline, though Joe possibly muddies the waters a bit by the comic factor, weren't the first adverts technically ones for the book to get round the advertising restrictions? The cartoon could have been done under similar "Honestly, it's like Spider-Man or something!" style handwaving before the law changed. That's likely why they had Marvel develop it in the first place.