MITTEL-EUROPEAN GNOMIC adventures of Paulus, who lived in a tree trunk, resembled Popeye in red dungarees, and was menaced by Eucalypta the witch. Assorted examples of moth-eaten taxidermy served duty as his woodland associates. Imported and translated (to say nothing of dubbed with sub-Goon Show voices) from the Dutch, specifically the pen of Jean Dulieu, who not only created and wrote the long-running cartoon strip on which this was based, but made and manipulated all the puppets himself. As a result… Christ, the thing’s hideous. Misshapen fragments of fowl and sightless lumps of Plaster of Paris move about with disconcertingly jerky motion, making the show’s rather routine “bad witch gets foiled by ace chums” plots appear sinister and claustrophobic, scarring many a child’s psyche in ways Bagpuss could never dream of. The theme’s lyrics (sung by the upper registers of a plummy children’s choir) are the easiest part: “Let’s take a holiday, there’s a little wood where we can stay/Paulus, the little wood gnome welcomes you to his home/Crackers and Hoppy are there/Hoo-Roo and the Bear/Snatch, Bristles and Gregory too/They’re waiting all for you/Something’s brewing, that’s quite plain/The witches cauldron’s boiling again/Paulus, you’d better take care/She’s out to get you/She’s up to get you/She’s out to get you, beware!” Indeed.
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Oh yeah, this is back, as well. And later than ever as well, with the whole series seemingly being shown around this time, and this bumper extended episode – the longest one since it came back, we think – even creeping past the watershed, which is a bit of a jolt when in previous series the Beeb have always seemed extremely reluctant to put it on any later than the very youngest viewers can see it. Looks like there’s a change of heart with the new grumpy Doctor though we don’t doubt it’ll still be fun for the whole family and Peter Capaldi’s performance will be immaculate.
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Points of View
- In 'Night of the Comet', Morgan says: "Can some one help me by confirming this film contains the line ‘Mac 10s! Daddy would have got us Uzis!’ Or did I imagine it?"
- In 'You Gotta Be Jokin’!', Droogie says: "Another godawful BBC saturday evening comedy show from back then was Something For The Weekend. A ropey sketch show with the likes of Mike..."
- In 'Longest Day, The ', Morgan says: "“…. And if your in doubt about who’s on the other side of that wall, here’s a cricket thingy.” Can’t help but..."
- In 'Grand Prix ', Morgan says: "Severely disturbing scene of the mortality of the 60′s motor racer, rendered ridiculous by previous shoots of a boiler suit stuffed with socks,..."
- In 'Goodfellas ', Morgan says: "Watch out for the bit when the news of Tommy’s whacking reaches Jimmy, who in turn whacks the telephone booth and the prop falls over off camera...."