TATTY-LOOKING CARTOON Batman spoofola which looked like it’d been drawn by a child, documenting evil-thwarting capers of bat thing and sidekick Karate against recurring comedy villain (with requisite mad-German-sounding voice) Hugo A-Go-Go. Deployed stock “freeze frame” cliffhanger trick to allow booming narrator to question viewers “Is this finally the end for our fearless foolproof crimefighters?” every bloody week. Ditto reminder of eponymous creature’s wings being “like a shield of steel”. Characters moved in jerky motion like they couldn’t afford to film it properly. Neat titles though, with BATFINK being spelt out in – gasp – bullets.Read More
Posts Tagged With '1960s'
PREPOSTEROUS POPPERMOST Yank animated antics featuring the nice one, the sarky one, the dull one and the hopeless big-nosed one who was always getting them into trouble. Above-average fare for a seventies summer morning on ITV, to be fair, mainly for the tunes and exaggerated mop-top haircuts. It was also miles better than Yellow Submarine. Veteran toon-voice PAUL “ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE” FREES was on nasal duty for John and George. Rumoured All-New John Lennon Show with middle bit featuring animated Private Yoko Ono running amok with giant bags and naked arses in military camp turned out to be false.Read More
ONE OF those functional but nevertheless well-remembered series that BBC2 showed in the run-up to colour broadcasting, the Trade Test Transmissions were a regular feature of daytime broadcasting in the early ’70s. If you were watching early enough you could catch the daily announcements of transmitters which were being repaired and get the schedule of films for the day – they showed a different one every hour. A lot of them were made by the Shell Film Unit and most of the ones were documentaries (in the loosest sense). Here’s a selection -
1. Evoluon – about a science exposition in Eindhoven.
2. Tide of Traffic – increasing traffic volumes and their environmental effects.
3. Jusepina – The one about the Italian girl whose parents owned a petrol station. The ‘plot’ revolved around the various people who came to the station.
4. The Home-Made Car – a young bloke is building a car in his drive (maudlin sax-solo) to impress the girl next door, who keeps getting picked up by her boyfriend (cue mad drum-solo).
5. A couple of pre-Greenpeace efforts on environmental pollution.
6. The history of paint from cave-dwellers to the present day. This had a man splitting the stone open and pots of paint, etc.
7. Plastics – how they make them and what you can do with them.
8. The inner workings of the internal combustion engine.
9. An oil pipeline being built in Algeria.
10. Another one about oil exploration in the North Sea.
11. A German bloke talking about technology and its benefits to the world. It featured Haydn’s ‘Creation’ on the soundtrack.
12. One featuring a man washing the deck of a boat at sunset.
13. A virtual tour of Amsterdam.
Don’t forget the Acorn Trail, some kind of PIF-style shill for the National Trust, which always seemed to turn up just before Grandstand on a summer morning…
Other highlights included:
- a documentary on Scottish wild cats
- a cartoon about the history of flying, opening with doomed flight of waxy-winged Icarus, ending with two farmers chewing straw, watching a bi-plane pass overhead.
- Crown of Glass – about building the stained glass windows of Liverpool Catholic Cathedral
- A cartoon by Phillips about the history of colour TV
- One with speedboats racing through swamps with flaming petrol. At the end a chap gets bitten by a stone fish and gets taken to hospital in a boat.
- One about a salmon/trout farm.
- The modernisation of the Royal Mail.
- Building of the Kariba Dam.
All sheer bliss for the visual memory centres of many a young brain. If anyone can recall more of these, let us know…Read More
OBSCURE SHOW for boys presented by JEREMY CARRAD and JOHN EARLE with a roving reporter called Norman Tozer. The sinister Carrad (a sort of Nazi-looking Simon Cadell) was mad about Formula One and tried to make the programme a junior TOMORROW’S WORLD. He failed. Final episode showed Jeremy Carrad being blindfolded for a magic trick. Carrad was placed into a free standing cubicle with black curtains. Moments later the curtains were drawn back and lo and behold, no Carrad. The credits then rolled. Also present: Prof Eric Braithewaite; Tom Tom badges; and scary Serendipity Dog, with hinged jaw and flashing eyes, asking questions.Read More
RACING DRIVER plus spouse plus wisecracking mother-in-law type Gertie Growler go up against different evil opponents each week in his souped up Thunderbolt Grease-slapper. Part of the ROGER RAMJET tradition. Quickfire gags aplenty, plus Smilin’ Sid Schlock. Repeated endlessly at least up till the early 1980s.Read More
PASSING RESIDENT of post-GRANDSTAND teatimes, prior to being usurped by the good Doctor. Titular airline pilot played by TERENCE LONGDON – call-sign GMLF – is joined by Bergerac’s dad to do battle against unassumingly named baddie The Voice (PAUL WHITSUN-JONES). Japes and jocularity follow, as do stern morals about right and wrong.Read More
NOT, FORTUITOUSLY, the animated escapades of a rock’n'roll three-chord-trading troubadour, but instead the line-drawn antics of a huge-nosed, tiny-hatted, both-eyes-on-the-same-side-of-the-head Italian, travelling through time aided by next door’s dog Harold and a “magic whistle” given to him by Fata, a godmother-figure representing Fairy Security, and her flying broom, Track.Read More
LITTLE-KNOWN H-B short about Winnie the Witch who can’t do anything right. Problems with broom and getting-into-position as it comes shooting past. We’ve all been there.Read More
VARIATION ON textbook “anthology” format, this time with recurring elves/pixies overtures. Long forgotten, probably not missed. Rolling Stones, bizarrely, provided theme in shape of ‘Through The Past Darkly’. BOB DISHY, PETER BONERZ and RICHARD LIBERTINI starred.Read More
ANTIPODEAN ANTIQUE no doubt burnt/drowned/disintegrated long ago, but still kicking around the outpatients of a few minds. Requisite Freckled Child finds boomerang which when thrown makes “all time stand still” (as stentorian voiceover patiently informed every week). As long as the boomerang remained aloft our hero could dash between, say, warring adults and replace the baddies’ axe with a stick of celery or liquorice pipe. Special effects weren’t that convincing, however: despite “all time standing still”, the action was always shot against a background of trees which continued to sway in the wind, while the “frozen” actors would waver and tremble as though this was the fifteenth take.Read More
WATCH WITH MOTHER segment similar in style to MARY, MUNGO AND MIDGE concerning self-same kid whose father ran a roadside transport cafe. Sadly Joe’s behaviour left a lot to desired, including throwing mud at an ice cream van. What on earth posessed him?Read More
Genial, Irish besweatered rocking chair maestro fronted this never-changing pleaser from “the BBC Television Theatre” for pretty much a quarter of a century. Some guests seemingly showed up every week: John Denver, Elaine “Two Ronnies” Paige, horrible 70s supergroup Sky (them of ‘Toccata’) and The Geoff Love Orchestra (‘Up, Up And Away’). Harmless, well-tailored and well-kept entertainment, always discharged with quiet professionalism by the man himself. Christmas Eve specials genuinely fondly remembered by many. Extra bonus points for releasing an album called Val Doonican Rocks…But Gently.Read More
OVER HERE we had the PG Tips chimps (“You hum it son, I’ll play it”). Over there, however, dwelt secret agent Lancelot Link, an ape – with attitude! Beast was assisted by Mata Hairy (ho fucking ho), striving to rid the world of its most evil villains, which ran to a count, a duchess and others.Read More