FRENCH-DERIVED CARTOON about a bunch of greedy, untidy, irritable geese the Zwas who – hey! – exhibit the worst of our human foibles and in effect tell us a lot about ourselves. They do an activity each episode and inevitably fuck things up. Then it’s left to Wattoo Wattoo who’s been watching like some kind of smug social worker all this time to call down his friends from space, who clear it all up. Greenpeace morals, fuzzy animation and one notoriously uncensored sex education episode broadcast, in full gory detail (hot zwa action and all) at ten in the morning.Read More
Posts Tagged With 'Early 1980s'
“MEANWHILE, THE Americans seem to be having a slight problem with the Land Rover…” Who can forget the less-than-dulcet tones of narrator BERNARD FALK, wryly sneering at a team of two male, two female sales reps struggling desperately to pull a large metal cannister out of a Welsh swamp using a jeep-mounted winch and a complex but crap system of improvised pulleys? Long before such activities became de rigeur for every corporate marketing department and Conservative opposition party, this series chronicling two teams (US v. UK, though originally it was an Oxford/Cambridge stude-athon) of bickering thirtysomethings on a weekend ordeal ranging across some godforsaken piece of remote British countryside was essential viewing on an early weekday evening. The overall objective of the whole thing (usually something to do with breaking into a mythical embassy and rescuing documents/ambassadors/microfilms etc.) was irrelevant; rather, the much-hyped by Falk sexual tension between the teammates (domineering/incompetent men, bolshy/frail women) was all. Both teams took the same route, and did the same challenges, on entirely different weekends, but Falk’s links (from his “office” in the comfy BBC) between the two (“meanwhile”, etc.) invited us to believe the action was all simultaneous. The swine!
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IFFY JACKANORY-STYLE stills-plus-narration tales of various pixies/woodland creatures, led by posh, top-hatted Topper. Always had picnics.Read More
MIDDLE OF the road panel game. Guests came on with “secret” (either heroic – “I saved fifty horses from the great Northampton flood” or ‘amusing’ – “I urinated on Princess Margaret”), which celebs had to guess, WHAT’S MY LINE?-style. Hosts BARRY TOOK and TOM O’CONNOR respectively.Read More
ROBOTS IN disguise. Or, if you were from Kenilworth, robots in da skies. Top breakable toys which turned from robots to lorries plugged by TV movie and endless cartoon serial. Original had ORSON WELLES sharing vocal duties with ERIC IDLE, which must merit some kind of recognition. Soon buggered off, however.Read More
US SEMI-ED kid’s show. Two girls, one boy in a sort of jollied-up loft apartment learn about “stuff”, e.g. making volcano with cardboard, papier-mache and sherbet, or learning about death, decay and grieving for their lost “Crazy Uncle Harry”. Old-school funk/rap theme.Read More
CURIOUS SPRIGHTLY cartoon about three floaty robots with TV sets in their stomachs plus Zudo the evil one, and a little floaty dog thing, who “fought crime” and did stuff. The villains were Bully-Byte, Angel Brain (bat-shaped computer) and a pink mohicaned woman of dubious point. There was also a newspaper editor called Mr. McSpreader. “Go Telesonic!” they said. Over and over and over…Read More
DEREK “NEW Faces” Hobson hosted this dogathon of a programme, boasting Yorkshire terriers heeling, going over little see-saws and so on. Owners were terrifying examples of near-humanity.Read More
EARLY SIGHTING of Professor Phil Redmond’s obsession with Telling It How It Is via bunch of marauding, unlikable yoofs sounding like sweary sociology teachers. Among those speaking Phil’s charmless chunterings about “ver system” were ANDREW “THE BILL” PAUL, LINDA “FEATHERS” ROBSON and PETER HUGO DALEY.Read More
WHEREAS HERE we get the complete opposite: maths with, hey, a football twist! ROGER SLOMAN was manager of some made-up side or other, helming sketches about square numbers, scale factors, stacking tins in shops and that old chess board with grains of rice paradox. Different series for different colour-coded SMP boxes.Read More
GUITAR-WIELDING WUNDERKIND MIKE AMATT helmed this romp about his titular pet dog Mop and cat Smiff, who proceeded to turn into animation for dull adventures bookended by live action with a musical bent. Fantastic brass band oom-pah signature tune would always promise riches, only to leave you sorely disappointed when the camera came up on Mike et al visiting yet another canal boat or gypsy caravan. Title song also perpetuated preposterous bit of rhyming with lyrics “Mop and Smiff/there’s no buts no ifs”. …MOKE took the dog out in a Mini Moke for a dreary GO WITH NOAKES-style meet-the-kids-of-Britain tour. With a musical bent.Read More
YOUNG BOY (yes, Vicky can be a boy’s name too, like Lesley, or Stacy) warrior gains respect with his Norse chief dad and the ragbag army of vikings he leads. Had “bright ideas” by scratching head, rubbing nose in three different places, then clicking fingers with stars and the like spewing out from behind him. “I know! We’ll invent the catapult!”Read More
ANOTHER AFTERNOON vehicle for the redoubtable FRED “GAMBIT” DINENAGE. The object was to guess the age and/or value of various items. The scores were kept by man with old cars, Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, but alas he always got them wrong. The opening credits consisted of everyone driving around on an open top bus to the music “Get Out And Get Under”.Read More
BERGMAN-ESQUE SCANDINAVIAN doommongery…for kids! Except done on a shoestring, filmed by a perpetually dirty camera and involving cut-out fuzzy felt rural mouthless hippos (Moominmomma, Moominpoppa, Moomintroll etc.) together with some mice, goblins (nut-headed Little My), ghosts (the looming Hattifattners) and other curios. Not in anyway fast-paced fun. Protagonists were either having medieval autumn feasts or writing their memoirs.Read More
SHUT-EM-UP-AT-THE-BACK SCHOOLATHON singalong symphony led by staid man and woman duo, formerly bubble-permed PETER COMBE and long haired trilly KATHARINE HARRIES, followed by various people and always the redoubtable JONATHAN COHEN. Simple, whimsical (quickly turning to annoying by fourth repeat rehearsal) tunes were conveyed by musical staves where the notes lit up one by one at the appropriate time. Kids in the studio were given amusingly menial tasks to do, like playing glockenspiels with just two notes on them. Kids in the school TV room were given not quite enough accompanying music score booklets to share and divided up by teacher into two groups while Cohen and chums played an interlude. Guaranteed to take place on the hottest day of the year in the stuffiest room in school. Still, the ultimate in class bonding, with brainboxes and dickheads alike united in their quest to hit the cowbell on the third beat of the fifth bar.Read More
MISH-MASH OF teencentric comedy sketches aimed at the 13-plus set, often landing mentions on POINTS OF VIEW due to frequent pantomime gore and toilet references. BOB GOODY starred, with TOYAH WILLCOX as “Super Advice Person”.Read More
LESS THAN whelming drama effort with DENNIS LAWSON as a detective embroiled in all sorts of untold underworld nastiness, including mackintosh/wellies romping, and who stumbles upon a package which contains…well, that would be telling.Read More