WATCHING kids’ TV with an orange barley water was the high point of your childhood. But for every Scooby-Doo there was a lot of stuff you hated. Like these shows…
Dull film quiz, the highlight of which was a kid sending in a crappy film they’d made. Would your tightarse dad buy you a cine camera? Would he f**k, and that’s the sole reason why you aren’t a top director banging Kate Beckinsale. A waste of airtime that could have been devoted to high-quality fare like Space Sentinels.
Being aimed at kids, it was naturally a bit bland, with no politics but lots of uncontroversial news such as frigid pandas, an RAF helicopter delivering a dialysis machine or British climbers scaling Everest. Basically what today’s adult BBC news will be like after a few more years of the Tories.
After a hard day at school, more f**king books. And for some reason it always seemed to be Johnny Briggs and his uninteresting gold belt. You’d have put on more Battle of the Planets. That had a proper story, albeit the same one every week as Zoltar built an unnecessarily stylised robot to conquer Earth. Maybe he should have streamlined production to missiles and tanks instead of a ‘space terrapin’.
ITV decided what kids of the 80s wanted was a kitchen utensil-themed show with cheap, jerky string puppets that made Muffin the Mule look like The Empire Strikes Back. To give some idea of the paucity of ambition, the main character had spoons for arms and was called Mr Spoon.
Ivor the Engine
In a fictional part of Wales so stereotypical it was practically racist, Ivor the Barely-Animated Engine did nothing very interesting. With other toss like Ludwig and Willo the Wisp in the same end-of-kids’-TV slot, it’s hard not reach the conclusion that the BBC was telling you: ‘You’ve had your fun, sunshine, now f**k off and let your dad watch TV.’
Why Don’t You?
… fill your life with crap to keep you occupied during the school holidays? This was the nefarious purpose of the show, so you wasted hours doing things like splitting the end of a matchstick and adding a drop of washing-up liquid to make a ‘speedboat’, which at least taught you a valuable lesson about life being full of disappointment.