Thistle Whistles at the ready
Television is a fantastic subject that can be put out to debate on any day of the week. In fact TV conjures up so many different views, it is because of that, I am solely going to focus on something that I absolutely love, Kids TV Shows. Now as a 33-year-old guy I can honestly tell you that I have very little knowledge on what is available for todays children to watch, however I am still going to take on anybody who disagrees with me (from my childhood timescale) that Kids TV was far faaaaaaar better than it is now.
Being 33 and having a good group of friends that I’ve grown up with since those days when staying out till dusk to play walkie talkies or kerbs (awesome game) was the highlight of life itself gives a slight glimpse to what is available today. The majority of my friends are either married and have children or have children and are still saving for marriage. It is because of this that getting together is now much more of a “family event” and because of this the conversations will involve talking about their kids favourite toys and what they love watching on TV.
Now the point of this post is not to dismiss todays cartoons, I must admit that Ben Ten looks awesome and even more amazingly is the fact that the once ridiculed Mighty Morphin Power Rangers have not only survived the test of time, but actually stand out on their own merit. Quite what todays kids would think if they saw the early series that we had to put up with, it makes me smile on the inside just thinking of it!
Television when we were kids and for those unsure of the years I am talking about it is from the late eighties to throughout the nineties, was simply amazing. These shows made you want to watch, they always had a storyline and even though we didn’t know it back then, they taught us a good moral. Ok The Gummy Bears were always bouncing around searching for their magic berries however every episode of The Raccoons did have an important story to tell.
We were spoilt, we didn’t know how good we had it, these shows were all so very different and kept you interested. I could go on listing my favorites and probably will but the three shows that stick in my head to this very day were oh so unique and lets face it still unrivalled.
Knightmare was pure genius, being guided around a very basic computer generated Dungeon by 3 of your friends and all you could see was darkness. Back then it didn’t even occur to me that you were in a very large room with a helmet on and just being guided around nothingness. However when I was watching it I couldn’t get my head around it. I was fascinated by it, from Treguard always giving advice right through to the Talking Walls that blocked your safe passage through. My lasting memory is walking into a room with a Bomb in the corner and having to guide through the room quickly whilst avoiding the lizard which was plonked onto the screen. TV at it’s best and god I still have to admit I watch it on You Tube.
Secondly I absolutely loved the Nessies or the Family Ness, oh how brilliant and so stereotypical they were looking back at it. The intro is pure genius and the fact you had Nessies grabbing musical notes and stealing them and kissing them and doing everything to keep them is so totally pointless, but whilst I was a child watching it, I loved it. Each show featured a different Nessie and when Angus blew on his Thistle Whistle (I can hear the Scottish Accent still) all trouble would break loose! It is one of those shows that I had to watch.
Finally Paul Daniels and his creation Wiz-Bit, now that is one show that I can’t quite figure out how it started. I am sure this would have been when Paul Daniels was having a mid-life crisis, however a yellow pyramid with a face and a magic wand was simply the stuff of a hallucinogenic drug. Friends with a big rabbit called Woody and guarding Puzzleopolis, Wiz-Bit had a mission to find out about Planet Earth. Looking back at it I am sure this was supposed to be educational however I think when Wiz-Bit spoke in a high squeaky pitch voice and uttered “Ostagazuzulum” at regular intervals it was probably designed to be just entertaining. In my eyes anybody who came from a planet called WOW was worth getting to know.
Now it’s easy for me to just claim that children’s TV was better when I was a child, however just thinking about these shows makes me smile so much. I have so many fond memories of them. This is also where You Tube has such an important place in today’s world. I regularly use it to watch the shows I used to watch and love how they seem not to have aged one little bit. You Tube is fantastic, I just hope that our children of today stumble across these gems and don’t dismiss them immediately. Now that’s me just wishing!
PS: – Trap Door, Willow The Whisp, Pigeon Street, Jason and the Wheeled Warriors & The Mysterious Cities of Gold were very very very close.