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Archive for the ‘TV – Teens’ Category

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Hawaii Five-O

Posted by Big Boo on March 26th, 2010

hawaii five-oYeah, I know Hawaii Five-O would really be better suited to Child of the 1970’s, but with the news that a remake of the series is in the works, and the fact that the original show was still just about being made in the eighties (and was almost certainly still on UK TV screens into the 80s) I thought it would be nice to visit this landmark show.

Mention the name of this show to anyone and you can bet that the first thing they’ll do is start “da daaing” their way through the brilliant theme song whilst pretending to paddle a canoe frantically. The end credits of the show featured a big canoe full of rowers battling against a giant ocean wave, and is an image most will certainly remember whether they ever watched the show or not.

After all the pretend paddling is over, most people would probably then quote the show’s catchphrase – “Book ’em Danno” – which was said by Steve McGarrett to officer Danny Williams at the end of most episodes (if not all) when they had finally caught their man.

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Jossy’s Giants

Posted by Big Boo on February 17th, 2010

jossys giantsJossy’s Giants was a BBC kids show about a struggling youth football team, the Glipton Giants, who were managed and trained by ex pro-football Jossy Blair, hence the programme’s name.

Now, I’ve never really been a big fan of football, but for some reason I enjoyed Jossy’s Giants. OK, perhaps the show wasn’t entirely about football and was actually more about the kids that made up the team and, of course, Jossy himself, but there was a great deal of on pitch action and cameo appearances by big football names including Bryan Robson and Sir Bobby Charlton.

The kids who made up the Glipton Giants were apparently picked not just for their acting ability but also for their footballing prowess, which showed as they did have to play a fair bit of football in each episode and they were pretty good as I recall.

Whilst many of the story lines for the show were inevitably about the trials of both the football team and its members (this was a kid’s show after all) a fair amount of focus was also given to Jossy Blair. Indeed it is the plotlines that centred around him that I seem to recall most for some reason, including his run-ins with the manager of a rival youth team, opening up a sports shop and his attempts at wooing a local councillor.

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We Are The Champions

Posted by Big Boo on January 8th, 2010

ron pickeringIf you’re currently wondering what a white haired gentleman has to do with a Queen song then you’re thinking of the wrong We Are The Champions. No, today’s post is all about the BBC sports game show of the same name, which was hosted by Ron Pickering, the aforementioned white haired gent.

We Are The Champions was basically a school sports day but on the telly. Teams of kids from different schools competed against each other in a series of events set out on a field and also in a swimming pool. The events were normally in the form of some kind of relay race (though not always) and involved the kids dashing under nets and over obstacles collecting rings or bean bags on the way.

Each of the teams wore different coloured shirts with a large geometric shape printed on in black, such as a big black circle or triangle. Each school obviously chose their best athletes to represent them (well, you supposed they did – it would be the sensible thing to do) whilst the sports-challenged members of the school cheered on from the side lines, normally with the odd air horn for good measure.

Mr. Pickering presided over the show with an authoritative yet friendly manner, befitting of his real job as a sports commentator and Olympic training coach. He started the show in 1973 and presented it for 19 years, until his death in 1991. At this point Gary Linekar took over the presenting duties, but the show finally came to an end in 1995, presumably because it was no longer cool enough for the TV schedules.

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Kick Start

Posted by Big Boo on November 20th, 2009

kick startKick Start is another great example of the sort of TV programme that just doesn’t get made any more, and really should as it was great family viewing, whether you were into motorcycles or not.

The show was based in the world of motorcycle trials, which is where riders take their bikes over an assortment of obstacles, trying to do so as fast as possible and without incurring penalties by knocking over items or putting their foot on the floor. It was quite amazing what these guys could do on their bikes, including driving over the tops of cars, the infamous bunny hop over a plank of wood or negotiating a tight circle of logs without knocking any of them down.

Of course while we all marvelled when someone got around the entire course without a single fault, secretly we all wanted the blokes to fall off their bikes in painful looking ways, and we usually got what we were after. There must have be quite a few bruised egos as well as bruised nether regions, as the comedy gold of a man falling onto a log with a leg either side was common place.

Kick Start was presented by Peter Purves who was a Blue Peter presenter in the days of Valerie Singleton and John Noakes, and he commentated over the proceedings with a calm yet genuinely interested manner. Of course, he too joined in with the giggles during the slips, with one memorable occasion being when a young lad fell into a lake, and the St. John’s ambulance men who came to help him ended up falling in too!

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Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Knightmare

Posted by Big Boo on September 23rd, 2009

knightmareKnightmare was a children’s TV game show aired on ITV from 1987 to 1994. As the name may suggest, it had a fantasy setting and involved a group of four adventurers going on a quest through Knightmare Castle, which was overseen by Treguard of Dunshelm (played brilliantly by Hugo Myatt). Treguard was basically the host of the show, who provided help and advice to the adventurers, although quite often the kids took little notice of him!

The setting may sound like an excuse for poorly made cardboard scenery and badly painted polystyrene rocks but the fact was that Knightmare was quite technically advanced for its time, making use of chromakey (or blue screen effects – for some reason blue was used back then, these days its green!) to superimpose computer generated background images behind the adventurers.

This may have looked good for the viewers, but obviously all the contestants on the show could see was a big blue room. This was solved by having just a single contestant wandering around the castle with a massive helmet on their head which stopped them from being able to see anything. The remaining three contestants sat watching their friend on a screen and could give them instructions on what to do, such as walk forward, turn left or pick up an item.

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Automan

Posted by Big Boo on September 9th, 2009

automanThere are a great many science fiction shows from the eighties that I fondly remember today, although it has to be said that quite possibly some of them were possibly not as good as I recall.

For every Knight Rider or A Team there was a Manimal or, indeed, Automan, the subject of todays post. Where the former have had several repeat showings over the years, the latter have just not been shown as much.

Automan was about a police officer named Walter Nebicher (played by Desi Arnaz Jr., the son of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball of black and white sitcom I Love Lucy) who also happened to be a computer programmer. Despite the fact that the processing power of the computers Walter had available to him would have been a small fraction of todays normal PC, he still somehow managed to create an artificial holographic life form that helped him fight crime. This AI program was called the Automatic Man, or Automan for short.

Automan (played by Chuck Wagner) had a human head but spent most of the show with his body glowing blue and covered in a circuit board design. He had his own sidekick called Cursor, which was a little glowy ball of light that flitted around gathering information and generally adding a bit of comedy relief.

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Captain Zep – Super Space Detective

Posted by Big Boo on June 24th, 2009

captain zep super space detectiveThere were some great TV shows in the 1980’s, and then there were some not so great ones too.  Sadly falling into the latter category is the BBC show Captain Zep – Super Space Detective which ran for two series from 1983 to 1984.  Actually, it may just have been called Captain Zep, but the theme music called him by this title so that’s what I’m going with.

Being a bit of a sucker for anything set in space when I was a kid (and to be honest, I’m probably still a sucker for such fare today) it’s surprising I don’t remember Captain Zep more fondly.  I certainly remember watching it, but only because there was nothing better on the other side (i.e. Children’s ITV).

The idea behind the show was the titular Captain Zep and his cronies Jason Brown and Professors Spiro or Vana (depending on which series you were watching) zipped about the galaxy solving crimes.  It wasn’t quite as passive as that though, as the programme was also part game show.  The adventures of Zep and company were actually being used as training aids for young space detective recruits, in other words a studio audience who had all been forced to slick back their hair and don ridiculous jump suits.

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My Thoughts On The New Knight Rider

Posted by Big Boo on June 15th, 2009

new knight riderI’ve made no secret on this site of my love for the original Knight Rider series, so having now watched the pilot and four episodes of the new Knight Rider TV series I thought it was about time I wrote a couple of words about the new remake of the show.

Oh dear.

Actually, that’s not even a couple of words really, since Oh is more a written exclamation than an actual word as such.  As you can probably tell I didn’t think much of it, but yet I’m some how glued to the series just to see how much worse it can get.

If you haven’t seen it yet and really want to then don’t read on, as there will be stuff that could be construed as SPOILERS, and I’m not talking about the kind on the back of KITT.

So, let’s start with KITT then.  I quite understand why KITT was retained as the name for the real star of the show, it wouldn’t be Knight Rider otherwise.  As you probably know, KITT was an acronym for Knight Industries Two Thousand, which back in the eighties was a suitably futuristic sounding title.  Guess what KITT stands for now.  Yup, Knight Industries Three Thousand.  Never saw that coming did you?  Lame as this is already, what makes it worse is that Knight Industries doesn’t seem to be part of the show any more, so it becomes a bit meaningless.

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