We all have TV shows that we remember from our childhood. The ones that made us race home from school, or wake at a ridiculously early hour at the weekend. Ones that when Christmas or our birthdays came around, we would urge our parents to buy us action figures and vehicles that looked way cooler on the adverts than in real life.
One of my favourite shows as a child was Thomas the Tank Engine, filmed using model trains and narrated by ex-Beatle drummer Ringo Starr. Each installment was only about five minutes long and usually consisted of an engine getting him or herself into mischief and the other trains would have to rally around and help out. There was usually always a ‘Moral of the Story’. I have seen some recent incarnations of this show and was saddened to see that CGI has taken over.
Here are some of the other classic children’s programmes that I think kids today are missing out on:
Groovie Goolies – Involving mainly a Werewolf, Dracula and Frankenstein performing musical numbers and just one bad joke after another. As a child I loved it, as an adult I found it rather mundane. Sadly the best thing about this show was the theme tune.
Dogtanian and the three Muskerhounds – “One for all and all for one Muskerhounds are always ready” a canine take on Dumas’ ‘The Three Musketeers’ story.
The Mysterious Cities of Gold – Set in 1532, a tale about a young orphan boy named Esteban and his friends who travel to seek El Dorado.
Dungeons and Dragons – The adventures of six friends who get sent into an alternate dimension after going on a ride at a fair ground and are trying to get home.
Transformers – Robots who can transform into every day inanimate objects. Good versus evil! Even though the animation was very inconsistent with regard to character recognition this show has spawned several spin offs and even blockbuster movies.
Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors – Sees Jayce Lightwheel attempt to rejoin his father while battling the weirdly organic Monster Minds. It has arguably the greatest theme tune ever for a cartoon.
Trapdoor – A plasticine stop-motion programme that was only a few minutes long but consisted of a blue blob called Berk who lived in a cellar and served his master. He is forbidden to open the trap door “Coz there’s something down there”.
He-Man – “I have the power!!!” Prince Adam, Prince of Eternia, and his cat cringer transform into He-Man and Battlecat to defeat the evil Skeletor and his minions of nasties. As with a lot of these programmes, at the end there would be a ‘moral to the story’.
Galaxy High – Two Earthling high school students, Doyle the popular jock and Aimee the unpopular nerd, are sent to Galaxy High, a school with mixed alien races. Their roles are quickly reversed. Doyle becomes unpopular always getting himself in trouble and Aimee becomes the popular brainiac.
Inspector Gadget – Long before Matthew Broderick’s outing in the film version, Inspector Gadget and side kick Penny were a staple of my weekend cartoon viewing. Though being incredibly clumsy and not being able to control his gadgets, he always managed to foil his nemesis Dr. Claw.
As part of my research for this post I returned to view some of these shows which can all be found on YouTube. The first thing that brought back so many fond memories was how awesome the theme tunes to these programmes were. Most of them had this sort of eighties rock anthem about them. I suggest you take the time to go onto YouTube and look up the theme tunes to these shows if you don’t know them, remember them or would just like a trip down memory lane.
Do you remember the shows I watched as a child? What are you views on modern children’s shows?