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*nobody*

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Subject:  Wombling Free

30/12/2006 12:33 GMT

On Christmas Eve ABC TV provided one of the best 'walks down memory lane' I've ever had when they broadcasted Wombling Free.

The Wombles was one of the many shows that I would watch on ABC TV after school - and I owned one of their albums too, the one with Womble of the Universe on it.

I loved The Wombleswhen I was a child, and I still do now!!!!

Interestingly, there are some good names to look out for among the cast of Wombling Free and the musicians who do the Wombles' songs.

Jon Pertwee provided some of the Womble voices (you could never mistake that aristocratic lisp!) and the film also featured Bonnie Langford......scarily, Bonnie looked no different to how she did in Dr Who, even though she was supposed to be playing the part of a pre - pubescent girl!
Wombling Free also had the talents of Kenny Baker (R2D2) and Jack Purvis.

As for the musicians, I was surpised to find out that Chris Spedding provided guitars for the Wombles sondtrack (he was the lead guitarist on Jeff Wayne's The War of The Worlds. Ray Cooper also features on percussion (having been a session musician for Elton John, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, and George Harrison, among countless others).

Watching Wombling Free brought back a wealth of great and fond memories for me. I wacthed the last scene where they clean up Wimbledon Common with the title song 5 times over.......needless to say, I'm going to buy this one on DVD!


Inte

 
Martin

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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

31/12/2006 04:40 GMT

I too saw this, and wasn't sure how to bring it up...The creation of Earth over the opring credits is very surprising!

Bonnie's other most incriminating roles were in Bugsy Malone (on last week), as Violet Elizabeth Bott in the '70s tv adaptions of Just William, and a one woman version of Thumbellina.

The music, and indeed The Wombles albums were produced and performed by Mike Batt, who also did the musical version of The Hunting of the Snark.

I wasn't much of a Womble fan, I think I was too old and cynical for their wimsical adventures. Also I thought Batt's lyric went "Overground, underground, Wombling free, the Wombles are wimbled and coming are we..." which was a disturbing image.

A friend had the experience of having the police raid his parents' house on a Sunday morning, and said the expression on his dad's face when he was told they were after the library's Womble tape had to be seen to be believed.

Last modified: 31/12/2006 05:22 GMT by Martin
terry

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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

06/01/2007 03:23 GMT

As an aside; my lad who is more into Who than I ever was, thought that the Ann Droid hosted a programme called "The Weaky Leak".
As much as I tried to tell him otherwise he would not have it. Now when I tell him he just laughs. Childhood eh!? You either love it or you don`t.

 
axelf

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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

06/01/2007 06:23 GMT

I remember The Wombles very well, quite a charming show.

I also remember The Magic Roundabout, that was a pretty interesting kids show.

Call me an old fogey, but I think the kids shows of the 60s/70s were much more creative and broadened the mind than whats on these days.

The Curiosity Show was another one I used to watch religiously too, I also used to marvel at the endless new inventions of Dean Hutton and the other guy (I forget who, must be old age!!!)

 
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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

06/01/2007 13:52 GMT

Rob Morrison, now Ten's science reporter, Dean works for Seven. The Curiosity Show was canceled at the same time Fat Cat and Friends was but without the publicity, on the basis that there was no gender balance in the presenters.

 
*nobody*

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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

08/01/2007 13:22 GMT


axelf :

I remember The Wombles very well, quite a charming show.

I also remember The Magic Roundabout, that was a pretty interesting kids show.

Call me an old fogey, but I think the kids shows of the 60s/70s were much more creative and broadened the mind than whats on these days.

The Curiosity Show was another one I used to watch religiously too, I also used to marvel at the endless new inventions of Dean Hutton and the other guy (I forget who, must be old age!!!)


I completely agree!
Children's shows these days seem to explicitly show political correctness sentiments - and they also lack imagination.

There is nothing around these days that can match the fun and escapism that we got from shows like The Wombles, Worzel Gummidge,Danger Mouse or The Smurfs.

 
jestear

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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

09/01/2007 04:01 GMT

Kids shows today are about selling something to the public not to make something that will last the tests of time.

 
Martin

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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

10/01/2007 05:32 GMT

The situation has improved a lot in the last ten years, as marketing demographic muck-mucks are revealed to have little or no talent themselves, and technology brings the potential of creator/owners back on top.

 
axelf

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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

10/01/2007 07:51 GMT

Yes I agree with that. I do admit that over the last few years the kids tv situation has improved somewhat.

Although as Ive said - its not how special the effects are - its the story first and foremost...and I have to say that some of the kids fantasy things Ive seen have been dire, due to trite stories.

Kids tv isnt all about 'talking down to the audience', its about fuelling kids imaginations and allowing them to explore ideas.

A lot of shows in the late 80s/early 90s were awful - and I have to be blunt - some of the later Sylvester McCoy stories fell into that trap of 'dumbing things down for the kids'.  It did improve towards the end, but nevertheless the damage had been done.

But The Curiosity Show was a good example of a very smart and innovative show that allowed the audience to discover new things in an interesting way.  It was quite sad that the 'powers that be' axed it, big mistake.

I also think a lot of the cartoons of the 70s/80s were very well written - Im talking of stuff like Dangermouse, Roger Ramjet - very witty scripts that appealed to all ages.  Can't really say much for some of the cartoons showing these days though.

 
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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

10/01/2007 22:12 GMT

I want the saturday morning cartoon shows back 6 to 12 nothing but some big aniimal or car with as bunch of meddling kids.

 
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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

11/01/2007 06:19 GMT

While the passing of The Curiosity Show was sad, I suspect it was a mutual decision. It had just won an award in Europe, but had been going for eighteen years after starting out as a segment in Here's Humphrey.

Humphrey B Bear had exactly the same problem, but they shot a pilot for the new format (in that it included a male AND a female offsider) and this was accepted.

I think gender balance and demography show the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal had exactly the wrong priorities in 1992, however you can't mandate for imagination, innovation and treating the audience as equals. If you could where would losers like Dave Letterman go? Round my place? No, keep them to your selves.

 
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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

11/01/2007 07:46 GMT

At least Humphrey is still with us unlike Fat Cat or would that be gurthly callenged feline.

 
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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

11/01/2007 08:45 GMT

I think the time is right for a Curiosity Show revival.

That was a great show that treated its young audience as adults and played with their imaginations, as any good kids show should do.

Personally, I still think the heyday of kids tv was in the 70s/80s.  Whilst some of the kids shows today may be pretty good, would they necessarily be long lasting favourites in 20s years, like some of the old shows have become??

Note that a lot of those old kids shows lasted for years, such as The Curiosity Show.  A lot of the kids shows these days seem to last 5 minutes.

 
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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

12/01/2007 09:19 GMT

I wabt winky dink.

 
Martin

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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

12/01/2007 09:29 GMT

I'm sorry, I don't agree.

There's been plenty of TV shows that kind of do the same thing in Australia alone. The one which begs an obvious comparison is Y?, which is basicly the same idea but with the gender balance sorted, and a crap puppet. The latest incarnation is Backyard Science which demonstrates science through domestic applications, and is notable in that it's presented by teenagers.

I suspect the elder brother/sister era of educational programming is dead in the water. Possibly it will be revived one day, but the current trend is very much down the "one-of-us" school.

 
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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

12/01/2007 09:55 GMT

That's fair enough.

I haven't watched that much kids shows lately to know what the current state of it is.

But hopefully more factual based programming will become the norm - in an entertaining way.

Hopefully some kids will talk about today's shows in a good way in 20 years time like me!!

 
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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

12/01/2007 10:34 GMT

Children's broadcasting is one of my interests, and one of the themes of my personal 'zine (of which there is only one issue so far). The trends currently are marketing plans which last years, mission statements, flash/poor CGI animation, shows hosted by/featuring children and things set in the school environment.

Last modified: 12/01/2007 10:37 GMT by Martin
jestear

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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

12/01/2007 11:47 GMT

one thing about kids tv today is that the australian content is a lot more these day then that i remeber from when I was a young and it is no longer isolated on the abc. but since the wiggles we are over endulged with this singing and dancing show's with there accompaning DVD and CD in which you must have so you know how to sing along and do the dance moves and then they tour what a hell that would be. that is ok until you are say five or six then basically nothing until you hit puberty then you can watch some scantally clad just teen on tv with what ever todays big dilema is "oh I must not smoke/do drugs or steal they are wrong." this is what is wrong with society today when TV it taking the Morel high ground on how people want to raise ther children....

 
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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

12/01/2007 23:37 GMT


jestear :

this is what is wrong with society today when TV it taking the Morel high ground on how people want to raise ther children....


Actually, people don't raise thir kids anymore, TV does it for them.


Never settle with words when a flamethrower is so much more fun ...
 
Martin

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Subject:  Re: Wombling Free

12/01/2007 23:51 GMT

An unusually on topic rant there from the club president. Yes there is more Aus content; the same ABT review which saw The Curiosity Show and Fat Cat off air also increased the quota for children's programming; that and the existing quota for Australian (which they also take to mean NZ) content and the potentially cheap nature of this production equal cheap a** Australian children's TV. Also The Wiggles' success has seen many imitators--if they were The Beatles, HI-5 would be The Monkees...

 

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