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Journal of nicholas (3034)

Tuesday May 05, 2009
05:29 PM

Retail therapy

[ #38926 ]

My poor credit card. If beer and plane tickets were not enough, I also went on a DVD buying splurge, because they were cheap. They have now arrived, and I have sampled them all.

Camberwick Green (1966)
The first character presented is not the one that you might have guessed. And it still has the best ending of any children's programme ever made. In my opinion.
Trumpton (1967)
The first episode is an attempted crime wave. Fortunately it is stopped in its tracks. The incidental music is actually quite complex and adventurous, even though it's usually just one guitar, or a guitar and percussion.
Chigley (1969)
Technically ambitious, the first episode contains stop frame animation of making a pot on a potter's wheel, including throwing water over it. Oh, and steam.
Clangers (1968, 1971)
The second series starts with a crime wave (which isn't stopped), and the miscreants (Small Clanger and Tiny Clanger) aren't even punished.
Mr Benn (1971, 2004)
The 14th episode has a daft story, but is just like all the rest. Which is particularly impressive as it was made over 30 years later.
Bagpuss (1974)
2'50" of intro. 1'10" of end titles. So that's about 25% re-used material in each episode. Impressive recycling. But the meat of the sandwich is still prime, and made me laugh.
Ivor the Engine (1975)
There's lovely subtle adult humour in the lines of the story. It'll be lost on children.
Bod (1975)
Zen, like the reviews say. I'm not sure I approve of the marketing strapline "Relive your wasted youth with" ...
Chortlon and the Wheelies (1976)
Daft. Plain daft. Very silly, very funny. Radically different style from all the rest.
Flumps (1977)
Crap picture quality, just as the reviews say. Reds, in particular, are near totally faded. I guess they plundered the colour from this for raw materials for the Clangers' DVDs.
The Trap Door (1984)
Not one I ever saw as a child. But I was tempted to buy it after watching an episode on YouTube. That's why piracy is bad, isn't it? (And to make the order up, I bought an album that I'd listend to a a few tracks from on YouTube. See, piracy kills the music industry too). Again, adult humour and wordplay in the narration. Frustratingly they've removed the titles from the episodes. It sort of makes sense - the opening sequence is 50 seconds, so if they remove that from 40 episodes, that's 33⅓ minutes saved, and with something similar from the end titles, that's 1 DVD rather that 2. But the frustration is that I've no idea what the end titles are like, as I've not found them anywhere yet.

Oh, and just to confuse the Amazon recommendation engine, I bought a copy of Roger's Profanisaurus.

What I didn't buy:

Noggin the Nog
Doesn't seem to be out on DVD. This is a shame, as it's beautiful.
Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings
Again, one I'd not seen before, but having watched an episode on YouTube, now I want to buy it, and I can't because it doesn't exist.
Wombles
Seems to be out there, but the price isn't right.
Paddington
Again, the price isn't right. What is it with the Filmfair productions?
Roobarb
I can't find the 1974 series at the right price. £24 is not the right price.
Noah and Nelly
I'm not sure if I watched this as a child. But I can't now, as it's not available on DVD.
Dangermouse
It's out there, but the episode order is all jumbled.

Also, I'm starting to wonder what is a better DVD player for OS X than DVD player. After all, by right of first sale it's my bloody DVD, and I don't want to be told that I can't do something (such as go back to the main menu when I've stopped the DVD - why do I need to press play again first). What does the lazyweb recommend?

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  • What no Jamie And The Magic Torch?

    • Yes. I remember watching it as a child, and enjoying it, but something about it doesn't hit the spot for buy me. I don't know why for sure, but I'm starting to wonder if the common thread through (most of) the rest is the quality of the prose in the narration and dialogue.

      And I'm starting to wonder if the quality of prose and dialogue in modern children's programmes is nowhere near as good. Not the concepts contained in the stories, not the breadth of vocabulary, but the sophistication of the constructions

  • Noggin the Nog - Doesn't seem to be out on DVD.

    Actually, it is [dragons-fr...iety.co.uk]. Pricy though.

  • http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-macosx.html [videolan.org]

    Hit apple-D to play the disc and you're away.