PBS vs BBC [Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007, 10:00 pm]
During my moments of late-night computer wind-down time during finals, I've been searching youtube for videos from the shows I used to watch as a kid.
Now, most people my age don't have to look so hard - most of the PBS kids' shows that used to be on are still on as re-runs, like Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers. It's a little harder when 5 years of your life were spent watching BBC kids' shows instead. And yet, I was pleased to discover that a select few of the shows I was used to have a few videos on youtube - and yes, I still know almost all the words to their theme songs
I don't know if anyone else has heard of them, but I used to watch shows like Fireman Sam, Postman Pat, Joshua Jones, Playbus (aka Play Days), Words and Pictures, Come Outside, etc. There are also some that have bridged the Atlantic ocean, such as Thomas the Tank Engine, and Spot, but they're always re-recorded when they do that, and that ruins them.
One thing I've noticed about the kids' shows in Scotland is that many of them are clay-mation, which is awesome, and in a lot of cases they'll just have one person (usually a guy) doing the voices of all the characters - which I thought was cute, and as a kid you never really notice it. It seems to give the show more fluidity, I think.
One thing I really really miss about those shows is that a lot of them (mostly live-action ones that I don't remember the names of) were about stories and mythology of British history. I remember watching shows that covered visits to old Pictish or Saxon towns, stories about Arthur, Beowulf, King Alfred, Vikings, monks, etc. etc. Some of them were just modern-day looks at the stories or historical sites, but there were a lot of re-enactments as well.
We have nothing like that here. Well, there was that show "Liberty's kids," but that's not quite the same thing. It's mostly because we don't have anywhere near the same amount of history, but I miss having that rich group of stories to draw on. I just loved the appreciation that Brits had for their history, at least as evidenced by a lot of the kids' shows. I don't know why we couldn't make more children's shows covering actual history, instead of just imaginary characters, some of which are really stupid. A lot of us have nearly the same history as the Brits anyway...
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009