During the 1980s television channels in the UK would alter their programming during the summer months to accommodate children staying home. They probably still do but the toil of modern life and the necessity to work for a living means I’ve no idea if that’s true.
Anyway, there are plenty of YouTube channels devoted to saving some of the shows themselves and even idents and trails of my youth so it was nice to discover this preview of kids TV programming in the summer of 1983 from what was my local ITV channel at the time, TVS. I remember all the shows in the follow clip quite fondly.
The Dead Zone Animated Series
Based on the Stephen King novel and tying in with the film release in the same year The Dead Zone Animated Series was an attempt to saturate the market, tackling the adults in the cinema and the kids at home with the intriguing tales of a man who develops the power of precognition but is haunted by the horrors he sees unfolding. Nine episodes of the cartoon were produced but only six were ever broadcast as the storylines were considered too dark for children which was a shame as the penultimate episode accurately predicted Milli Vanilli.
The Missing Link Gang
An imported series from Canada about a gang of kids who refuse to evolve but try to fit in with society by solving crimes and helping journalists investigate stories. They are constantly tormented by scientific and religious communities and individuals who find their existence to be in violation of biological and theological positions and are slowly killed off by rational and irrational people from all walks of life. Harrowing and with a deep message, nine episodes of the series were filmed but only six were ever broadcast as the storylines were considered too dark for children which was a shame as the penultimate episode warned of the dangers of internet stalkers long before the World Wide Web was even considered.
German New Wave Music Hour
Music and the new fad of music videos was considered an easy choice to occupy children’s attentions in 1983 but access to the pop charts was prohibited outside the BBC at that time so ITV imported a hastily-made series of hour-long music shows from Europe with each weekly episode featuring a different country and style. Nine episodes of Music Hour were imported but only six were ever broadcast as the pro-Nazi themes in German New Wave and incessant smoking in French Shouting Poems were considered too influential for children which was a shame as the penultimate episode featured Italian Pouting Dance and fathers, especially, would have approved of the excessive nudity.
Cartoons for younger viewers are always an easy choice but ITV probably should have done a little checking up into the background of Glorytoons before buying up a series and broadcasting them. The producer behind Glorytoons was F. Emmitt Handleman, American businessman and visionary who foresaw extreme pornography becoming mainstream in the future and wanted to prepare the younger generation to be open to new ideas. The cartoons thus generated were of questionable taste and while Handleman’s motives may have been steered by nothing more than profit for his publishing companies it didn’t take long before his work was shut down the the US government. Nine cartoons were made in total but only six were broadcast on TVS before the channel editors realised the errors of their ways and pulled the plug which was a shame as the penultimate episode Lucky Linda Loves Lesbos encouraged equal rights for homosexual couples and promoted European tourism.
Not to be confused with the recent series of the same name Mr Robot was actually a renamed import of a short 1940s American serial aimed to replace the popular Metal Mickey which had been decommissioned because of the plague incident. The original series was called My Husband, The Automatic Man and was a drama about a married couple coming to terms with the terrible foreign car fire that left the husband only able to survive through American ingenuity in building robotic bodies. Clever editing and a laughter track transformed the old US show into more of a black comedy. Nine episodes of Mr Robot were made but only six were shown in the UK before a strike by lighting staff in all ITV studios took the series off the air which was a shame as the penultimate episode would have taught a whole generation how to love everyone’s bodies, no matter what they looked like.
World Pederast Pool
Some overly-liberal world views made their way onto TV screens during the 1983. Some, like Minipops, might be considered as good intentions not really thought through, but “the sports show for kids and adults alike” World Pederast Pool cannot be included amongst them. Nine episodes of the programme were due to be shown but only six minutes of the first one was actually broadcast before the police raided the studio, shut it off, and arrested anyone who had approved the scheduling.