I must have been seven, and my brother five, when CAMBERWICK GREEN was first screened. We watched every episode, and the repeats, never really outgrowing them.
Thirty-six years on, how does they look? The first thing that struck me was how poor the quality of the DVD transfer is. There are many, many scratches on the film, and the picture is very shaky -- as if the DVD transfer has been done via a camera mounted on someone's shoulder. The sound is not good either, but then it always seemed as if Brian Cant recorded the narration and singing inside a small box at the BBC. (The box turned out to be a cupboard at the house of Freddie Phillips, who supplied the music.)
CAMBERWICK GREEN was the first major animated series from the Gordon Murray team, and it shows. The story lines, as you would expect of a series intended for infants, are very slight. Nothing too serious happens to any of the characters. Camberwick Green was a very quiet place, because most of the puppets lacked a mouth. There is no sense of a universe outside: in the first episode on the DVD, the postman delivers letters to characters from other characters living in Camberwick Green.
Of course, one's strongest memories of the series are of the repeated elements, which were the intro, the outro, and the wonderful musical score. It's all gloriously relaxing New Age stuff, building an audience who would grow into Windham Hill CDs twenty years later.
I would have bought this at any price, but I'm disappointed that the DVD production team couldn't find a better source tape to make the master from. What I don't know is whether the 12 episodes on this DVD make up the entire CAMBERWICK GREEN collection.