Chances are there's barely a parent of a toddler in the country who hasn't encountered In The Night Garden
in some form over the past few months. The latest BBC-hit from the CBeebies channel, and with a passing resemblance to Teletubbies
, this debut DVD for the show brings together five episodes. And many parents already, we suspect, will have their credit cards ready.
In true childrens' television tradition, In The Night Garden is often as alien to adults as it is compelling to its real target audience. But heck, do children love it. Accompanied by the gentle narration of Sir Derek Jacobi, it's billed a nursery rhyme picture book of sorts. This manifests itself in the shape of a wild mix of children and characters, who get up to a mixture of diverse and diverting activities.
And this is one of the many areas where In The Night Garden strikes gold. Not only does it have a distinctive and warm collection of characters, but it does have an educational undercurrent to it all. In short, it engages its target audience particularly well, and teaches them a little in the process.
The DVD is rounded off with special bonus footage and a parents' guide, but it's the five episodes that are set to be spun time and time again. And rightly so. Expect this to be the first DVD release of many, too, for a show with many, many years ahead of it. --Jon Foster
In the Night Garden: Whos Here? [Region 2]