on 14 March 2012
It's good to see that Dramarama is being released on DVD but slightly worrying that it isn't being released in series order. This is volume 1 though so hopefully other volumes will be released with episodes made by other channels.
There are some enjoyable episodes on this DVD, though I don't remember enjoying them at the time, and it's interesting to see actors, such as Jenny Jay, who were semi-regulars on childrens TV during the 1980s.
Thames contributed 10 episodes to the series; TVS, 23 episodes and Central 15 episodes with there being 91 or 93 episodes in total (depending on whether you count School For Clowns or not).
on 11 September 2013
I thought disc one was so-so, 'Dodger Bonzo & The Rest' being the best. But by far my faves are on disc 2 - 'The Horrible Story' - i thought the last 10 minutes or so were brilliant. The kind of thing you see as a child and then spend the rest of your life wondering 'what the hell that weird program was'? The same can be said of 'Mr Magnus is Waiting For You' - the last 10 minutes blew my mind! What were they smoking when they came up with this? Amazing!! The folky-dokey songs in 'My Friend Julie' are really good too imo, and have actually been stuck in my head for several days - reminisent of songs by Charles Manson's family(!), the musical 'Hair', The Beatles and 'The Wicker Man' - i kid you not. Most the stories though are a bit too basic and boring (that one about a hat probably being the worst!), it is only when things go a little crazy that these episodes redeem themselves. In all, a very worthy purchase for the episodes that i mention alone.
Dramarama was a series of one off children's dramas which was networked as part of Childrens ITV in the 1980s. Unlike most other programmes of the era which had one sole ITV company being repsonsible for the whole series, Dramarama had contributions from more or less every ITV franchise holder of the period, possibly without Yorkshire.
This set offers the ten episodes contributed by 1968 - 1992 contractor Thames Television and features a wealth of familiar faces incluing Gary Oldman, Dexter Fletcher, David Jason and Eamonn Walker playing a policeman two years before he would play a PC in The Bill. One of my favourites on this set is Dodger, Bonzo and the Rest which would eventually become a series of its own in 1985.
If you like a trip down memory lane and would love to see what ITV used to be able to provide for children in the afternoons, then this is for you.
Hopefully Network will release Dodger, Bonzo and the Rest as well as another Dramarama volume very soon.