Oh my - what a trip down 'Memory Lane' this was! Hadn't seen this since it aired originally way, way back in 1971 - almost forty years ago. Remembered it all vividly though; including the theme song, the kids names, and all of the action! Made in the American style (but still very British) this was an action-packed show for kids that was originally shown on a Saturday morning long before 'official' children's TV began - along with other shows like 'The Banana Splits' if I remember correctly.
Where so many TV series take time to get off the ground; this classic kicked-off immediately with the very first episode which is one of the best and funniest when 'Tiger' falls into an invention (the 'thingy' Craft) made by 'Brains' and literally 'takes off'! This is a real tonic and will have you in stitches! Unable to control the strange 'Hoover' vehicle (as she calls it); Tiger seems to be chasing the other kids all over town - priceless stuff! May not sound very original today, but these talented kids - the slapstick, and the way things were back then makes it all work somehow.
'The Case Of The Missing Doughnut' episode - and the very second, is brilliant too! Simply a masterpiece of comic slapstick! 'Doughnut' makes himself invisible via one of 'Brains'' inventions and has some fun at the expense of shopkeepers in both a Toy Shop and a Bakers. Some hilarious scenes ensue in the Toy Shop in particular, featuring comedy greats: Julian Orchard and Jack Haig as the 'taunted' shop keepers! You'll be in stitches as Jack Haig shouts at some toy guns 'don't shoot, don't shoot'! as both fight to get into a toy cupboard for safety from the seemingly attacking toys! And Get a load of those board games on the shelf above; Monopoly, Cluedo, Spy-Ring and the 'Computer Car' - they're all there and we owned them all, and what golden memories too! Only one complaint; these eps. weren't long enough, but then again; that was one of the most successful tricks of the trade years ago; it all left you wanting more...
'Get A Movie On' was hilarious too - Melvyn Hayes's custard pie slapstick constantly in the mush is merciless! All so innocent, and not one of the kids was one of those that you couldn't stand like nowadays. Is it me, or our generation? But none of these kids suffered from that awful teenage 'attitude' we see so often today. We were obviously very fortunate and grew up in a golden era. We all had our favourite characters too - mine was 'Billie' played by Gillian Bailey. For some reason I remembered her best of all.
I loved much of the slapstick in this which you don't see today; cars, vehicles and even people just 'speeded up' - totally hilarious! The scene with the Fork Lift Truck in 'Starstruck' is a classic example! Also, the Benny Hill type chasing that occurs in the 'Happy Haunting' episode with the late great Pat Coombes is also another fine example of this. They all begin running away from something individually - only to end up running behind one another in a long line - marvellous! Another where slapstick features highly is 'Summer Camp' starring a handsome Hugh Paddick. 'Invaders From Space' and 'Robbie The Robot' are two more of the funniest and 'Scooper Strikes Out' is extremely artistic which stars a very young Jane Seymour and is reminiscent of the tale 'Alice In Wonderland' with its very own unique 'slant' to the story! In 'The Popstar' which features 'Anthony May' - at one point, you could be forgiven for thinking you'd tuned into an episode of 'Top Of The Pops'!
The quality of most episodes in general is pretty good, though a couple are slightly 'duller' in quality - both in picture and sound. Some of the dubbing is slightly out of synch too for some reason on a couple, and there's one episode where the character 'Billie' is saying a line - and her lips don't even move at all!
In reference to any 'Extras' - there's only one; namely Brinsley Ford (Spring) and Michael Audreson (Brains') reminiscing about their work on the show. Though nice to see them, it's clear that no expense went into this - or heart come to that, and from this angle, it's very disappointing... Considering how popular the show was and still is; I think it's criminal they've been so mean - in view of the fact I would have thought that most, if not all of the cast would have wished to take part - particularly since many have done little else in TV since. (with perhaps the exception of Peter Firth who played 'Scooper')
'See You Next Weeeee....k' - oh those golden memories...