Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Squared-eyed memories

Today I had a chance to catch up some fun cartoons of my childhood: episodes of "The Herculoids", "The Impossibles" (of "Frankenstein Jr and the Impossibles") and... "Prince Planet". Although many of my US penpals say they've heard of "Prince Planet", most never saw it in their area. Black and white cartoons were pretty old hat in the US at the time. And yet, here in Australia, it was as well-known as the original "Astroboy". I even made my own (double-sided) "P" medallion - the reverse side was all P'ed out, for when Prince Planet needed to refuel.

Prince Planet
Prince Planet, aka Bobby Prince, in glorious black and white.

Hmmmm, there's a superhero theme common to all of those, I only just realised.

As I mentioned here recently, the first TV show I remember vividly was the Magic Circle Club in 1965. I was in Year 1 at school, and my brother was in Kindergarten. The show, a precursor to "Adventure Island", was like a live musical pantomime and it played five nights a week - but very often, instead of seeing the Friday resolution episode, we had to go shopping after school with my Mum and grandmother!

Monday recess was for catching up with what had happened on the Friday, much as "Number 96" was discussed in the playground when I was at high school. (And in primary school, it was always "Batman", and how he and Robin were going to set themselves free from the arch criminals' amazing trap.)

Other very early TV memories: "The Adventures of Robin Hood" with Richard Green, and the very scary UK version of "The Invisible Man", both favourites of my Dad.

And an afternoon kids' show with Bill the Koala, a lifelike hand puppet, who climbed back up a gum tree at the end of each show, while the hostess sang, "Bill's asleep, Bill's asleep, tra la la la la..., Bill's asleep." For the life of me, I can't remember the name of that show.

So, what were your earliest TV memories? Go on, make me feel old!

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