So far this year we've had the Postman Pat movie, another God-awful Transformers film, and a new take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Then there's Paddington arriving at cinemas tomorrow, and a Bananaman movie to be released next year. On the small screen loads of classic kids shows are being dragged into the 21st Century, including Thunderbirds, The Clangers, Danger Mouse, The Wombles and Tony Hart's plasticine pal Morph. Simply put, retro is the way forward for children's TV and movies!
So, if the movie execs or TV producers are short of an idea or two, here are 5 classic kids shows that I think are long overdue a remake...
Jamie And The Magic Torch
The late 70s was an interesting time for kids TV, there was some quite surreal anarchic shows being produced, amongst them was the wonderful Jamie And The Magic Torch. When young red headed Jamie shone his torch on the floor a hole opened up taking him to the bizarre Cuckoo Land...
So how can this be bought up to date? Simple, I propose a new CGI version true to the spirit of the original but with celebrity ginger Rupert Grint voicing Jamie and children's TV stalwart Justin Fletcher (aka Mr. Tumble - after all he does seem to be in every kids show nowadays) providing the noises for Wordsworth the dog. It's a guaranteed winner.
Chorlton And The Wheelies
Created by the same company as Jamie And His Magic Torch (that being Cosgrove Hall), Chorlton And The Wheelies was more acid tripping madness wrapped up in a kids show! Set in Wheelie World and featuring lots of small creatures that zoomed around, Chorlton hatched out of an egg and was adopted by the Wheelies as their happiness dragon.
I have to assume that there were some seriously stoned people working in children's TV production during the late 70s...
So how about re-imagining this as a big screen update with a motion capped Andy Serkis as Chorlton the Happiness Dragon. Starring alongside him is Johnny Depp, and in much the same way as he channeled Michael Jackson for Willy Wonka and Kieth Richards for Jack Sparrow, I suggest he study the work of Bruce Forsythe whilst bringing Fenella Fellorick the Kettle Witch to life. Let's get Tim Burton to direct too.
Battle Of The Planets / G-Force / Gatchaman
The original Japanese show from the early 1970s was edited and re-dubbed for us Westerners. Twice in fact, firstly as Battle Of The Planets and in then again in the mid 80s as G-Force. But whatever the title it was always quite awesome.
Five teenagers, earth protectors, a plane that transforms into a fiery phoenix, villainous Zoltar, you get the drift?
Now, I'm cheating a bit with this one as there has already been a Japanese update...
...but surely if any classic kids show was absolutely crying out for the Michael Bay treatment then it has to be Battle Of The Planets. I honestly think this is just a matter of time before the Hollywood version is in the Multiplex.
Sport Billy came from the planet Olympus, he was all about teamwork and fair sportsmanship. A girl called Lilly and a dog called Willy joined Sport Billy on his adventures. Along with his trusty Omni-Sack they would battle the evil Queen Vanda, who for some reason wanted to destroy all sports in the universe!?!
Well now, all that talk of sportsmanship would sit perfectly amongst the CBeebies pre-school schedule. But to make sure it has international appeal it would need a 'name' attached, so with the sporting connection maybe this could be a good project for the Beckhams? David could voice Sport Billy (natch), Victoria lending her dulcet tones to Lilly and Justin Fletcher (who else?) as Willy the dog.
If truth be told, Byker Grove was after my time. Or at least that's what I like to tell people so they don't think I was still watching kids TV when I was in my 20s!
But I'm going to suggest something a bit different for this remake. A re-imagining of Byker Grove in a kind of Broadchurch style. A whodunit mystery show, with the tag line 'Who killed Spuggy?'.
Picture it. Newcastle is ripped apart by the death of a young girl outside a local youth club. As the police investigate the apparent murder many of the secrets of the people who visit and work at said youth club are exposed. it practically writes itself.
As a nod to the original show why not give the lead roles (the DI Alec Hardy & DS Ellie Miller equivalent characters) to original cast members Andrew Hayden-Smith and Jill Halfpenny. If the budget allowed maybe Dec (from Ant & Dec) could be enticed to play Ellie's husband, Donna Air as Spuggy's Mum (natch) and Ant (from Ant & Dec) as Spuggy's Dad. But mainly it has to have Billy Fane (Geoff Keegan - above) to play the David Bradley role, he just has to come back as TV needs more facial hair like his!
But, on the off chance Billy Fane is not available...
Which classic kids shows would you like to see remade?
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