Look and Read: The Boy from Space (1980)
The Boy From Space (1980) is a unit of the BBC schools TV series Look and Read from the 1980s, covering language and reading for primary school pupils.
The Boy From Space was first shown in 1971, when schools TV was still black and white, but it had been filmed in colour anyway. So when the BBC were on the look out for a new Look and Read to be made on the cheap at the end of the 70s, it seemed like a good idea to reuse the old story material, and just make new teaching segments. In the end though, this 'remake' ended up actually costing more to make than a completely new story would have! A short introduction set in 1980 was added to the beginning, with Helen and Dan driving back to the observatory and reliving the story in flashback. Helen then narrates the whole story, but there's no contemporary coda or other later references to the reunion.
The in-between bits featured a life-size Wordy in his orbiting spacestation, Wordlab 1, with a human assistant called Cosmo, and many of the educational songs were sung by two stars and other space creatures.
The Boy from Space was released on a 2-disc DVD set by the British Film Institute in 2014.
The DVD includes all 10 episodes of the 1980 story, the reading of the 1971 story originally released by BBC Records, newly edited-together versions of the story, and even a booklet with three articles looking at different aspects of the series (one of which was written by me, Ben Clarke, who wrote this website).
Watch a clip on YouTube.
|1.||The Meteorite||15 Jan 1980|
|2.||The Spinning Compass||22 Jan 1980|
|3.||The Man in the Sand-pit||29 Jan 1980|
|4.||In danger!||5 Feb 1980|
|5.||The Hold-up||12 Feb 1980|
|6.||Where is Tom?||26 Feb 1980|
|7.||The Hunt for the Car||4 Mar 1980|
|8.||The Lake||11 Mar 1980|
|9.||Captured!||18 Mar 1980|
|10.||In the Spaceship||25 Mar 1980|
|Presented by||Phil Cheney as Cosmo|
Charles Collingwood as Wordy
Katie Hebb as Wordy puppeteer
|Starring||Sylvestra Le Touzel as Helen|
|Written by||Richard Carpenter|
|Music by||Paddy Kingsland|
|Lyrics by||Gordon Snell|
|Film director||Maddalena Fagandini|
Jill Glindon Reed
|Executive producer||Claire Chovil|
Here is a list of all of the broadcasts of this story on the BBC. Unless your teachers managed to get the video recorder to work, this is when you would have seen it in school. See the Schedules section for precise dates and times.
- Autumn 2003, CBBC
- Spring 2004, CBBC
- Summer 2004, CBBC
- Autumn 2004, CBBC
- Summer 2005, CBBC
- Spring 2006, CBBC
- Spring 2007, CBBC
Some random programmes for age 7-9 from the 1980s
|Animals in Action|
|BBC Schools Radio|
|BBC Schools TV|