Look and Read: The Boy from Space (1980)

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started15th Jan 1980
ended25th Mar 1980
last rpt12th Jan 2007
28 school years
duration20 mins
subject 📚EnglishLanguage & Reading
age rangeAge 7-9
languageenIn English
Look and ReadHierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious story: Sky HunterNext story: Dark TowersHierarchyNext.gif

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.

This page about the Look and Read story The Boy from Space (1980) is not yet finished.
But you can still read my old web pages about the story at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine on this link:
Look and Read.myby.co.uk - The Boy from Space (1980)

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.


Boy from Space DVD cover.jpg

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).

Buy from Amazon

The series is also available for streaming from Amazon Prime Video

Watch Online Watch a clip on YouTube.


# Title Broadcast
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

Loftus Burton as Tom
Stephen Garlick as Dan
Colin Mayes as Peep-peep
John Woodnutt as the thin space-man
Anthony Woodruff as Mr Bunting
Gabriel Woolf as Peep-peep's father

Singers Derek Griffiths
Neil Fitzwilliam
Sheila Steafel
Gwen Watford
Jeffrey Shankley
Written by Richard Carpenter
Music by Paddy Kingsland
Lyrics by Gordon Snell
Designer Pamela Lambooy
Film director Maddalena Fagandini
Directors Pat Farrington
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.

Related programmes


More Programmes

Some random programmes for age 7-9 from the 1980s

Animals in Action
ITV Schools
Singing Games
BBC Schools Radio
Home Ground
BBC Schools TV
ITV Schools

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