The Boy from Space (1980) - Episode 6: Where is Tom?

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Studio recording: Thursday 13 December 1979, 8:30pm in studio TC4 First broadcast: Tuesday 26 February 1980, 10:16am on BBC1 Last broadcast: Friday 12 January 2007, 11:20am on the CBBC Channel BBC Genome listing: 4559eb855e... BBC programme number: ESBB606T

Story Part 1

Mr Bunting tries to get his car started, and Peep-peep seems very worried.

Space-speech translator
A short extract from the soundtrack of the episode, with all of the "space-speech" snippets played backwards to work out what they are actually saying. Sources: episode audio reversed

Bunting: Nothing.
Peep-Peep: What has happened?
Bunting: It's alright dear boy, you sit there. I'll see if I can get the car going.
Peep-Peep: It's Zooyixi, he's near, I can feel it.
Bunting: No, no, no, you sit there.

Helen and Dan are also worried not to have heard anything and they telephone the hospital, but the receptionist tells them that Mr Bunting has not arrived.

Helen and Dan on the telephone

Mr Bunting is pleased to see Tom's car pulling up behind them, but puzzled when the thin space-man gets out carrying his space-gun.

Space-speech translator
Sources: episode audio reversed, some of these are tenuous

Bunting: Why did it stop like that?
Peep-Peep: We are in danger.
Bunting: What are you looking at? There's no danger. But how am I going to get to the hospital?
Peep-Peep: Zooyixi [...]? is near. [He is near.]?
Bunting: Ah splendid, splendid, we shall be alright now, there's another car.
Peep-Peep: He's come for me. You must help me

Teaching Middle

Wordy thinks that the thin man is a space-man, and explains why. Cosmo points out that the "something that looked like a gun" which he uses must be a space-gun.

Cosmo and Wordy talk about the story

Cosmo lets Wordy try his "special spectacles" which make him see two of everything, including the double letters in the middle of -ing words. He thinks up a song.

SongDouble Up!

What's happening? What's happening?
They're going to put a word together.
- Double the t! Double the t!
Now they're putting it together

Lyrics by Gordon Snell, music by Paddy Kingsland, sung by Stephen Tait

Featuring Rip van Twinkle, plus the Space Moles and Space Monster in animation

Cosmo asks Wordy about the song characters, and Wordy explains that he found their names in his telephone directory and made up stories about them. They talk about how Helen used a directory to look up the telephone number for the hospital and use alphabetical order to look up numbers for Wordy and Professor Grab.

SongA Song About Clueless Words (gone and shone)

Clueless words, yes there are many.
Clueless words, have you seen any?
A-ha, what do I see? It's a word, what can it be?

Lyrics by Gordon Snell, music by Paddy Kingsland, sung by Neil Fitzwilliam
Look and Read Boy from Space 1980 ep06 06 gone.jpg

Featuring Professor Grab

Cosmo is reading a book called 'First in Space' and tells Wordy what he has read about the first dog, the first man and the first woman (at the time, the only woman) in space.

Wordy rotates the hemisphere to find the pupil's pamphlet and read on in the story.

Story Part 2

Mr Bunting is excited to meet a space-man, but becomes alarmed when the man uses his space-gun to order Peep-peep out of the car, throws aside the book Peep-peep is holding, and marches both Bunting and Peep-peep away into the woods. The man then uses his space-gun to destroy both cars.

Space-speech translator
Sources: episode audio reversed, LP audio reversed

Bunting: He's ill.
Zooyixi: Stand back.
Bunting: Now look here...
Zooyixi: Come out.
Bunting: (To Peep-peep) Tell him we were trying to help you. What's going on? That's my book.
Zooyixi: Back to the ship.
Peep-Peep: We are his prisoners.
Zooyixi: March.
Bunting: You can't do this sort of thing, he's only a boy.
Zooyixi: Be silent.

The thin man takes aim at the cars

At the observatory Helen and Dan are getting more and more worried about space-men taking over the Earth. Helen tries to telephone the police but finds they have been cut off, and then Dan hears someone climbing the stairs towards them.

Production notes

The songs in this episode are played just once, there are no repeated verses with missing words for viewers to join in, which are common in most other episodes not just of this story but of 1970s and 80s "Look and Read" in general. This is deliberate, because it was felt there were not enough "target words" in either song to merit any repeats.

In very early drafts of the teaching scripts Wordy was due to be wearing his own "spectacular space-suit". The silver hemisphere holding the pupil's pamphlet was envisaged as a huge contraption with lighted shelves containing 24 copies of the pamphlet all open at different pages - in Wordy's planned words for episode 1, "a splendid idea of mine - it saves you turning the pages. Heehee!". In reality these plans were scaled back somewhat!

The hemisphere containing a single copy of the pamphlet as actually seen on screen

The Boy from Space (1980)HierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious episode: 5: The Hold-upNext episode: 7: The Hunt for the CarHierarchyNext.gif

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