The Boy from Space (1980) - Episode 8: The Lake

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Studio recording: Friday 4 January 1980, 8:30pm First broadcast: Tuesday 11 March 1980, 10:16am on BBC1 Last broadcast: Friday 12 January 2007, 12:00pm on the CBBC Channel BBC Genome listing: e07c666e83... BBC programme number: ESBB608H

Story Part 1

Tom, Dan and Helen decide to look for the space-ship, starting from the sand-pit where they found Peep-peep.

Peep-peep's father refuses to help the thin man to start the space-ship.

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, some lines are tenuous; the LP has space-speech at this point in the story, but it is dialogue from episode 6 - "we are his prisoners"/"be silent!" - and doesn't help to understand the actual dialogue in this section

V/O: The thin man wanted Peep-peep's father to start the space-ship.
Zooyixi: Give me the power of the controls!
Father: No.
Zooyixi: [...] will do it.
Bunting: I see, he can't start the space-ship.
Father: [To your orders]? I will not give up.
Zooyixi: (turning space-gun on Peep-peep) You will pay for that!
Bunting: Oh no!


Bunting: But he can't start the space-ship without you can he?
Father: I am sorry, I don't understand.
Bunting: I wish I could understand you.

The thin man, Zooyixi, threatens the boy and his father.

At the sand-pit, Dan and Helen tell Tom about when they met the thin man.

Teaching Middle

Cosmo and Wordy go back over what happened in the space-ship: the thin-man threatened his prisoners with the gun, but somehow Peep-peep's father seemed stronger even though he was unarmed.

Wordy uses his controller to highlight the speech marks in the text. He thinks of a song about them.

SongA song about speech marks

'Hello, hello,' someone's speaking.
'Hello, hello,' someone's speaking.
When she starts speaking then it's clear I must put this mark up here.

Lyrics by Gordon Snell, music by Paddy Kingsland, spoken to music by Gwen Watson and Sheila Steafel
Look and Read Boy from Space 1980 ep08 03 mole.jpg

Featuring the Space Moles

Cosmo and Wordy start to transcribe what they are doing like a story, and they have to remember to include speech marks where necessary.

Wordy has drawn pictures of a space-ship and the thin space-man with his space-clothes and space-gun.

Cosmo uses blocks with letters on to put together the word 'frighten.' Wordy reminds us of the 'word chopper' character (who appeared in the previous unit, Sky Hunter) and plays his song to put the word together.

SongA blending song

Here's a word you'd like to know.
Break it up in bits like so.
Sound them out one after the other.

The song is re-used from Sky Hunter, sung by Julie Stevens and Derek Griffiths with a new spoken example.
Look and Read Boy from Space 1980 ep08 04 chopper.jpg

Featuring the Word Chopper

Cosmo plays a documentary video cassette about astronauts and their protective clothes, then he explains how the space-lab uses a force like a spinning-top to allow them to work around inside it.

Wordy has gone invisible, but left a missing word message for Cosmo telling him to read on in the book.

Story Part 2

Dan remembers how his compass needle spun round in the wood. The children and Tom decide to go into the wood to see if the space-ship made it spin.

The compass spins and then points in a direction which isn't north, and they have to push their way through an invisible wall in the middle of the woods. An alarm in the space-ship alerts the thin man and he watches events on a television screen.

Pushing through an invisible wall in the woods

The compass needle always points towards a lake, and Tom realises that the space-ship is under the water.

Production notes

The songs in this unit are presented as being in Wordy's head and seen by viewers as "think-ups". When Wordy has a "think-up," the original scripts and concepts for the unit called for lights on his head to flash on and off. You can see the lights installed on Wordy's head throughout all 10 episodes but they never actually function, presumably as the effect didn't work properly. Instead Wordy introduces a think-up by waving his hands in the air in what the studio scripts for later episodes described as the "hands to head routine."

Wordy with the unused flashing lights on top of his head (from episode 2)

Read about what was cut on the page about the 1970s episode.

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