The Boy from Space (1980) - Episode 9: Captured!

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Studio recording: Wednesday 16 January 1980, 2:45pm in studio TC1 First broadcast: Tuesday 18 March 1980, 10:16am on BBC1 Last broadcast: Friday 12 January 2007, 12:20pm on the CBBC Channel BBC Genome listing: abcd4b6b0b... BBC programme number: ESBB609B

Story Part 1

Tom, Dan and Helen look around the lake, not knowing that they are being observed from inside the space-ship.

They spot a 'look-out' platform in the trees with a camera mounted. Tom approaches it while the children hide.

Tom is captured by the thin man.

The thin-space man appears with his gun, makes Tom get on the platform with him and then into the space-ship meteorite room where Tom joins the other prisoners and learns what is happening from Mr Bunting.

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: Peep-peep's father knows how to do it but he won't help him.
Tom: Good.
Father: Greetings and welcome.
Peep-Peep: Greetings and welcome.
Tom: How do you do.

Tom explains that they can communicate with the space-men using a mirror.

Teaching Middle

Cosmo and Wordy look at what happened when Tom and the thin space-man disappeared from the look-out platform with a strange humming sound.

Reviewing the story so far.

Cosmo puts on Wordy's special glasses which show everything doubled up. Wordy thinks up a song about doubling up.

SongDouble Up with -ed

Is it ever going to stop?
- Double the p, double the p!
Now it's stopped!

Lyrics by Gordon Snell, music by Paddy Kingsland, sung by Stephen Tait
Look and Read Boy from Space 1980 ep09 04 extra p.jpg

Featuring Rip van Twinkle

Wordy has put Cosmo behind an invisible wall and Cosmo can't be heard, so Cosmo writes out messages to Wordy in a big book, until Wordy agrees to make it disappear.

Wordy asks 'Cossy' for his favourite song, and plays the chosen space moles song again.

SongThe Bright Light Song

That light is much too bright.
- That's right, it's much too bright.

Lyrics by Gordon Snell, music by Paddy Kingsland, spoken to music by Sheila Steafel and Gwen Watson

Featuring the Space Moles and the Space Monster. Repeated from episode 1.

Cosmo is tired so viewers need to fill in some -ight words that he can't say by reading them from the screen. Wordy wants to watch the apostrophe song again.

SongThe Apostrophe Song

I'm an apostrophe, come and take a look at me.
I'm not a comma, I'm not a full stop.
Don't put me on the line, I go at the top.

Lyrics by Jean Kenward with new example by Gordon Snell, music by Paddy Kingsland, sung by Derek Griffiths. Adapted from a song in 'Sky Hunter and reprised from episode 3.


We read some of the story from the screen, then Cosmo finds a model Saturn V rocket amongst Wordy's things and explains how the stages of a space rocket work. Wordy plays a video cassette about the rockets for the Apollo moon missions.

Cosmo and the rocket.

Then we read on what is happening in the story.

Story Part 2

Dan and Helen try to run away for help but the thin space-man spots them on his monitor.

Zooyixi watching the children on his monitor.

The children split up and Dan runs into the invisible wall in the wood. He tries to push his way through but the man captures him at gun-point.

Space-speech translator
Sources: episode audio reversed, the speech is very distorted by the 'invisible wall' and hard to make out


Zooyixi: Move. [You will never ...]?
V/O: Dan had said the light was too bright for Peep-peep's eyes. Perhaps it was also too bright for the thin space-man's eyes.
Zooyixi: [distorted]
Helen: Dan, run!
Zooyixi: [distorted]

Helen uses a mirror to reflect light into the thin space-man's eyes, allowing Dan to run away.

Dan uses the look-out platform to get into the space-ship. Outside the thin space-man catches Helen.

Production notes

The animation 'script' outline for the Double Up with -ed song which was sent to the animation and sound effect producers envisaged Rip driving a spaceship with "stop" written on the side, joining with a lunar module with "ed" written on it, and the extra "p" appearing out of nowhere. In the second verse the "drop" would appear and knock "stop" off, causing the ship and module to come into dock. In the animation that was actually produced, bits are falling off Rip's small spaceship as it zooms through space and he adds the extra "p" from his cabin to make it stop, then the "drop" appears in a new scene.

The apostrophe song in this episode was originally scripted with the example "there's no air in space." This was deemed to be too easy an example of contraction for programme 9 in the series, and the alternative "I didn't think you'd find us" with two apostrophes was substituted, spoken to imitate Mr Bunting's voice.

As most of the apostrophe song reused existing animation from Sky Hunter, there was budget and time available to produce much more animation than normal for the Double Up with -ed song.

A song about what has happened in the story, providing examples of -ed words, was originally planned to be produced for this episode, but the idea was dropped before the lyrics were written.


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

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