Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Thomas the Tank Engine, Postman Pat and Fireman Sam and why 90s preschool TV is so much better than it is now!

Call me old fashioned, but I really don't think kids TV is what it used to be back in the day. Today out of curiosity, I turned on my TV to the kids channels. Not any old  kids channels, these were CBeebies and Nickelodeon. I mean one of them is made by the BBC, so they should be showing only top quality programming. Instead what I got was something called 'Grandpa in my Pocket'. Then next up, 'Peppa Pig'. To be honest, I don't really have a clue what 'Peppa Pig' is about. But what I do know is there's too many pigs and pink and it's too much of a cartoon. What I also know is that none of those programmes can hold a candle to all that stuff we got to watch in the 90s.

'Thomas and Friends'
One of these of course was 'Thomas and Friends' which followed the adventures of Thomas and some of the other trains in the station. Thomas (the blue one, just in case you used to live under a rock) was the nice one, Percy (the green one) was the mischievous one, and James (the red one) was the sometimes mean one. One great thing about the show was that Ringo Starr used to do the narration and voices, which for a kids show is pretty cool. At some point, even James Bond himself, Pierce Brosnan did the voice over.

Another great thing about the show was its catchy theme tune. Two other shows that had a catchy theme tune and were just as cool were 'Postman Pat' and 'Fireman Sam'.

'Postman Pat'
'Fireman Sam'













Both of these shows were incredibly similar as they were both about guy who had a job (postman or fireman) and had a lot of dealings within his town. Pat was very English, and Sam was very Welsh.

The good news is that all of these shows are still going today. The bad news is that they are now much worse. 'Thomas and Friends' and 'Fireman Sam' are now made using CGI, so they don't have that old school magic to them.

But the real news is Postman Pat. The Royal Mail stopped sponsoring it, as they apparently felt the character no longer fitted with the company's 'corporate image'. (what?) They probably should have just stopped making the show, but instead the creators gave Pat a new fancier job of head of the Special Delivery Service (again, what?). And with this new job comes new responsibility. Basically, the show now consists of him delivering 'special deliveries' in his new van and...a helicopter (?). The theme tune is even different, no longer referring to his 'bright red van', instead going, 'special delivery service, Pat's on his way...' To be honest it's all a bit confusing as Pat still looks like a village postman, yet he's flying around in helicopters like he's in MI5. Maybe he's having a midlife crisis...

Here's the damage:





But at least all three shows are still going today in one form or another, so kids have more to watch than just this:

'Grandpa in my Pocket'. I won't try and make fun of this, I think the picture covers that.

Here's some more:



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