Hauling Like A Brooligan

Stephen Gallagher

Children’s TV: a Rant from the Past

Both my website and this blog are being lined up for a design overhaul, and with content in mind I’ve been sifting through some old material. I don’t know what occasioned this rant, but the Thunderbirds movie reference dates it.

I could have made changes… but nah.

The few times I’ve brushed up against children’s television drama I’ve come away immensely frustrated at the received wisdoms and operating assumptions of those in charge of the production process. The general view seems to be that children’s drama has to be drama about and featuring children. There’s no concept of the adult avatar who’ll embody a child’s fantasies of empowerment, regardless of the fact that this principle has been at the heart of juvenile fiction since God Knows When. So from Tarzan, Zorro, Flash Gordon, Robin Hood, Roy Rogers, Biggles, Superman, even Doctor Who, they deduce nothing. From comics and computer games, they deduce nothing. From the kids’ choice of movies when they’re in BLOCKBUSTER, they deduce nothing.

Apparently the script for the new THUNDERBIRDS movie has the Tracy family stranded in space to be rescued by a 12-year-old Alan.

And I still haven’t forgiven those bastards who decided that TV’s Tarzan needed a little friend “for the kids to relate to”. What are we supposed to imagine that Tarzan’s thinking of? Half the police forces in Europe have spent the last few days chasing an ex-Marine on suspicion of those kinds of urges.

2 responses to “Children’s TV: a Rant from the Past”

  1. Just had (and lost) the same argument with a producer. Kids want to be Batman, not Robin, says I.

    But apparently 'Harry Potter' trumps anything else you can say.