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Old TV shows they ought to bring back

Wonderwoman

My son and I have started a new weekend routine: enjoying Dr Who together.

I haven’t watched the programme since the days of Colin Baker but the Saturday evening drill* is familiar: snuggle up on the sofa with snacks. Clutch each other tight when the daleks look as though they’re going to triumph. Jiggle along to the spooky theme tune, then get excited all over again at the teaser of next week’s show.

The remake of Dr Who, with today’s special effects, makes for splendid viewing. It’s also an easy win where ratings are concerned, with youngsters being coaxed into watching the show by nostalgic parents.

But why stop there?

I’ve been telling my son about some of the other old TV shows I used to watch at the weekend, when I was around his age. There are a few I think they really ought to bring back:

Wonderwoman

Wonderwoman

Ok, she dressed like the wet dream of every 16-year-old male graphic novel fan. But, underneath that nationalistic costume and push-up bra,  she knew how to kick ass, deflect bullets, and beat those villains. A new, up-to-date Wonderwoman, beamed to our screens every Saturday, could be a good role model. Most fancy-dress parties we go to these days are populated by Batman, Superman or Spiderman…..and a sea of pinky froth. It seems only fair for girls to have an alternative to the Elsa dress, to make it look more realistic when they trounce the little boys in a game of tag.

The Incredible Hulk

Ok, I know the Hulk has already been remade into films. But the weekly show, with its haunting music and hero who drifts from place to place, has stayed with me like nothing else. Perhaps it has something to do with the pathos of David Banner’s life: he means well, but his fatal flaw (ie turning into a huge, green, angry monster with raggedy shorts, every time someone crosses him) makes him screw everything up, over and over again. At the end of every show, he has to leave – in disgrace – a place that he’d arrived at so hopefully. Sometimes he even has to bid adieu to a nice new lady, and the promise of some romantic action.

A good lesson in anger management, if ever I saw one. And in making sure your kecks are clean in case a moment of fury causes you to burst out of your clothes.

The Littlest Hobo

Another roving loner, only this time cute and furry. He helped the sick, needy and bereft through their times of trouble; made sure that all was well; then moved on. The Hobo would be a good companion piece to The Hulk.  London the dog is the perfect cleaner-upper after The Hulk’s rampages of destruction. And the programme could be a neat way to show children that, sometimes, you can trust in the help of strangers (even the ones with big teeth and big claws….)

The A-Team

I was explaining this show to my son the other night. It went something like this: ‘It’s about a team of men, who drive around, fighting baddies and helping people. Hannibal is the clever one, who thinks up all the plans. BA is big and strong. He scares the baddies, and fights them. Face has very good manners; he charms people into helping them. And Murdock….errr well, he’s the silly funny one**. Every group needs a person that makes them laugh.’

This show would need an overhaul to get rid of all the racism, sexism and other drivel that peppers each show. And it could benefit from featuring female characters who weren’t covered in gloss, and plonked there just to massage Hannibal, or let Face show off his schmoozing skills.

But, as a child born in 1975, I LOVED it. Bring it back, BA Baracus.

Monkey

I recently re-watched a snippet of this Japanese TV show, and found it completely baffling. Perhaps there’s something about the Chinese philosophy that gets lost in translation (or in the terrible dubbing, which I hadn’t noticed when I first watched the show).

But it was hands-down my favourite childhood show. I still have a vivid memory of sobbing inconsolably when a series came to an end. I even developed a crush on the character Pigsy for a while. Perhaps there’s something about Monkey, with his expanding stick, floating cloud-taxi and fierce chattering voice that speaks only to primary school kids. My son was hopping up and down with excitement when he watched it. Monkey….come back!

Which shows do you think ought to be brought back?

 

*admittedly, we’re actually watching a recorded version on Sundays, as Dr Who is screened past Austin’s bedtime. But that gives me a chance to vet the show for spookiness

** I googled The A-Team after this chat, and was reminded that Murdock was actually supposed to be a mentally ill person. I’m not quite sure what Rethink, MIND and the others would make of this portrayal. Probably nothing good. But to me, as a primary school child, he was just the jester of the bunch

15 Comments

  • Kim Carberry
    September 23, 2014 at 8:52 am

    There is lots of shows they should bring back….
    I forgot all about The Littlest Hobo….I used to love that show….Now I have the theme tune stuck in my head….hehehe

    Reply
    • Nell
      September 23, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      Snap! I’ve been humming it incessantly since I wrote this post! ‘There’s a voice….’

      Reply
  • Sonia
    September 23, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Oh I used to love The Incredible Hulk, I’d love to be able to watch that again. I used to watch Happy Days, The Little House of the Prairie, The Waltons and Lassie. It would be great to watch those again 🙂

    Reply
  • Vicki Montague
    September 23, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Ha ha that is so funny! I loved the A-Team and Dr Who when I was a kid…but I find that I have gone off Dr Who recently since the new Dr took over. Perhaps when my oldest is old enough to enjoy it with me I will change my mind again!

    Reply
  • Anne
    September 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    I’ve watched them all 🙂 I would love to see an updated return of Quantum Leap which inspired my love of quantum physics (arrgh only joking!) Yet another program where the main character would be somewhere different every week.
    The other day my girls were playing Just Dance and they had the Love Boat song on it…wow, that’s an oldie but goldie 🙂

    Reply
    • Nell
      September 23, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Oh yes, Quantum Leap – I loved that too. Especially the ones where the lead man became a woman!

      Reply
  • Iona@Redpeffer
    September 23, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    We’re enjoying Dr Who with our oldest now too. You’ve taken me right back with these-Monkey, how I loved that slightly surreal programme! And I loved The A Team-Face was my favourite, but yes the portrayal of Murdock today might cause a few ripples of consternation. You’ve got me thinking now-there was a show whose theme tune was Bonnie Tyler singing ‘I need a hero’ and it was about a stuntman. The lead actor sadly died in an accident I think and I cannot remember the name but I loved that.

    Reply
    • Nell
      October 6, 2014 at 8:20 pm

      I’m pretty sure it was the Fall Guy!

      Reply
  • Uju @Babesabouttown
    September 24, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    This is an awesome post, I want to watch all these shows again NOW. You hit it on the head about the Hulk and his raggedy shorts, I can feel the pain for him welling up inside. And yes why is there no Wonder Woman on our tellies any more? My friend’s daughter came to World Book Day this year in a handmade Wonder Woman outfit. She looked awesome.

    I was actually having this exact chat with the OH the other day, and wondering why shows like the Bionic Woman and 6 Million Dollar Man haven’t been replayed or even remade (I know there was a brief US series of Bionic Woman with whatsername off Eastenders, but the less said about that the better)!

    Oh and I just had an epiphany reading this post: I’ve realised that the Spice Girls were actually based on the A-Team. All the characters are there… just think about it!!! 😉

    Reply
  • Emma T
    September 26, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    We loved the A Team as children. And the other day, my OH and I watched the film remake on tv. So funny reminiscing.

    And the Littlest Hobo, I was banned from watching because I would cry. I can hear the music now!

    Reply
  • Vicky Myers
    September 27, 2014 at 5:31 am

    I feel neglected, I don’t remember any program’s other than the A team which my brother loved & Dr Who which we were scared of! It is really sad the lack of female role models.

    Reply
  • Julie Roo
    September 28, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    I want Dangermouse and Bullseye back. And Superted. 😉

    Reply
  • older mum in a muddle
    September 29, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    What great memories you’ve brought back: I was a big fan of the A-Team, and Monkey, and Wonderwoman; and don’t get me started on The Incredible Hulk – loved that show – it was my Friday night treat, and what I looked forward to every week. They don’t make them like they used to! (omitting all the sexism and racism, of course). X

    Reply
  • Anna
    September 14, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Wonderwoman is on Sky everyday, one of the movie channels. Love it!

    Reply
    • Nell
      September 14, 2015 at 8:26 pm

      Ooh I’ll have to check it out!

      Reply

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