Saturday, September 08, 2007

Radio One More Time: Bang Gotcha Junction

When Peter Powell took over the Saturday morning slot, he pledged no more Junior Choice: he wasn't going to be playing Nellie The Elephant any more. Did this mean that there was no longer anything for the younger listener on Radio One?

Not quite. For Mark Page, who had taken on the early weekend slot, took on the the role of children's entertainer single-handed. His solution? It was to buy in an odd Australian drama about gnomes and, possibly, talking butterflies and... no, we never could quite work out what Bangotcha Junction was about. It sounded like the worst sort of summer holiday kid's TV filler material, and seemed less like a reassurance that Radio One was still a family network and more like a bid to bamboozle any remaining youngsters off the network. To give him his due, Mark Page did stick with the thing all the way through - although, we suspect, nobody would have noticed if he'd skipped a few episodes or just stopped them half way through the story.

It was, however, still the first proper serial drama Radio One ever aired.

And would have remained so, too, had there not been an early-90s attempt to add some drama to the network with adaptations of Batman and Spiderman. These stories were told in an aural approximation of comic-book style: short episodes, lots of sound effects, jumpy-plot-cuts. They're best filed under 'surprising to see it done at all' rather than 'startling success', and while the bitty-episode format made sense, it made for horribly wearing omnibus edition. Still, at least they didn't try to create a British superhero for the purpose - although we'd have liked to have heard the Leopard Of Lime Street being given the stereo treatment.

[Part of Radio One More Time]


Anonymous said...

I seem to recall Radio1 playing some sort of Star Wars Dramatisation serial around about the time that the movie was out.

Unfortunately my parents did not approve of Radio1 so I had to listen secretly where possible and missed just about every episode... But I'm sure it was great.

CarsmileSteve said...

was there not a Judge Dredd one about the same time as superman/batman as well?

CarsmileSteve said...

also, rly loving all of these simon :)

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