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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Children > Teens > Educational > Animation > British TV > Look-Back On ‘70s Telly – Issue One & Issue Two (Network U.K./PAL Region 2 DVD Imports)

Look-Back On ‘70s Telly – Issue One & Issue Two (Network U.K./PAL Region 2 DVD Imports)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: D     Episodes: B



PLEASE NOTE: These DVD sets can only be operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs that can handle Region Two/2 PAL format software and can be ordered from our friends at Network U.K. at the website address provided at the end of the review.



Children’s Television has been slowly in decline, despite all the channels aimed at children and teens.  There is still too much humor and commercialism and not enough education or a healthy approach to talking to these audiences instead of at them.  Many great U.S. TV shows have been forgotten (Captain Kangaroo is a great example, especially considering what CBS did to Bob Keeshan, but that’s another story, though note that show’s absence on DVD) but British TV has the same problem and that includes many fine shows that never made it to the U.S.; partly because they could not say they were in one country when in another.


Look-Back On ‘70s Telly is the title of two sets of DVDs from Network U.K. that collect shows that only British audiences who grew up then might remember.  Of all of them, only Timeslip (reviewed elsewhere on this site) ever made it to the U.S. and it turns out they had far more child-friendly and teen-friendly TV shows than even a fan of British TV in the states such as myself could have imagined.  So much so that a revival of all of them could fill a new cable channel aimed at both sides of the Atlantic and likely do very well.


The Issue One set is for young children and includes series like Pipkins, Rainbow, Cloppa Castle, A Handful Of Songs, The Laughing Policeman, Hickory House, Mr. Trimble, Gideon, Magic Fountain, The Magic Ball and the very interesting Animal Kwackers among others here.  Some of the shows feature simple animation, others are shot on old PAL videotape (color or black and white) and all are surprisingly pleasant.


Issue Two is a set of teen-aimed shows and they are good, though the first set was more fascinating.  We actually were lucky enough to cover the underrated Magpie before, but we also get episodes (usually the first one) from Ace Of Wards, Follyfoot, Four Idle Hands, Raven, Nobody’s House, Robert’s Robots and Get It Together among what is featured here.


The 1.33 X 1 image is (as noted above) shot on PAL videotape and/or 16mm film, usually in color, but some shows are old enough to be black and white and though U.S. TV went to color in 1965, U.K. TV did not do this until the early 1970s, so the monochrome shows here are not on here by accident.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is consistently fair, but not always rich and great, so be careful of volume switching.  There are no extras, but the menus are more amusing than expected.


They are more than just samplers, they are vital British TV history worth revisiting and a pleasant surprise.



As noted above, you can order these DVD import sets exclusively from Network U.K. at:









-   Nicholas Sheffo


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