In recent years BBC Worldwide has grossed over £250 million selling pre-school children's television across the globe with the explicit intention of subverting the morals of the world's toddlers by shamelessly promoting its liberal, homoerotic agenda. With the success of The Tweenies, Balamory and others it is easy to forget that this was not the Beeb's first attempt at global dominion.
In the late 1940's, in the face of Imperial decline, the BBC governor's decided to exploit the soft-power of British broadcasting excellence by commissioning ideas for children's programmes from a host of well-known cultural figures. Despite the eminence of the authors approached few of the scripts went into production: John Maynard Keynes' "Charlie, Lola and the need for monetary expansion" was felt to lack empathy for the economic dis-empowerment of four year olds, while Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Noddy" was condemned as "meaningless clap-trap laced with unnecessary racism towards Goblins." Even world-renowned children's author Enid Blyton was not immune to disappointment with her high profile collaboration with Danish theoretical Physicist, Professor Nils Bohr, ("The Secret Seven and the Mystery of Quantum Uncertainty") considered "so lacking in plot as to be incoherent", and her joint-effort with pioneering American Psychologist, Dr. Timothy Leary ("Five go mad on Mescaline") found to be "A positive menace to the morals of children everywhere."
Only three of the original twelve series were completed. Perhaps the most critically acclaimed of the three was Dylan Thomas's heart-wrenching account of Tellytubbies forced to spend 12 hours a day excavating custard for a merciless mine-owner in the ravaged Welsh industrial town of Pant-y-Hôs. Well regarded across the Atlantic, In the Night Garden was created by ex-patriot American author and feminist Ernest Hemingway. The series portrayed Iggle Piggle's battle against suicidal inclinations following the break-down of his relationship with Makka Pakka, initially by involving himself in the vicious war between the Wottingers and Haa-foos and later by plunging into a doomed love affair with syphilitic Nurse Upsy Daisy in a filthy field hospital. But without doubt the most frequently repeated of these series across the globe was the animated series "Scoobie-Doo, pray where art thou?", the script of which was reputedly dictated to psychic medium Doris Bulschidt by the spirit of Will.i.am Shakespeare.
"PIT OF DESPAIR" TUBBY-CUSTARD MINE, PANT-Y-HÔS
Reaction to the Tellytubbies among overseas children's broadcasters was not universally positive.
Four brightly coloured miners clank slowly towards the surface.
Over the hills, the dust-dark, dusk-dark hills,
and far away,
Stooped, sore of knee, eyes red with lungs a-fire
Teletubbies come out to play
The first emerges,
Blue with cold despite the heat of the Earth's bowels.
He carries his dead mother's handbag
And waits for Tuberculosis
to reunite them.
The second follows,
Yellow with jaundice Doctor Prys could cure
If three Guineas could be spared for his fee.
Wedded to the 1940's Carbon-economy, Grosvenor sabotaged the local wind-turbines, spraying electromagnetic radiation across the valley.
The last stumbles into the light,
with rage restrained.
Four Teletubbies are counted,
Into the giggling sunlight that laughs at their pain
Half a week below ground,
Squirming like sewer rats exposed,
Stretching like waking cats,
Silent like the dead.
Is it yet their time to play?
Grosvenor places his eye to the spy-hole, mistrusting his staff as he mistrusts his wife and her French "Riding-Instructor."
For "security purposes"
Grosvenor had installed periscopes in several locations at the mine
A steel pipe rises from stunted, runted grass
Brown and bent.
Flaccid and powerless.
Like an old man’s member.
Never again to penetrate the leaden skies.
Periscopic, his eye searches the withered horizon.
Fat like a sow in farrow,
Mutters to himself.
Gutters like a candle soon to be extinguished.
Watches his staff escape their subterranean confinement,
And frets over Tubby-Custard hidden within their lunch pails.
Yellow as his bile,
Cold like his soul,
More ancient than time.
He sends a lick-spittle lackey to suck the custard-powder from their clothes,
His powder stuck to their unworthy backs,
he has paid for.
A blue vacuum-cleaner emerges from a shed, its long hose flexing wildly.
Once the Nuu-Nuu had been like a brother to Tinky-Winky, a Welsh
And once-proud Nuu-Nuu.
Pawn to an uncaring master,
He follows erstwhile friends,
drooping in shame.
Now mere running-dog of an immasculated capitalist,
Unwitting tool of the oppressor,
First against the wall when the time comes.
Mind unhinged by shame,
He hears his dead wife's words echo:
“Do not go mental for that crude shite”
A loud-speaker squeals with feedback
When Tubby-Custard stocks were low Grosvenor was sometimes forced to to subsist on Cash-Burgers.
Metallic, Grosvenor’s voice clangs from the tannoy.
Dylan Thomas as Grosvenor, ponderous and panicked
“Time for Teletubbies,” it intones.
“Time for teletubbies! Time for Teletubbies to leave the premises!”
The miners shrug. They glance at each other and stare at the Nuu-Nuu as he ushers them from the pit-head, caught between pity and disgust.
Should Tubby souls trudge to their doom?
They dance and sing,
for life exists beyond colliery gates,
Squeezed between blancmange-waste and graveyard.
One eyed Grosvenor weeps to see the spirit he has failed to squeeze from them.
Who are they, these escapees from his employ?
Homeward bound for dinners of fish and chips,
Without the fish.
Perhaps without chips
On Sunday's Tinky Winky preferred to wear his skirt on his head and shake his money-maker outside Tiger Bay's Seamen's Mission.
Thomas as Tinky-winky, camp but strong
Long a friend to Dorothy,
No stranger to sailors.
Unmanned by his time below he holds his hand-bag without irony.
And holds his blue head higher,
In scorn of manlier men.
, slurred and unsteady
Who sees life refracted through the lens of a pint glass,
Liver greener than his skin.
Where now his Arms Park dreams?
His imagined heroics with ball and boot?
Aborted and dissolved in Brains Best Bitter
Suspicion of their revolutionary sympathies were only inflamed by the BBC's final Tellytubby DVD.
, multiple psychoses breaking his voice to fragments
Twirls his blonde hair into a spiral
And giggles at a joke no one shares.
A joke never heard.
A joke in his mind alone,
invisible and silent.
Someone has amused Laa-Laa
And that person is himself.
Stress of work affects the mind says Doctor Prys.
But Laa-Laa sees the future.
The mine collapsed,
Breath squeezed from his body 'neath tonnes of shale.
He sees halt landlord, Jenkins, break down the front-door
And scream to see the bodies of young boys stacked in the pantry.
Long denuded of skin,
Consumed by mice and Laa-Laa.
The most Divine Comedy
Some said it was being written out of his Grandfather's will that power Po's rage.
, forceful and bitter
Hankers for Stalin,
Dreams of Grosvenor dangling from a tree,
Guts spilled crimson on tainted soil.
Hankers for revolution as he hankers for sausage and mash.
Dreams of insurrection as he dreams of Dipsy’s wife
For only shared body heat will save them from the bitter wind that sweeps down from the uncaring mountains.
When not writing, culling pandas or wrestling naked with his friends, Ernest Hemingway liked nothing better than defending the rights of oppressed white minority groups.
Darkness fills the spaces between looming trees.
A man, handsome and bearded, sips deeply from the last of the Cognac,
Aware of his own genius.
The Night Garden was very fine in the Fall
when the sky was clear of cloud and leaf
and Iggle Piggle was young and in love
. But that October Makka Pakka had left for New York
. Left following the row to end them all.
Makka Pakka? Iggle Piggle needed no woman, his closest friends came 250 fluid ounces at a time.
The Night Garden, place of safety, now dark and bitter
with loneliness. Still it is a damn fine place. There is a ticket to Sarajevo in his pocket. Iggle Piggle would miss the Garden.
He sits beneath the Tombliboo Bush one last time and drinks Scotch
, contemplating crisp prose.
In truth, it was constantly finding Iggle Piggle in bed with toddlers that had driven Makka Pakka away.
The Night Garden is not Paris
. Here there are no waiters. Here a man fills his own glass. To the top. Without ice.
The Night Garden is not Paris. No Germans
march down the Stepping Stone Path, jack-booted and magnificent. And where are the sycophants visiting from Maine
, drinking on the Left Bank to tell friends of their bohemian Summer? Without them no words will come. Writing without an audience is like boasting..... without an audience. He needs to tell stories of triumph, to listen to tales of betrayal and lost love, and death
delayed. He needs to visit the Ninky Nonk and to wrestle
Two Pontipines emerge from the dark foliage. An old man and his daughter, ragged but beguiling. She keeps her eyes on the grass. Her father approaches. Iggle Piggle fixes himself a double and waits. Maybe the old man would share his history
. God knew his publisher was tired of rejecting yarns of shooting Tittifers from the Daisy Patch.
Poor quality Elizabethan celluloid means that original episodes are poorly preserved and so rarely broadcast these days.
||Scoobie Doobie Doo, where art thou?
Thou hast work to do now.
Scoobie Doobie Doo, where art thou?
We doth have need of aid from thee now.
Hie thee, Scoobie Doo, I see thou,
Pretending thou hast a sliver.
Foul scorn! A ninny thou be-est for I see-est
The manner in which thou shake-eth and shivr -eth.
Forsooth, we hath a mystery to solve,
So Scoobie Doo gird thy loins!
Earn some coins!
Fair Scoobie Doo,
Should thou come through,
Thou may purchase thyself
A Scoobie Snack,
Verily, that's a fact !
Scoobie Doobie Doo, where art thou?
Thou art ready and thou art willin'
Fair befall thee Scoobie Doo
I know we shall enslave that villein.
Scoobie Doo, pray where art thou?
proved popular in post-war Japan
but their anime remake gave Velma a distinctly different character.
Eerie is the Mississippi
Delta by night. Fog girdles the Earth.
Velma, a boy dressed as a maid, walks like a disciple of Lesbos
. Behind her trails a fop, his whore
, a coward and his cur.
Jinkies! Verily, I spy nought but fog. Let us take shelter in yonder abandoned paddle-steamer
Mayhaps we should sail her downstream, for Uncle Monty's old Gold mine can scarce be far from hither.
But soft, what light through yonder port-hole breaks? It is the deep-sea diver and luminous paint is his sun. Arise fair sun and remove thy most unconvincing rubber mask, which conceal-eth thee not. For thou art surely Sheriff Goodfellow diguised-eth.