1 9 6 7 – 2 0 0 1 (UK)
Look and Read was an educational schools series from the BBC that debuted in 1967.
In the early 1980s, the series featured a strange orange blob with arms. He was called Wordy and lived in a ‘Wordlab’ space station orbiting the Earth with his male companion, Colin (he of the yellow tracksuit).
Wordy’s life revolved around discovering “interesting” things about words. Example? – Did you know there are two “o”s in “book”, “look”, and “took”?
Wordy and Colin were assisted by a team of cartoon characters, including Rip Van Twinkle. They also presented short dramas featuring children discovering exciting things.
One such drama series was The Boy From Space (by Richard Carpenter) which told the story of an alien child called Peep-Peep (pictured at left) , who was helped by two children, siblings Dan and Helen, and a kindly astrologer called Mr Bunting.
Peep-Peep was being pursued by an evil alien hunter – the exceedingly creepy Thin Man – and only the children’s quick witted reading ability could save him (not a bloody big gun then?).
Peep-Peep’s language was different to ours, but it turned out (in a fortuitous twist) that the Peepmeister was, in fact, using English – but backwards. Example? “Pots” was the alien word for “Stop” . . . em reggub!
Another memorable Look and Read drama was Dark Towers, a 1981 adventure which featured Christopher Biggins as an evil villain battling ghosts and two bright children for control of a haunted house.