John Saunders (Mark Dightam) loses his pet mouse, Alice, on a school trip to the Tower of London.
The next day, while travelling on the Underground, he turns yellow. With the help of Nick (Robert Eddison) – short for ‘Electronic’, John learns about electricity and discovers that he can travel through a television set on electronic waves.
He flashes to the Tower at night to look for Alice but is arrested by beefeaters who are going to chop his head off.
John escapes by asking to watch TV as a last request and disappearing into the set. Back home, Alice has returned and given birth.
More directly educational than perhaps any other Children’s Film Foundation (CFF) film, it’s also one of the most entertaining, eschewing dialogue and plot for visuals. This probably accounts for its popularity with the wide age range of CFF audiences who voted it a ‘Chiffy’ winner several times.
Shown on television over Christmas 1984, as the first CFF feature to be presented by the BBC, The Boy Who Turned Yellow remains a well-remembered entry that also helped launch a new generation of CFF enthusiasts.