1 9 7 5 (UK)
13 x episodes
The main character of this bizarre British kids TV show was a little bald Chinese-looking lad called Bod (who wore a yellow dress).
John Le Mesurier narrated, introducing the arrival of all the characters in turn . . . . Aunt Flo, PC Copper, Frank the Postman and Farmer Barleymow were the main inhabitants of Bod’s world.
The character of Bod actually first appeared in book form in 1962.
The character’s creator Michael Cole originally wrote the stories for his own children, with his wife, Joanne, providing illustrations of stick figure-like characters. Eventually, four books were published by Methuen.
The character made his debut 18 months before this 1975 show, on Play School in the story “Bod and the Cherry Tree” in May 1974.
Cheered on by positive feedback, Cole approached London-based animation studio David Yates Limited, with a view of turning the character into a cartoon.
A new company called Bodfilms was set up, and over the space of a year Bod was fattened up, and his minimalist world enhanced to provide the framework for a series.
The BBC were only too happy to get behind the project, given that Michael Cole was, at the time, a producer and scriptwriter for Play School and had been the man behind earlier hits Fingerbobs (1971) and Ragtime (1973).
The series also featured the Amazing Animal Band – an orchestra led by a frog conductor called Alberto. The orchestra contained chimpanzees on cellos, marmosets on fiddles, cats on clarinets, squirrels on flutes, hippos on french horns, a kangaroo on cymbals, ostriches on double-bass, ducks on trumpets, tigers on trombones, an elephant on the tuba, a gnu on the xylophone, mice scurrying along the piano keys and a zebra banging away on the drums.
Alberto was just as happy to search for lost canaries, cheer up depressed dogs and play soothing music to battery hens who have stopped laying. He would celebrate every recital and good deed with a milkshake. The animal band members (and the children at home) would then guess which flavour he would have.
Bod was actually a very abstract show for children (and more than a little creepy in a strange way). Most kiddies probably walked away at the end of an episode thinking “what the hell was that all about?”.
“Bod” – It’s not even a name – it’s an acronym to describe a Top Secret hideous experiment gone wrong! If any readers ever successfully worked out the plot lines or story behind Bod, please let us know.
John Le Mesurier
Alberto Frog Voices
Bod’s Dream | Bod In The Park | Bod & The Rain | Bod & The Breakfast | Bod & The Apple | Bod On The Beach | Bod & The Dog | Bod & The Cake | Bod & The Kite | Bod & The Birds | Bod & The Grasshopper | Bod’s Present | Bod & The Cherry Tree