1 9 7 8 (UK)
13 x episodes
This lunchtime children’s science programme from BBC1 was studio-bound but equipped with an array of props to carry out experiments and a generous helping of Chromakey magic.
Presenter Sam Dale was brimming with scientific know-how and a desire to share this with the curious young viewers at home.
Balancing sticks and raindrops were employed to highlight the random hit and miss of chance while the difference between a stone ball and an inflatable ball helped to explain the taxing world of mass.
Over The Moon reinforced engagement with young viewers by providing simple examples of things to do at home (sprinkling ripped up paper over card covered in glue to create random patterns, rubbing a balloon on a jumper to explore static etc).
Stock footage was interspersed throughout to provide visual examples of the scientific concepts being explained – astronauts defying gravity, jet stream trails in the sky etc.
Further reinforcing the various themes were songs – accompanied by appropriate animations – from the likes of Jasper Carrott, Carol Leader, Barbara Courtney-King, Don Spencer and Derek Griffiths.
Jasper Carrott’s Angus McBluff followed the fortunes of a wildlife photographer failing to camouflage himself and Carol Leader’s The Archer’s Arrow looked at an arrow’s flight and the many random misses along the way to an eventual hit.
Other notable examples included Kim Goody’s lament for Rat Van Winkle, who escaped from the ‘Rat Race’ to a land where a minute lasted a year, and a certain Derek Griffiths number concerning one Obadiah Blank (pictured), a great inventor and “a bit of a crank” whose achievements included the flying spoon, self-walking trousers, books which put themselves on shelves, and nettles that didn’t sting.
He was also the first to successfully grow poppies on the moon.