1 9 8 3 – 1 9 8 4 (UK)
20 x 25 minute episodes
The first series of this Channel 4 programme for children was transmitted at 5.30pm on Wednesday evenings. The second series went out at 1.30pm on Saturday afternoons.
Inky (Gordon Griffin) and Elsa (Elsa O’Toole) decide to start a new weekly comic, using a bright yellow 8-bit computer called Chips – a curious concoction of monitors, flashing lights and levers.
Inside Chips’ digital belly are blocky computer men, Smasher and Basher, who help to demonstrate various puzzles and animations.
Rover (Andy Secombe, son of Harry) is a bipedal dog who has been kicked out of his owner’s house and turns up at Inky and Elsa’s. Despite the initial language difficulties (Rover can only communicate through mime), they decide to take him in.
Together, the group look at themes such as water, life underground and rainbows to form the basis of individual issues of the comic, with specialist pages such as a ‘Do It Yourself’ page, a puzzle page, an ‘animal’ page, poetry and story pages, and “Rover’s Report” – with Rover going out into the world on his ‘Rovermobile’ to visit balloon factories or (through the power of green screen) the rainforest.
The weekly comic the team produced was then available as a physical comic in actual newsagents for viewers to buy – “22p every Thursday”.