IVOR THE ENGINE
"Ivor the Engine. Look there he is standing above the
notes I'm writing with Jones the Steam"...all right you get the picture! Ivor the Engine was originally broadcast
in 1959 as a black and white children's TV programme made by Oliver Postgate (Writer) and Peter
Firmin (Animator) about a little green locomotive who worked on a short railway in Wales.
Ivor was a peculiar machine. He was very far removed from his Railway
Series counterparts, both in account of the fact he could only communicate through his whistle and he could go anywhere he
liked without the aid of his Driver, Jones the Steam to stop him or apply the brakes. Truly, Ivor had a mind of his
own! Funnily enough, his lack of verbal communication did not seem to hinder him in the slightest, Jones The
Steam was somehow able to understand every communication that Ivor's whistle intended to tell him and would be able to
relay it to the uninitiated such as grumpy Dai Station - The Station Master and snooty Mrs Griffiths
- The lady from the Antiquarian society who was to help Ivor's friend Idris the Dragon.
The original Ivor series in 1959 was a set of 6 episodes, the first of
which explained how Ivor got his new pipes to play in the Choir, were made for Associated-Redifusion Ltd
as black and white episodes. Later two sets of thirteen further episodes, also in black and white were also produced,
which introduced the Dragons and an Elephant. The series was given a resurgance of life again in 1975 when Smallfilms
acquired the rights to the series and set about remaking the original films and adding several more until they met a quota
of 40 in total.
A complete collection of Ivor The Engine episodes was released on
video several years ago, and I believe they are still in circulation in some video shops that may well happen to have them.
An enjoyable and endearing little train!
Review by R Healy
IVOR THE ENGINE Links
Ivor's Official Homepage
- All the characters and all the info you need and want to know about Ivor, including soundbites and themes.
BOB THE BUILDER
Voiced by Men
Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey, Bob and his Building Site friends have become Marvel TV Stars after appearing on the
BBC almost 6 years ago. And over the years, the cast and the settings have expanded to something unbelievable, as if the entire
world they live in actually existed!
includes Scoop the Digger, Muck the Bulldozer, Dizzy the Mixer, Roly the Steamroller and Lofty the Crane, who are eager to
work on any job, anywhere. Other machines include Trix the Forklift Truck, Skip the Skip Lorry and Travis the Tractor. Originally,
when the show was being pitched, there were talks of not having the machines talking at all—but after trying to rewrite
the episodes to meet that agreement, that idea was scrapped, much to our relief!
THE BUILDER HOME PAGE:
Review by C Signore
JIMBO AND THE JET SET
From the same
creator of PENNY CRAYON and THE FAMILY NESS, this cute series evolved around
Airport, with Jimbo as our star. This “Junior Jet” travelled
around the world, from Australia to the
North Pole, doing Special Jobs, as he’s too small to be a Jumbo Jet Airliner. He also has his quirky little adventures
with Tommy Tow truck, Amanda Baggage, Sammy Steps, Freddy Fire truck and many others as he drives the Chief Controller of
round the bend!
Review by C Signore
BUDGIE THE LITLE HELICOPTER
This quaint little
series was set at Hairfield Airfield, where a group of aircrafts live and work. The series was about a plucky little helicopter
called Budgie, who is both cheeky and adorable! Despite being mischievous towards or against the orders of Lionel, the Lynx
Helicopter, he is still brave when there is an emergency and never shirks whenever there is a job. Joining him and Lionel
is Pippa, a cheery Piper Warrior Plane, who reckons that planes are better than helicopters on her first day, and Chuck, the
huge American Helicopter, who arrived on the same day as Pippa. Despite getting above himself at times, Chuck has a good heart
and good strength (Despite his habit of calling Lionel “Captain”!)
There were also
other non-aircraft characters like Backhoe and Nosey the Construction Machines, who helped to build the new Airport near Airfield—Concorde
even made an appearance now and then as a result! There was also Dear old Jake the Steam Train, Smokey the Airfield Fire Engine
and even a band of human characters, who also like and work at Hairfield—Ken and Mike the mechanics, Mrs Kitchen and
the twins Ben and Lucy.
The series had
Budgie and friends in all sorts of adventures, travelling to some of the most amazing places in the world—from France
and Switzerland, to Antarctica and even the farm! Each one memorable as the next.
case you may not have known, all 40 episodes were based from 4 short story books written by none other than the H.R.H Sarah
Ferguson, the Duchess of York—she was inspired to write about Budgie after her experience when training to be a Navy
Pilot. Produced by Sleepy Kids PLC, HTV Limited and Fred Wolf Films (U.K)
by C Signore
Busy Buses is about a group of eight buses who work the routes of a little
town called Chumley for their manager, Mr. Spector, narrated by British comedian Brian Conley for TV4C Productions. Together,
Sammy the School Bus and his other bus friends, Harry the Holiday Bus, Stephanie the Station Bus, Roger the Airport Bus, Susan
and Penny the Shopping Buses, Colin the Country bus, and not forgetting Arnold the elderly Double Decker Bus, have all
sorts of fun and exciting adventures, help each other out in difficult situations and most of all work together as a family.
Review by J White and C Signore
FERRY BOAT FRED
Fred is a friendly ferry who works around Sydney Harbour. He lives at
Wallaby Wharf, as does his big sister, Kate. There are also two other ferries called Bill and Lou. There are many other friends
too, including Pete the Pelican and Fred's captain, who always nods off!
The ferries are determined to always get
on with the job, and do their very best.
The programme ran for 1 season, comprising of 13 episodes.
Review by J White
Theodore Tugboat is set in The Big Harbour which is modelled on the real
location of Halifax.
Tugs, ships, a bridge, docks, and buoys are only part of the large cast that makes up the show.
series centres around five tugboats named Theodore, Emily, Foduck, Hank, and George, all of whom work for The Dispatcher.
In each episode, there is some sort of lesson to be learned that has a moral to it.
Review by J White
Series was set on fictional Springhill Farm, run by Farmer Fi. Tractor Tom is bright red and always there to help everyone
on the farm with his clever ideas and hard workmanship. Fi’s friend, Matt, lives in a caravan not too far from Springhill,
with his truck, Rev. Together with Buzz the Eager Quad-Bike and Wheezy the elderly Combine Harvester, they tackle any problem
that comes in their way—from silly sheep to haywire hens!
the first series, the machines stayed mute, apart from the engine noises they make to sound like they were speaking; but when
Series 2 came round, they finally found their voices, and despite sounding like children aged from 5-15, they actually make
the show more enjoyable!
TRACTOR TOM HOMEPAGE:
by C Signore