"It's All A Very Fine Thing,"
At 5:55pm it was indeed a very fine thing.
The Magic Roundabout. Magic indeed, as far as I knew, there were more adults watching
it than the age group it was meant to be for, though which age group completely elluded me, and elludes me to this day. The
Eric Thompson, father of Emma, still resonates down the years, along with Florence,
Ermintrude, Dougal, spaced out Dylan and all to familiar "boing" as Mr. Zebedee appeared on the scene, and, of course, the
absolutely delightful Magic Rounsabout theme, which you, I hope heard as you entered this page. For those who have never seen
The Magic Roundabout, the wonder and joy has elluded them so far, but now, episodes are available on VHS, and hopefully, in
the future, DVD. The is a full-length animated film due, in 2004, and from the stills that have been viewed the visual production
values have been thoroughly maintained, but it remains to be seen, whether that original magic is still there, so judgement
is reserved on the project as a whole. Until then, leila and I will provided you with some visuals and the usual plethora
of links, and we hope that we can impart to you even just a faint echo of that very fine thing that occured at 5:55pm every
day, so long ago........Enjoy
"Time For Bed", said Zebedee
Created by Serge Danot in 1965, The Magic Roundabout became a television legend.
The five minute slot just before the early evening news guaranteed the programme a viewing figure of over eight million.
This seemingly innocent children's animation series used a two pronged approach,
featuring witty narrative targeted towards adults, allowing two generations to enjoy it. Flavoured with a laid-back and surreal
look at life, the programme reflected a heavy sixties feel, soon achieving cult status.
The programme featured a rather off-the-wall cast:- Dougal, a shaggy dog who lived
on a strict diet of sugar; an eccentric spring-mounted character named Zebedee, who would announce his arrival with a loud
'Boing'; a rabbit named Dylan, who could well have been accused of growing something considerably more envogue, during the
1960's, than carrots in his vegetable patch; Ermintrude the pink cow; Florence; Brian the snail, and all their friends in
the Garden. Thus The Magic Roundabout very firmly staked its place in television history.
The catch-phrase of the series was of course "Time for Bed, Said Zebedee," sending
millions of children to sleep every evening.
The Magic Roundabout was re-run on channel 4 television at the end of 1998, narrated
by Nigel Planer, winning yet another generation of young fans.