A couple of links to finish ....
The bits about the introduction of colour are particularly relevant as both Herbs series straddled the changeover.
And .... if you just want a flavour of all things 60's,then click on the logo.
The Herbs and The Adventures of Parsley
On this page ..... The 2 series first hit the screens in 1968 and 70 respectively.And this page takes a brief look at the UK tv landscape back then,helped by the 2 Radio Times issues that covered their launches
1968 TV Overview
- There were only 3 channels of course.No Channel 4,Channel 5,Satellite or Cable. [or even vhs,nevermind dvd or blu-ray]
- There were no colour programmes on BBC1 & 2 and ITV was only phasing them in gradually.And even that was presuming you had a colour tv in 1968 and lived in an area that could pick it up -which many people still didn't.
- 24 hour broadcasting was light years away.
- BBC1 had no breakfast or morning programming at all,except for schools programmes and closed down around midnight.
- And BBC2 was basically an evening-only service,with the curious exception of Play School on weekday mid-mornings.
Here's the cover of the February 10-16,1968 issue,which lists the first ever episode of The Herbs on Monday the 12th.
And,next to it,the small introductory article that appeared on page 19.
Oh,and the cover really did have that rather strange colour hue.It's just how a lot of colour printing often looked back then.
And here are just a few of the faces appearing inside the mag,as they featured on either BBC TV or radio that particular week.
I'm not sure what age you have to be to know who they all are.But ....
From left to right ....Tony Booth .... Lulu .... Dudley Moore .... Jack Warner .... Eric Porter ....Frankie Vaughan .... Brian Blessed ... and .... Jimmy Young and Tony Blackburn,the "heart-throbs of Radio 1" mentioned on the very bottom of the cover.
They were for the grown-ups.
But the pre-school brigade also had their usual full week of Watch With Mother programmes ....
Monday- The Herbs Tuesday- Camberwick Green Wednesday- Bizzy Lizzy Thursday- Pogles Wood Friday- Joe
And for anyone who may need a bit of help with those last 3 ....
An early effort by the creators of Bagpuss and The Clangers,messrs Postgate & Firmin.
Also produced using 3d stop motion animation,but only shot in black & white,which obviously hasn't done it any favours with regard to re-runs and re-releases.
But several episodes did make it onto VHS and it's widely admired and very fondly remembered by those lucky enough to have seen it at the time.
Devised and written by Alison Prince who also co-wrote the scripts for Trumpton with Gordon Murray.
But filmed using a succession of shots of static storyboards with a storyteller voiceover - a much cheaper alternative to the stop motion animation used for The Herbs.
It had a big enough following to merit 2 series.But only 1 or 2 episodes ever made it onto VHS,nevermind dvd.
And it's now widely believed that the vast majority of it has been lost forever as part of the Beeb's infamous 1970's policy of wiping old footage rather than storing it on,what was then,very expensive video tape.
Another possible BBC tape wipe victim,about a young girl who could make wishes come true by touching the flower on the front of her dress.Accompanied,rather bizarrely,by a small eskimo friend called Mo.
It only managed one series and,to my knowledge,no episode even found its way onto VHS,nevermind dvd.
And it was severely hamstrung before it even hit the screens,because ....
It was the last Watch With Mother series to be shot solely in black & white.
And,if that wasn't bad enough,it was also the last BBC children's series to be filmed using string puppets.
So,even at the time,it must've looked positively prehistoric in comparison to stop motion contemporaries like The Herbs, Clangers,Bagpuss,and the 3 Trumptonshire series.
Of course,what Bizzy should have done in pre-production was to touch the flower on her dress and "wish" for stop motion, colour and a "wipe-free" future.But if she wanted to remain one of the most forgotten chapters in Watch With Mother history,then her wishes did indeed come true .... sadly.
On now to 1970,when the Adventures of Parsley first hit the screens
1970 TV Overview
Well,basically it's very much "as you were" from 1968,except that colour had finally come to BBC1 in the autumn of 1969.But colour programming for all 3 channels still wasn't universal and the roll-out of both colour sets and the transmitters to feed them was still very much ongoing.....and slow.
Here's the cover of the April 4-10,1970 issue,which lists the first ever episode of The Adventures of Parsley.
And I've included a large (clickable) photo of the whole page for Monday the 6th when it made its debut.
Notice there are no programmes on BBC1 before 12.50am.And,apart from Play School,no programmes on BBC2 before 7.30pm.And this was every day back then of course,and not just Monday.
And whilst The Adventures of Parsley series no longer fell under the Watch With Mother banner,W.W.M tots still had these to look forward to that particular week:-
Monday - Mary,Mungo & Midge Tuesday - Pogles Wood Wednesday - Woodentops Thursday - Trumpton Friday - Along the River [ "a new series of 5 programmes looking at wild creatures in their natural surroundings,narrated by Tony Soper" ]
A few of the faces in this issue too [named below] ....
2 1970 ads because,unlike the 1968 issue,they're in colour.
Sanderson lady thinking "Who the hell's going to buy that !"
And a miracle washing powder that made clothes glow even in daylight.Worked on teeth,and kids hair too apparently.
From left to right ....
Derek Nimmo in "All Gas and Gaiters" .... Dick Emery .... The Black & White Minstrels (suffice to say,anyone hoping for a revival should probably accept it's unlikely !) .... Frankie Howard's "Up Pompeii" in the guise of "Ammonia",the wife of "Ludicrous",who was famously played by Michael Hordern in the movie but not in the tv series.And,incidentally,a series that was written by Talbot Rothwell,who also did the scripts for most of the Carry On films.
.... Next up,with a big toothy grin.No,not Janet Street Porter.A very good guess,but she wouldn't be seen dead in that hat.
In fact it's one of the Banana Splits.A fast-paced,slapstick show for kids from the U.S,with a troupe of 5 or 6 grown men dressed up in surreal costumes,answering to names like Fleegle,Drooper,Bingo & Snorky.
.... And,lastly ? Peter Cook ? Well,no.But another very good guess.It's actually Radio One DJ Johnny Walker.