On this page .....a look at a specially commissioned BBC promotional film from 1998.
It's just 3 minutes long,but ... took 3 months to plan,script and storyboard ... and 10 days to shoot !
The content was split fairly evenly between both animated and live action series.
And each threw up its own restrictions and problems.
A lot of the animated content was specially shot (re-shot) for the occasion,to enable Scott
to interact with all the different characters.
And it all had to be as faithful to the originals as possible of course.
Which was particularly tricky when most of the original models and sets were no longer available.
So everything had to be re-created from scratch.
And whilst they made an excellent job of it many like Pugh,Pugh,Barney McGrew,are indeed all body-double imposters.
Fans of the Trumptonshire Trilogy may also be surprised to see Chigley get a mention at all,as it's usually the one that's forgotten about.But Lord Belborough's train provides a rather covenient link into the Magic Roundabout bit.
And with so many series to acknowledge,those sorts of transitions were used to try and fit as many in as possible ....
So,at the very beginning,we see all the early b & w favourites like Andy Pandy and The Woodentops clustered around a suitably b & w Scott.
And later on he's walking down Mr.Benn's Festive Road with Crystal Tipps and Alistair walking past,Mary Mungo and Midge looking out of a window and Roobarb & Custard up a tree.
Simple but very effective.
And the Herbs ?
Scott gets dropped off at the gate courtesy of Noddy (pic right) and walks through the garden with
Parsley and Dill in attendance.
There's no verbal interaction.And that was that.
But at least they made the cut,when some contemporaries,like The Clangers ,failed to do so.
Overall,none of the animated sequences are particularly ambitious.
But the main aim was simply to recreate the originals as faithfully as possible to act as brief memory joggers.
Getting Scott to successfully interact with the old live action stuff was another matter entirely of course.
And they got round the problem by mixing the original footage with some specially filmed inserts using human body doubles. Which works far better than you might imagine.
Most noticeably with the famous Blue Peter elephant,(the aptly named "Lu-Lu"),where members of the production team were used as stand-ins for Val,John,Pete and the zoo keeper and shot from behind so their faces weren't shown.
All very cleverly done and it probably wouldn't even register if I hadn't mentioned it.
But watch it again and you'll fully appreciate how well it actually works.
In fact,you'll generally be rewarded if you view the whole thing more than once.Because there's a lot to take in.
These last offerings are nothing to do with the above.
But this page is called "BBC Promo",and this is indeed some more BBC promotional material.
Namely four Herbs publicity stills issued by the Beeb to coincide with the original transmissions in 1968.
And rather more interesting than they might first appear.
First off,it's nice to see them in black & white as colour wasn't an option when The Herbs were originally transmitted.
And the collector's among you will also no doubt spot that colour versions of the 2nd and 4th ones formed part of the eponymous BBC postcard series.( that have their own on-site page here )
But the really nice thing about them is the clarity of detail they show - even allowing for a little loss of quality when converting them to an online image.
Look out for things like the stitching detail on Sir Basil's jacket and the tissue paper (?) crest at the very top of Sage's head. Which really helps to give a much better appreciation of the hands-on work that went into making them.
And how far removed they are from the illusional world of CGI.
And my thanks to Tony Clark for sending them in and sharing them with us.