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Galloping Galaxies!

I don't know why I'm sharing this with you people. Maybe it's because I'm kind. Maybe it's because by "kind" I mean something entirely different, and of a far less philanthropic nature. That's certainly more likely. Anyway. In 1985, the BBC commissioned a new series from children's TV writer Bob Block. He had previously created Rentaghost for them; a series with a brilliant concept, that had deteriorated in recent years into inane, if strangely compelling, slapstick nonsense. Galloping Galaxies! proved to be more of the same. It ran for two years, and told the story of a 25th century cargo ship that was plagued by incompetent pirates, as well as by its own hopeless crew, its snooty talking computer, and its habit of getting mixed up with confused, 20th century English villagers, and giant vegetables - amongst other things. Think Lost In Space, in its madder, more colourful years, crossed with a book of very bad jokes and a strangely enthusiastic cast. I'd have been about ten at the time, which is sure to have been old enough to know better. I just couldn't seem to resist.

It's never been repeated - except, apparently, on one of the lesser known satellite channels, in the days when nobody really had satellite dishes - so I haven't seen it in all these years. And then, just yesterday, I discovered that somebody has uploaded an entire episode to YouTube. It's frightening how much I remembered. The episode is partway into a story arc, and I remembered the whole bloody thing as though it had just aired. Miss Appleby, accidentally brought aboard from 1980s Chipping Norton, and forever doomed to be a part of the adventure. Robots 7 and 20, evil pirates programmed by the eviller and piratier Pirate Captain Murphy. SID the computer, voiced by a terminally bored Kenneth Williams, who found the whole thing dreadfully beneath him, and wasn't particularly afraid to let that show. And (quite possibly the best thing about it) Robert Swales as the heroic Captain Pettifer, playing the whole thing absolutely straight, and as swashbuckly as possible, despite being dressed from head to toe in shocking pink. I don't think I quite appreciated him back in 1985, but I think he deserves a knighthood now. Or another job, at any rate.

So here (or beneath the cut, anyway, so as to preserve the sanity of the internet) is an episode of Galloping Galaxies!. The second episode of series one, I think. Swing to the theme song! Gasp at the deadly dangers! Hide behind the sofa when the dread Space Pirate Murphy reveals his dastardly plans! And marvel at quite possibly the finest dinosaur ever shown on screen. Seriously, you'll fall in love with it at first sight.

You'll thank me one day, you know you will.


( 6 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Oct. 16th, 2011 03:43 pm (UTC)
Well, I must have watched it sometimes at least, because I remember SID, but that's it.
Oct. 16th, 2011 10:37 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that there were only ever ten episodes made. Ten episodes are probably very easily forgotten in twenty-five years!
Oct. 18th, 2011 11:31 am (UTC)

I had forgotten all about this program - and I have a feeling I used to completely ADORE it in every way possible.
I so want to watch the rest now. Even though some of the jokes are quite excruciating.

Thank you for finding this gem you have made a seal very happy!
Oct. 18th, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
Blimey, I didn't expect anybody to actually be grateful!

I must admit, I do have fond memories of this one. The jokes were terrible, yes, but I think even as a little kid you're aware of the basic sci fi tropes, and it's fun to see them messed about with. There's something quite engaging about the cast, too.
Oct. 19th, 2011 04:03 pm (UTC)
But... but... everyone loved it too, didn't they?

It did have a big impact on me, for some reason. Just the idea of a children's program in space with robots and time travel and silly crew members that was NEW!

I really did used to enjoy this - I remembered a lot about this episode too - it is a classic just for the fun-quality about it. It's so "Ambitious but rubbish". No budget. Awful jokes. Shiny pink uniforms.

It make me want to write fan fiction about it...

Actually, it needs iconed.
Oct. 19th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
I've only ever met one other person who would admit to liking the show! I agree with you, though. It's very enjoyable, and there's some great ideas there. I like the black hole detour in the YouTube episode, for example. I think there were traffic lights another time.

Fic and icons would be hilarious. It would certainly be a fine way for you to be truly unique on the internet!
( 6 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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