Words in the Dutch language that utilize the letter Q can be counted on one hand. This is what binds the title characters Aristides Quarles van Ispen (Eric van 't Wout) and Wilbur Quant (Martin Perels) together from the first moment the meet. Because nothing rhymes with Q either, composer Joop Stokkermans wrote no other lyrics (except the title) for the theme song (sung by then unknown Robert Long), creating the unforgettable chorus of 'Q, en Q, Huu huu huu, hu hu hu hu, hu huuuu, hu hu hu hu'. Thereby creating a theme impossible to shake from the mind, and naturally voted the best (read most memorable) Dutch TV tune ever.
Of the two initial sharers,Aristides is the smart rich man son with the flashy camera, Wilbur the long haired follower (and like all best friends, a copycat, taking up photography as well). Shortly after discovering they both have the most elusive of all letters in their name, the boys accidentally snap an eerie, out of focus picture of a human body in the woods. A murder caught on camera, or so the two young Sherlock's think. They are joined in their search for truth by Aristides' Grandpa (Bob de Lange) and Wilbur's older sister Juul (Maélys Morel) but find opposition from just about everybody else, ranging from skeptical parents to the local police.
Written by the incomparable Harrie Geelen during a break from "Kunt u mij de weg naar Hamelen vertellen, meneer?", "Q & Q" is still remembered as probably the most exciting and popular Dutch serial for children ever made. Of course one should take into account that there were only 2 channels available in the Netherlands at that time and of the meager amount of youth orientated programming by far the most was aimed at pre-schoolers. Grandpa and the Q's solved another mystery in a second series, screened in 1976, and a heavily condensed version of those 13 episodes was released in the cinema two years later (as were lots of seventies serials back when things like that were simply impossible to buy or rent).
However, it is this first season that is most fondly remembered, with that scary man with the yellow eyes (Ferd Hugas) whom everybody knew for sure had to be the killer, and comic relief provided by the Quant family housekeeper (Riet Wieland Los) and local handyman Pies (Lex Goudsmit). Successfully repeated in the early eighties and mid nineties, Q & Q gathered even more ardent fans. Even more recently clips have been shown on those popular I-Love-Talking-about-TV-Shows IHardly-Remember type programs. Suddenly "Q & Q" looked rather old fashioned and hilariously over the top. Times and technology had caught up on it, as two kids with an expensive camera and walkie talkies no longer seem so special when every one their age now carries a cellphone. But for everyone willing to travel back in their own past to watch a dear childhood memory, Q & Q still delivers. Once the mystery grabs you once more, you won't be able to turn off the recently released DVD set until you get to the end...
9 out of 10
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