'Parallel 9' was a Saturday morning kids show introduced by the BBC after the falling ratings of the out dated 'Going Live' which had ran from 87' to 92'. The idea was that while 'Going Live' took its traditional summer break, a new alternative Saturday morning kids show would be given a run with the promise that 'Going Live' would return as it always used to during the winter. It was set on an alien planet, not surprisingly called 'Parallel 9', and was basically your standard fair with competitions, phone-ins, game shows, cartoons, celebrity guests (I remember Hulk Hogan being on it in the last series.) etc. The actual presenter was an Australian actress who used to play Melanie in Neighbours for series 2 onwards anyway. Can't remember who did series 1. I think she presented it from Earth, if you know what I mean, but the show would switch between her and the events on 'Parallel 9'. The whole 'Parallel 9' side of it was kind of weird. There were some very strange characters interacting and it seemed kind of pointless. They had to get off 'Parallel 9' or something because they were cast away there for being dicks or something like that. It was quit dark but belonged more as a sci-fi series or game-show and not as a Saturday morning kids TV extravaganza. Some people praised its darkness and originality. Though as a kids format it didn't work. Indeed I, and most other kids at the time, started praying for the more stayed and orthodox 'Going Live' to return and when it did we were overjoyed before it dawned on us how boring 'Going Live' had become. Series 2 in the summer of 93' saw the original concept completely revamped.It looked like an advert for luminous condoms and was so bright and colour saturated it made you feel sick. The presenters were rubbish. Pretty much nothing from series 1 survived.
BUT THEN.....in its third season the makers of 'Parallel 9' were obviously told it was going to get the chop for good after the the third run had finished and a big bold return to the traditional 'Going Live' style kids format but with more energy and younger presenters was about to be launched called 'Live and Kicking', which would run year round and not seasonally like 'Going Live'. With the advertising for that in full swing the producers of 'Parallel 9' obviously figured that as they were doomed any way they would be as well taking chances. They introduced a rather nasty character ( who I think was a Baron or something) who basically ran the place and he took great pleasure in trying to intimidate and torture the rather hilarious 'Little Green Man' who had been introduced in Season 2 in a much smaller role. The chemistry between these two was surprisingly good and there were some genuinely hilarious moments. I recall one where the Little Green Man gave the Baron-Esq type character a green jelly like gift and the Baron licked it, smiled and asked if it was indeed jelly. The Little Green Man , in his high pitched voice, replied 'No. I brought it up from my chest this morning.' Shocked look by the Baron, they both look at the camera with wide eyes and then cut to a cartoon. Genius. It all became very knowing and tongue in cheek and at the end it was a total riot. It was flicking hysterical when celebrity guest would be 'beamed up' to 'Parallel 9' where they would be treated with complete contempt by the characters and there would be countless looks of 'what the hell is going on?' on various guest pop stars and TV show stars faces. I think it all ended with 'Parallel 9' blowing up and the Baron and Little Green Man jetting off somewhere. I know that there was a finale which proved that they knew an end to this short lived show was on the cards for a while.
To sum up....... Series 1 was pretty pointless, ill advised and of beat and sealed the shows fate. Season 2 introduced a bizarre colour scheme and a bloody stupid dinosaur puppet called Brian. Series 3 introduced some great characters, as well as minimised the crap Brian's role to a bare minimum, and is to this day one of the most bizarre and original Kids TV shows which did not pander and dumb things down to kids but actually dared to believe they would 'get it.' Another smarter component of these shows was that they only lasted for 2 hours unlike Going Live and Live and Kicking which ran on far too long at 3. I will never forget this show. Great TV? Hardly. Original and entertaining? Yes. In the case of the third and last year of it any way.
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