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I haven't seen The Boy From Space in years but would love to and think that it is more than worthy of a commercial release. Along with Dr. Who this was my first introduction to sci-fi and both these shows remain my favourites from that genre. In fact, despite being an early morning schools show, The Boy From Space is unrivalled as far as 'scaring the living crap out of me as a youngster' is concerned. It created that otherworldly feel in a more realistic way than I've ever seen and really proves that sometimes less is more. The aliens were simply actors sprayed blue with matching space suits and blonde hair that gave them almost albino like features. Even though these aliens were almost exclusively good guys I remember being really spooked by their appearance and having many sleepless nights thinking that one of them might come into my room at any time. After all if a couple of children my age had encountered them during a normal day then it certainly wasn't beyond the bounds of possibility that I could do the same. The whole thing had a real eerie quality about it reflected by an amazing theme tune, so evocative of something that had been composed on a far off galaxy. I wasn't surprised to recently hear that this programme has its own cult following and neither was I surprised to hear that someone of the ability of Richard Carpenter (Catweazle, Robin of Sherwood) was behind the whole thing because, for its time at least, this really was a spirited and unforgettable children's viewing experience.
Originally released in 1971 in B&W (and feared lost, in this
incarnation) THE BOY FROM SPACE was dusted up (and shown in colour for
the first time) in 1980, at the height of LOOK AND READ's popularity.
Debates rage about 'the best' LOOK AND READ story (some say DARK
TOWERS?) But for my money, this is the best. And those that have seen
it, never forget it. Story concerns a young brother and sister DAN &
HELEN, who discover aliens, notably a strange silver looking boy (who
they name PEEP-PEEP, due to his garbled backwards alien-speak).
Unfortunately, another alien (scarily referred to as THE THIN SPACE
MAN)is after PEEP-PEEP. When the kids protect the alien-boy, THE THIN
SPACE MAN comes looking for all concerned. What should have been a
fairly straightforward children's caper, becomes something altogether
creepy (this is mostly due to JOHN WOODNUTTS terrifying performance of
THE THIN SPACE MAN) and as with most LOOK AND READ stories, the kids
never seem to have any real parental figures around. This element of
hopelessness, matched by an extremely eerie music score, make THE BOY
FROM SPACE the most intense kids TV show ever. The (obvious) low budget
works in it's favour, it's the natural performances that leave the
lasting impression. As said though, THE THIN SPACE MAN (far scarier
than any H R GIGER creation) may be too intense for younger audiences.
But not to spoil it too much, goodness prevails.
See also SKY HUNTER (which was later dusted up by L + R) for more great children's adventures, brimming with better ideas, plot and performances, than any of the 'adult' counterparts can manage. The only crime, is the 'hardcore' following, this show has, and the BBC's lack of release for any L + R story yet. But, if you do get the chance to see these fine shows, watch them. 10 out of 10
I was typing in shows that I grew up with and remembered 'The Boy From
It certainly brings back haunting memories as I seem to remember being absolutely scared to death watching this at school (I'm 31 now and thinking back can still feel the terror!!). My memory is a little sketchy but was there also a book to accompany the show?
Does anyone recall the episode when the shadow was coming up the stairs (I think they were in a lighthouse???) - truly terrifying.
I would absolutely love to see this again and if anyone has information as to how to get hold of it I would be most grateful to hear of it.
After seeing the 'Boy from Space' again for the first time in 40 odd years it is clear to me what an influence, and impact it had on my childhood and to some extent in adulthood. Having only experienced 'science fantasy' in the late sixties/early seventies e.g. Lost in Space/Star Trek; the Boy from Space was my first credible science fiction story. I can vividly recall being sat around the t.v. in the dining hall at Featherbed Lane Junior School, Shrewsbury, in the Autumn of 1971 eagerly awaiting the latest instalment. As already mentioned by others the producers of this programme were able to make the aliens seem very believable, on what was obviously a small budget. The Thin Man was incredibly disturbing which was down to his appearance and his maniacal expression; extremely well portrayed by John Woodnutt. I recently showed the series to my 7 year old who found it interesting but not as disturbing and impressive as I did at the same age. I can tell it is of 'it's time' as today's children are bombarded with images that make it difficult for them to differentiate between fact and fiction. Back in 1971 the World was a smaller place where children could be children, where 'awe' and 'wonder' were common-place (Neil Armstrong setting foot on the Moon for example) Whilst I don't think I should like to return to those times, I can't help but feel we are losing out if children can't be amazed by such programmes as the Boy from Space. Unfortunately, I am unable to articulate how I truly felt as a 7 year old watching, but needless to say it generated in me a huge interest in Space/Science Fiction which stays with me. In fact I still live in hope that one day I will be walking in a disused quarry when I come across 'Peep-Peep' for real (but would be happy if the Thin-Man didn't make it to Earth!!)
AUFPET5 i really agree with you,i am only 34 & i do remember it i saw it when i was 7-9 yrs old & its stuck in my memory for years but i forgot the name but never forgot the pale face of the boy,& i think he had a blue suit on....thank god for goggle.co.UK eh...ha ha..i also remember "digby the biggest dog in the world" & what a film that was if you are old enough to remember it when i look back this reminds me of the "CANE" at school and the discipline that was given out to us but now its all long gone..star larker's wasn't they the messages they gave away was so much better than todays films etc,anyway i am at Keith the beast (no spaces)@yahoo.co.UK so if you want to contact me feel free to OK,
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