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While we just got started setting up a Powerpuff Girls-themed party room for its upcoming return to Cartoon Network, there are three more vastly disparate children’s series making returns to television in the future. The most understandable of these is Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s most recognizable creation, Thunderbirds, followed by a revival of the British animated spy comedy Danger Mouse. But the most boggling is a massive episode order for an update of the color-oozing Teletubbies. I would gladly fund an illegal lithium prescription for the rare human being who is equally excited by all parts of this story.
Let’s look at them one groan-or-grin at a time.
TeletubbiesDipsy! Tinky Winky! Laa-Laa! Po! From 1997 to 2001, the costume-heavy BBC series Teletubbies arguably got less accomplished in each episode than any children’s show before or after it, but appealed to many because everything that did happen fit in nicely with a nice mind-altering substance. Plus, kids liked it, too, so there’s little wonder commercially that the BBC has ordered 60 new episodes of the show to air on its CBeebies network. It will be “enhanced by CGI” for a “contemporary look,” according to the BBC’s website; the thought of computer-generated madness complementing the giant vibrant characters puts me on the edge of my seat both in ironic excitement and in unironic discomfort.
Ragdoll Worldwide, the company that originally produced Teletubbies, was acquired last year by the Canadian company DHX Media, who are developing this quasi-reboot. Chances are, we’ll watch some stomachs turn into televisions and nobody will speak a real language except for the narrator, which was a big reason for its massive international appeal the first time around. There’s no word just yet on when these new episodes will air, but you can bet someone is already writing a thinkpiece about Tinky Winky’s thoughts on gay marriage pervading the first world.
ThunderbirdsTwo years after the passing of its co-creator, the Thunderbirds are hurtling through the skies with ITV Studios and Pukeko Pictures, who have sold the series reboot Thunderbirds are Go! to Australia’s free-to-air Channel Nine. The network, which has been airing the classic sci-fi marionette series since it first debuted in 1965, will air all 26 ordered half-hour episodes on their kid-oriented digital channel GO! in the spring of 2015. CGI and live-action will also be mixed together in Thunderbirds are Go!, which THR states will aim to “bring a new level of action-adventure animation for today’s audience while paying tribute to the legacy of the model locations from the original series.”
The story follows the escapades of the five Tracy brothers who make up the International Rescue team of pilot hero-types. Franchise voice actor David Graham will return for the role of chauffeur and fellow agent Parker. Game of Thrones’ Thomas Brodie-Sangster will voice John Tracy, while Your Highness’s Rasmus Hardiker will star as Alan and Scott, and David Menkin (Bob the Builder) will take on the roles of Gordon and Virgil. Rosamund Pike (The World’s End) will play the aristocratic Lady Penelope and Four Lions star Kayvan Novak will voice the inventive Brains. Whichever way it goes, it can’t be worse than the 2004 big screen adaptation. It can't.
Danger Mouse“He’s the ace. He’s ama-a-zing.” It’s Danger Mouse, the BBC's animated spy parody, starring the dashing Danger Mouse and his bespectacled hamster sidekick Penfold. This 1981-1992 series is getting a high-tech update for the BBC, who are working with FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment, who now own the rights to the characters created by Mark Hall and Brian Cosgrove, the latter of whom will serve as a consultant on the update. 52 brand-new episodes are coming in 2015, and that’s nothing to holler “Crumbs!” about. The only announced talent at this point is screenwriter Ben Ward of Horrible HIstories, and director Robert Cullen.
Danger Mouse will almost definitely be carrying on in his villain-thwarting adventures, and The Telegraphreports his signature eye patch will be replaced by an “i-patch,” which will have multiple spy-friendly uses. He’ll also have other modern weapons and gadgets as he hopefully takes on that bastard Baron Silas Greenback and his caterpillar Nero. And let’s not forget that Danger Mouse is where Count Duckula was born, and the possibility of seeing Count Duckula on TV again is almost too exciting a prospect to think about without gleefully screaming my vocal cords out.
So which of these are you most interested in seeing? Let us know in the poll below.
Which Returning Series Are You Most Excited About?