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October 16, 2020 4:56 AM   Subscribe

Remember the days when you could still get away with not having good special effects? Through the Dragon's Eye, the 1989 educational British educational fantasy series. Storylords, the 1984 educational US educational fantasy series. (More from the greater Look and Read series of which Through the Dragon's Eye was a part below the fold.)

Look and Read storylines, most of which are watchable online:

#1: Bob and Coral Look for Treasure: The Lost Treasure/The Stolen Treasure (1967) - Originally intended to be aired as part of another series, Merry-Go-Round.

#2: Len and the River Mob (1968) - clip - A young dock worker comes to suspect he may be surrounded by criminals.

#3: The Boy From Space (1971) - clip 1, clip 2, complete vinyl record - Two children meet an alien child and must save him and his father when they are kidnapped.

#4: Joe and the Sheep Rustlers (1973) - all episodes - A shepherd boy and his friend must thwart the ruthless Beasley Brothers.

#5: Cloud Burst (1974) - all episodes, song compilation - Two children must rescue a kidnapped scientist. First appearance in the educational segments of Wordy Watchword, the greenscreened mascot would would remain a mainstay for the following seven stories.

#6: The King's Dragon (1977) - all episodes, song compilation - A fisherman's grandson stumbles upon mysterious threatening messages connected to an archeologist and a lost treasure.

#7: Sky Hunter (1978) - all episodes, song compilation - A boating holiday turns into a struggle against bird poachers.

#8: The Boy From Space (1980) - Re-release of the original with added educational segments. This is the only serial in the series to have been released on DVD.

#9: Dark Towers (1981) - all episodes, song compilation - When a girl chases her dog into an old house, she become entangled in a race for its hidden treasure.

#10: Fair Ground! (1983) - all episodes, song compilation - Ozzie Watson must solve the problems that have suddenly begun plaguing the Easter fair he loves.

#11: Badger Girl (1984) - all episodes plus audio cassette version, song compilation - Three city children on holiday in the country must figure out which of the locals are involved in pony rustling.

#12: Geordie Racer (1988) - all episodes, song compilation - "Spuggy" Hilton discovers secret messages attached to pigeons' legs and suspects a local pigeon breeder of being behind recent robberies.

#13: Through the Dragon's Eye (1989) - all episodes, audio cassette version - Three children enter the world depicted in a mural they painted as seek the lost pieces of the artifact that gives the world magic and life. This was the first storyline to feature fantastical elements in the main story and fold the educational segments into it.

#14: Sky Hunter II (1992) - all episodes -Re-release of the 1978 original with new educational segments. Last appearance of Wordy.

#15: Earth Warp (1994) - all episodes (note: first episode is at bottom of list), audio cassette version - Three children fight pollution with the help of an alien. First instance of CGI, via a new educational sequence mascot.

#16: Spywatch (1996) - all episodes, audio cassette version - A man returns to the village he was evacuated to during WWII and reminisces about how he and his friends became self-anointed spy hunters.

#17: Captain Crimson (1997) - all episodes - Hijinks ensue when comic book artist's son and his best friend accidentally bring the artist's greatest creation to life - a fish out of place, time and genre. (Note, the titles for the first and last episodes are not as terrible as they seem; at least, not deliberately so - they refer to the plot-important black holes that appear in those episodes.)

#18: The Legend of the Lost Keys (1998) - all episodes - A pair of twins must get their grandfather's ancient artifact from the scientists who stole it, as the evil leaders of the world to which it is a portal pose a far greater threat.

#19: Zzaap and the Word Master (2001) - all episodes - Two kids become trapped in an educational computer game and, added by a CGI insect, must battle a megalomaniacal virus.

#20: Shadow Play (2004) - all episodes - A boy discovers, and becomes negrossed in, a diary written by a young girl in the Victorian era.
posted by BiggerJ (11 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Sky Hunter is the one with the greatest resonance for me. However, I recall seeing 1 or 2 episodes from another series when I was off school sick for a while. I may well try and figure out which it was over the weekend. Thanks BiggerJ.
posted by biffa at 5:30 AM on October 16, 2020

The first link just takes one to the channel of some youtuber, "UltimateDividedasOneFan", which was a bit confusing at first given the first couple videos seemed to be football (aka soccer).

Perhaps there is a playlist of specific videos that could be more directly linked to, eg. in case the relevant videos to the fpp get buried under football videos on this channel?
posted by eviemath at 5:50 AM on October 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

I think we watched at least parts of several of them in school, but Through the Dragon's Eye is the one that I remember the best and probably had the most impact on me. Not entirely certain if I want to rewatch any of them and "ruin" my lasting memories of them...
posted by scorbet at 5:54 AM on October 16, 2020

Oh snap Storylords! I remember in 4th grade we had a pair of sparkly gloves that the teacher let kids take turns wearing while we tuned in.
posted by sewellcm at 7:14 AM on October 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

When I was sorting some of my childhood books at my parents' house recently I found the novelizations of Through the Dragon's Eye and Legend of the Lost Keys and was delighted! I watched those and also Spywatch at primary school. Looking at the dates, Spywatch would have been the only one actually airing at the right time, the others we must have watched from tapes. It was a highlight of the week!

(My wife (30, same age as me) also watched some of them at her school, until she got an exemption because she was finding Keys far too scary.)
posted by Cheerwell Maker at 8:56 AM on October 16, 2020

Also what do you mean about not good special effects, the dragon costume they had someone inside is great XD
posted by Cheerwell Maker at 8:57 AM on October 16, 2020

Want to play the Geordie Racer game again? Well hop on my magic extending cricket bat and scramble your way over here...

(And download a BBC emulator)
posted by howfar at 12:34 PM on October 16, 2020

Dark Towers and Badger Girl were written by *Andrew Davies*. I may end up watching these again after all...
posted by scorbet at 1:08 PM on October 16, 2020

Thanks for this. I might re-watch but first I will need to wheel in the big telly and sit crossed-legged on the carpet.
posted by stanf at 3:34 PM on October 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

eviemath: I didn't have much hope of there being convenient playlists when I started, before I looked for all the other series. I've since found a playlist of videos cut up into halves here.

Unfortunately, getting a mod or admin to edit a Metafilter post depends on factors including (but vastly far from limited to) atmospheric conditions, quantum fluctuations and the phases of several moons.
posted by BiggerJ at 5:32 PM on October 16, 2020

eviemath: Ugh, and I just found the channel's own playlist here. Again, I can't edit my post, because moons.
posted by BiggerJ at 5:33 PM on October 16, 2020

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