Friday, 9 January 2015

Flashback Friday - Look and Read (part 1): Through The Dragon's Eye.

I was going through the bookcase last weekend to work out what to read in our Chapter Book Challenge when I uncovered my old copy of Through the Dragon's Eye.  Slightly battered and every bit it's 23 years old but there none the less to enjoy with my kids,  But it wasn't the book that sparked my love of Through the Dragons Eye (tho at least I couldn't see scary Charn in text) but the TV
series,  The 10 x 20 minute episodes of Look and Read, shown in the Music Room when I was in Primary School.

 Once a week we would file into the little room, sit cross legged on the carpet and eagerly await the tales from Pelamar on our BBC VHS (not live as I was only 7 when it first aired in 1989 and I am sure it was the juniors, possibly year 6 when we watched it).  My teacher always brought the teachers notes in with her, a folder of activity and helpful hints for the 'working out' elements.  Not that I can ever remember her opening and using them.  Thanks to YouTube I can now share the enjoyment with my 2 boys



Plot




The story involved three children; Jenny, Amanda and Scott.  The first episode shows them painting a mural on a school wall, as soon as the eye is finished the dragon winks and they are invited into Pelamar,


The dragon, Gorwen, expans that the land needs the children's help as the Veetacore (the life source of Pelamar) exploded and they cannot fix it.   Until it is put back together and the magic words said the land of Pelamar, and it's inhabitants, will gradually fade away and die.



  


But where does this fit into it being educational?  We'd not have watched a 'fun' programme every week.  Well the instructions for the reconstruction of the Veetacore are written in a book, unfortunately the keepers; Doris, Boris and Moris,cannot read and the children must use their reading skills to help.  Even more unfortunately the children aren't great at reading either and need the help of the audience to decipher words and work out clues to continue (clever eh!).



It soon becomes clear that three of the pieces of the Veetacore have been thrown into the distant land
  
of Widge and need to be retrieved,  So Amanda, Scott, Gorwen, Boris and a giant mouse Rhodey leave Jenny at the Veetacore house to make a stat on reassembly while they travel to find the missing pieces.

Do you remember I mention someone scary?  'Charn', Well he wanted to hijack the Veetacore for his
own evil purpose and who it is implied triggered the original 'explosion' of the Veetacore in the first place.

Charn scares the keepers, and Jenny but fortunately they are able to send a secret message to Gorwan who returns and defeats Charn in the nick of time.  Just when we think Gorwan may have weakened himself too much the Veetacore is restored and the children can return home.


Theme tune

During the TV series, three different sets of lyrics (sung to the same theme tune) were used - one for episode 1

"North or South, East or West,
The Test
Is can you finish what you start,
Take Heart!
Look bravely through the Dragon's Eye
And fly.."


One for the beginning of  episodes 2-10

"North or South, East or West,
The Quest
To save the life of Pelamar
Goes Far.
Look bravely through the Dragon's Eye
And fly..."


And finally a different one at the end of each episode (2-10)

"North or South, East or West,
It's Best
To know for sure you understand
The Plan.
Look bravely through the Dragon's Eye
And fly..."







Through the Dragons Eye wasn't the only Look and Read that I loved there was also Sky Hunter and Geordie Racer to enjoy, and who could forget the rest of the 'school' series of programmes?  Words and Pictures, Rat-a-tat-tat, Barnaby Bear, How We Used To Live, You and Me, Watch, Zig Zag, , ..... I'll cover these another time.

Which programmes do you remember from school?

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