PC Copper

Bod (series)

Bod was a BBC children's television programme first shown in 1975, with thirteen episodes, based on four original Bod books by Joanna and Michael Cole. It was an animated cartoon series narrated by John Le Mesurier with music by Derek Griffiths and produced by David Yates. The four books were published in 1966 in the United Kingdom and later in the United States and France. They were: Bod's Apple, Bod's Present, Bod's Dream and Bod and the Cherry Tree. The French version of Bod's Apple was called La Pomme de Gus.

Before the animated series was commissioned, the four books had been read on another BBC children's programme — Playschool. In 1974, thirteen five-minute episodes were created for transmission on the BBC as part of the Watch with Mother series, and were also sold to Australia's ABC channel. Soon thereafter, it was shown in New Zealand, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Poland and Israel. In the United States, Bod aired on Nickelodeon as a segment on the Pinwheel program.

The character of Bod is a boy who lives in a town with Aunt Flo, PC Copper, Frank the Postman and Farmer Barleymow. Each of the characters have their own theme music performed by Griffiths which is heard when they appear. Regular features are animal identification and Bod Snap.

There is also another set of characters who appear in each episode called Alberto Frog and his Amazing Animal Band. This section featured short extracts from famous pieces of classical music as part of the story, and always ended with Alberto choosing a different flavour of milkshake as his reward for solving a problem.

Bod has appeared in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Kids' TV shows and 100 Greatest Cartoons, and the creators of Homestar Runner have cited it as one of their inspirations.

Episode titles

  1. Bod's Present
  2. Bod and the Dog
  3. Bod and the Apple
  4. Bod and the Kite
  5. Bod and the Cherry Tree
  6. Bod and the Rain
  7. Bod's Dream
  8. Bod on the Beach
  9. Bod and the Birds
  10. Bod and the Cake
  11. Bod and the Grasshopper
  12. Bod in the Park
  13. Bod and Breakfast

All thirteen Bod episodes are available on DVD.

The Alberto Frog segments were produced separately by the BBC and were originally shown alongside the Bod episodes; only five out of thirteen of these segments survive in the BBC archives, following a decision in the early 1990s to wipe a large amount of videotaped 1970s children's programmes but all these are present on the Bod DVD.

Tie-ins and Taoism

As well as books for each of the televised episodes, there have been two other tie-in books based on Bod, by Alison and Lo Cole, the children of creators Joanna and Michael Cole. Bod's Way: The Meaning of Life was being worked on by Michael Cole before he died in 2001, and was completed by Alison.

The books reveal the Taoist beliefs of Bod's original creators.

  • Bod's Way: The Meaning of Life by Alison Cole, 2002, ISBN 1-84357-029-7
  • Bod's New Leaf: Making a Fresh Start by Alison and Lo Cole, 2003, ISBN 1-84357-076-9

Trivia

Bod is a fictional deity in the BBC Radio 4 science fiction comedy Nebulous, and the Bod theme music is heard in one episode. Bod is Welsh for a person. Tibetans call their homeland Bod

References

  • Simon Sheridan: The A to Z of Classic Children's Television (Reynolds & Hearn books, 2004, reprinted 2007) ISBN 1-903111-27-7. Contains a chapter on Bod and an interview with Lo Cole.

External links

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