Today: April 15, 2024

Jamie and the Magic Torch

From the rocking theme tune, to the bobble-hatted dog, Wordsworth, Jamie and the Magic Torch is peak Cosgrove-Hall entertainment.

Every night when his mum calls out ‘Sleep Well Jamie’, our ginger-haired hero gets out of bed, picks up his magic torch, and travels down a helter-skelter into the magical world of Cuckoo Land. 

Airing between 1976-1979, the show ran to thirty-nine fantastic episodes featuring the likes of Mr Boo, the absent-minded gentleman; Jo-Jo, the ‘odd job’ man; the rag-doll, Nutmeg; Officer Gotcha of the Cuckoo Land Constabulary;, Strumpers Plunkett; Bulli Bundy and Wellibob. Yes, it’s a silly as it sounds, but isn’t that the point?

Arguably, 1970s kids’ shows were so entertaining because producers like Cosgrove-Hall knew that, when kids settled down to watch one of the three channels available before bedtime, they just wanted to have fun. Of course, there are some heartwarming episodes and ‘life lessons’ here, but key to the success of shows like this was knowing how to channel the Alice in Wonderland air of quirkiness that children love.

Weird — often to the point of surreal — Jamie and the Magic Torch is one of those shows that, if you saw it at the time, you’re definitely going to want to revisit. 

Will today’s youngsters enjoy it? It’s hard to say, but what’s not to like about a helter-skelter that takes you to a land of magic, where your dog can talk, and all your adventures happen before your head has even hit the pillowcase?

Presented for the first time as a complete collection on DVD, Fabulous Films’ box set is 432 minutes of cozy viewing that’s guaranteed to wash those cares away.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com

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