Tuesday, 31 May 2011

We're off to Button Moon

Button Moon was a quirky, popular childrens television programme broadcast in the United Kingdom in the 1980s on the ITV Network. Thames Television produced each episode, which lasted ten minutes and featured the adventures of Mr. Spoon who, in each episode, travels to Button Moon in his homemade rocket-ship. All of the characters within the show are based on kitchen utensils, as well as many of the props.

Once on Button Moon, which hangs in "blanket sky", they have an adventure, and look through Mr. Spoon's telescope at someone else such as the Hare and the Tortoise, before heading back to their home on 'Junk Planet'. Episodes also include Mr. Spoon's wife, "Mrs. Spoon", their daughter, "Tina Tea-Spoon" and her friend "Eggbert". The series ended in 1988 after 91 episodes.

Button Moon was originally conceived by Ian Allen as a stage show for Playboard Puppets in 1978. Allen adapted it into a TV series for Thames two years later. The first series of 13 programmes was transmitted in 1980. A further 6 series of 13 programmes followed, making a total of ninety-one different Button Moon adventures. The series was repeated on a yearly basis for Thames TV up until 1988. All 91 episodes have been shown on satellite channel UK Gold since spring 1993.

Narration was by Robin Parkinson. Puppeteers included Ian Allen, John Thirtle, Alistair Fullarton, Sue Dacre, Chris Leith, Judith Bucklow, Ian Brown, Tony Holthamand, and others. The incidental music for the series was written by Peter Goslin.

The show had a typically 80s synthetic, catchy & melancholy theme tune that was composed and performed by Peter Davison and Sandra Dickinson, who were married at the time. They are best known for their roles as the Doctor (from Doctor Who), and Trillian (from The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy), respectively.

There was also a live stage show which ran during the late 1980s and the early 1990s. The stage show was popular at many theatres including the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury, King George's Hall in Blackburn and the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon.

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