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james-20015,298 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
Definitely on VT, it's 50i (set the YouTube video setting to 720p50) and very clean, none of the dirt, scratches, weave, grain etc. you'd have got from film insterts at the time- look at the opening and closing titles which are a mess! Though obviously if it had been shot and edited on film, a modern cleaned up and restored scan of the film would look a lot better than a 1968 telecine scan, it would still quite obviously be film though.
noggin14,596 posts since 26 Jun 2001
Is it definitely VT? Being recorded on film might explain how it survived and would likely have been much cheaper to do it PSC and edit than to use a scanner and either mobile VT van (if they existed so early) or links back to TV Centre.


Definitely shot on video - there are clear tubed camera artefacts all over it that wouldn't be present on film. Just randomly I clicked on a bit with ducks on water and that is a text-book tubed camera look, and clearly hasn't been anywhere near a film recording.
noggin14,596 posts since 26 Jun 2001
The earliest surviving colour episode of Play School.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2S83txOp24

Whilst this is undoubtedly amazing it also makes me sad that you can't watch other TV from this era in the same quality.


Yes, so little surviving on VT sadly, most of what does survive from this time is often not very good quality at all telerecordings.


That's really only true of 405 line B&W stuff isn't it? (405 line VT recordings were archived onto film as a decision was taken that 405 Quad VTRs were not going to be around for long - and film was a more suitable archive format - and these days its a lot easier to transfer 16/35mm B&W film than 405 Quad VT - so that wasn't a totally stupid though process...)

However PAL 625 colour VT recordings, with some exceptions, do remain as video recordings if they survive. BBC Two went 625 colour in 1967 so most archive that does survive from this era that was shot colour, does remain as video (with some telerecording B&W international sales copies an exception) These days it's data rather than video tape it is stored on though.
Neil Jones5,558 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
Nice to note that Otis suffers from the same issues that George from Rainbow did, in which he puts on a costume and answers to a different name despite being blatantly obviously the same person. Except George quite often took it to extremes, pretending to be his own sister while wearing a mop...
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benriggers gave kudos
Inspector Sands13,904 posts since 25 Aug 2004
Emlyn the Gremlin was such a bland generic character and coming after years of one that was a bit of a cheeky maverick he was never going to last long. I remember seeing the two of them being operated and the puppeteers matched the characters in terms of personality.

I do wonder why he was introduced, presumably Otos's puppeteer, Dave Chapman, wanted to move on but I don't know why they felt the need to directly replace the character with another straight away rather than wait for a bit then come up with something a bit interesting. But then going from Otis to something like Hacker would have jarred a bit
Neil Jones5,558 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
I do wonder why he was introduced, presumably Otos's puppeteer, Dave Chapman, wanted to move on but I don't know why they felt the need to directly replace the character with another straight away rather than wait for a bit then come up with something a bit interesting. But then going from Otis to something like Hacker would have jarred a bit


Presumably by 1999 they'd had puppet presenter(s) on a permanent basis since 1985 so it was probably tradition to have one, even if it was something as bland as that. Think he was dropped by the time the CBBC Channel launched and I don't think they had a puppet character again on the network until Oucho came along.

Of course Hacker wipes the floor with the lot of them in terms of durability, apparently ten years now he's been there, and Gordon the Gopher only racked up eight overall. Wiki suggests Basil Brush is the longest serving CBBC puppet but of course he was never a regular "presenter" like Otis, and he didn't start on the BBC anyway, Basil Brush was actually created for an ITV show.
62305823,630 posts since 19 Aug 2005
Most people dont like this version as it feel so cheap compared to what come before. Host is Paul Hendy ( stv know of him because he was on the The Disney Club) He was the last host of the UK series back in 2001 with just 30 eps.