Through The Dragon’s Eye (BBC2, 1989)
A while ago I reviewed the schools show Look And Read, which featured several stories and songs that helped viewers to improve their reading skills, along with the character Wordy. I do remember watching lots of these at junior school around the early-90s, but there was one that I remember enjoying so much that I have decided to give it an individual review.
Through The Dragon’s Eye was first shown on BBC2 in 1989, but I remember seeing it during one of the repeat runs, probably around 1991. It was a story that had something of a fantasy twist. One day, Amanda, Jenny and Scott are at their school in Acton, London (which is where the studios of the award-winning Bid TV used to be, isn’t that fascinating).
They are working on a mural, which contains a picture of a dragon. Then, as they paint the eye, the fire-breathing dragon suddenly comes to life, and they all enter the magical world of Pelamar to go on an epic quest. Now, of course, their reading ability will help them to solve some of the puzzles in the story. The dragon was called Gorwen, and was just one of the bizarre characters that were featured in the show.
I remember becoming really engaged with the story and I always looked forward to what was going to happen in the next episode. The idea was that the Vettacore has exploded, and it’s going to be a difficult task to put it back together as all of the individual pieces have to be recovered. Without it, people won’t be able to read. Can our team work together and come to the rescue?
Also featuring was a talking mouse called Rodey that could become bigger or smaller (beware of those high fade zones!), and the baddie Charn, but best of all, there were the three Veetacore keepers. Boris was orange and had a cricket bat that could fly, Morris was green and had a pet caterpillar, and Doris was purple and had big glasses. And well, for me, you can’t go too far wrong by having random purple people in a show. They were also able to communicate with each other with videophones meaning they were somewhat ahead of their time.
Through The Dragon’s Eye was shown for the first time around the same time that the original run of Doctor Who was ending after 26 years on BBC1. I don’t really remember watching it much, I preferred this show with its science-fiction story, and it probably had a bigger budget than Doctor Who did by this point too. Well I am only kidding, but it wouldn’t surprise me too much really.
There were ten episodes of Through The Dragon’s Eye that were all about 20 minutes long. It was repeated on BBC2 until as late as 2000, and then it was repeated again about five years later on the CBBC Channel as part of the schools strand which was great. I don’t think that there were ever any tapes or books released though, but there was a computer game for the BBC Micro, and presumably there were also loads of factsheets available for teachers.