Tom Clarke lives a seemingly ordinary life with his dad and grandmother. However he hides a deep secret - Tom’s family are wizards and when the Nekross arrive, hungry for magic, they find themselves on the menu.
The Nekross may be equipped with ray guns, teleports and high-tech robots but they haven’t reckoned on Tom and his friend, science super-brain Benny. They form an extraordinary duo, using Tom’s magic and Benny’s science to battle the Nekross and save the Earth.
Russell adds: “Wizards have never met aliens before, and when they do, the result is spectacular! The mysterious Nekross know exactly what to do with magicians. Eat them! Let battle be joined!”
So I generally have some wary feelings about this show - namely that it sounds like the colour spectrum involved may actually cause me physical discomfort and that the blend of All The Things (!!1!) makes my head spin. But it’s not meant for me, it’s meant for kidlets. So fine: colour and adventure and all the cool things, hell yeah!
But I do have one major gripe that will come as a surprise to none. All this wacky fun that’s going to happen? All the aliens and the magic and the science and the world saving? All the Really Bright Colours and the spectacular results?
No girls are in on that action.
At least, no girls are included in the press release, which means that if girls are in the show, they aren’t deemed important or exciting enough to garner even a look-in for the initial announcement. (Besides Tom’s grandmother. Who, bless her, is not going to be a draw for kids. And also, we all know how RTD writes his older women.)
lol, I want to make a really eloquent post about how much of an oversight not having a girl involved is, but all I can think about is how disappointed I am. This sucks, guys. Russell T Davies, whatever your feelings about him, is going to gain a big audience for anything he makes in the UK. He has lots of pop appeal, and the hyperactive and intelligence-positive concept of the show does support a quote by FME’s President of Kids & Family Entertainment about the series having “all the ingredients to become a global hit.”
Perhaps it seems silly to get upset enough about this to make an entire post. One kids show, what kind of reach does CBBC have in comparison to BBC1 and so on.
Except that lots of kids in the UK grow up on CBBC. And it’s clear from that Freemantle and the BBC are making plans to push hard for foreign sales - if they haven’t started already. And they’ll probably get those sales - coming back round to Rusty’s success and popularity. Which means that unless this is a complete and total flop (really unlikely) this show will set a new bar and standard. Already a browse through the CBBC listings (x) shows more lads than lasses, it’s not as though it needs help in that department.
Okay - so then perhaps not a ~new bar and standard, but rather provide ”further proof” that winning combinations are male + male. Combined with: the success of Sherlock on BBC1, a show for adults, revolving around Holmes and Watson, averaging about 9 million viewers in its last series. And Merlin on BBC1, a show for all ages, purportedly an ensemble but ultimately revolving around Merlin and Arthur, finishing out its 4th series with 8.2 million viewers. On Christmas Eve no less and beating the average of its only genre-contemporary, Doctor Who, a show which does embrace the male + female team dynamic (and also the show which gained RTD his mainstream popularity).
There was a story I heard once: A mum and her young daughter were watching E.T. for the first time together, and they were just coming up to the scene where all the kids are cycling through the neighbourhood and E.T. makes everybody fly. The woman’s daughter became tearful. Drew Barrymore’s character was left on the ground, on her tricycle, waving sadly up at the boys getting to soar through the beautiful night sky. And the little girl said, “Why can’t I fly too?”
… Nail-head, we have a direct hit. Why can’t I fly too? Why can’t I be a super-brain at science and use it to help my magical friend battle evil-intentioned aliens? Or why can’t I be the one with the magic, who gets to use it to save the world against the evil-intentioned aliens? Or best yet: why can’t I be both?
By the way, E.T. will be 30 this year. And kids telly, sci-fi, these are primed for progressive concepts. BBC is basically tailor-made for progress as well, being directly paid for by the nation, and therefore having a responsibility to reflect that. I’m so saddened by this seemingly endless cycle of sidelining. And to be honest, it also makes me mindnumbingly bored. I am so tired of being left behind on my tricycle. I want adventures, I want to fly.
Or, as it so happens in this case, kick alien ass with my wand and/or beaker, preferably with my chicka bff by my side. Why is this all so hard?