Ask the sfxperts
If you can’t remember it, we can! Your sci- fi problems solved…
This has been driving me nuts, which is ironic because the show I’m looking for is actually about a bunch of peas. I remember it was a cartoon on the BBC in the late ’ 80s/ early ’ 90s, and can almost hum the theme tune, but not much else. I think they made a boardgame of it as well where the peas were made out of PlayDoh and there was a chance they could be crushed or cut in half !
Max Thompson, Newcastle
The show you’re looking for is The Poddington Peas – a 13- episode BBC cartoon that aired in 1989. It has a cult following because of the puntastic names of all the peas ( a baby called Nap- Pea, a hippy called, well, Hip- Pea) and a theme tune that might just be the ultimate earworm. Don’t look it up on YouTube unless you want to be humming it for days. The game is actually Grape Escape, where the goal is to make it around the board without your “Goop” grapes being destroyed by some horrible day- glow death contraption. Yes, it was that brutal.
I remember something shown at teatime on BBC Two a couple of times years ago which I think would be from the 1980s. It was about some kind of genetically engineered superhuman. I think the symbol of the project was Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.
Mark Gallagher, email
Guest SFXpert Ben Yates says:
This is Now And Again. It was about Michael Wiseman, who died in a tragic subway accident only for his brain to be implanted into a genetically bio- engineered body by the US Government. He is then put to work as a secret agent, but all Michael wants to do is go back to his old life. As for Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, the title sequence featured it. Interestingly while Michael’s new body was played by Eric Close his old body in the pilot was played by John Goodman. It’s only currently available on DVD in Australia.
I am looking for your help. I remember reading a book once where the main hero went to the toilet and flushed, then travelled in time. I think it had a picture of an Oscar- type statue on the cover and may have been written by Bob Shaw.
Richard Cotton, email
David Langford says:
It was indeed by Bob Shaw, an old favourite at British SF conventions. His early novels were all serious; Who Goes Here was his first fulllength comedy, published in 1977. Hero Warren Peace and the Oscars ( superpowered cops who look like the Oscar statue) return in the 1993 sequel Warren Peace, reissued as Dimensions. This was Bob’s last novel, written after a terrible illness, and the humour isn’t so successful.
“Down at the bottom of the garden, among the birds and the bees…”