Saturday, August 28, 2004


We spend a lot of our time here at The Broomcupboard trying to remind you which programmes on kids' TV are worth a moment of your precious viewing time. Think of us as Grandma in that episode of All American Girl where she was entrusted with one of those boxes that records what you watch for ratings purposes, only to feel hugely guilty about the people on the shows she didn't watch, and ended up trying to watch everything so nothing would get cancelled. Anyone remember that? Anyway, we're fairly sure that we've failed absolutely with The Mysti Show, since almost everyone we've tried to convince thinks it's a hammily-acted show for eight-year-old girls with a script written by six mules sharing one typewriter. They may have a point, but then that's precisely why we love it. But we digress.

Cast your mind back to a time before The Broomcupboard (not all that hard, we've only been going for a couple of months, and we've only updated fifteen times including this one), and think about all the programmes we weren't here to try to save. The vast majority of kids' TV programmes have secured a place in most people's hearts, and even some of the more obscure ones are usually held fondly by someone somewhere (we spent ages trying to find another Jamie and the Magic Torch fan). But, just as there are kids at school who never get asked to the disco, there are kids' programmes that no one remembers, and don't even get a decent internet memorial. We're setting out to change that by profiling the programmes that no one else could be bothered to pay homage to (a quick search on Google will almost certainly certainly prove that statement false, but does this look like a face that's bothered?).

Set on the distant planet of New Texas, Bravestarr was an attempt to update the Western genre for the Transformers generation, who weren't satisfied with straightforward good-triumphs-over-evil storylines and wanted superheroes with fancy powers. The hero was Marshall Bravestar, a buff, savvy sheriff that we probably subconsciously fancied, even though we didn't realise it when we were seven. Bravestarr was no ordinary sheriff, as he could call on the powers of four different animals to help him out of a tight spot: eyes of a hawk, ears of a wolf, strength of a bear, speed of a puma. Well, we say he had those powers, but we watched it fairly regularly and we can't remember a single instance of him using eyes of a hawk, unless you can count the opening credits. He used strength of a bear far more than any of his other powers, from which we deduce that he was probably an unreconstructed male who preferred to duff people up rather than sitting down and talking it through over a nice cup of tea.

The theme tune was fabulous, although it suffered slightly from the sound effects drowning out the lyrics, in particular the part of the song where Bravestarr's powers were listed, leaving us convinced for ages that he actually had the ears of a wasp.

We don't actually know how or why Bravestarr came across these powers. In all honesty, he was probably just a bit cocky and liked showing off. He also had a horse called Thirty Thirty (why? We don't know) which had the thoroughly bizarre superpower of being able to act human by standing on its hind legs. We don't know what use that was, unless Looking Rather Unwieldy is also a superpower.

TV Tome attributes Bravestarr's early demise to poorly-selling action figures, that were released before the cartoon took off, and made it look like the show was unpopular when people just didn't really know it existed yet. Damn you, Mattel!

If you remember a kids' TV show that no one else does, and would like The Broomcupboard to profile it, why not e-mail us and let us know? Please remember to put "Broomcupboard" in the subject line, or we'll probably lose it in amongst all the spam we get promising us hot babes playing with sticky cum.

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