Tuesday 6 December 2022

Ahoy, Pugwash Fans

 A word of warning for fans (and I know there are still many of them) of the classic animation, Captain Pugwash. Recently Mrs N bought a DVD of what seemed to be the real thing, but, watching it yesterday, I discovered it was an ugly, modern, computer-generated creation with absolutely none of the charm of the hand-made, cardboard-cut-out original. Worse, it had an impeccably 'diverse' multiethnic cast of characters (each of them displaying stereotype characteristics which could surely be described by the critical as 'racist'). Being an Englishman, Pugwash himself was portrayed as an effete poltroon, rather than the Falstaffian anti-hero he is – greedy, cowardly, but full of martial bombast and ever ready with a tale of his own exemplary heroism. I'll waste no more time on this hideous travesty. Happily, if you look hard, original episodes can still be found online and, if you're lucky, even on disc. And the books are still available – beautifully drawn and designed by Pugwash's creator, John Ryan, and full of great stories. Yesterday our four-year-old grandson enjoyed his first Pugwash book so much that he insisted on repeated readings and could hardly be parted from it. And he enjoyed one of the old black-and-white episodes. A boy of taste and discernment.

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