Moving on to memorable English serials on DD
Walt Disney Presents
The Donald Duck and Mickey mouse and Goofy and Chip and Dale cartoons on a Sunday morning. The Sunday morning cartoons were the only reason to get up early on a Sunday morning. This was the first time when Walt Disney cartoons were exposed to the Indian children. The only other place we could see the cartoon was during our annual cartoon viewing at school. We use to wait a whole week for that one show.
He-man and the masters of Universe
He-Man, Castle Grayskull, Skeletor became household names because of the Sunday morning slot. This was way before the Disney made an appearance on the Indian television. It became so famous that He-Man dolls were sold in toy stores. We children use to put the ruler in the back of the shirt and then remove it in “He-Man” style and point it on the street dog.
A wonder bike with a high speed and weapons. A crime fighting policeman who is injured and then fights crime on the super bike. A half hour program where most of the time, the bike use to be the hero. Sunday morning stuff.
The wonder bike is replaced by the wonder car. Knight Rider has David Hasselhoff as the driver who rides the super car with features to fight crime. This was long before David Hasselhoff became famous in Baywatch. The car could move at incredible speed, swim and also fly with an impenetrable body to protect itself and the driver from bullets and bombs and also it could talk giving suggestion. A artificial Intelligent car. Again Sunday Morning fare
It was just 15 minutes. I had to wait the whole week, forego by afternoon sleep to watch this stupid cartoon which had Spiderman hanging on spider web for most of the 15 minutes. It was really fascinating at that time where the web crawler would fight the enemies, hang on the web and catch thieves and goons in the web. And ofcourse there was its theme song
Does whatever a spider can
Spins a web, any size
Catches thieves, just like flies
Look out! Here comes the Spider-man!
Fraggle Rock was a Saturday afternoon fare. I had trouble understanding the stuff and did not mind if I would missed it. A lot of puppets and funny puppets. The most adorable were small 6 inch tall creatures called Doozers, who would construct building only to be eaten by fraggles. Not so popular but kind of OK stuff.
The Old Fox
I think it was a German detective serial. Some short old man who played detective. It was one of the first foreign serial on the Indian television. The American sitcom would make their appearance only on STAR TV years later
This does not qualify as English serial because of the simple fact that it was dubbed in Hindi. It was a huge success and the title song was by, I think Gulzar, “Jungle jungle baat chali hai pata chala” The main villain, Sher Khan the tiger voice was by Nana Patekar. Sunday morning fare
Didi’s Comedy show.
Again a german serial. Extremely funny and popular. Once considered better than a Charlie Chaplin movie. Lots of slapstick comedy. It was fun watching and then discussing with friends in the evening. Re-run so many times that we had lost count but did not matter. It was always a fun to watch.
I think it was German again. Competition between two Cities, it was crazy races like wearing a duck suit and running, swimming in a pool and recovering something, obstacle race etc. 20-30 minutes program mostly aired on weekends. Better than boring sports coverage by Doordarshan.
Jonnie Sakko and the Giant Robot
This came on Tuesdays at 7:00 PM. That was the time when I use to have tuitions. I use to reach 20 minutes late and tell my tuition teacher that my mom send me for an errand. Sadly she did not believe me because everybody came late that day. It was a Japanese serial with a small boy named Jonnie Sakko and who else but a big Giant Robot. Together they use to fight an evil emperor who had his head quarters under the sea. This was very popular among children especially the PT drills the robot use to make while launching missiles.
This one was a children serial with puppets. If you have seen the movie, “Team America, World Police” it was similar to that, except it was much better. The series had some space astronauts who had a plane/shuttle which flew from an elevated platform. I had rubber plane which looked exactly like that shuttle. The best thing was the title song. It went like “I wish I was a spaceman ….. da da da fireball, fireball” It came in the evenings