... and looking over this opening again I think I can see why. It was the smile. I thought it was evil. And she looked like a ghost. Also I was a terrible racist until I was about five - all Asians looked to me like evil wizards - and I thought Emily looked Asian. Regional accents disturbed me as well so "Ivor the Engine" never really got a look in either, particularly those dragons (and nor did "Why Don't You?"). And they didn't show The Clangers when I was a toddler, which I think I would have loved (even though it wouldn't have made me laugh, like "Chorlton and the Wheelies") let alone Noggin the Nog - I must have missed those both by a few years - so what I'm saying is that Oliver Postgate's influence only really began to work on me when I became a teenager.
And I'm saying this because of course Oliver Postgate is now dead.
And that I should only love Smallfilms' output now - REALLY love them - makes perfect sense to me. Look at Bagpuss or Ivor, there's an inbuilt nostalgia. And I trust nostalgia. Perhaps that is the wrong word. I trust stuff that is old, and handmade. Such stuff has earned my trust, and the worlds built by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin in their magically non-magic shed are timeless, and chiefly responsible. So I should mark his passing somehow, definitely, and I'll do it by posting this link to Chris Goode's own excellent tribute here. It includes a recording of perhaps the last story Postgate ever told, the introduction to "Hippo World Guestbook", and praise for Postgate's own blog which is also well worth a look if you're interested (it's political, in a good way... ie it has a moral). Enjoy, all interested parties.
I just hope Brian Trueman doesn't die now.