The BBC had a real golden period in the 1990s for creating great children’s TV. All live action, these were shows formed the backbone of the channel’s content for those still in school nationwide.
But while their American cousins were all fluorescent titles, the Beeb’s choice cuts were a whole lot more, well, British. Reserved and surprising dark and mystical, they never even once tied talking down to their audience, making them instant family favourites.
Perhaps the most beloved of all these was The Queen’s Nose, a show that typified the quality content the channel was producing.
The show’s basis was simple. Young Harmony is a girl always wishing. Wishing for a pet that her parent’s keep denying her. Wishing for a more exciting life. Unfortunately they just never seem to come true.
One day though, her exotic uncle comes to visit and gives her a magical gift, a wish giving coin. Now, simply by rubbing on the coin, she can wish for her heart’s desires.
Based on the children’s books from master author Dick King Smith, the show proved a big hit with audiences, and even went on to win the prize for Best Children’s Drama in 1996.
The show ran for three series initially, before CBBC brought it back for a second, four series run. Without its star though, the show lost a lot of its popularity and never quite got back to the heights it once had.
The stand out point from the The Queen’s Nose is that like many of the BBC’s 90’s creations, the show feel’s very natural. No pudding is over egged and no scenery is chewed without good cause. The lack of high emotion might be jarring to those not familiar with the style, as even the music is downplayed for the most part.
The pace is also refreshingly calm. While most kid’s TV now seems highly occupied with keeping the viewers’ attention for every millisecond, The Queen’s Nose takes a little bit of a risk by being rather subtle about everything. While never appearing to drag its feet, the show takes a relatively restrained stand on its going’s on.
The trouble with the Queen’s Nose though is its strength; it’s demure, unapologetically middle class nature. Everything happens so very easily for Harmony that just about any conflict’s taken away with the use of her coin. The show is so endearingly sweet and earnest throughout that all of that cynicism pretty much melts away.
While the show really hasn’t really kept up with the times and feels exactly as old as it is, The Queen’s Nose
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith