Whither In The Night Garden?

I can’t be the only person wondering what on earth has happened to the BBC’s In The Night Garden… After much fanfare and promotion it took to our screens in March. They had announced 100 episodes, yet so far have only shown 10. More amazingly they repeated those 10 episodes after only 2 weeks, and then took the programme off air. A total of 10 episodes (each shown 6 times!) doesn’t really account for the marketing fanfare and PR machinery that went on.

Characters are still included in interstitials and so on, yet there’s no mention of where it’s gone. The Christmas merchandising run is obviously beginning (here, here and press release here), but those of us who’s children (and us) that had fallen in love with are left wondering what on earth is going on. It’s clearly captured the hearts and minds of its audience; “makka pakka” is the single most common search term to hit this blog, for example.

I Have therefore taken it upon myself to find out; for you gentle reader, as I know you are worried too. And indeed, it’s not that hard to find out what’s actually happened. This thread over at the CBeebies parent’s message board from 3 weeks ago (log in required) has the following statement:

“We’re thrilled that In the Night Garden has been so well received by young children around the country and I’m sorry the current run has ended.

“But I take heart in the strong reaction to the series ending that we have really connected with our audiences. Ragdoll is busily beavering away on new episodes and we plan to bring them to you as fast as we can.

“Each programme is carefully crafted and takes time to complete, so that’s likely to be in about 6 weeks.”

So

  • firstly, 100 episodes my arse, in fact they’ve only made 10 (despite the programme being announced in October 2005 and the toy deal being announced in April 2006),
  • secondly, only making the announcement on a hard to find and closed message board is not exactly looking after your audience, is it?
  • and thirdly, why on earth not just keep showing repeats? The kids don’t care and we’ve seen it a damn sight less than the Andy Pandy, Charlie and Lola, Our Planet, Muffin the Mule and all that other rubbish that’s replace it.

Boo, BBC, boo. You could have done this a lot better. On the positive side, it sounds like it’s only 3 weeks to go before new episodes grace our screens.