I was enjoying the heck out of “The Luck Child” even before we got to this absolutely amazing twenty-foot animatronic beast who threatens to eat a forger played by Anthony O’Donnell, who’d play the Sontaran warrior Kaagh in a few episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures twenty-odd years later. This griffin is completely wonderful, a full-sized prop towering over the set and constantly moving. I bet the gang in Henson’s Creature Shop danced a jig when they got the order to build it. Robert Eddison, who would play that ancient knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, plays an equally ancient ferryman here.
It’s a terrific half hour of television, and it looks like, for the second and last time, it did well in the American ratings. It aired on Saturday night, while everything else on NBC was a repeat. That was often the way on April evenings in 1988; the networks would save new episodes of their hit shows for May sweeps. True, The Storyteller got the lowest numbers of NBC’s otherwise repeat-packed lineup, but the other networks didn’t have anything that anybody wanted to watch: conversations with former presidents on ABC, a very young Matthew Perry in Second Chance on Fox, and the action show High Mountain Rangers on CBS.
Meanwhile, around the time this aired, the last of the Storyteller installments to be filmed was going before the cameras in the UK. This would be “The Heartless Giant” and it wouldn’t show up on television for another year. More on that next time.
Hey! This is our 2400th post! We sure do watch a lotta telemabission!