On this day, 21 September 1974: Whizzer and Chips incorporating Knockout
On this day, 21 September 1974 … Fuss Pot excepted (Fuss Pot took exception to everything), they were a cheery lot in Whizzer and Chips, despite living against the backdrop of the eternal Whizz-kid v Chip-ite war. Even the bad apples, like the posh kids in The Toffs and the Toughs or Son of Sir, who would usually end each episode having been taken down a peg or two, would usually return the following week with smiles on their faces. Look at some of them below – Sid’s Snake, Shiner, Champ, Odd Ball, Joker, Loser, Pete’s Pockets … whatever adversity is dropped on any of them, the grins spring back to their faces from frame to frame like elastic as they apply to the situation whatever unique life hack that is their defining characteristic.
Maybe there was something particularly comforting about living in a universe of such steadfast rules, conventions and tropes. Imagine waking up each morning knowing that the sun would be shining unless there was a really, really good narrative reason for it not to be (or it was Christmas, in which case the world would be under a blanket of thick snow), that you could walk into town – most likely with your feet not quite touching the pavement – make the odd disrespectful comment about the local bobby or parky, and that around every street corner would be a new surprise, whether it be the local bully (who would never, ever get away with whatever nastiness they had lined up), a dog with a string of sausages in its mouth or a cat with a fish skeleton, or – most likely – a bank raid or a cat burglar climbing out of an old lady’s window. Due to some unwitting action or coincidence, connected to whatever gifting or magical accessory you possess, you would know that you would foil the robbery and be given a crisp fiver as a reward, which you would spend on a slap-up banquet of nosh (bangers and mash, roast chicken, enormous jellies and iced buns with cherries on top) at the local high-class eaterie. Either that or you’d get your bum spanked with a slipper, but hey – different strokes and all that.