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Adam Cadwell's Scribblings
6th-Jul-2009 12:14 am


The third in my 'Childhood Villains' series, in which I draw character's that used to freak me out when I was little, is Charn from 'Through the Dragon's Eye'.

It's probably only people of around my age who grew up in Britain who will recognise this guy. Charn is the villain from the BBC Look & Read programme 'Through the Dragon's Eye' (1989), an epic fantasy on a low budget in which three school children enter a world without writing. Let me just reiterate that Charn was created to help teach children how to read. Teachers would record the show and play it in class, pausing it for us to join in the word puzzles, and every episode ended with a tense cliffhanger. I loved the show when I was 7 because it was so much more imaginative than any other education show for kids and as much fun as most cartoons. Who can forget Boris, Moris and Doris, the Keepers of the Veetacore?

Charn freaked me out of course and I'm sure I wasn't the only one. The skeletal bird wizard would stalk around zapping people with his lightning that would turn them into puddles of slime whilst creepily threatening the children, prodding them with his knife-like fingers. Watching it now he's evidently played by a camp thesp but there is still something truly horrible about that mask.

Also, looking at the characters I've chosen so far I think I might just be afraid of men in skirts.

If you think I may have exaggerated the horror of Charn's design (no children's character would have dusty guts spilling out of his ribcage, right?) then see him for yourself during the EPIC final battle between Charn and Gorwen, the good dragon of the title.


Next week: A surprise!
6th-Jul-2009 12:24 am (UTC)
Charn is pretty metal.
6th-Jul-2009 06:02 am (UTC)
Hahaha, YES. When you started doing these, I thought "I wonder if he'll do Charn?" I still can't believe that a show aimed at 7-8-year-olds was allowed to have such a terrifying character in it...
6th-Jul-2009 07:00 am (UTC)
Waking up to a nice bit of Charn! Lovely.

I love his guts. They look like they're writhing and actually alive. He really is a terrifying looking villain. Brilliant.

What were the BBC thinking? Surely they had complaints.
6th-Jul-2009 08:15 am (UTC)
:O I used to love Through the Dragon's Eye! I can still remember the theme tune! XD Great work!
6th-Jul-2009 08:38 am (UTC)
Through The Dragon's Eye - amazing - I remember distinctly walking to school when I was 7 or 8, actually enthusiastic about learning cos we were watching the next part of this.

Notice in the clip as well - the actor in the dragon costume is rubbish, but the guy playing Charn is well into it. RADA trained him well.
6th-Jul-2009 11:14 am (UTC)
Awesome! Through the dragons eye is the bomb! I have the entire series on video.
6th-Jul-2009 04:22 pm (UTC)
I have never seen this. There must have been something on 'the other side' which took my fancy more!
17th-Jul-2009 07:17 pm (UTC)
My surpressed childhood memories have all come flooding back. Crazy.
20th-Aug-2009 12:36 am (UTC)
I just found this on a Google search for him - I've got to say it's the first time I've ever seen fanart of him! Everyone in my group of friends readily admits to having had to hide behind the person in front of them in the TV room whenever he appeared on screen.

Who thought that a perfect villain for a schools programme was a skeletal bird thing with an exposed ribcage and giant scissor fingers, who melted people when he touched them? Still, as camped up as the clip now looks, they certainly succeeded in making him memorable.

Oh, and the series made me terrified of quicksand a few episodes earlier, too. Thanks a lot, Look and Read.
20th-Aug-2009 08:15 am (UTC)
Ha, the word 'Quagmire' will be forever burned in our minds.
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