For the uninitiated, Yonderland comes from the brilliant minds behind Horrible Histories (which we are HUGE fans of here at Chez Hiorns). It’s funny, weird and a little bit grown up. It features the same cast getting to raid the dressing up box with Martha Howe-Douglas playing the Chosen One, Debbie of Maddox (the ‘of’ is optional and depends on which realm you happen to be from!). With a mix of live actors and fantastic puppets, there’s something charming about the series, a little bit of a throw back and I think that’s why it’s appealed to me as much as Scarlett, it reminds me of shows from my own childhood.
As part of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network we were invited to a special preview screening of Season 2 in London. I kept it a secret from Scarlett that the cast may be there. She has a bit of a thing for Matthew Baynton. She has asked me repeatedly where he lives and how she might be able to meet him one day. To say I was concerned about her tendencies to be a bit of a fangirling stalker would be an understatement….
We arrived at the Soho Hotel and were ushered downstairs. We were greeted at the door by a large puppet of the Sheriff and Nick the Stick.
We entered the main room, and Scarlett froze….
For there, in the room, was Matthew Baynton. I had to usher her up to the drinks table, her clinging to me like a limpet and promise her that she could have a Coke (she’s never had Coke before, more on that another time….) I have to say, there was a part of me that was a little bit starstruck. I had to tell myself to be cool, that no star likes a fangirl (see, “The Time My Sister Met Damon Albarn”) and that it would be tremendously bad form to speak to them directly (I regret this massively, but seriously, how do you address a minor celebrity?!)
Off to the screening room we went. Scarlett insisted we sat in the back row of the cinema and then jumped up and shouted, “Look, its the Shouty Man!” as Jim Howick entered to take his seat.
We were treated to the first two episodes of season two, how lucky are we? I laughed, a lot, Scarlett laughed too and interestingly we didn’t laugh at the same things, proving that it really does have something for kids and adults alike. There’s so many in-jokes and cultural references that you get a real sense of the writers’ personalities. They really have upped the gag rate in this series and it’s quite literally laugh a minute.
I have to say it feels a little bit more adult than the first series; it’s been moved to Monday’s at 8:00pm which gives you enough of an idea of the age group it’s aimed at. Scarlett has been watching things she shouldn’t have been since a young age, but I would say 6+ is probably a good starting point.
Following the screening of the first two episodes there was a Q&A session hosted by Boyd Hilton. He asked the usual questions (how was the writing process, who their favourite characters were) and then came the invitation for questions from the audience. Various little ones put their hands up and I managed to coerce Scarlett into asking a question (maybe it was the Coke and all those sugary biscuits!) She asked how long they typically spend in make up. I can reliably inform you that one of the characters from the new season takes quite a long time although they all agreed that generally speaking, they don’t take too long.
Once the Q&A was over it was back for another Coke and more sugary biscuits. By this time, Scarlett was literally pinging off the walls, it was both hilarious and terrifying, I honestly thought she was going to start knocking things over! Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately given how high Scarlett was by that point) Mat Baynton left before we had a chance to pluck up the courage to ask for a photo but still, she got to see him and I think she was satisfied with that! Anyway, enough fangirling!
I’ve discovered season one is currently available on Sky Box Sets so I’m catching up in preparation for season two (and I urge you to do the same, season one has some hilarious characters in it, and you can’t miss the Parvuli in S1 E5!)
And most importantly, Season Two starts on Monday 13th July at 8:00pm on Sky One. Make sure you all Sky+, Series Link, V+ it now!
I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity