Growing up in the 1990s, there were a lot of children’s television programmes which kept me, my siblings and my friends entertained after school and during the morning children’s hours on the weekends. One of these was the The Family Ness, a cartoon series which ran 5 minute episodes about a family of humans who befriend the Loch Ness Monster, or rather, the family which are all mistaken as the one monster.
As it turns out, while the BBC in the UK ran episodes of the TV show all the time during the 90s, the cartoon was actually originally ran between 1983 and 1985. The Family Ness was about the adventures of a family of Loch Ness Monsters and the MacTout family, focusing on siblings Elspeth and Angus. The ‘Nessies’ could be called from the water by a ‘thistle whistle’, which was given to the two kids after they helped the Nessies save one of their own.
I adored this show back in the day, entertained by the idea of their actually being a bunch of very friendly Monsters in the Loch instead of by Castle Jackpot and Facebook etc. in modern times. And it’s the monsters which made it so amusing. There were dozens of them! Now I’m older it occurs to me that perhaps the Loch (which in real life is very large) maybe couldn’t have held that many monsters, not without being seen all the time.
The Nessies were named after their main personality trait, much like the Mr. Men characters. Ferocious Ness, Her High Ness, Baby Ness, Careful Ness, Eager Ness, Forgetful Ness, Grumpy Ness, Speedy Ness and Silly Ness are just some of the creations in this original and very funny British TV show. As an adult I understand a lot of the jokes I missed before. For example, it now occurs to me that Naughty Ness is a play on the word naughtiness and so on. Obvious, I know, but I was about six when The Family Ness was airing on TV during the 90s. Cut me a break.
The Family Ness can be viewed on YouTube, if you really want to check it out and watch again as an adult. If you happen to get the theme tune stuck in your head, I’m not responsible!