Not much sign of a sophomore slump for the ‘Horrible Histories’ team, as they rekindle the endearing daftness of their crossover CBBC hit, only without having to adhere to stuff like, y’know, actual facts.
Exhausted working mum Debbie (Martha Howe-Douglas) discovers an elf in her kitchen cupboard and, with it, a portal into ‘Yonderland’ and an escape from domestic drudgery. And lo, she enters a fantasy world peopled by dissolute wizards, dull-witted treemen and a bickering council of elders (‘HH’ regulars Mat Baynton, Simon Farnaby et al) who, handily, have a few quests that need completing.
Borrowing liberally from Jim Henson in both its tone and heavy use of puppets, ‘Yonderland’ showcases a crack comic ensemble brimming with confidence. Indeed, the performances are generally stronger and more consistent than the writing, but there’s no shortage of chuckles, and it gains momentum over the course of this opening double bill. And ultimately, such gleeful silliness is always to be encouraged.