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Series / Planet Ajay

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That's me—Ajay. My life had become rather dull, but it all changed when I came across a magic ring. I got transported to my own planet to have 30 minutes of fun in outer space!
— The Opening Narration from the show's intro.

Planet Ajay is a British children's show created by Ajay Chhabra that aired for only one season from 2009 to 2010 on CBBC.

The eponymous main character Ajay finds a magic ring that allows him to travel to "Planet Ajay", an area that is based around Indian culture. Ajay owns a palace on this planet resembling the Taj Mahal, which has a stage room where an audience of children watch his performances; this palace is the setting for every episode of the show. Ajay has a few friends in Planet Ajay, including a robot named Chips and a scientist girl named Preeti; he also has to contend with a troublemaking twin of his, named Badjay. Whenever Ajay travels to Planet Ajay, he has 30 minutes before the magic of the magic ring wears out and he has to travel back to Earth.

The show is basically a hybrid comedy/game show, with game segments placed in-between the scenes in the actual episode. There are two game segments: "Under Pressure", where three contestants must answer a "true or false" question, and if they get it right they pull one of three chains in the hope that it will release some curry from the planet's core, this winning the contestant a prize, and "Beat Badjay", where a contestant has to ask Badjay a few questions, and if he gets three right the contestant is dropped into a pool of slime below; on the other hand, if Badjay gets three questions wrong, he gets dropped into the pool of slime and the contestant wins prizes based on how many incorrect answers Badjay gives.

Planet Ajay provides examples of:

  • Acid Reflux Nightmare: The events of the episode "Planet Badjay" turn out to be nothing more than a nightmare that Ajay had. When Ajay wakes up from the nightmare, Chips suggests that maybe Ajay should stop falling asleep while eating cheese.
  • Ageless Birthday Episode: Nowhere in "Preeti's Birthday" is Preeti's age mentioned.
  • Agony of the Feet: In "Bollywood Ball", Ajay and Preeti are chosen to do the Bollywood Ball's opening dance. Problem is, Preeti isn't really the best dancer and keeps on stepping on Ajay's feet.
  • Alien Sky: Planet Ajay has three moons, according to the aptly-named episode "Three Moons".
  • All Just a Dream: The entirety of the events of "Planet Badjay" turn out to be a nightmare Ajay was having, so he had no real reason to worry about Badjay taking over the show.
  • Alliterative Title: The episodes "Hiccup Hooray" and "Bollywood Ball".
  • Anthropomorphic Food: In "Meteor", a space onion with arms and legs emerges from the meteor that landed in the palace's kitchen.
  • Anti-Sneeze Finger: In "Hiccup Hooray", Preeti suggests that Ajay place his finger right below his nose to stop his constant sneezing, saying that "it works in the cartoons". It does work, but then he gets hiccups a few seconds later.
  • Artistic License: There are two instances where a contestant playing "Beat Badjay" wins the Advance collector's tin of Gogo's Crazy Bones. Both times, the announcer refers to them as "collectable pets", likely as a case of the BBC wanting to avoid using the name of the actual product, but the tin itself contains ten Gogo's that vaguely resemble pets (Badcat aside).
  • As You Know: A variant. Whenever any character appears for the first time in any episode, the announcer will take a few seconds to give a short description of the character. This was likely intended to get first-time viewers of the show familiarised with the characters as soon as possible, regardless of which episode they view first.
  • Audible Gleam: In "Preeti's Birthday", when Badjay gets his machine ready to hijack Chips the robot, he smiles and one of his teeth sparkles, complete with an audible gleaming sound.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Everyone is able to breathe on Planet Ajay with no problems whatsoever. The only person who wears a spacesuit on the planet is Bud the astronaut, and even then nothing happens in the series that confirms if he can actually breathe Planet Ajay's air without the spacesuit.
  • Battle Rapping: In "Rapping", Ajay has to learn how to rap for a rapping competition between him and Bud.
  • The Bet: In the episode "Make Me Laugh", Ajay makes a bet that he can get Mr. Killjoy to laugh before his 30-minute visit on the planet is over. If he fails, Mr. Killjoy gets to shut down the planet; if he succeeds, the planet is safe.
  • Big "NO!": Whenever his plans are foiled, Badjay usually always blurts out "NO!".
  • Birthday Episode: "Preeti's Birthday". No points for guessing whose birthday is celebrated in the episode.
  • Book Ends: All episodes begin with the intro, which shows Ajay finding the magic ring and teleporting to Planet Ajay, followed by his dance introduction. The episodes end with Ajay singing an end-of-show version of the dance introduction song, followed by him teleporting back to Earth.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: When Jaleel the Eel is informed that a game of "Beat Badjay" is about to start while he is trying to cure Ajay of his gassiness, he says "How's this for a cliffhanger, then, eh?" right before it cuts to the set for "Beat Badjay".
  • British Brevity: The show only ran for a total of 13 episodes.
  • Bucket Helmet: In "Preeti's Birthday", Badjay's Paper-Thin Disguise of Chips is nothing but him wearing a bucket on his head with fake hair on the bottom of it and a little window for the eyes.
  • Catchphrase:
    • At the beginning of each episode, Ajay welcomes everyone with "Welcome to Planet Ajay; a world of gunge, games, guests and good good things!"
    • Mr. Killjoy often says "NOT ON MY WATCH!"
  • Clip Show: The final episode of the show, which is appropriately named "Highlights Show", is this. The episode is about Ajay packing up to leave Planet Ajay on a very long trip around the universe (it's 2,517 years long, to be precise); Chips reminds Ajay of all of the friends he has on Planet Ajay, and this is used as the framing device for the clips which are presented as Ajay's memories.
  • Company Cross References: In "Planet Badjay", Ajay presses several buttons in Badjay's ship, trying to find one that teleports him back to Planet Ajay. One of the buttons he presses plays the drum beat heard at the beginning of the theme song for EastEnders, another BBC series.
  • Couch Gag: The dance introduction to each episode always contained Ajay saying different things related to that episode.
  • Covered in Gunge: This happens to a contestant if they pull the right chain in the game "Under Pressure", or end up losing (or if Badjay loses) in the game "Beat Badjay". In the case of "Under Pressure", it's more like Covered in Curry.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • Bud, the American astronaut that crash lands on Planet Ajay in the episode "Spaceman", refers to the United States as the "United States of the US of A" a couple of times. Since "US of A" is short for "United States of America", he's basically just saying "United States of the United States of America".
    • Mr. Killjoy's character introduction.
      JOB: Party Pooper
      ALLERGIC TO: Fun
      DISLIKES: Fun
  • Evil Twin: Badjay is an evil twin to Ajay.
  • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: As shown in "Planet Aarth-jay", the Bollywoods are able to grow "stinky cube fruit".
  • Harmless Villain: You may consider Badjay to be one. In many episodes he shows no real threat to everyone on Planet Ajay, aside from trying to damage his brother's reputation. The episode "Planet Badjay" could be an exception to this, as the plot involves Badjay taking over Planet Ajay, although the events that occurred during the episode were just a bad dream Ajay had.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: "Hiccup Hooray" has Ajay trying to get rid of his hiccups. It eventually keeps turning into other similar problems, such as constantly passing gas.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: "Planet Badjay" is about Badjay inexplicably taking over as the host of the show. The episode begins with Badjay doing the show's dance intro in place of Ajay, making it obvious he had already found a way to take over the show before the episode began. Everyone in Ajay's palace, including the kids in the palace's stage room, are (understandably) not amused by the takeover.
  • Hour of Power: Ajay's magic ring transports him to Planet Ajay in a sparkling, glitter suit... but for only 30 minutes at a time, and then he must return to Earth.
  • The Killjoy: The aptly-named Mr. Killjoy hates it when the other characters have fun and tries to stop them whenever they do. His once-per-episode character introduction says he's "allergic to fun" and describes his job as being a "party pooper".
  • Love Interest: Preeti is shown to be Ajay's love interest. The episode "Bolly Willoughby" bungles this characterisation a bit by implying that Ajay has feelings for the celebrity Bolly Willoughby instead.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": In "Make Me Laugh", Ajay says that if he can't get Mr. Killjoy to laugh for the entire duration of his 30-minute visit on the planet, Killjoy gets to shut down the planet. Cue a quick succession of shots of the other characters gasping in shock at him saying this.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • "Preeti" is meant to sound like "pretty", a reference to how Ajay is in love with her and therefore finds her pretty.
    • Norman Killjoy hates fun and is constantly trying to ruin the fun others are having. So, in other words, he's a killjoy in both personality and name.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: One of the pets being entered into the Space Crufts contest in the episode "Space Crufts" has a dog's head and a snake's body.
  • No Fourth Wall: All four characters that Ajay Chhabra plays frequently talk to the viewers.
  • Once per Episode:
    • Besides the "Under Pressure" and "Beat Badjay" game segments, there was also a segment every episode where Ajay does a dance routine and sings a song from a popular musician (examples include Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me" and Katy Perry's "Hot n' Cold").
    • Whenever a certain character first appears in any episode, a brief description of that character will appear to remind viewers (or first time viewers) who they are.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Mr. Killjoy, the palace's fun-hating security guard, gets turned into a werewolf in the episode "Three Moons" due to an old legend saying that when three full moons pass by Planet Ajay, someone will turn into a werewolf. Instead of a straight example of a werewolf, Killjoy turns into a werewolf calling himself "Party Animal" who cannot stop having fun.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Ordinarily Preeti is the object of Ajay's romantic love. In "Bolly Willoughby", though, he has a crush on the episode's eponymous celebrity instead for some reason.
  • The Place: The show's title refers to the planet Ajay can travel to with his magic ring.
  • Planet of Hats: Planet Ajay uses Indian culture as its motif, with a big palace resembling the Taj Mahal, curry under the planet's surface and quite a few characters having Indian or at least Indian-sounding names.
  • Playing Cyrano: In one episode, Chips gives Ajay some instructions through a microphone on what to say to Preeti to impress her. Chips malfunctions while trying to tell him what to say, causing Ajay to spout off gibberish that confuses Preeti.
  • Punny Name: The Bollywoods are a group of trees that take their name from Bollywood, which is both the term used to refer to the Hindi film industry and the name for several types of trees.
  • Ring of Power: Ajay comes across a magic ring with the ability to transport him to Planet Ajay.
  • Series Fauxnale: "Highlights Show" is set up to be like this, and would likely have been a straight example if the show went on longer. Near the end of the episode, Ajay decides not to take his trip across the universe after all, and instead decides on throwing a party for everyone on Planet Ajay... but he decides this right near the end of his 30-minute stay on the planet, and is forced to travel back to Earth before he can set up the party. However, the BBC cancelled the show for unknown reasons.
  • Shaky P.O.V. Cam: The vicious Krogg from "Planet Aarth-jay" is never seen in full, only being shown in a shaky first-person view from its own eyes. We do get a glimpse of its arm as it approaches Ajay and Preeti's trap, but that's it.
  • Short-Runner: One series of 13 episodes which ran from 2009 to 2010.
  • Shout-Out:
    • This is used in a Running Gag form whenever Chips The Robot malfunctions and start to reference quotes from well known TV shows, including Little Britain, ChuckleVision and Only Fools and Horses.
    • Badjay once attempted to sell Bud's spaceship online on a website called "E.T.-Bay".
    • In "Planet Badjay", Ajay finds himself in Badjay's ship while Badjay himself has taken over the planet, and he presses various buttons in Badjay's ship to see if one of them brings him back to Planet Ajay. One of the buttons he presses plays the drum beat heard at the beginning of the EastEnders theme song.
  • Slipping a Mickey: In "Hiccup Hooray", after Ajay has gotten over his chronic sneezing and hiccuping, Badjay sneaks fizzy powder into his drink, causing him to burp uncontrollably.
  • Toilet Humor: In "Hiccup Hooray", Ajay eats bean fruits growing on the Bollywoods to cure his burping problem... but then he starts to pass gas as a side-effect. When Ajay goes to Jaleel the Eel to solve the problem, both the burping and the farting return along with the sneezing and hiccuping that Ajay had to deal with earlier.
  • The Unseen:
    • The announcer of the show.
    • Mr. Killjoy's mother.
    • Some of the acts Ajay introduces in the show.
  • Vague Age: Nani, an elder from the palace. It's obvious she's a senior citizen, but her exact age is never given. The announcer lampshades this whenever she introduces Nani:
    Announcer: Name: Nani. Job: Grandma. Hobby: To fuss. Age: Wouldn't you like to know?