Dennis the Menace and Gnasher (1996 TV series)

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Dennis the Menace and Gnasher
Genre Cartoon
Written by Tony Collingwood
Chris Trengove
Jimmy Hibbert
David Freedman
Alan Gilbey
Directed by Tony Collingwood
Starring Richard Pearce
Kerry Shale
John Baddeley
Eve Karpf
Sally Grace
Jill Lidstone
Gary Martin
Colin McFarlane
Judy Bennett
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 26
Production
Producer(s) Christopher O'Hare
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) Collingwood O'Hare
Beano Productions
Hong Ying Animation
BBC Television
Flextech (Season 1 only)
PolyGram
Distributor HiT Entertainment
Universal Home Entertainment
Broadcast
Original channel BBC
TCC (1996-1997)
Fox Kids UK (1999-2002)
Original run 2 April 1996 (1996-04-02) – 7 May 1998 (1998-05-07)
Chronology
Followed by Dennis the Menace and Gnasher (2009)

Dennis and Gnasher is an animated British TV series based on characters from The Beano comic, which ran from 2 April 1996 until 7 May 1998. The series was produced by Collingwood O'Hare and Beano Productions in association with Flextech, PolyGram and BBC Television, distributed by HiT Entertainment worldwide, and was directed and largely written by Tony Collingwood. A new series has been announced by the BBC and was debuted in 2009.

Characters[edit]

Main and major characters[edit]

Dennis; voiced by Richard Pearce. The main character, Dennis is a 10-year-old troublemaker and mischievous young child. While most of his mischief is for fun, sometimes it can cause serious problems, or even help others. Dennis' antics have caused him to gain multiple enemies including his next door neighbour Walter, the Colonel, and Sergeant Slipper. Dennis has saved the world on one occasion ("Mauled") and appeared on Blue Peter after winning an art competition.

Gnasher the Abyssinian wire-haired tripehound; voiced by Kerry Shale. Gnasher is Dennis's pet dog. He is Dennis's "partner in crime" twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week—together they are the proverbial "two peas in a pod". When Gnasher is not by Dennis's side, like during school hours (though he does follow Dennis to school in the mornings), he'll have taken up his vigil, hiding in the front garden, ready and waiting to ambush the postman as he attempts to deliver the mail on Gnasher's watch. Gnasher's family still lives on the isle of Abyssinia, as revealed in "The Trial", when a company of rat catchers had accused Gnasher of being a large rat instead of being a dog. Gnasher possesses a set of teeth that are capable of chewing through almost anything, hence his name. His favourite food is bones, and his favourite dog toy is his squeaky bone. In "Summer Holiday", Gnasher went by the alias of "Baby Norman", Dennis's baby brother, to be allowed to stay at a beachside guesthouse whose owner disliked pets. In "Special Agent Dennis", it's revealed that Dennis feeds Gnasher his homework rather than actually do the homework.

Dennis' Dad; voiced by John Baddeley. Dennis' unnamed father is under a lot of stress due to Dennis' mischief and often tries to discipline his son, with little results, and is forced to take extreme measures at times. He works in an office.

Dennis' Mum; voiced by Eve Karpf. She seems to be able to cope more with Dennis' behaviour and on equal terms, Dennis listens to her when she tells him off. At times, she can be rather oblivious to events around her and silly at times, using household objects to help her when she takes driving lessons ("Menace Power").

Dennis's Granny, Gertrude; voiced by Sally Grace. Although she is eighty years old, Dennis's Granny is still very young at heart. Dennis loves his Granny, he defends her when another speaks ill of her ("Dennis and the Beanstalk"), and will come to her for advice in times of need ("The Day TV was Banned"). In her youth, Dennis's Granny was every bit the Menace towards anything like a peaceful society in Beanotown that her grandson is today, as revealed in "The Secret Diary", and in her day there was a police officer, Sgt. Boot, who was the "Sgt. Slipper" to her "Dennis". According to information from the Beano comic, she is the mother of Dennis's Dad; in "The Secret Diary", when Dennis's Dad mentions more than once how well-behaved he was to his parents, he may have been referring particularly to his father because Dennis's Granny favours her grandson, Dennis, who takes after her. In "The Secret Diary", she was depicted as having black hair, like her son and grandson, but in "Gorilla Warfare", she was seen in a flashback with blond hair (so possibly she dyed it). She rides a motorcycle and eats pizza with "everything on them". She is perhaps the only adult, as mentioned by Dennis's Dad, "insane enough" to provide Dennis with any adult supervision and survive intact; she will even willingly come back for more of the fun and mayhem.

Curly; voiced by Jill Lidstone, Dennis's best friend and fellow Menace. He is the loyal friend that will stand up for Dennis no matter what.

Pie-Face; voiced by Gary Martin. Dennis' other best friend and fellow Menace. Portrayed as being dim-witted and at times cowardly, as well as being a fan of pies (hence his nickname).

The Colonel, Godfrey; voiced by John Baddeley. A neighbour of Dennis' family who lives across the road. He is a stereotypical military veteran who is forever seen in military uniform, his house resembles a military bunker and he even has a tank parked in his front yard. The Colonel often recalls memorable battles in his life, and is considered an enemy of sorts by Dennis.

Sgt. Slipper; voiced by Colin McFarlane. A local policeman and another enemy of Dennis, usually being the first one to deal with Dennis' antics outside his house, and often is seen with the Colonel. He is a bit clumsy at times and often overreacts to things.

Walter the Softy; voiced by Judy Bennett. Dennis' next-door neighbour, rival and major enemy. Always exasperated with Dennis' mischief and often tries to come up with ideas to humiliate and outshine him. He seems to be the show's main antagonist.

Matilda; voiced by Eve Karpf. Walter's best friend and girlfriend, often seen with him and swooning over him. Since she's with Walter, Matilda is another one of the show's antagonists.

Foo Foo; Walter's pet poodle and Gnasher's rival. She has been seen in a few episodes with Walter holding her while he's scolding Dennis. She doesn't really spend that much time with the rivalry with Walter or Dennis rather than trying beat Gnasher at his game. Despite that Foo-Foo is not seen often, she is a minor antagonist.

Minor and one-off characters[edit]

Mrs. Pie Face, Kevin Pie Face's Mum; voiced by Jill Lidstone.

Mr. Pie Face, Kevin Pie Face's Dad; voiced by Gary Martin.

The Postman; voiced by John Baddeley. Like in the comic, the Postman is mostly harassed by Gnasher whenever he tries to deliver the mail to Dennis' House.

Rasher: Dennis' pet pig that made a cameo in the episode Dennis and the Beanstalk.

Sidney: Dennis' spider that with his web saved the day. Seen in Secret Agent Dennis.

Walter's Dad (Feetskip); voiced by Gary Martin.

School Headmaster; voiced by Colin McFarlane.

Flossy Muggins; voiced by Sally Grace. A wacky inventor who helped Dennis build some ingenious inventions. Seen in Revenge of the Robot.

Dirk Cool, Secret Agent; voiced by Gary Martin. Seen in Special Agent Dennis.

Aunt Beryl, Gran's sister.

Mr Smiley; voiced by Derek Nimmo. A nutty psychiatrist, who tried Dennis like practical jokes on the parents during his course on "How to Understand Children", but couldn't get the better of Dennis even though the parents though he was worse than him. Seen in Dennis and the Grown-Ups

Reg Trademark; voiced by John Baddely. A evil inventor who made a mall that makes people go strange. Seen in Mauled as the antagonist.

Episode listing[edit]

People’s names in brackets are guest actors who voiced one of the guest characters in that particular episode. During the Credits, the guest stars were always at the top before the regular cast.

Season 1: 1996[edit]

# Title Date & Guest Actor/s Summary
1 Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow First broadcast: 2 April 1996 (Denis Quilley) Dennis is forced by his mum and dad to go for a haircut at Slasher Brown's barber shop, and ends up being chased by the World Federation of Barbers.
2 The Day They Took Gnasher Away First broadcast: 9 April 1996 (Hugh Laurie) When the Dog Training School promises Dennis's father that they can turn Gnasher into a perfect pooch, Dennis and the gang go on an undercover mission to rescue him, and discover the school is not what it seems...
3 Bathnight Club First broadcast: 16 April 1996 It's a race against time! Dad's determined to get Dennis in the bath, but the Ministry of Defence wants Dennis left unwashed, for his smelly socks are their latest secret weapon!
4 Dennis Ahoy First broadcast: 23 April 1996 (Billy Connolly) When Dennis and the gang volunteer to do a day's work on the SS Rustbucket on a race around the Cape of Good Hope, they find themselves swallowed alive by "Dopey Mick", the daftest whale of the 7 seas.
5 Revenge of the Robot First broadcast: 30 April 1996 When the chief of the police fires Slipper for not being able to stop Dennis's trouble-making about town, the post of Sergeant is replaced by a seemingly unbeatable robot, but Dennis gets some help from the loopy female inventor Flossy.
6 Wanted! First broadcast: 7 May 1996 (Leslie Phillips) When two wanted criminals see Dennis's amazing ways of making mischief, they trick him into doing his biggest blow yet...robbing the Beanotown bank!
7 Dennis and the Beanstalk First broadcast: 14 May 1996 When Gnasher is forced to stay in bed due to a toothache, Dennis cheers him up by telling him a story, but not just any old story...why just read from a book when you can mix them up and make your own special version? We see Dennis & Gnasher going on an adventure in a mystical land, meeting their friends and enemies on the way.
8 Unidentified Funny Object First broadcast: 21 May 1996 (Tim Brooke-Taylor, Willie Rushton) When aliens with the ability to disguise themselves as anything arrive on earth disguised as television sets and seeking help, Dennis and Gnasher are keen to help out, on the understanding that they can help him too, by using their disguises for menacing!
9 Special Agent Dennis First broadcast: 28 May 1996 (Jonathan Kydd, Mollie Sugden) Dennis's dad is to sick to come to work, so Dennis hands in a sick note to find out what Dad's work life is like...only due to a mix-up Dennis & Gnasher find themselves instead at the Secret Agency next door where they are mistaken for Dirk Cool, a secret agent who is a master of disguise dressed as a 10-year-old boy and his dog. Next thing the duo know, they are being fired of in a space pod on a mission to stop a crazy dinner lady called Vilamina Slopbucket turn the whole world into 10-year-olds unless they eat her rotten dinners!
10 Dennis and the Grown Ups First broadcast: 4 June 1996 (Derek Nimmo) After some trouble with Dennis, Mum and Dad join an adult education class to understand children, only to understand the tutor is a bit loopy! Meanwhile Dennis runs his own class among his friends titled "How to Understand Grown-ups".
11 The Secret Diary First broadcast: 25 June 1996 (Greg Proops) Hiding from the wrath of Dad after a chaotic morning (aided by Granny), Dennis comes across what he thinks is his Dad's diary, and realises that in his youth he was far from the respectable young man he claimed to be. Soon, the diary entries make Dad a reluctant celebrity, and with a Hollywood film director making a film based on the book, Dennis discovers that his antics are no longer seen as threatening.
12 Gorilla Warfare First broadcast: 2 July 1996 When The Colonel organises an outward bound weekend in the woods, Dennis and Gnasher decide to tag along and cause mayhem for a laugh, but things are not longer a joke when they learn that Genghis Kong, an escaped circus gorilla, is on the loose in the woods and has somehow taken an interest to Dennis's granny.
13 The Day TV was Banned First broadcast: 9 July 1996 (Ken Dodd) Eccentric millionaire Sir Fitz-Patrick Flush promises to give a million pound cheque to the citizens of Beanotown if they can live without television for a whole week. Unfortunately, this doesn't go down well with Dennis and his pals's plans to watch the week-long marathon of their favourite show Nick Kelly.

Season 2: 1998[edit]

# Title Date & Guest Actor/s Summary
14 The Competition First broadcast: 13 February 1998 (Katy Hill, Stuart Miles) Humiliated by Walter during a hectic game of tag (which soon escalates into chaos when adults begin to get tagged), Dennis decides to compete against him in a Blue Peter painting competition, with a ‘little help’ from a certain four-legged friend…
15 Summer Holiday First broadcast: 20 February 1998 (Prunella Scales) Dad is incredibly determined that the Menace family's holiday will be incident-free, but an animal-hating guest-house owner, Dennis' usual mayhem, and a suspected burglary back home do very little effort to liven up his spirits…
16 Menace Power First broadcast: 27 February 1998 It's the Beanotown Grand Prix and Dennis is determined to win with Gnasher living under the bonnet of Dennis's race car and its now powered by him. The race goes great, until Gnasher spots a cat.
17 Dennisaurus Rex First broadcast: 6 March 1998 The discovery of a large stone-age mural in the Menaces’ front garden causes Dennis to daydream on what it would be like to live in prehistoric times… and to somehow witness the creation of the wheel.
18 Adventures in Dennis Sitting First broadcast: 13 March 1998 Dennis's plans to create chaos at the school parents’ evening are seemingly thwarted when his parents arrange The Colonel to baby-sit for them and tell-tale Walter comes to stay for the night, but when a top-secret weapon is aimed at the school, only Dennis knows how to save the day…
19 Haunted House First broadcast: 20 March 1998 (Hinge and Bracket) Dad's ghastly aunts return from their 20-year long holiday expedition ten years earlier than expected, and quickly prove themselves to be a big match for Dennis with their "Etiquette Assault Course". But when his attempts to scare them out of the house only leads to an extended stay, he’s determined to discover the truth about these unwanted houseguests.
20 Oil Strike First broadcast: 27 March 1998 (Bernard Cribbins) The Menace family are swindled by ruthless tycoon Clint Katzenberger, who tries to root out an oil field beneath their house. Desperate to get their home back, Dennis turns to Katzenberger's sworn enemies, The Green and Friendly Pressure Group, for help.
21 Mauled First broadcast: 3 April 1998 A new Mega Mall suddenly opens in Beanotown, but Dennis and Gnasher quickly discover that things are not right when all the smaller shops close down and everyone begins acting strangely. Unfortunately, Dennis too falls under the Mega Mall's hypnotic spell, leaving Gnasher and his animal pals (except Foo-Foo) to save Beanotown.
22 The Trial First broadcast: 9 April 1998 (Simon Callow, Eric Meyers) Gnasher finds himself hunted down by sinister rat catchers when the Colonel’s ‘adventurer’ cousin Hugo claims that the Abyssinian Tripehound is a dangerous form of ‘super-rat’. A heated court trial ensues to prove Gnasher’s canine ancestry, but Hugo is not really the world traveller he claims he is.
23 Journey to the Centre of the Bed First broadcast: 16 April 1998 Dennis’s search for the existence of the Tooth Fairy takes him (along with Gnasher and Pie-Face) into the farthest reaches of his mattress, where he ends up in a war zone between the Fairy Freedom Fighters, a bunch of goblins, and their familiar-looking ruler…
24 Skull & Crossbones First broadcast: 23 April 1998 (Brian Blessed) Mum's new job at the art gallery is threatened when a group of scurvy dogs steal the gallery’s main attraction as a new figurehead for their ship. It’s up to Dennis and his crew to battle the pirates and return the stolen statue.
25 Snowbound First broadcast: 30 April 1998 Dennis competes in a race against Walter to become school prefect, and is determined to make it to the building early for once… despite the fact everyone has had the day off due to a snow blizzard. Soon, things take a turn for the abominable when a furry giant begins following them…
26 Monster Menace First broadcast: 7 May 1998 (Jimmy Hibbert) The series finale, expecting a ‘Model Space Racer Jet Set Kit’, Dennis and Gnasher instead receive Jacques, a hulking, information-guzzling fellow who becomes a huge hit with the school and wins the heart of Matilda. However, not everyone in Beanotown takes an instant liking to Dennis' new monstrous mate, Walter sets up a plot to get rid of Jacques.

Later television shows[edit]

A new television series has now been produced. The new series features the return of Dennis, Gnasher, Mum, Dad, Curly and Pie-Face and will also feature the introduction of Dennis' little sister Bea. The production shots also showed Dennis' treehouse with a more menacing design.[1] Screenshots and an episode can be found at the production company Red Kite Animation's website.[2]

The show is shown at 4.00pm from Monday-Friday on CBBC.

Broadcast history[edit]

Commercial availability[edit]

Episodes 1–4 of series one are available on two, separate volumes each containing two episodes. All 13 episodes of series two are available on three, separate volumes each containing four-five episodes. These were later re-released in a box-set alongside "The Beano Videostars" and "The Beano Allstars". A DVD Haunted House & 12 Other Stories was released in September 2010.[3] All 26 episodes the complete 2 series was released 22 August 2011 in a DVD boxset titled Dennis & Gnasher: Special Agent Dennis & 25 More Crazy Adventures (8 Discs), it also contains "The Beano Videostars" and "The Beano Allstars" and on 22 August 2011 all episodes became available on DVD.

Ratings (CBBC Channel)[edit]

Saturday 22 June 2002- 40,000 (3rd most watched on CBBC that week)
Sunday 23 June 2002- 30,000 (5th most watched on CBBC that week)

[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]