Oh, Mr. Toad

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Oh, Mr. Toad
Format Stop-motion
Family
Created by Brian Trueman
Starring Richard Pearson
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 13
Production
Running time 20mins
Broadcast
Original channel ITV Network (CITV)
Original run 21 January 1989 – 1 June 1989
Chronology
Preceded by A Tale Of Two Toads

Oh, Mr. Toad was a television spin-off from the 1980s stop motion animation series The Wind in the Willows. The show was animated by Cosgrove Hall and broadcast on CITV. It then became Series 5 of the main series, when it came onto DVD.

Cast[edit]

Main Characters[edit]

Recurring Characters[edit]

  • Billy Rabbit (David Jason)
  • Alfred (Allan Bardsley)
  • Otter (Brian Southwood)
  • Portly (Brian Southwood)

Episode list[edit]

Episode Title Original airdate Production number
1 "The Chief's Return" 6 January 1988
After being arrested and thrown in jail over the business in "A Tale of two Toads". The Chief weasel and his Henchman send some weasels to Toad Hall with a message saying the Chief wants Toad to be the weasels new leader and arrange a meeting in his prison cell. Gullible Toad believes them and visits the Chief. The Chief and his Henchman trick Toad, escape and take over Toad Hall. When Badger, Mole and Rat find out they do some "Prison Visiting" and set Toad free. Then they think of the perfect "cure" for getting the Chief (who is pretending to be Toad ill in bed) and his henchman (posing as a nurse)out of Toad Hall. Enter " Doctor MacSporran".
2 "Oarsman Toad" 8th February 1988
Toad decides to enter the "Home-Made Boat Competition" in the River Bank Regatta. However, he can't be bothered to build a boat, and therefore decides to buy one and attempt to pass it off as his own. This plan fails, and he decides to build a boat just to spite the cynical Badger. His first attempt at building a boat fails, but the Weasels offer to help him build another one. But can they be trusted?
3 "Midsummer Night's Disaster" 15th February 1988
Toad decides to produce the Summer Entertainment, after Badger, who usually does the job, decides to take a year off. Toad decides to do a drastically re-written version of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The show includes Oberon, the Fairy Characters- Oberon, the King- who turns out to be Robin Hood in disguise- Titania and her attendants, but it also includes D'Artagnan, Ophelia from Hamlet, and most of the cast of Robin Hood. Mole plays Friar Tuck, and Ratty is the Sheriff of Nottingham, but the Chief Weasel and his bumbling henchman are out to sabotage the production. They make scenery and then steal from Toad Hall during the production, but they are spotted as they make their getaway.
4 "The Complete Bungler" 22nd February 1988
Toad takes up fishing. Badger, unusually, encourages this obsession, and offers to give him a lesson in fly fishing. Toad refuses, and goes to London to buy the finest fishing tackle money can buy. With Toad Hall unattended, the weasels decide to steal Toad's motorbike. Will Toad's attempts at fishing be up to scratch?
5 "Mr. Toad of 'The Times" 1st March 1988
Annoyed that there is no mention of his speech in the local newspaper, Toad decides to write his own. He interviews his friends, but this does not work out. Mole has nothing exciting to tell Toad – his most exciting experience is winning second-prize at a flower show – and Toad is bored by Badger's account of his travels around the world. He attempts to photograph a fake boating accident with Ratty, but this ends in disaster. However, Toad finally gets the paper together and sets out to make copies of it with his new printing press. Will it work out? The action of this episode is interspersed with Toad's fantasies about when his newspaper is a success – a semi-regular character, a young rabbit named Billy, is seen shouting "Read all about it!", as he attempts to sell "The Toad Hall Times".
6 "Toad in Motion" 8th March 1988
No one would be silly enough to believe in a perpetual motion machine, would they? Except, of course, for Toad, who acts as generous benefactor to a rather weasely "professor"...
7 "Piano-Roll Toad" 15th March 1988
Toad inherits a pianola, and decides to impress his friends by pretending that he can play a real piano, in a grand recital at Toad Hall. When the pedal action proves too much of a strain for him, he enlists the help of Billy Rabbit and a modified bicycle. However, once the weasels learn of the trick, they plan an act of sabotage.
8 "Gypsy Toad" 1st May 1988
Inspired by the lifestyle of an old gypsy that visits Toad Hall, Mr Toad finds his tent and fiddle, and heads out to a new life on the open road... until it rains
9 "Hip-Hip Soirée!" 29th March 1988
Bored by Badger's intellectual slide show, Toad decides to hold a soirée at Toad Hall. He starts with a game of charades, but when his opening charade (The Three Musketeers) goes wrong, he calls a halt and suggest they play Pin the Tail on the Donkey instead. This plan goes awry when a blindfolded host falls down a flight of stairs. Badger suggests an impressions game, but Ratty's impression of Toad offends him, and he storms off to bed, vowing never to speak to them again. He then has a strange dream.
10 "Happy Birthday!" 3rd April 1988
November 28 is coming. It is a special day for Toad, and though all his friends know it, they are not letting on. Ignoring all his hints, they move the conversation round to astrological signstar signs and astrology, and soon Toad becomes fascinated and decides to become an "astrologer". He even dreams of a mention in the Orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom New Year's Honours List. His fortunes take a turn for the worse when the weasels steal his "pocket watch", but the dawn of November 28 holds some more pleasant surprises…
11 "A Toad in Time" 10th April 1988
Toad decides to build a "time travelling machine". His friends think that his latest project is doomed to failure. Undaunted, Toad sets to work. He falls asleep and dreams of being "Robin Hood", and then "Julius Caesar". His friends wake him up, but he is convinced he really did go back in time.
12 "Toad in Love" 17th April 1988
Toad has a new craze "filming" and has ordered a film camera, and decide's to visit a music hall to see a show. Toad falls in love with a singer he sees at the music hall, Lottie D'Urbeville (who never actually appears) which puts him off filming,food and even motoring!. Badger discovers that Lettuce Pommefrite (her real name) is married to a "tightrope walker" – how can he break it to Toad gently?
13 "Toad: Film Maker" 24th April 1988
Toad's new enthusiasm is film-making, but with Badger, Mole and Rat preparing for the winter he seeks other cast members. After the initial failure of a young hedgehog and of Billy Rabbit in the role of the orphan child, the heroine and her villainous father are replaced by the Assistant and Chief Weasel. The screening reveals a rough cut, and much hilarity, Mr. Toad's wedding to the Chief Weasel's Assistant. During the movie, Badger explained to Mole that out of all of Toad's follies, he had given everyone a little magic with his film. He also says that when they're gone, they will be remembered forever on a little strip of film, showing those in the future of what their lives were like in their time.

Theme song[edit]

On their original transmission in the UK, the episodes in the series opened with the same opening as the " A Tale of two Toads" feature -length special, and as the series is primarily about the exploits of Toad, the theme tune is David Jason singing Toad’s own panegyric to himself, as found in Kenneth Grahame's original book:

The clever men at Oxford
Know all there is to be knowed.
But none of them know half as much
As intelligent Mr. Toad!
The animals sat in the Ark,
Their tears in torrents flowed.
Who was it said, “There’s land ahead”?
Mr Toad!
The world has held great heroes,
As history books have showed;
But never a name went down to fame
Compared with that of Toad!
Intelligent Mr. Toad!
Encouraging Mr. Toad!

However for overseas broadcast (and when released on the DVD set 'Wind In the Willows: Complete Collection') the opening titles and music were changed for those featured in the previous series of The Wind in the Willows.

External links[edit]