The Raggy Dolls
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (September 2012)|
|Created by||Melvyn Jacobson|
|Written by||Neil Innes|
|Narrated by||Neil Innes|
|Theme music composer||Neil Innes|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||9|
|No. of episodes||111|
|Executive producer(s)||John Marsden|
|Producer(s)||Jo Kemp / Neil Molyneux / Joy Whitby|
|Running time||10 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Yorkshire Television (1986–1994)
Orchid Productions (1987–1994)
|Original channel||ITV Network / CITV|
|Original run||3 April 1986 – 20 December 1994|
The series is set in Mr. Grimes' Toy Factory where, unless the doll is perfect, it is thrown into the Reject Bin. While unobserved by human eyes, the dolls come to life and climb out of the Reject Bin to have adventures. The series was designed to encourage children to think positively about physical handicaps, as well as teaching kindness, tolerance and humility towards others.
The series was produced for Yorkshire Television from 3 April 1986 to 20 December 1994. It was created by Melvyn Jacobson, with scripts, narration and music by Neil Innes. Yorkshire Television produced the first two series of The Raggy Dolls before awarding the commission to Orchid Productions Limited in 1987. This was the first programme Yorkshire Television commissioned from an independent production company, and Orchid Productions went on to produce over 100 more episodes of the series. The initial animator was Roy Evans, and consequently (vision only[clarification needed]) animation director was Mark Mason, before being replaced by Peter Hale from third series onwards.
The Raggy Dolls holds the record for the longest running children's series of its genre.
The Raggy Dolls 
- Sad Sack
- A sample of a design that was deemed too expensive to mass-produce; his appearance is somewhat different from that of the others. He is the oldest of the seven Raggy Dolls in the Reject Bin. As his name suggests, he is very gloomy and cynical, but he still values his friendship with the other dolls.
- Takes a preference to leadership of the group, often acting in a bossy manner. She accidentally had paint spilt on her hair and clothing. Dotty's main catchphrase is: "Good thinking!"
- Converses with stammer due to him being dropped during testing. It was also stated in episode "The Trouble with Claude" that he was wired incorrectly, hence the stammer. He always wears headphones.
- Holds limbs inadequately attached with nylon thread. She tends to act in a shy manner and is easily frightened, but is very kind-hearted and always loyal to her friends. Her bravery was first seen in the episode "Ghosts". She speaks with a Northern accent.
- A handyman doll with a backward-facing head (as a result of the manufacturer putting his head on the wrong-way round) and a love of mechanics. Always staying calm in a crisis, "No problem!" is Back-To-Front's catchphrase.
- A French doll, perfect in every way. He fell out of a box of dolls being shipped to France and was left behind, being put in the bin out of a lack of other places. He speaks with a French accent, and sometimes alternates between speaking English and French.
- Created out of 'odds and ends' due to lack of material from manufacturer. Voice characterised by H-adding. As proven in the intro, Princess is the youngest of the original seven Raggy Dolls.
- Wandering traveller doll who'd lost his owner and decided to spend his life taking in new sights and experiences. Introduced in the fifth series.
- Scarecrow who is a friend to the Raggy Dolls.
- Mr Grimes' long lost Teddy Bear that becomes a good friend to the Raggy Dolls.
- Mr Marmalade
- Mr Grimes' pet cat. Holds playful traits.
- The Little Carthorse
- Toy horse. Shows curiosity with various items.
- Mr Oswald "Ozzie" Grimes
- The head of Grimes' Toy Factory, where the Raggy Dolls were made.
- Florrie Fosdyke
- The canteen manager at Grimes' Toy Factory, known for her appalling memory.
- Farmer Brown
- Owner and Farmer of One Pin Farm.
Other Humans 
- Andre G. Hamburger
- An American artist from New York who'd took Dotty and Back-to-Front for inspiration ideas for his work.
- Toby Martin
- A conman who pretended to be charity in order to get the raggy dolls as prizes for the fun fair.
Transmission Guide 
- Series 1a: 6 editions from 3 April 1986 - 8 May 1986
- Series 1b: 7 editions from 20 November 1986 - 26 February 1987
- Series 2a: 6 editions 13 November 1987 - 8 January 1988
- Series 2b: 7 editions from 19 August 1988 - 28 September 1988
- Series 3a: 6 editions from 16 November 1988 - 21 December 1988
- Series 3b: 7 editions from 19 July 1989 - 30 August 1989
- Series 4a: 3 editions from 11 December 1989 - 8 January 1990
- Series 4b: 10 editions from 28 June 1990 - 30 August 1990
- Series 5: 13 editions from 6 September 1990 - 20 December 1990
- Series 6: 13 editions from 6 September 1991- 13 December 1991
- Series 7: 13 editions from 8 September 1992 - 8 December 1992
- Series 8: 10 editions from 28 September 1993 - 7 December 1993
- Series 9 : 10 editions from 11 October 1994 - 20 December 1994
Three videos (with 5 programmes each) were released during the early 90s by Castle Communications Plc, each featuring a selection of 1986, 1987 and 1988 episodes narrated by Neil Innes.
- The Raggy Dolls (CAV 1008) – The Big Top, After the Storm, The Dark Wood, The Genius, The Winter Swan
- The Raggy Dolls 2 (CAV 1014) – The Flying Machine, The Pigeon Race, The Fun Fair, Too Many Cooks, The Terrible Twins.
- The Raggy Dolls 3 (CVI 1022) – Spring Toys, A Trip to the Sea, A Royal Tour, Onion Soup, Moving House
The complete first series of The Raggy Dolls was released on DVD on 21 June 2010 through Revelation Films. The complete second series is available after being released on 18 October 2010. The complete third series is available after its release on 7 February 2011, the complete fourth series has been released for availability on 6 June 2011, but the complete fifth series (next in line) is of yet unknown for availability.
A series of at least 8 books were published in 1990 by both Boxtree Limited (in association with Yorkshire Television Limited) and ABC Enterprises (for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation). The books were written or adapted by Neil Innes and illustrated by Steve Smallman. Titles include:
- The Hot Air Balloon
- In Days of Old
- Moving House
- The Royal Tour
- The Stolen Parrot
- The Tree House
- A Trip to the Sea
- We Are Not Amused