SuperTed

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SuperTed
Superted.JPG
Created by Mike Young
Written by Mike Young
Robin Lyons
Directed by David Edwards
Starring Derek Griffiths
Melvyn Hayes
Roy Kinnear
Jon Pertwee
Victor Spinetti
Sheila Steafel
Myfanwy Talog
Narrated by Peter Hawkins
Country of origin Wales
Original language(s) Welsh, English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 36
Production
Executive producer(s) Mike Young
Roger Fickling
Running time 10 mins
Production company(s) Siriol Animation
S4C
Williams and Glyn Leasing Group Ltd.
Broadcast
Original channel S4C (in Welsh)
BBC1 (in English)
RTÉ 2 (in Irish)
TF1 (in French)
Picture format 4:3
Original run 10 October 1983 – 5 December 1985

SuperTed is a Welsh fictional anthropomorphic bear character created by Mike Young. Originally created by Young as a series of stories to help his son overcome his fear of the dark, SuperTed became a popular series of books and led to an animated series produced from 1983 to 1985.[1] An American-produced series, The Further Adventures of SuperTed, was produced by Hanna Barbera in 1989. A modern reboot of the series is currently being developed by Young.

Creation[edit]

'SuperTed' was created by Mike Young in 1978[2] for his son to help him overcome his fear of the dark. Later Mike decided to put the stories into book form. Superted originally was a bear from the woods who was also afraid of the dark, until one day Mother Nature give him a magic word which gives him superpowers and transform him to SuperTed. After a while, Mike started to write actual story books about SuperTed. Then after some unsuccessful attempts, he was able to get his book published by a local printer. This led Mike to a successful career, writing and publishing over 100 SuperTed books, with illustrations done by Philip Watkins, until 1990. Just after his first book was published, his wife suggested he should produce a stuffed toy version of SuperTed which was done in 1980.[3]

The process also drew the attention of Warner Brothers in 1980 who made an offer of £250,000 for the film rights. Mike was determined to keep SuperTed Welsh,[4] as he wanted to help create local jobs and prove places outside London had talent.[3] In 1981, S4C enquired about making SuperTed into animations, but Mike decided to create Siriol Productions to produce the series himself. Siriol management wished to create SuperTed in a way which their own kids could be proud of, free from facile plots and hard line violence. This concept continued to be adopted to all series made by Siriol, which proves soft edge and quality animation can be more appealing to children than any amount of violence.[4] Superted was also turned into a stage show. Melvyn Hayes reprised his role but other parts were taken by other actors. Superted's popularity even led to the production of a line of vitamin supplements for children.[4]

In 1989 Mike Young sold the rights to SuperTed to Abbey Home Media.[5]

Premise[edit]

The story follows an ordinary teddy bear who, upon his creation at a toy factory, was deemed defective and thrown away into an old dark storeroom. By chance, he is discovered by Spotty, a visiting alien from the Planet Spot, who decides to bring the bear to life using his cosmic dust. Spotty then brings the now living teddy bear to Mother Nature, who gives the bear special powers, transforming him into SuperTed. Whenever trouble arises, SuperTed whispers his "secret magic word" and transforms into a superhero adorned with a red suit, cape and rocket boots. As SuperTed and Spotty travel across the world, and sometimes even space, to help others in need, they find themselves up against the nefarious and greedy cowboy, Texas Pete, and his two henchmen; the overweight and bumbling Bulk and the cowardly and effeminate Skeleton, as he seeks to either rule the world or increase his own wealth.

The Further Adventures of SuperTed[edit]

The Further Adventures of SuperTed is an American-produced series, produced by Hanna Barbera and broadcast in 1989. The revival was one of four series aired as part of The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera syndicated animation block.

Public Service Film[edit]

SuperTed, along with Spotty and his sister Blotch, appeared in a Public Information Film in 1986. The film, commissioned by the Central Office of Information, was entitled "Supersafe with SuperTed", and featured the three characters being flown to Earth by SuperTed, in order to teach Spotty how to cross the road safely. A flashback during the short reveals an incident when Spotty was nearly killed, running across the road on the planet Spot (his home), to talk to his sister. It was released on two VHS videos: Magic Of SuperTed (1986) and The Biggest Ever SuperTed Video (1994).

SuperTed proceeds during the animation to teach Spotty the right way to cross the road, including not running, not standing behind vehicles, etc. He then warns the viewer: "Remember, I can't be there to save you, especially on the planet Earth". The animated "setting" for the film was based on Castle Street in Cardiff city centre, Wales[6] with Cardiff Castle as a backdrop.

2016 Reboot[edit]

In July 2014, SuperTed co-creator Mike Young announced that he is currently developing a brand new series of SuperTed with Abbey Home Media. The series, which will consist of 26 half-hour episodes,[7] will be pitched at trade shows in Autumn 2014, with the hope of a television broadcast in the United Kingdom in 2016. In an interview with Radio Times magazine, Young mentioned that certain aspects of the series would have to be changed for modern audiences. He stated, "In SuperTed, we had a gun-slinging cowboy, a flamboyantly gay skeleton and a fat guy who had jokes made about his weight. And all these things you just wouldn’t do today. But you can still write the show in a funny, entertaining way.” He also added that he wants to avoid making the reboot look too slick and lose some of its original charm like some other rebooted franchises, with hopes Derek Griffith will return as the voice of Superted..[8][9]

Characters[edit]

Heroes
  • SuperTed – A teddy bear brought to life by Spotty's cosmic dust and given special powers by Mother Nature. By uttering his secret magic word, he can don his superhero outfit complete with rocket boots, which he uses to fight evil around the world. He is voiced by Derek Griffiths.
  • Spotty – SuperTed's bumbling companion and best friend, a yellow and green spotted alien from the planet Spot. He brought SuperTed to life with his cosmic dust and accompanies him on his missions, regardless of whether he wants to or not. He wears a jetpack for moving about and pilots a large spotted rocket to travel over the world or across space. He is voiced by Jon Pertwee.
  • Blotch – Spotty's sister, voiced by Sheila Steafel.
  • Mother Nature – Mother Nature, voiced by Sheila Steafel, portrayed as a fairy that grants SuperTed his super powers with a special potion.
Villains
  • Texas Pete – An evil cowboy and the main villain of the series. His goals are generally simple-minded, be it world domination, the destruction of SuperTed, or simply increasing his own wealth. Voiced by Victor Spinetti.
  • Skeleton – A very cowardly and noticeable effeminate living skeleton who wears pink slippers. He is capable of being put back together whenever he falls to bits. Voiced by Melvyn Hayes.
  • Bulk – An overweight fool with intense stupidity who serves as the muscle of the group. Voiced by Roy Kinnear.

Episodes[edit]

As Mike was determined to keep SuperTed Welsh, he entered into partnership with S4C (the newly formed Welsh television channel) in 1981 who approached him about producing an animated series of SuperTed. He set up Siriol Animation with his wife, to procure the series locally, which first aired on 1 November 1982 on S4C in Welsh. The following year, it was dubbed into English and broadcast throughout the whole of the United Kingdom on BBC1, from 10 October 1983.

Unlike the books the television series was ghost written by Robin Lyons and director Dave Edwards, who were also Directors of Siriol Animation, and between 1982–1986, 3 series were made:

Series 1 (1983)[edit]

This series consisted of 12 episodes, as listed below. In 1994 all 12 episodes of Series 1 were released as part of The Biggest Ever SuperTed Video by Tempo Video (Cat No 97192)

# Title Broadcast Date Summary
1 SuperTed and the Inca Treasure 10 October 1983 In the pilot episode of the series, SuperTed and Spottyman go to find the lost Temple of the Incas, but Texas Pete, Bulk and Skeleton plan to beat them to it.
2 SuperTed and the Pearl Fishers 11 October 1983 SuperTed and Spottyman fly to the South Pacific Islands to stop Texas Pete, Bulk and Skeleton from stealing pearls from the ocean floor.
3 SuperTed and the Stolen Rocket Ship 12 October 1983 Texas Pete, Bulk and Skeleton plan to sabotage three astronaut's mission to travel deeper into space that any man has ever been before, but SuperTed and Spotty come to the rescue.
4 SuperTed and the Elephant's Graveyard 13 October 1983 SuperTed and Spotty go to East Africa to stop Texas Pete, Bulk and Skeleton from stealing bones from the elephant's graveyard.
5 SuperTed and the Train Robbers 14 October 1983 SuperTed and Spotty's skiing holiday in the Alps is interrupted by Texas Pete's plan to steal a train carrying a cargo of chocolate.
6 SuperTed and the Giant Kites 17 October 1983 In the mountains of Wales, SuperTed and Spotty must stop Texas Pete and his cronies from stealing the eggs of a rare bird known as the Giant Red Kite.
7 SuperTed and Nuts in Space 18 October 1983 SuperTed and Spottyman must thwart Texas Pete's plan to take over a freighter carrying a special consignment of nuts for the planet Polly.
8 SuperTed and the City of the Dead 19 October 1983 SuperTed and Spottyman travel to the ancient city of the dead to find an archeologist who has gone missing.
9 SuperTed at Creepy Castle 20 October 1983 A girl's father has gone missing at the Creepy Castle in Eastern Europe and SuperTed and Spotty go to find him. However, Texas Pete, Bulk and Skeleton are also using the area as a hideout after robbing a bank.
10 SuperTed on Planet Spot 21 October 1983 SuperTed's holiday on the friendly Planet Spot is interrupted when Texas Pete's rocket crash lands on the planet. Tex is after the cosmic dust that brought SuperTed to life.
11 SuperTed at the Funfair 24 October 1983 A boy is kidnapped by Texas Pete on his visit to the funfair. With Spotty unwell, SuperTed goes alone to find him.
12 SuperTed and the Goldmine 25 October 1983 In the heart of Africa, Texas Pete, Bulk and Skeleton go to steal gold inside the mine. SuperTed and Spottyman head off to the rescue.

Series 2 (1984)[edit]

This series consisted of 12 episodes as listed below. In 1994, 7 of the episodes: "Bulk's Story", "SuperTed at the Toy Shop", "SuperTed In the Arctic", the 2 parts of "Superted and Trouble In Space", "SuperTed and the Gun Smugglers" and "SuperTed and The Lumberjacks" were released as part of The Biggest Ever SuperTed Video by Tempo Video (Cat No 97192)

# Title Broadcast Date Summary
1 SuperTed at the Toy Shop 6 December 1984 Whilst searching for a birthday present for Spottyman, SuperTed discovers that Texas Pete and his cronies are planning to rob the biggest toy shop in the world.
2 SuperTed in Texas 7 December 1984 A girl called Judy has had her long horn cattle stolen. SuperTed and Spotty fly down to Texas to retrieve the cattle. Once there, they meet up with a cowboy that is similar to Texas Pete.
3 SuperTed in the Arctic 10 December 1984 Texas Pete is after the rare creature of the Arctic, the Mammoth. But soon SuperTed and Spotty Man are ready to fight back and save the day.
4 SuperTed and Trouble in Space – Part 1 11 December 1984 After destroying the space satellite, Texas Pete, Bulk and Skeleton sneak into SuperTed's space station to take Spotty Man by surprise. SuperTed, on his way back, encounters a crash and soon is drifting away in space with no memory.
5 SuperTed and Trouble in Space – Part 2 12 December 1984 SuperTed has lost his memory, Spotty Man's parents have lost their daughter Blotch and Spotty Man himself is being held prisoner by Texas Pete, Bulk and Skeleton. To make matters worse, Texas Pete arranges for our heroes to be tied up in a rocket and heading straight for the sun.
6 SuperTed and the Gun Smugglers 13 December 1984 While investigating a strange light, a girl is captured by Texas Pete, who is smuggling weapons into North Wales via a submarine in a cavern, forcing SuperTed and Spotty Man to put their beach holiday on hold.
7 Spotty and the Indians 14 December 1984 On his way to Planet Earth to see SuperTed, Spotty Man's rocket breaks down and he crash lands in North America where he befriends a Spotty Red Indian. Also there are Texas Pete, Bulk and Skeleton who plan to shoot a buffalo to in order to have some buffalo steaks for dinner.
8 SuperTed and the Crystal Ball 17 December 1984 Texas Pete steals a crystal ball from a couple of gypsies and uses it to read other people's fortunes for his own wealth...and forecast doom for SuperTed.
9 SuperTed and the Lumberjacks 18 December 1984 A flying squirrel turns to SuperTed and Spotty Man for help when Texas Pete is responsible fo cutting down the trees to sell.
10 SuperTed's Dream 19 December 1984 After being catty with Spotty Man for making him get out of bed to retrieve him from outside the space station, he has a horrible nightmare which shows him what life might be like if he didn't have Spotty with him.
11 Bulk's Story 20 December 1984 Bulk tells the story of how he first met Texas Pete in jail and how they escaped and entered the tomb of Skeleton.
12 SuperTed Meets Bandy Bambers 21 December 1984 Texas Pete, Bulk, and Skeleton disguise themselves as Bandy Bambers and rob children of their presents on Christmas Eve. It's up to SuperTed and Spotty Man to clear the real Bandy Bambers name and stop the villains from ruining Christmas for the children.

Series 3 (1985)[edit]

This series consisted of 12 episodes as listed below. In 1994, 6 of the episodes: "SuperTed and Mother Nature"', "SuperTed and the Pothole Rescue", "SuperTed Kicks Up the Dust", "SuperTed and the Gorilla", "SuperTed and the Great Horrendo" and "SuperTed in ChinaTown" were released as part of The Biggest Ever SuperTed Video by Tempo Video (Cat No 97192)

# Title Broadcast Date Summary
1 SuperTed and Mother Nature 20 November 1985 Mother Nature's place is invaded by Texas Pete, Bulk and Skeleton. Texas Pete plans to drink some of the potion that Mother Nature gave to SuperTed in order to gain super powers. But soon SuperTed and Spotty Man come to rescue as usual.
2 SuperTed and the Magic Word – Part 1 21 November 1985 Texas Pete has hatched a plot to discover SuperTed's magic word. First, Bulk throws Skeleton off the Statue of Liberty where Skeleton his holding onto the sleeve of the statue. Secondly, once SuperTed and Spotty Man have gone to rescue him, Texas Pete hides small microphones in the treehouse. Thirdly, Texas Pete throws Skeleton into the sea, a hundred miles off the coast in be exact. Finally, once SuperTed gets the call for help, he'll say his magic word...and Bulk will be listening.
3 SuperTed and the Magic Word – Part 2 22 November 1985 Bulk now wears the suit of SuperTed and is able to fly like a bear. Before long, SuperTed and Spotty Man discover this and try to catch him. However luckily...Bulk has forgotten the magic word...making Texas Pete cry after spending all the trouble of organising the plot.
4 SuperTed and the Pothole Rescue 25 November 1985 SuperTed is called to the Pennines to rescue two lady geologists who are trapped in a cave, but soon finds himself in an awful dilemma when Spotty Man disappears and has to choose to save his friend or the geologists first.
5 SuperTed Kicks Up the Dust 26 November 1985 A museum in the Middle East wishes to display the Cosmic Dust that Spotty Man uses, but SuperTed thinks it could be dangerous and his fears prove correct when Texas Pete and his cronies plan to steal the Cosmic Dust from the museum.
6 SuperTed and the Whales 27 November 1985 After rescuing a beached blue whale in Wales, SuperTed and Spotty Man aid the whale in saving its family from a whaling boat piloted by none other than Texas Pete.
7 SuperTed and the Gorilla 28 November 1985 Texas Pete, Bulk, and Skeleton capture a gorilla while in Africa, but when SuperTed and Spotty Man come to the rescue, Bulk unknowingly plays a part in helping the now captive gorilla.
8 SuperTed and the Great Horrendo 29 November 1985 At a seaside town in England, Texas Pete takes up a magician's act under the alias "Great Horrendo" to cheat children out of their allowances and briefly sidetrack Superted by making Spotty Man a volunteer in his hypnosis trick.
9 SuperTed Goes Round the Bend 2 December 1985 Spotty Man reluctantly agrees to take driving lessons from SuperTed. However, Skeleton and Bulk steal it to drive it to the bank where Texas Pete is, robbing it. Unknowingly to the three villains, the car is running out of brake fluid, causing the brakes to be out of work.
10 SuperTed and Tex's Magic Spell 3 December 1985 While SuperTed and Spotty Man relax in an island in the South Pacific, Texas Pete and his cronies steal SuperTed's spotted teddy bear and use it as part of a voodoo act to incapacitate SuperTed.
11 SuperTed in Chinatown 4 December 1985 Texas Pete, Bulk, and Skeleton plan to rob a bank in Hong Kong, using Hong Kong's old secret passageways, but Bulk blows open the wall into a restaurant...where SuperTed and Spotty Man are having dinner.
12 SuperTed and the Rattlesnake 5 December 1985 In a large Eastern city in the United States, Texas Pete has the blues on being unable to beat SuperTed, so Bulk and Skeleton decide to cheer him up by stealing a rattlesnake from the city zoo...attracting attention to SuperTed and Spotty Man once more.

International screening[edit]

The series has been broadcast and dubbed in over 50 countries around the world:[5]

Africa[edit]

  • Nigeria Broadcast on several local NTA stations.

Europe[edit]

  • Wales The series was broadcast in Welsh on S4C
  • Republic of Ireland The series was dubbed into Irish for RTE, and also broadcast in English
  • United Kingdom The series was broadcast in English on the BBC between 1983 – 1994.
  • Sweden was broadcast on SVT1 and released in several VHS tapes.
  • Norway First appeared in 1983 [10]
  • Netherlands First appeared on 4 October 1984
  • Slovenia was broadcast on TV Slovenia as Supermedo and become very popular.
  • Croatia was broadcast on Hrvatska televizija as SuperTed dubbed into Croatian.
  • France Dubbed into French and broadcast on TF1
  • Finland Dubbed into Finnish and broadcast on MTV3
  • Spain
  • Denmark

America[edit]

  • United States The Series was broadcast on The Disney Channel from 1984, making it the first British cartoon series to be aired on the Disney Channel in the United States.

India[edit]

Oceania[edit]

  • Australia Broadcast by the ABC
  • New Zealand Broadcast by TVNZ as part of their Saturday morning Children's show, What Now?

Commercial availability[edit]

DVD releases[edit]

The complete original series of Superted was released on June 2008 in Region 2 (UK). There has also been several individual volumes with various episodes on each disc, released in the UK. The series has since also been released in Region 4 (Australia), but is yet to be released in other regions.

VHS releases[edit]

  • SuperTed (VC1058), 6 Episodes – Released: 1986

Episodes featured- 'SuperTed and the Stolen Rocket', 'SuperTed and the Inca Treasure', 'SuperTed and the Elephant's Graveyard', 'SuperTed and the Train Robbers', 'SuperTed and the Giant Kites' and 'SuperTed and the Pearlfishers'

  • SuperTed Volume 2 (VC1059), 6 Episodes – Released: 1986

Episodes featured- 'SuperTed and Nuts In Space', 'SuperTed and the City of the Dead', 'SuperTed at Creepy Castle', 'SuperTed on Planet Spot', 'SuperTed at the Funfair' and 'SuperTed and the Gold Mine'

  • The New Adventures of SuperTed (V9062), 5 Episodes – Released: 1988

Episodes featured- 'SuperTed at the Toyshop', 'SuperTed Goes to Texas', 'SuperTed in the Artic', 'Trouble in Space (Parts 1 & 2)' and 'SuperTed and the Gun Smugglers'.

  • The Heroic Adventures of SuperTed (V9113) 6 Episodes – Released: 1988

Episodes featured- 'SuperTed in Spotty and the Indians', 'SuperTed and the Crystal Ball', 'SuperTed and the Lumerjacks', 'SuperTed's Dream', 'Bulk's Story' and 'SuperTed meets Father Christmas'.

  • The Original SuperTed Bumper Edition (GMH 101) 9 Episodes – Released: 1989
  • SuperTed: The Special Edition (GMH 102) 12 Episodes – Released: 1989
  • Superted's Bumper Video (93852), 7 Episodes – Released: 1990.

Episodes featured- 'SuperTed and Mother Nature', 'SuperTed and the Magic Word (Parts 1 & 2)', 'SuperTed and the Pothole Rescue', 'SuperTed Kicks Up the Dust', 'SuperTed and the Whales', 'SuperTed and the Gorilla' and 'SuperTed and the Great Horrendo'.

  • The Original Adventures of SuperTed: Special Edition (94982), 8 Episodes – Released: 1991

Episodes featured- 'SuperTed Goes Round the Bend', 'SuperTed and Tex's Magic Spell', 'SuperTed in Chinatown', 'SuperTed and the Rattlesnake', 'SuperTed at the Toyshop', 'SuperTed and the Whales', 'SuperTed in Spotty and the Indians' and 'SuperTed and the Crystal Ball'.

  • The Biggest Ever SuperTed Video, 25 Episodes – Released: 1994.

Episodes featured: 'Be Safe with SuperTed' (as episode 1) and 25 other episodes that are all 12 episodes of Series 1 (as episodes 2–13 on the video), 5 episodes of Series 2 (as episodes 14–18), 5 episodes of Series 3 (episodes 19–23), Both parts of 'Trouble In Space' (from series 2 and as episodes 24 & 25 on the video) and 'SuperTed in ChinaTown' (from series 3 and as the 26th and last episode on the video).

Tempo Kids Club[edit]

  • The Original Adventures of SuperTed: Trouble in Space (94622), 3 Episodes – Released: 1991

Episodes featured- 'Trouble in Space Part 1', 'Trouble in Space Part 2' and 'SuperTed's Dream'.

  • The Original Adventures of SuperTed: SuperTed Goes to Texas (95862), 3 Episodes – Released: 1992

Episodes featured- 'SuperTed Goes to Texas', 'SuperTed and the Magic Word Part 1' and 'SuperTed and the Magic Word Part 2'

US Home video[edit]

All 36 episodes were released over six videocassettes by Walt Disney Home Video. There are unconfirmed reports that it will return to the US on Hulu, DVD, or iTunes form NCircle or Mill Creek Entertainment.

Children's Favourites[edit]

  • SuperTed and the Stolen Rocket Ship from Children's TV Favourites – Released: 1990
  • SuperTed Kicks Up The Dust from My Best Friends – Released: 1993
  • SuperTed's Dream from My Best Friends Too – Released: 1994
  • SuperTed and Mother Nature from Children's Favourites (WHSmith Exclusive) – Released: 1995
  • SuperTed at the Toyshop from My Favourite Teddy Bears Video- Released: 1993
  • SuperTed Meets Father Christmas from The Biggest Ever Christmas Video (Released: 1993), Christmas Favourites (WHSmith Exclusive) [Released 1995] and 110 minutes of Christmas Crackers (Released- 1996).

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/superted-set-to-return-to-the-bbc-as-the-latest-revival-of-popular-childrens-television-shows-9605978.html
  2. ^ "Principals". Mikeyoungproductions.com. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  3. ^ a b Stares, Judith (, 1980-05-23). "Teddy shacks off his fur and takes off". The Guardian. p. 19.  Check date values in: |date= (help);
  4. ^ a b c "Siriol and SuperTed – Animator Magazine Library". Animatormag.com. 13 February 2010. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  5. ^ a b "Brands | SuperTed". Abbey Home Media. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  6. ^ Castle St (1 January 1970). "castle street – Google Maps". Maps.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  7. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/10966522/SuperTed-makes-TV-comeback-without-the-fat-jokes.html
  8. ^ http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2014-07-14/superted-plans-a-cosmic-tv-comeback
  9. ^ http://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/superted-to-make-comeback-7423058
  10. ^ "Superted – Christins mimreside – Barne TV". Home.online.no. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 

External links[edit]