T-Bag

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For the TBAG character, see Timothy "T-Bag" Hudson.
Not to be confused with Tea bag.
T-Bag
Format Fantasy drama
Starring Elizabeth Estensen
Georgina Hale
John Hasler
Kellie Bright
Diana Barrand
Jennie Stallwood
Evelyn Sweeney
Natalie Wood
Bea Julakasiun
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 9 plus 4 Christmas Specials[1]
No. of episodes 91 x 20 minutes, 3 x 25 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel ITV Network (CITV)
Original run 4 April 1985 – 16 November 1992

T-Bag is a witch-like character who appears in a television series that ran from 1985 to 1992 on Children's ITV. Written by Grant Cathro and Lee Pressman, each season adopted a different title and features a single story told over several episodes.

History[edit]

The programme was first broadcast on 4 April 1985. From 1985 to 1989, Tallulah Bag was played by Elizabeth Estensen. In 1990, Estensen left the show and Tallulah Bag was replaced by her sister Tabatha Bag, played by Georgina Hale. She played the role until the series ended in 1992.

Plot[edit]

The sisters obtain magical powers by drinking tea made from the 'High T-Plant'. They are incapable of brewing it properly, requiring an assistant (T-Shirt) to do it for them. In return, T-Bag shares her magical powers with T-Shirt (Thomas Shirt), played by John Hasler. He started as a small child and grew until he towered above Hale by the series end in 1992. T-Shirt is presented as T-Bag's constant companion, part harassed surrogate son, part household servant. T-Bag and T-Shirt's magical powers mostly consist of conjuring objects out of thin air when needed, sending objects elsewhere and teleporting across time and space. T-Bag triggers her teleport ability by clicking her fingers. T-Shirt finds finger clicking too difficult and blinks instead.

Each season, various items are hidden across time and space for T-Bag and the heroine to find. Debbie Carter, played by Jennie Stallwood, was the heroine of the first three seasons. Diana Barrand took over for the fourth as child television presenter Holly Anna Jones. Kellie Bright, who later appeared in The Upper Hand and The Archers, played Sally Simpkins in series five and six, plus a Christmas special.

In T-Bag and the Rings of Olympus, the heroine is the Goddess Athena's handmaiden, Polyzena, or Polly, played by Natalie Wood. In T-Bag and the Sunstones of Montezuma, archaeologist's daughter, heroine Penny Hunt was played by Evelyn Sweeney. Typically, each episode also features two non-regular cast members to enliven the story.

Each episode has a different setting in which a magical item is hidden. These are often historical settings or settings from folklore or literature, such as ancient Egypt, ancient Rome, Renaissance Italy and Elizabethan England, Tom Sawyer's American South, Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest or a French Foreign Legion station in North Africa which owes something to Beau Geste. Historical figures such as Napoleon, Leonardo da Vinci or Queen Elizabeth I make guest appearances.

Series[edit]

The series titles and broadcast dates are given below:

Title Year of broadcast Series on IMDb
Wonders in Letterland 1985 [1]
T-Bag Strikes Again 1986 [2]
T-Bag Bounces Back 1987 [3]
Turn on to T-Bag 1988 [4]
T-Bag's Christmas Cracker 1988 [5]
T-Bag and the Revenge of the T-Set 1989 [6]
T-Bag's Christmas Carol 1989 [7]
T-Bag and the Pearls of Wisdom 1990 [8]
T-Bag's Christmas Ding Dong 1990 [9]
T-Bag and the Rings of Olympus 1991 [10]
T-Bag's Christmas Turkey 1991 [11]
T-Bag and the Sunstones of Montezuma 1992 [12]
Take Off with T-Bag 1992 [13]

DVD[edit]

A new DVD, T-Bag: The Reunion Documentary, featuring interviews with principal cast and crew members was released on 17 September 2007, through UK based company Fantom Films. In December 2008 it was broadcast on Film24.[2] In May 2010, Revelation Films announced plans to release the series on DVD. As of autumn 2013, only the first 3 series have been made available by Revelation and there haven't been any further DVD releases.

  • First series was released on 8 November 2010,
  • Second on 24 January 2011,
  • Third on 2 May 2011.

Reception[edit]

The Guardian described the show as '...time travel drama somewhere between Doctor Who and Blackadder".[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "T-Bag: Series 3 DVD review". Cult Box. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  2. ^ "T-Bag: The Reunion Documentary". Sci Fi Online. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 

External links[edit]

  • The High-T Website Fan website with video clips, image galleries, merchandise info, cast biographies and Nitpicker's Guide.
  • The T-Room Including sound and video clips; episode guides etc.
  • Fantom Films Information about the reunion DVD
  • Classic Kids TV Classickidstv page on T-Bag.