The Raggy Dolls
Children and family series
|Created by||Melvyn Jacobson|
|Developed by||John Walker|
|Written by||Neil Innes|
|Narrated by||Neil Innes|
|Theme music composer||Neil Innes|
|Opening theme||Raggy Dolls, Dolls like you and me|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||9|
|No. of episodes||112|
|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 release||3 April 1986 – 20 December 1994|
The Raggy Dolls is a 1980s British cartoon series which originally aired on ITV from 1986 until 1994. The series is set in Mr. Grimes' Toy Factory, where imperfect dolls are thrown into a 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 disabilities, 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 for Yorkshire TV was Roy Evans, and consequently after the move to Orchid Productions Mark Mason took over the role, animating and storyboarding 26 episodes, and storyboarding and directing other animators on a further 26 episodes before moving onto work on other children's shows and being replaced by Peter Hale from the 7th 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.
- Dotty - As the oldest next to the lethargic Sad Sack, she sees herself as the leader of the group and is often very bossy. She is so-named because she accidentally had paint spilt on her hair and clothing. Dotty's main catchphrase is: "Good thinking!"
- Hi-Fi - He 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, which allow him to tune into radio and communication signals from seemingly any source.
- Lucy - Her limbs are inadequately attached with nylon thread, her name being a pun on the word "loose". She is shy and easily frightened, but always kind-hearted and loyal to her friends. She can be brave on occasion, as first seen in the episode "Ghosts". She speaks with a Northern accent.
- Back-To-Front - He is 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 machines and. Always calm in a crisis, Back-To-Front's catchphrase is "No problem!".
- Claude - A French doll, who, unlike his companions, is actually 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. He also has a notable talent for cooking.
- Princess - She should have been a beautiful princess doll, but the machine accidentally cut her hair and left her dress in rags. In the manner of a typical aristocrat, her voice is characterised by H-adding. As the opening titles indicate, Princess is the youngest of the original seven Raggy Dolls.
- Ragamuffin - A 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.
- Pumpernickle - A Scarecrow who is a friend to the Raggy Dolls.
- Edward - Mr Grime's lost teddy bear who becomes a good friend to the Raggy Dolls.
- Mr Marmalade - Mr Grime's pet cat who has a playful traits.
- The Little Carthorse - A toy horse that shows curiosity with various items.
- Cousin Tabitha - Pumpernickle's cousin who complains about her petticoat and hat being ravaged by crows.
- Barbette - A French doll that Claude met that is on show, during a French exhebition.
- Rufus - Farmer Brown's Sheepdog.
- Rupert the Roo - An Australian toy kangaroo who becomes a new friend to the Raggy Dolls.
- Natasha - A Russian Doll bought by Mrs Grimes.
- Shehabi - A Egyptian Princess doll who helped the Raggy Dolls find the emeralds for the Princess Rami statue to take them back home.
- Mr Oswald "Ozzie" Grimes - The owner of Mr Grime's toy factory
- Cynthia - Appeared later in the series to be Mr Grime's love interest, and later wife.
- Florrie Fosdyke - A kind cafeteria lady who's mostly very forgetful.
- Farmer Brown - The farmer of One Pin Farm.
- Andre G. Hamburger - An artist from New York who'd took Dotty and Back-to-Front for inspiration ideas for his work.
- Toby Martin - A swindler who used the Raggy Dolls as prizes in his swindled coconut shy
- Mr Barsley - A man who owns Belgravia Toys in London.
- Oz and Boz - Mr Grime's terrible twin nephews who are always getting into trouble
|1||101||03/04/1986||The Flying Machine||The very first episode of the series, in which the Raggy Dolls find a lost R.C. Aeroplane, and decide to fix it up and fly in it.|
|2||102||10/04/1986||The Big Top||The Raggy Dolls wind up inside a circus tent and perform stunts as they try to make their way out.|
|3||103||17/04/1986||The Pigeon Race||Whilst Hi Fi and Back-to-Front are out for a walk, they meet a homing pigeon that has become injured whilst tangled on some electric wires and they go to help him, with the help of the other dolls.|
|4||104||24/04/1986||The War of the Wizards||With Back-to-Front's magic tricks being out of practice, Hi-Fi uses his metal detector to uncover a chest that has a real magic book in it, in which Back-to-Front uses to fix his head, but the book soon causes problems.|
|5||105||01/05/1986||The Special Offer||The Raggy Dolls were taken to a toy shop in London, and were made as special offers to anyone who buys a video game. However, despite this new life, they did not want to give up their friendship when being bought individually, that what happens when Lucy had been bought by a rich girl.|
|6||106||08/05/1986||The Litter Bugs||After Sad Sack gets chased by a duckling, the Raggy Dolls discover that the peaceful area of a field they are in is being littered by an irresponsible family on a picnic.|
|7||201||20/11/1986||The Dark Wood||When visiting the Dark Wood, the Raggy Dolls come to realise that the wood is in threat because of a poacher.|
|8||202||27/11/1986||The Funfair||A man called Toby Martin came and took the Raggy Dolls to a Fun Fair; they were then put on hooks as prizes for the coconut shy. However, as they saw the coconuts get hit by the balls, they soon see that there is something funny about Toby Martin?|
|9||203||04/12/1986||Too Many Cooks||Claude is a very good cook for the Raggy Dolls, but when he saw Florrie Fosdyke bake a cake for the factory competition, he was then disgusted with her poor efforts. So the gang decide to help her out by replacing it with an even better cake.|
|10||204||11/12/1986||After the Storm||After a storm has passed, the Raggy Dolls go to see Pumpernickle, but find him on the ground. They also notice that Farmer Brown is not around to help the animals, and with the help of Rufus the sheepdog, they find him stuck in an old mineshaft and help to rescue him.|
|11||205||18/12/1986||Christmas Dolls||One snowy Christmas Eve, the Raggy Dolls decided to go tobogganing in the snow, but poor Sad Sack meanwhile wished he was still back in bed. And they end up crashing into the doors of a children's hospital, where they become temporary Christmas presents to sick children.|
|12||206||19/02/1987||The Trouble with Claude||After hearing about a French Week being held in Bunce's Emporium, the Raggy Dolls decided to go there to have a look, but as they did, Claude got into a lot of trouble when he'd wandered off! From which he gets lost and meets another French doll called Babette.|
|13||207||26/02/1987||Happy Binday||It is Princess's binday, and she feels that she's being ignored as her friends get the preparations ready in secret. She decides to award them with a flight on Owl.|
|14||301||13/11/1987||The Genius||An American artist, Andre G. Hamburger needs inspiration for his new work, and takes Dotty and Back-to-Front. Only when Hi-Fi rescues them, do they end up making his art even more famous.|
|15||302||20/11/1987||Speaking French||Claude teaches the Raggy Dolls French. At first Princess tries, then the rest of the Raggy Dolls except Sadsack, who thought it's silly, until he comes across a troubled French doll in an apple tree.|
|16||303||27/11/1987||The Winter Swan||The Raggy Dolls find a Swan in distress one cold winter's night, and decide to help it.|
|17||304||04/12/1987||The Terrible Twins||Mr Grime's nephews come to visit him for the weekend, and cause problems not just for him, but for the Raggy Dolls as well.|
|18||305||11/12/1987||Sports Day||The Raggy Dolls were having a Sports Day, and everyone is enjoying it, except for poor Sad Sack.|
|19||306||08/01/1988||To the Rescue||The Raggy Dolls help to repair a doll that they find thrown away at the dump.|
|20||401||19/08/1988||Spring Toys||Mr Grimes is running out of ideas, and it is up to the Raggy Dolls to find some more, in order to keep his business running.|
|21||402||26/08/1988||A Trip to the Sea||Mr Grimes goes to the seaside for his holiday, and the Raggy Dolls follow.|
|22||403||02/09/1988||The Royal Tour||Princess feels like she is not royal enough, so the Raggy Dolls dress her up in royalty and give her a royal tour around the countryside, but things don't go according to plan when her coronet is stolen by a magpie and an fierce bull sees her red dress...|
|23||404||07/09/1988||Onion Soup||Claude gets himself into a pickle, when he went after Onion soup, made by Florrie, and ends up being put inside a saucepan.|
|24||405||14/09/1988||Moving House||Dotty decides that the dolls should move to a new home. But when night falls and a storm takes place, she climbs inside a tree to shelter. When the other Raggy Dolls hear she is in trouble, they build a raft and set off to the rescue.|
|25||406||21/09/1988||Factory Mice||After giving a baby mouse some of their picnic food, the Raggy Dolls tell it of where they got it. The next day, the factory is overtaken by a huge hoard of mice, and they now have to find a way on getting rid of them.|
|26||407||28/09/1988||A Trip to France||The Raggy Dolls sail on a toy boat and end up lost at sea. They reach a beach which Claude thinks is France, and camp there before sailing back home. In the end, Dotty discovers they were on an island in the middle of the sea.|
|27||501||16/11/1988||Hot Air Balloon||One day, The Raggy Dolls were having a great time of watching clouds, in which was then disturbed when a hot air balloon landed in the big field. Whilst the pilot left a boy in charge, whilst he went for help, the boy accidentally clambered in and got unconscious as the balloon took off by high winds, and it's up to them to save the boy.|
|28||502||23/11/1988||Ghosts||One night, Lucy wanted to be brave for once, in which she managed to succeed when she and the other Raggy Dolls met up with some spooky skeleton Raggy Dolls.|
|29||503||30/11/1988||The Tree House||The Raggy Dolls decided to build a Tree House as their hang out place, but whilst they were building, they noticed that a Magpie had been stealing jewelry from Mr. Grimes’ Toy Factory.|
|30||504||07/12/1988||The Memory Machine||Claude had come up with an idea for all The Raggy Dolls to dance for the evenings, and whilst they were planning to do that, they then found in the reject bin a Memory Machine with faulty answers. They managed to fix it up, in return of it lighting up the disco.|
|31||505||14/12/1988||Doll Overboard||The Raggy Dolls decided to go for a sail, only for them to have a rough time with speed boats.|
|32||506||21/12/1988||The Unlikely Hedgehog||One autumn, The Raggy Dolls decided to camouflage their tree house, but as they were gathering things together, they eventually came to find a stubborn hedgehog, living in a bonfire in which would soon be alight!|
|33||601||19/07/1989||Easter Bunny||What do you get if you find a greedy bunny, and a pile of too many chocolate eggs, a huge stomach ache of trouble, in which The Raggy Dolls soon find out!|
|34||602||26/07/1989||In Days of Old||Sad Sack was having trouble drawing a picture, so he decided to read a book about a magic sword, in which then caused him to have the most amazing dream of his life!|
|35||603||02/08/1989||The Old Clock Lady||After being rescued by a kind old lady by thrown away by a dump, so the Raggy Dolls decide to fix the clocks for her.|
|36||604||09/08/1989||Peace and Quiet||It was a peaceful day in their new treehouse well except they were soon interrupted by jets and aeroplanes.|
|37||605||16/08/1989||We are Not Amused||The Raggy Dolls have found an amusement park but they soon discovered that it isn't much fun at all.|
|38||606||23/08/1989||The Lost Puppy||Mr Grimes was looking after his sister's naughty pet puppy as the Raggy Dolls had soon spotted him getting into all kinds of trouble and gets lost.|
|39||607||30/08/1989||Horse Sense||One day, The Raggy Dolls found something strange in the Big Field, in which turns out to be Horse Jumps for a Welsh Pony, belonging to Farmer Brown's daughter that then had an accident. Raggy Dolls to the Rescue, once again!|
|40||608||06/09/1989||The Terrible Storm||After the terrible storm was brewing, the Raggy Dolls must fix their new treehouse.|
|41||609||13/09/1989||The Stolen Parrot||The Raggy Dolls must help a parrot who had been birdnapped by poachers.|
|42||610||20/09/1989||Crazy Golf||Mr.Grimes had found a game of golf, so the Raggy Dolls must make a crazy golf for themselves.|
|43||701||28/06/1990||Pumpernickle's Party||The Raggy Dolls tries to help Pumpernickle by scaring all the crows away.|
|44||702||05/07/1990||So Safari||Mr.Grimes's terrible twin nephews were on a trip to the zoo as the Raggy Dolls followed with the help of the other animals.|
|45||703||12/07/1990||Making Faces||Deciding to cheer Sad sack up, the Raggy Dolls had made a puppet show to make him believe himself.|
|46||704||19/07/1990||The Old Windmill||The Raggy Dolls had found an old windmill as they soon discovered it.|
|47||705||26/07/1990||The Little Carthorse||The Raggy Dolls who have met a little carthorse who doesn't know who he is with a little help of Hercules the farmhorse.|
|48||706||02/08/1990||Making Jam||The Raggy Dolls were all harvesting crabapples and blackberries and they decide to make jam with them.|
|49||707||09/08/1990||The Teddy Bear's Picnic||While the Raggy Dolls were having a picnic lunch, they've met Mr.Grime's long lost teddy bear named Old Edward who had been lost for a long time as they tried to help him out.|
|50||708||16/08/1990||Mr Marmalade||The Raggy Dolls had quite enough of Mr Marmalade's tricks, as they made they're way to the factory, they were terrified by a rat so Mr Marmalade tries to rescue them by scaring the rat away.|
|51||709||23/08/1990||The Treasure Hunt||Mr Marmalade and the Raggy Dolls were on search to find a hidden treasure.|
|52||710||30/08/1990||Rupert the Roo||Sad sack had met a toy kangaroo Rupert the Roo who had been mailed from Australia, so the Raggy Dolls tries to help him out before heading back to Australia.|
|53||711||06/09/1990||Witch is Which?||When a witch tries to spoil their Halloween Party the other Raggy Dolls think her magic is the surprise laser show promised by Back-To-Front and Hi- Fi, and their laughter drives the witch away. When the boys explain their show didn't work, the Raggy Dolls make sure to laugh all the way home!|
|54||712||13/09/1990||Bonfire Night||The Raggy Dolls explain the significance of November 5 to Claude, and set out to watch the firework display. Claude is captured by some boys who are planning their own bonfire in an abandoned paint factory. They tie Claude to a rocket, and light their bonfire, oblivious of the sparks, which set the factory alight. Hi-Fi calls the Fire Brigade, but before they arrive a spark sets off the boys' box of fireworks and drives them away. In the commotion, the Raggy Dolls free Claude, just before a spark ignites the rocket.|
|55||713||20/09/1990||Rainbow's End||Princess learns that saying no gold doesn't make you happy.|
|56||714||27/09/1990||Lost in Space|
|58||716||11/10/1990||The Great Expedition|
|60||718||25/10/1990||Too Bossy||Dotty learns a valuable lesson about being bossy today.|
|61||719||01/11/1990||The Toy Fair|
|63||721||15/11/1990||Grand Prix Dolls|
|66||801||06/09/1991||Old Fashioned Dolls|
|69||804||27/09/1991||The Great Outdoors|
|70||805||18/10/1991||The Lonely Echo|
|73||808||08/11/1991||Windy Weather||The wind blows a young crow out of its nest. With the help of Back-To-Front's kite, and a helpful cow, the Raggy Dolls manage to return him to the treetop.|
|74||809||15/11/1991||Purple Diamonds||When the Raggy Dolls dig up a troublesome rock they think they have discovered valuable purple diamonds. They dream of what they would do with their riches, until Mr. Marmalade, the factory cat, explains that is only amethyst, and worth very little.|
|75||810||22/11/1991||The Giant Bumblebee||Mr. Grimes' sister leaves the terrible twins Oz and Boz with Mr. Grimes. He suggests they collect insects to study, but when the Raggy Dolls find that they have trapped the insects in a jar without airholes they dress up Sad Sack as a giant bumblebee to teach the twins a lesson|
|76||811||29/11/1991||The Return of the Roo|
|77||812||06/12/1991||The Boomerang Games|
|78||813||13/12/1991||Down on the Farm|
|80||901||08/09/1992||The Royal County Show|
|82||903||22/09/1992||The Town Carnival|
|85||906||13/10/1992||High and Dry|
|87||908||03/11/1992||William the Conker|
|89||910||17/11/1992||On the Town|
|90||911||24/11/1992||Danger, Men at Work|
|91||912||01/12/1992||Sight Seeing Dolls||The Raggy Dolls tour to London with their friend Ragamuffin.|
|92||913||08/12/1992||Dolls on Wheels|
|93||1001||28/09/1993||Robot Canteen||After Florrie had gone to do some shopping, Mr.Grimes had hired a robot to do the hard work as the Raggy Dolls tries to have a plan to get Florrie back.|
|94||1002||05/10/1993||Mister Mole||The Raggy Dolls have met a mole while having their picnic lunch together.|
|95||1003||12/10/1993||The Empty House||While testing on an aeroplane until it had landed on an empty house, when the Raggy Dolls tries to find it before heading back home with a flight of an owl.|
|96||1004||19/10/1993||Mon Repose||Mr.Grimes were having a holiday near the seaside, but it doesn't work at all when the Raggy Dolls tries to help people from getting washed away by the sea.|
|97||1005||26/10/1993||The Runaway Monkey||The monkey was into some kind of mischief as the Raggy Dolls have made their plans to catch the monkey.|
|98||1006||02/11/1993||Lucy's Greenhouse||When slugs eat the cabbages in Lucy's garden the Raggy Dolls make a greenhouse for her. Overcome by the heat she dreams she shrinks in size and meets many strange plants and insects. The Raggy Dolls rescue her, but she realises even pests have to eat.|
|99||1007||09/11/1993||The Horrible Princesses||Three haughty princess dolls make fun of Princess, but the Raggy Dolls convince them that a terrible wizard is on their trail to teach them all a lesson.|
|100||1008||16/11/1993||The Town Gala|
|101||1009||23/11/1993||Mr Grimes in Love|
|102||1010||07/12/1993||Wedding Bells||Mr. Grimes is too shy to declare his feelings to Cynthia Popplethwaite, so the Raggy Dolls play cupid. When Mr. Grimes and Cynthia get married, she brings the Raggy Dolls with her to the cottage so they can all live happily ever after.|
|103||1101||11/10/1994||Off on a Honeymoon||The Raggy Dolls were very proud of Mr.Grimes after he got married with Mrs.Grimes until they have decided to go on a honeymoon as the Raggy Dolls have followed them inside their suitcase.|
|104||1102||18/10/1994||A Mediterranean Cruise||When they have made to Spain by a Cruise Liner, Princess was being captured by a monkey so it was up to the Raggy Dolls to save her before heading back to the Cruise Liner with some help of the seagulls.|
|105||1103||25/10/1994||Stormy Weather||The Raggy Dolls decided to make a paddling pool to swim in it as the great big weather came and it worked out very well for the Raggy Dolls.|
|106||1104||01/11/1994||When in Rome||When they have made it to Italy, the Raggy Dolls tries to help the Italian alleycat by finding the lost kitten for them.|
|107||1105||08/11/1994||Just a Minotaur||While inside the secret Temple leaving crisps and peanuts for a trail until they have find a lizard who knew the way out until the Minotaur was only just Mr.Grimes thanks to one of Back-to-Front's funny pranks.|
|108||1106||15/11/1994||The Eyes of Rami||When they've went to Eygpt, the Raggy Dolls were being tricked by a Scorpion until they have met an eygptian princess doll named Shehabi who helped them find the emeralds for the eyes of the Princess Rami statue before it had magically heading them back home in the Reject bin.|
|109||1107||22/11/1994||Elephants do Forget||The Raggy Dolls and Mr.Marmalade tries to help the baby elephant by trying to remember everything by scaring it with a help of a little mouse that Mr.Marmalade had caught.|
|110||1108||06/12/1994||What's the Time?||The Raggy Dolls tries to help Sadsack try to remember the time has come.|
|111||1109||13/12/1994||The Russian Doll||Natasha, a Russian Doll of seven in the care of Mrs. Grimes, gets friendly with the Raggy Dolls, Rupert the Roo and Old Edward.|
|112||1110||20/12/1994||Bored||The final episode of the series when Rupert the Roo was bored of Natasha and Old Edward, so he decide to join the Raggy Dolls with a ride on a boat until they have dicovered some actresses and actors on the bridge of the water pond.|
- 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 6 September 1989 - 20 September 1989
- 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 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991 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
in the Spring of 1993 4 Front Video released one cassette under 'Pocket Money Video' range (Cat No. 0867323) with six episodes- The Flying Machine, The Pigeon Race, The Fun Fair, Spring Toys, A Trip to the Sea, A Royal Tour
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