David Peachey as Bernard in the opening title used throughout the original run of the series (1997-2001)
|Created by||Andrew Norriss|
|Directed by||David Cobham|
|No. of series||7|
|No. of episodes||79 (list of episodes)|
|Original channel||ITV Network (CITV)|
|Original release||1995 (Pilot), 14 November 1997 – 31 March 2005|
Bernard's Watch is a British children's drama series about a young boy who can stop time with a magical pocket watch. The show was created by Andrew Norriss and was produced for seven series that aired on CITV from 14 November 1997 to 31 March 2005.
The concept of the show was originally thought up by Alexander John Howard in 1991, but it took six years to get funding. The show eventually began as a single 15-minute episode, which in fact lasted four hours, however it was suggested it could work as a series. Four more stories were written by creator Andrew Norriss, who thought, in his own words, "that would be it". However he ended up writing six entire series.
The first five series aired from 14 November 1997 to 7 December 2001 and were produced by Central Television. It was written by Andrew Norris, who wrote the book Bernard's Watch in 1999, published by Puffin. It was primarily filmed at South Wilford CofE Primary School, Nottingham. These series were produced by Lewis Rudd  and directed by David Cobham.
A couple of years after its original run, the show was revived, which included a change to the format, new cast and filming location. The 2004 series was produced by Carlton Television and aired from 6 January to 30 March 2004. The seventh and final series was renamed as 'Bernard', was produced by Granada Yorkshire and aired from 6 January to 31 March 2005. The school scenes were filmed at Kerr Mackie Primary School, Leeds, whilst most outside scenes were filmed at the then-newly built South Wilford CofE Primary School.
The first run told of a young boy called Bernard who was always late, until a postman gave him a "magic watch" which could stop time. He soon found out that the postman had magical powers, and that these watches were given to people who needed them. The rules of him keeping his watch were that he must not use it to commit crimes or hurt anyone. Every episode focused on Bernard or someone to whom he'd lent the watch facing a problem or simply doing day-to-day stuff and trying to sort it out, using the watch.
The second run was significantly different. According to the final opening sequence, the watch simply flew through Bernard's window. The character of the "postman" did not exist, and Bernard seemed to be the only person in the world who had such a watch. His best friend Nathan knew about the watch. This series revolved mainly around Bernard's school, Pentup Primary, where he'd usually get the better of his bullying schoolteacher called Ms Randy Savage and a popular girl called Nicolette.
Series 1-5: 1997-2001
- Narrator - Liza Goddard
- Bernard Beasley - David Peachey
- Postman - Jack McKenzie
- Mr John Beasley - Martin Neil
- Mrs Jane Beasley - Ruth Hudson
- Grandad - Barry Jackson
- Karen Hewitt - Phoebe Allen (series 1-3)
- Nathan Hewitt - Patrick Ball (series 1-3)
- Lucy Rownham - Elizabeth Mellor (series 4)
- Sam Vernon - Samantha Birch (series 5)
- American Postman - Derek Griffiths (series 4)
Series 6-7: 2004-05
- Bernard Beasley - Ryan Watson
- Robbie - Nick Baker
- Nathan - Patrick Ball
- Nicolette Ashbury - Rosie Day
- Ms Yvonne Savage - Kay Purcell
- Mr Steel - Martin Ball
There were several sell-through VHS tapes available of the show, featuring episodes from the first two series, though the publisher has since deleted these.