|Created by||David Max Freedman|
|Directed by||Graham Ralph|
|Voices of||Alan Marriott|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||26 (6 unaired) (list of episodes)|
|Running time||11 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Peafur Productions|
|Original release||9 January –|
22 May 2003
Bounty Hamster is a 2003 British comic science fiction cartoon created by David Max Freedman and Alan Gilbey.
Cassie Harrison, a 13-year-old girl is searching the universe for her father after he was kidnapped by space pirates. To help her, she enlists the aid of the only bounty hunter she can afford, a talking blue hamster named Marion. They have an odd-couple style relationship and search the universe together for Cassie's father.
The blue space ship the pair use is divided into two parts, a driving cockpit which can be detached in order to fly down to a planet in a similar manner to a jolly boat from a vessel and a larger booster component which is attached on top of the small driving compartment. Scenes involving driving often show large objects and rooms that appear within the ship. The name of the ship is Keith.
Running gags include Marion pulling many, or odd, objects from his cheeks as if they are large pockets. In one instance he pulls out a large assortment of objects to help him and Cassie when they are falling off a cliff and this includes a cruise ship. Also, one of the science fiction references is the gag in which C-3PO from Star Wars appears in the ship and Cassie asks who he is.
Every episode starts with a brief explanation of the basic running plot and features a sequence showing Cassie's father being taken away. This is followed by a short sequence showing Marion being uncovered from a 'tough' armoured outfit and standing on stilts. The next sequence features the screen divided into four quarters, each showing several different scenes from episodes. The credits culminate in Marion uttering a fierce growl. The closing credits show an image of stars in space. The tune to the theme sounds like the words 'bounty hamster' but with notes to a 3-4 beat.
Despite airing in a children's timeslot, the show has quite a broad appeal, containing frequent science fiction references, in-jokes and puns, as well as nods to other movies and TV series. Marion's name and eyepatch is a parody of John Wayne and the character he played in True Grit. The show's premise is also based on True Grit - a young girl loses her father and then hires a bounty hunter.
- Marion, the hamster (voiced by Alan Marriott) - Marion is a 6-inch-high (150 mm) blue talking hamster. He wears an eyepatch on his right eye (Which is purely for aesthetic, as he has both eyes) and can fit all manner of objects within his cheek cavities. He is often outraged by stronger characters calling him 'cute' and tries to defend his personality despite his feminine name and small structure and this is when he says his catchphrase Don't call me CUTE! before going berserk. He is often seen as being clumsy or forgetful with the exception of comedic instances such as when he remembers to use a remote controlled locking device on his space ship.
- Cassie Harrison (voiced by Juliet Cowan) - Cassie (short for Cassiopeia) wears a white shirt and green trousers with an oddly shaped waist that opens at the top and then becomes thinner to the belt. These have darker green patches on her knees and pockets on either side. She wears grey shoes with white rubber soles. She has yellow (blonde) hair and is usually the more rational of the pair. She is constantly searching for her father and complaining at Marion's foolishness.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"Night Of The Hunters"||Graham Ralph||Olly Smith||9 January 2003|
|After Marion's failed attempt at getting information, Cassie decides to advertise for bounty hunters to find her missing father, but they mistake them for wanted posters and Marion and Cassie try to stop them before the hunt starts.|
|2||"Somewhere That's Green"||Graham Ralph||David Freedman & Alan Gilbey||16 January 2003|
|After Marion accidentally ejects all the food and water supplies from the ship, he and Cassie are left drifting in space, slowly starving to death, until they unexpectedly stumble across an environmental dome guarded by a fiercely protective plant growing robot.|
|3||"Chin Raider"||Graham Ralph||Dan Chambers, Mark Huckerby, & Nick Ostler||23 January 2003|
|Marion and Cassie, while on the run, crash land on a nearby planet where a secret order of bat monks worship the oracle, The Almighty Chin, whilst a treasure hunter seeks to steal it.|
|4||"Dog Day"||Graham Ralph||Dan Chambers, Mark Huckerby, & Nick Ostler||30 January 2003|
|Cassie receives a distress signal from a wrecked space station. Once there, Marion and Cassie discover a robotic puppy, of which Cassie calls Spot and decides to keep. However, the duo both discover that Spot has constructive and destructive tendencies.|
|5||"Just Deserts"||Graham Ralph||Olly Smith||6 February 2003|
|In a lost bet, Marion has lost Cassie to be Abnormality Jane's slave. Marion's efforts to get Cassie back fail, until he befriends a monster to dispose of Jane.|
|6||"Trading Spaces"||Graham Ralph||David Freedman & Alan Gilbey||13 February 2003|
|A fleeing criminal posing as a spaceship inspector comes on board the duo's ship and switches bodies with Cassie, leaving her in a dangerous chase with a bounty hunter. Cassie and Marion catch wind of this and nab the body swapper.|
|7||"The Good, the Bad and the Adorable"||Graham Ralph||David Freedman & Alan Gilbey||20 February 2003|
|Cassie and Marion arrive on a planet, hailed as heroes by the Humbles having driven away a bully, but he is coming back with his gang. The only thing that will ready those inept Humbles is singing.|
|8||"Lonely Planet"||Graham Ralph||Simon Blackwell & Roger Drew||27 February 2003|
|The planet which Cassie and Marion land on, is the living planet Walter, who can help Cassie if she summons inhabitants to him. Their plan is successful, but Walter has duped them the whole time.|
|9||"Forget Me Knot"||Graham Ralph||David Freedman & Alan Gilbey||6 March 2003|
|On Gulgathar XIII, Cassie and Marion follow the trail of a devious manager who is draining people's brain power to sell on the black market. After a brief battle, they restore the city of its brains.|
|10||"Bringing up Baby"||Graham Ralph||Simon Blackwell||13 March 2003|
|A lady entrusts Cassie to take care of her baby. Unfortunately the baby is rapidly aging every minute, but this age changing is revealed to be a natural phase of these alien bears.|
|11||"Off to Work"||Graham Ralph||Simon Blackwell||20 March 2003|
|Still stranded on Gulgathar XIII, Cassie and Marion work their way to buy a new ship, but Marion accidentally divides his personality into several individual beings. It is only a matter of time before the side effects can do real damage.|
|12||"Free Lenny"||Graham Ralph||David Freedman & Alan Gilbey||27 March 2003|
|At a junk ship store, Cassie and Marion rescue a scrapper robot Lenny from his abusive owner. Lenny gets the duo in trouble the more he follows them. After Lenny gets destroyed, they find he had in him, the duo's ship the whole time.|
|13||"Save the Whale"||Graham Ralph||Olly Smith||3 April 2003|
|A space whale Bertha is transporting a stolen atomic bomb, which will soon detonate. Cassie and Marion board the cargo hold and carry out the difficult task of defusing the bomb.|
|14||"Wish You Were Here"||Graham Ralph||Simon Blackwell||10 April 2003|
|A mysterious space nebula causes Cassie and Marion to be reunited with their families. They discover this force is only fooling their senses caused by a lonesome being who desires eternal company.|
|15||"Beached"||Graham Ralph||Dan Chambers, Mark Huckerby, & Nick Ostler||17 April 2003|
|Cassie and Marion are stranded on in a strange place and Marion meets his old friend Raymore, who reveals they are in the stomach of a giant space slug. The duo escape, but Raymore feels more at home with the space slug.|
|16||"Fashion Victim"||Graham Ralph||Dan Chambers, Mark Huckerby, & Nick Ostler||24 April 2003|
|A designer Claude le Fraude finds Cassie the perfect model and she accepts in hope her father will notice. Claude's true intention is fattening his models for a feast. The duo are rescued by the service bouncer.|
|17||"Frozen Stiffed"||Graham Ralph||Simon Blackwell||1 May 2003|
|On Swapsi XVII, Marion has swapped the duo's ship for an ice asteroid, which the devious manager is out to melt. Bertha assists them on their dangerous delivery.|
|18||"Mutiny on the Bounty Hamster"||Graham Ralph||Simon Blackwell||8 May 2003|
|Cassie and Marion board a space liner which has been overtaken by mutinous robots. The duo lead the crew to counter revolution the robots and successfully shut them down.|
|19||"Screaming Blue Murder"||Graham Ralph||Simon Blackwell||15 May 2003|
|Marion goes detective to find the culprit who is disabling the robots of the space liner. Marion pins Cassie for the culprit, granting the opportunity to expose the first presumed victim robot as the actual culprit.|
|20||"The Lost World"||Graham Ralph||Dan Chambers, Mark Huckerby, & Nick Ostler||22 May 2003|
|Cassie and Marion lose themselves in the Lost World beyond a blackhole. Later they are on the run from lost bounty hunters, but they escape by mysterious methods.|
|21||"Planet of the Japes"||Graham Ralph||Mark Huckerby & Nick Ostler||Unaired|
|Cassie and Marion are brought to Prankaria, a planet inhabited by monkey jokers. Marion becomes their king. Cassie makes a mistake by helping the anti-prankster monkeys. The duo depart to avoid further intervention.|
|22||"Twin Cheeks"||Graham Ralph||Neil Mossey & Rob Venes||Unaired|
|A thief with an uncanny resemblance to Marion has stolen a dimensional device and shelters in the duo's ship. They are pursued by an alternate Cassie who captures the wrong Marion, but Cassie rescues him.|
|23||"Monster Island"||Graham Ralph||David Freedman & Alan Gilbey||Unaired|
|On a planet, a city of miniature bunnies convict giant monsters and Cassie also gets caught. Marion teams up with a monster-loving bunny to liberate them, but the duo turn against them to stop them from destroying the city.|
|24||"Gone Fishin'"||Graham Ralph||David Freedman & Alan Gilbey||Unaired|
|On a hostile planet, the duo are taken by desert pirates and Marion becomes their new captain. As the go after the great white worm, Captain Reeham tries to reclaim his place, but Cassie conquers him.|
|25||"School's Out"||Graham Ralph||Alan Gilbey||Unaired|
|Leaving off the part where the duo cause a stir on Nautia MMM, Student Cassie feels like a misfit due to her space fantasy. Marion reveals they are in some mental prison and the duo manage to break out of it.|
|26||"The Trial"||Graham Ralph||Alan Gilbey||Unaired|
In a very special series finale clip show, Marion has to stand trial for his various misdeeds as a bounty hunter.|
Notes: Due to budget cuts at the network, this episode is entirely made up of clips from past episodes, with most of the lines overdubbed with new dialogue. The series ends with Marion's bounty licence being given to Cassie.
In addition, A.I. (Artificial Idiocy), an episode between The Lost World and Planet of the Japes was originally slated to air as episode 21; but due to budget cuts at CITV, the episode was never made and was replaced by The Trial, a low-budget clip show episode. According to co-creator Alan Gilbey, the episode would have involved a past friend of Marion now hunting the duo down in a starship.