Playbox (1980s TV series)

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Playbox
Created by Anne Wood
Voices of Pat Coombs
Keith Chegwin
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 60
Production
Running time 11/15 minutes
Production company(s) Ragdoll Productions
Central Independent Television
Release
Original network ITV Network (CITV)
Original release 31 August 1987 – 28 September 1992

Playbox is a TV programme for pre-school children aged 2–5, which ran during the late 1980s and early 1990s in the United Kingdom on ITV and was produced by Central Independent Television. It was the first ragdoll show to be made by ITV. It was created by Leslie Pitts, and Anne Wood (who had only recently founded the now famous Ragdoll Productions).

The show took place inside a red, yellow and blue box, with the main characters, Cat and Dog, being controlled by a puppeteer (Marcus Clarke) from inside the box. The puppets would draw pictures, tell stories, sing songs, and play jokes on one another (mainly typical slapstick). The puppets were voiced by Pat Coombs and Keith Chegwin.

Playbox was part of the many other children's shows that would appear on weekday lunchtimes on ITV between midday and 12.30pm as well as Rainbow, Rod, Jane and Freddy, Allsorts, Rosie and Jim and The Riddlers.

Playbox began on air in 31 August 1987 and the show finished in 18 September 1992.

Episodes which were the chosen episodes from each series, In 1987 the first series of Playbox was broadcast for 13 episodes, In the 1988 series of series two there were 10 episodes, Another 10 episodes from series three in 1989, Another 10 episodes from series 4 in 1990, 9 Episodes were shown in 1991 in series 5 and the final 8 episodes during series six in 1992 until the show was axed, All the series have got 60 episodes.

VHS releases[edit]

VHS Title Release Date Episodes
Playbox Volume 1 (VC1194) 1 October 1990 Vets, Birthdays, Painting, Playground (1)
Playbox Volume 2 (VC1113) 1 October 1990 Birds, Water (1), Shoes and Dogs
Playbox Volume 3 (VC1167) 4 March 1991 Games, Buses, Playground (2) and Rubbish
Playbox Video Fun Pack (TB0003) 5 August 1991 Washing and Car Washing
Playbox - Video and Book (TB1003) 28 October 1991 Pet Shop, Clothes, Cranes and Ducks
Playbox Volume 4 (VC1237) 2 March 1992 Roadworks, Shopping, Water (2) and Trains
Playbox - Busy Bee and Other Stories (VC1247) 5 October 1992 Trees, Cars, Playdough and Playground (3)

Episodes[edit]

Series 1 (1987)[edit]

Birds (31 August 1987) - Cat shows Dog her toy roundabout with some children and some birds. They watch a TV where some children feeding birds on the bird table. Dog was swinging his racket and Cat pretends that it is a tree and gets some leaves to put on the top. Then Cat draws a picture of a bird sitting in the tree and they play a guessing game of which has come out of a birds tail.

Water (1) (1 September 1987) - Cat and Dog bought a tray of water and put a toy frog named Freddy in it. They watch a TV where a boy wash the dishes. Cat and Dog bring a green plate, a green saucer and green cup. Then Cat draws a picture of frog which is green. And they play a guessing game of where does a frog live.

Shoes (2 September 1987) - Cat shows Dog a toy crocodille which it doesn't bite. Then they watch a TV of a little girl getting her new shoes with her mum. Dog gets different shoes which doesn't make a pair so he gets the right shoes. Cat draws a picture of someone with bright colours was a butterfly. Then they play a guessing game of how many spots on the butterfly.

Vets (3 September 1987) - Cat shows Dog a toy dog just like Dog! They watch a TV of some little girls took their guinea pig to the vets. Cat shows Dog some toy pets all kinds of different pets. Then Cat draws a picture of a hamster and they play a guessing game of which does a hamster eat.

Birthdays (4 September 1987) - Cat shows Dog of a toy man with long heavy arms for balancing on one step without falling over. They watch a TV of some children get presents on someone's birthday. Cat brings her present to Dog and Dog gets his present to Cat. Dog has a little teddy and so does Cat! They both got presents, and Cat draws a picture of a birthday cake and they play a guessing game of how many candles on the cake.

Painting (7 September 1987) - Cat shows Dog of a long red stick with a sheep swinging over and over. They watch a TV of some children paint with their feet. Cat finds a box of water color paints and shows Dog what kind of paints are there. Then Cat draws a picture of a lamb, and they a guessinf game of how does a woolly lamb grow up to be. Today's story with Polly, Monkey and Toucan they visit their friend Hippo and they all draw pictures, Monkey draws a picture of Hippo, Polly does a self-portrait (A picture of Myself) and Toucan draws himself as a king.

Buses (8 September 1987) - Cat shows Dog of a thinning top with the train inside, then they watch a TV of a little boy going on a ride in the bus. Cat and Dog put three small colour balls in the small cup and three big colour balls in the big cup. Then Cat draws a picture of an elephant which is bigger than the bus, then they play a guessing game of how long is the elephant's nose.

Trains (9 September 1987) - Cat shows Dog a spinning top, then they watch a TV of a little boy going on a train. Then Cat and Dog have a trouble getting other sides with the big beach ball. Cat draws a picture of a boat and they play a guessing game of which shape is the sail.

Water (2) (10 September 1987) - Cat and Dog bring a tray of water and they bought a toy crocodille who likes to get wet. They watch a TV of a little boy taking a bath. Dog finds a rain hat and welly boats for him to wear and he pretends to splash in the puddle. Then Cat draws a picture of a crocodille and she and Dog play a guessing game of where does a crocodille lives.

Cranes (11 September 1987) - Cat shows Dog a toy crane that can life things up. Then they watch a TV of some children saw a real tall crane. Cat and Dog build different shape coloured bricks. Cat draws a picture of castle and they play a guessing game of what's on the top of the castle.

Shopping (14 September 1987) - Cat shows Dog a toy cow. They watch a TV of a little girl going shopping with her mum. Cat brings her shopping and shows them to Dog. Can draws a picture of cow and she and Dog play a guessing game of what do cows like to eat.

Playdough (15 September 1987) - Cat shows Dog her toy bee which it won't sting anybody. They watch a TV of some children play with their playdough. Cat and Dog make a flower out of modeling clay. Cat draws a picture of a bee and they play a guessing game of how many bees can they see.

Hippo (16 September 1987) - Cat shows Dog her toy Hippo that has a fish on a string that when pulled it will make his mouth move and he'll eat it. They watch a TV of some children playing with their toys and then helping their mum doing the vacuum cleaning. Cat and Dog look at the shopping they bought of Biscuits, Milk, Yogurt and Cheese. Cat draws a picture of a mouse and they play a guessing game of what a mouse likes to eat. Today's story with Polly, Monkey and Toucan they visit Hippo who is feeling unhappy because he has not had a present for his birthday so they give him a comb to use a teeth which makes Hippo very happy.

Boat(5 September 1988) - Cat drew a picture of a sailing boat. Today's story with Polly, Monkey and Toucan they visit Hippo who has a surprise, in which are stilts that Polly tried first, but Monkey wanted to join in the fun by them sharing one stilt each. Monkey then showed off with tricks that ended up them falling into a bush.

Clothes - Cat shows, as Dog's surprise, models of Hippo and Toucan on a wooden winding toy device during which Dog observes them both wearing a jumper and scarf respectively. On TV, they watch a young girl and her younger brother getting ready for school on a cold day and the brother plays 'Hunt the Thimble' while looking for one of his gloves. After this, Cat and Dog try to match up three pairs of gloves. Cat then draws a picture of "someone you'll only see when it's very cold," that being a snowman. They then play the guessing game revolving around what the snowman wears round its neck.

Pet Shop - Cat shows Dog's surprise which is a hopping toy parrot. They then watch, on TV, a mother and a daughter visiting a pet shop (one of which includes a parrot) to buy a pet rabbit and food to go with it. Cat observes its noisy atmosphere and asks Dog to guess the noises of three devices, those being a bell, a telephone and a clock. Cat congratulates Dog's listening skills and linking this, she draws him a picture of a notable listening animal with very big ears: a rabbit. They then play the guessing the game revolving around what rabbits like to eat.

Series 2 (1988)[edit]

  • Episode 202 (5 September 1988)
  • Episode 203 (12 September 1988)
  • Episode 204 (19 September 1988)
  • Episode 205 (26 September 1988)
  • Episode 206 (3 October 1988)
  • Episode 204 (10 October 1988)
  • Episode 205 (17 October 1988)
  • Episode 206 (24 October 1988)
  • Episode 208 (31 October 1988)
  • Episode 210 (7 November 1988)

Series 3 (1989)[edit]

  • Episode 301 (4 September 1989)
  • Episode 302 (11 September 1989)
  • Episode 303 (18 September 1989)
  • Episode 304 (25 September 1989)
  • Episode 305 (2 October 1989)
  • Episode 306 (9 October 1989)
  • Episode 307 (16 October 1989)
  • Episode 308 (23 October 1989)
  • Episode 309 (30 October 1989)
  • Episode 310 (6 November 1989)

Series 4 (1990)[edit]

  • Episode 401 (3 September 1990)
  • Episode 402 (10 September 1990)
  • Episode 403 (17 September 1990)
  • Episode 404 (24 September 1990)
  • Episode 405 (1 October 1990)
  • Episode 406 (8 October 1990)
  • Episode 407 (15 October 1990)
  • Episode 408 (22 October 1990)
  • Episode 409 (29 October 1990)
  • Episode 410 (5 November 1990)

Series 5 (1991)[edit]

  • Episode 501 (2 September 1991)
  • Episode 502 (9 September 1991)
  • Episode 503 (16 September 1991)
  • Episode 504 (23 September 1991)
  • Episode 505 (30 September 1991)
  • Episode 506 (7 October 1991)
  • Episode 507 (14 October 1991)
  • Episode 508 (21 October 1991)
  • Episode 509 (28 October 1991)

Series 6 (1992)[edit]

  • Episode 601 (31 August 1992)
  • Episode 602 (7 September 1992)
  • Episode 603 (14 September 1992)
  • Episode 604 (21 September 1992)
  • Episode 605 (28 September 1992)