Talk:The Magic Roundabout

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Line removed[edit]

I've removed the line:

The French thought that Dougal in the series was a reference to De Gaulle, the collaborating general in the Second World War.

  • a) because I'm not sure whether they did think that, but mostly
  • b) De Gaulle was most certainly not a collaborator in WW2.
  • c) In any case, surely the French would have referred to him as the President, which he was for most of the time the Roundabout was in production?

Arwel 20:10 21 Jul 2003 (UTC)

In answer to this.

  • a) You can't know everything.
  • b) I apoligise in thinking that De Gaulle was a collabarator but I thought that was why the French people thought that was why the English were having a go at him.
  • c) This was after De Gaulle was in power. In the same way we don't call the Duke of Wellington Prime Minister Wellesley we tend to think of him as General De Gaulle rather than President De Gaulle.


This article should probably treat the original french version first, and then discuss the english variant. Morwen - Talk 15:07, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Dougal/De Gaulle[edit]

I've updated the text to cite directly the 1968 Joan Bakewell interview with Serge Danot on Late Night Line Up, which I have on VHS recorded on January 6th 1992 from Channel 4's The Return Of The Magic Roundabout. Danot appeared with an associate, Jean Biard (or perhaps Billard - I have to rely on Ms. Bakewell's French accent, the name is not shown in any caption), who translated for him. Biard at one point said to Bakewell "Can I tell you something about the French reaction about the Dougal name?" He then turned to Danot and said (in French) "I'm telling her the story that is told of De Gaulle." He continued "We all thought that when you spoke of Dougal we are very afraid about our, er, I mean, our Ministry, our Foreign Ministry, and we thought it was Mr. De Gaulle, the President, you know." He and Bakewell laughed briefly, and he continued, as the image cut to an image of De Gaulle overlaid by the caption DE GAULLE RESIGNS, "Yes, we were afraid about that, but it's alright."

Professor Eugene Q Thrung III (talk) 09:35, 27 August 2011 (UTC)


"Dillon" has been consistently mispelled as "Dylan" in this article. -- Derek Ross | Talk 02:13, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

So I've fixed it... -- Derek Ross | Talk 02:19, 20 February 2006 (UTC)


Dylan has not been "mispelled" Please cite your source before making any further revisions Lion King 02:44, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Fair enough. Radio Times back issues circa 1970. And perhaps you could cite your source for the rabbit's name being Dylan. -- Derek Ross | Talk 04:46, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Radio Times is not accurate, they were unaware that Eric Thompson had named him after Bob Dylan. They only heard the name being said during the narration because there were no scripts as he made it up as he went along. Try typing The Magic Roundabout into Google, you will only find Dylan, not Dillon. Plus I still have books from my childhood that name him as Dylan.Lion King 05:20, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
<Grin>, so the BBC was lying to us all those years ago! Well, well. I see that they have now changed their minds about the spelling. So "Dylan" is the spelling we should be using after all. However rightly or wrongly, Google will return you a couple of sites which use the Dillon spelling if you type in magic roundabout... -- Derek Ross | Talk 06:55, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
It's Dylon.. just look at the film! -- 9cds(talk) 14:03, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
  • LOL. Lion King 14:51, 20 February 2006 (UTC) P.S. "Dylon" is a spelling mistake it happens. After all, we all make mistook's, we're onley humon. Lion King
Definitely Dylan. DJ Clayworth 16:41, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Time of the news[edit]

IIRC The Magic Roundabout went out at 17.35, before the BBC's main evening news which was always at 17.40. The BBC news moved from 17.40 to 18.00 some time in the eighties. I may be nit picking (apols) but when invoking strong childhood memories these little details count!

Uh-uh. The news went out at 17:45 originally, before they added 5 minutes to the beginning. -- Arwel (talk) 00:38, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
  • "Sort it out you two", said Zebedee! Lion King 10:45, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Drug Reference Theory[edit]

Despite the denial of there being any drug references in The Magic Roundabout, to the best of my recall it runs something like this:

Hippyish long hair, has "dreams" after eating sugar cubes. (LSD)
Red nose, flighty attention span, aggressive personality, delusions of grandeur. Snails leave white lines behind them. (Cocaine or Amphetamines)
Finds everything funny, constantly hungry - and cows eat grass. (Cannabis)
Flushed red, constantly twitching, hyperactive, looks like a pill. (Uppers, Poppers or Amyl nitrite)
Dopey, unfocused; in Dougal and the Blue Cat he utters the line "Hey man, I'm just watching these crazy mushrooms grow". (Possibly Magic Mushrooms)

Obviously this is no more than idle speculation, which is why it's in the talk page.

Astatine 10:45, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Traffic roundabouts[edit]

The stuff at the end about traffic roundabouts should be mostly merged into Magic roundabout.Ben Finn 20:41, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree, and have made a reference to the main article, Magic Roundabout. --Portnadler 09:11, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

French article[edit]

There is surprisingly little reference to the UK version in the French Wikipedia article. Jooler 07:52, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Dougal's Breed[edit]

"The main character was Dougal or Pollux, (a Maltese dog, albeit of a non-standard colour)."

I think the reason for the non-standard colour would be that he's not a Maltese. I always thought he was intended to be a Puli. -Pennoir 21:42, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

While he does slightly look like a Maltese, he does more closely resemble a puli. Maybe a source for the breed (if any) could be obtained? Antisora 12:03, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
I always thought he was a Yorkshire terrier! This definitely needs sourcing. Rissa (talk) 18:27, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Am I the only one who wants a DVD release?[edit]

Nowhere can I find anything about the original series of The Magic Roundabout getting a DVD release, and nor can I find a campaign to support. Annoying when so many of its contemporaries are available. The market must be there, surely? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:15, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Differences between the French and English version?[edit]

The article mentions that the two shows have different narration but doesn't go into any details. Could anyone expand on the difference between the two versions? Ke11ett 15:10, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

It's said that Eric Thompson just watched what was happening and made the stories up as he went along live, and his narration was not recorded, hence there being no scripts for Nigel Planer to follow. Hope this helps. Lion King (talk) 13:40, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, Lion King, but that just makes things more confusing… For a start, there is nothing to suppose that Eric Thompson just sat and narrated over the top without a script - he wrote them to fit the on-screen action, without knowing what the original French script had said, so the story needn’t be the same, but he didn’t make them up as he went along. They are too finely crafted for that. He later adapted his scripts as children’s books. Secondly, I don’t know why that would have had anything to do with Nigel Planer; he replaced Eric Thompson as narrator (who had died some years previously), but he was dealing with episodes which Thompson had never had anything to do with, he wasn’t re-dubbing Thompson’s episodes. Jock123 (talk) 19:55, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Zebedee reference in media[edit]

The character Zebedee was referenced in this newspaper article here: [1] in regards to these new poweriser/powerbocker things which are spring-footed much like Zebedee. I found it referenced in the article. I'm not sure if this news website is notable enough to mention for media exposure regarding Zebedee? Tyciol (talk) 03:22, 10 March 2008 (UTC)


  • I've seen a remake of The Magic Roundabout on Australian TV. Are there any official sources that comply with this (not the movie). Kausill (talk) 12:34, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Lost episodes[edit]

This can only be partially correct:

Of the 441 episodes that were made, 25 are currently missing. Three episodes from series 2 and seven from series 3 were wiped and the tapes reused for reasons of cost.

The series was stop animation and could only have been made on film. "Wiped" must be a minomer, and I have removed this passage. Philip Cross (talk) 22:45, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

The original French masters were on film, but the English-dubbed shows could easily have been on tape, either as supplied by the French TV company to the BBC that way for broadcast, or to allow Eric Thompson’s new narration to be added; so it isn’t possible to say that because it was stop-motion animation that episodes weren’t indeed wiped, and thus now lost to us. Jock123 (talk) 19:59, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

The BBC would have been sent film prints, this was the norm, not until mid 80's early 90's were series supplied on VT, at around the time they phased out the standard practice of transmitting directly from the film prints via telecine, so Philip is more than likely correct, tape copies may have been made, at a later date, of the BBCs b/w and colour prints with Thompsons narrations, which they still have, some of which may or may not have been wiped? But anyway the french would still have all the original films, so technically none of the episodes are missing, possibly?. Also the episodes would have been dubbed on film as VT dubbing of this kind was extremely difficult until around 1973/74. The BBC only bought b/w film copies of the series until 1970 when they started broadcasting the series in colour.

Having now checked, only six of the 441 episodes bought by the BBC are missing and not 25 as the original copy stated. Four b/w episodes first broadcast 19/01/67-20/01/67-23/01/67-29/01/68 and two colour episodes txed 15/03/74 and 31/03/74. (talk) 01:43, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Zebulon/ Zebedee[edit]

The line in the section about the German version (“The name of the magician "Zebedee" in German is "Zebulon", a reference to of one of the twelve tribes of Israel”) is redundant because a) the character is named that in the original French anyway, and b) because “Zebulon” is just a boy’s name, albeit one of Joseph’s brothers in the Bible, which could belong to anyone without it being a reference to the tribe of the same name: you wouldn’t expect to find every instance of someone called “Joseph” or “Benjamin” being cited as a reference to the tribes of Israel, so why this one? Jock123 (talk) 20:04, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable - I've removed it. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 20:03, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

I have seen a version that seem to be computer generated or something[edit]

What version could that be. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

It could be the 2005 film or the 2006 redub Doogal. Or the TV Series that was on for a short time in 2007. I have also capitalized your words. (talk) 01:18, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Jasper Carrott and the Magic Roundabout[edit]

There is a cite request for Jasper claiming the Funky Moped single sold on the back of the poularity of the Magic Roundabout monologue on the B-side, I don't know if there is printed ref that can be cited but please note the "Carrott in Notts" LP track Local Radio Promotion (DJM 1976) in which Jasper Carrott makes this claim during this comedy track. Sure he did on many TV appearences also, anyone know a printed ref? possibly one of Jaspers books? (talk) 00:47, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Magic Roundabout and the RAF[edit]

I've added brief info on the Shackleton that crashed (Dylan) in 1990, as it seems relevant. Penfolderoldo (talk) 20:35, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

That one, WR965, actually seems to have been called Dill, after the dog in The Herbs, but it may have been known later as Dylan. (The Magic Roundabout was better remembered than The Herbs by the 1980s.) Seven of the twelve Shackleton AEW2s operated by No.8 Squadron from 1972 to 1991 (reduced to six from 1981) were named after Magic Roundabout characters. Originally, a Shackleton T4 navigation trainer operated by the RAE at Farnborough was given the name Zebedee, because of the Shackleton's tendency to bounce on landing. This became a popular nickname for Shackletons, but when 8 Sqn took up the airborne early-warning role in 1972 they named aircraft after Florence, Mr Rusty, Brian, Mr McHenry, Dougal and Ermintrude. They seem to have run out of Magic Roundabout names and started using names from The Herbs as well. Ermintrude was renamed Parsley, after the green lion, but another aircraft was then given the name Ermintrude; when that one was retired in the '81 defence cuts, Parsley seems to have become Ermintrude again. The names and pictures of the characters were painted on the aircraft, though squadron COs do not seem to have approved of such a practice in peacetime.

Of surviving Shackletons, the one in taxiing condition at Coventry is WR963 Ermintrude, formerly Parsley. The one in the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry is WR960 Dougal. The one at Pima, Arizona is WL790 Mr McHenry. WL747 Florence and WL757 Brian are standing abandoned in the open at Paphos airport, Cyprus, and slowly deteriorating. Khamba Tendal (talk) 14:48, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

Video game[edit]

It looks like there is a video game named "The Magic Roundabout" (PC, NDS, Wii), I think it should be mentioned in the article: [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] Amazon: [7] [8] Ark25  (talk) 12:32, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

It's is a French tv series[edit]

The series is not British produced in anyway whatsoever Bob3458 (talk) 14:35, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

Le Manège enchanté is totally French, yes, but The Magic Roundabout is a weird blend - a mash-up, maybe? - that is due as much to British work. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 15:13, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
I understand what you're saying but the series in general was never made in the United Kingdom it was a French produced series Bob3458 (talk) 01:14, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, it was. It was rerecorded and edited and given new characters and a whole new plot line in Britain - that is a pretty good definition of "made". It is possible to watch both Le Manège enchanté and The Magic Roundabout and they are two different shows.
I'm trying to think of a parallel but nothing exactly the same comes to mind. You wouldn't say that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead was written by Shakespeare ... that's about as close as I can get. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 11:01, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Apparently we're going to disagree on this ... anybody else have an opinion? - DavidWBrooks (talk) 23:52, 22 June 2017 (UTC)