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Original 1989 title
|Written by||Allan Ahlberg
|Directed by||David Cobham|
|Starring||Edward Fidoe (1989–1993)
Adam Roper (1993–1997)
Sebastian Mahjouri (1997)
Faye Jackson (1997)
Jack Allen (1997)
|Theme music composer||Paul Lewis|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||9|
|No. of episodes||69|
|Executive producer(s)||Lewis Rudd|
|Running time||25 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Central Independent Television|
|Original release||18 February 1989– 19 February 1997|
Woof! is a British children's television series produced by Central Independent Television about the adventures of a boy who shapeshifts into a dog. It was based on the book by Allan Ahlberg. It was directed by David Cobham. It was written by Richard Fegen and Andrew Norriss.
The show was first broadcast in 1989. It starred Liza Goddard as teacher Mrs Jessop. Edward Fidoe played Eric Banks, the boy who turned into a dog (played by Pippin) of the same name. It also starred Thomas Aldwinckle as Eric's friend Roy Ackerman and later Sarah Smart as his tomboy best friend Rachel Hobbs. Filming was interrupted for a while when Smart broke her leg.
The show generally featured weekly escapades to do with the dog power. Late in Eric's run of episodes, a start at a plot arc was developed, with Eric discovering the transition is caused by adrenaline, and meeting up with an adult (played by Anthony Head) who has the same affliction.
From Series Six which began airing in 1993, the episodes featured the adventures of Rex Thomas (played by Adam Roper) and his best friend Michael Tully (Monty Allan). Rex inherits Eric's "condition", and in the final episode of series 8 he becomes Mrs Jessop's stepson after she marries his father, Ken (Owen Brenman). Lionel Jeffries also guest-starred as Rex's Grandfather.
The ninth and final series, consisting of seven episodes, aired in 1997. It featured Jim Walters (Sebastian Mahjouri), accompanied by his cousin Brian Barford (Jack Allen) and next door neighbour Carrie Howard (Faye Jackson). By the time the show ended, Liza Goddard was the only original cast member to feature through all nine series.
The programme featured several well-known actors over the years. Leslie Grantham appeared in some episodes as Mr Garrett, a ruthless dog warden from the local dog pound. Stephen Fry appeared in one episode, as a cartoonist whose work is disrupted by Grandad and Rex. Others included Ruth Madoc, Anita Dobson, Penelope Keith, Leslie Phillips, John Ringham, Bill Pertwee, Julian Fellowes and Andrew Sachs.
Four dogs starred across the nine series. Pippin was the first, and she also starred in Children's BBC programme Come Outside, and a number of educational schools films. She was the offspring of one of the dogs who played Benji. Tich was the second dog to play Eric. Punch, a small white dog, played Rex the Dog. Tinka appeared as Jim the dog in the final series. Pippin was owned and trained by Ann Head.
Early series were filmed around the suburb of Moseley in Birmingham. Later in the series, production moved to Nottingham and much location filming took place in and around West Bridgford, a suburb just south of Nottingham, Keyworth (a large village, 7 miles south of Nottingham) and various other Nottinghamshire towns. The show was broadcast in Australia at 6:50am on weekdays on 7TWO from April 2010.
The school used during filming is Wilford Meadows Comprehensive located in Wilford. The school has since been demolished and a new school (The Nottingham Emmanuel School) was built on the land.
- Series 1: 4 episodes - 18 February 1989 – 11 March 1989
- Series 2: 7 episodes - 23 November 1989 – 11 January 1990
- Series 3: 8 episodes - 20 February 1991 – 17 April 1991
- Series 4: 7 episodes - 10 January 1992 – 21 February 1992
- Series 5: 6 episodes - 7 October 1992 – 11 November 1992
- Series 6: 10 episodes - 13 October 1993 – 15 December 1993
- Series 7: 10 episodes - 12 October 1994 – 14 December 1994
- Series 8: 10 episodes - 5 October 1995 – 14 December 1995
- Series 9: 7 episodes - 8 January 1997 – 19 February 1997
Despite being a British programme, the programme has yet to be released on dvd in the UK. A dvd release entitled Woof, which consists the entire Series 1 cut into one programme is available as a Region 1 dvd. Two further dvds called A Boy Called Woof and A Boy Called Woof 2 (which consists of series 3 cut into 1 programme) are available as Region 1 releases. Several unofficial dvds (which are VHS to DVD conversions) of Series 1-9 are available online through various sources.