Fans of children’s television are in for yet another treat this month, following on from the recent release news that Network are to show the best adventures of Tingha and Tucker on DVD, now ATV children’s drama Timeslip – The Complete Series is to be issued as part of a limited edition set.
Well remembered to this day as a benchmark of 1970s telefantasy, this set contains all episodes in their original, as-transmitted, full screen aspect ratios, alongside a wealth of special features.
Devised by Ruth Boswell – who would go on to produce both The Tomorrow People and Shadows – Timeslip blends hard science and fantasy in its tale of two teenagers who discover the existence of a ‘time barrier’ enabling them to travel to different periods and locations – from World War Two to chilling visions of the future.
Three children have vanished from the tiny Midlands village of St Oswald. First to disappear is local girl Sarah, then Simon Randall and Liz Skinner, who are on holiday with Liz’s parents. Only Commander Traynor, an apparent stranger to the area, can offer some idea of where they are – and that idea is so incredible and horrifying that the Skinners cannot believe it…
- Behind the Barrier: feature-length documentary
- Beyond the Barrier: mini-episode
- Exclusive book on the making of the series by noted archive television historian Andrew Pixley
- Back to the Barrier 2003: the cast return to the series location
- Day of the Clone 2007: Convention footage
- PDF archive featuring scripts and production paperwork
- Image gallery
- Disc text features – including an overview of Timeslip comic strip artist Mike Noble
Featuring exclusive packaging, all 26 episodes on DVD and a brand new ‘making of’ book by TV historian Andrew Pixley. It will be available to own from 27th June 2016, RRP £39.99. This limited edition set is only available whilst stocks last. Thereafter, Timeslip – The Complete Series will be available to own on DVD only.
Tingha and Tucker was a hugely successful series which hit the air quite by accident. When Australian producer and director Reg Watson was sent a present of some Koala toys to ATV they ended up appearing with continuity announcer Jean Morton to fill in some air time during a technical breakdown. Reg named the marsupials Tingha and Tucker and shortly after the pair became a fixture of the children’s schedules. Several puppets for each character were made for the TV series over its eight year run, with a reported scandal that the all the various versions of the puppets from the show were ‘stolen’ from the ATV studios in Birmingham not long after the series ended in 1970. We’ve done a little investigating, and after speaking with some former staff at the studios we’ve discovered the puppets, toys, sets and other props were actually all skipped – thankfully the lead puppets of Tingha and Tucker were saved by some employees at the studios – sadly currently we’ve only been able to track down one 1960s version Tucker, the rest remain lost to time.
Other regular characters in the series included Porky Possum, Ki Ki the Kangaroo, Willie Wombat, Katie Kookaburra and Ermintrude Emu. It was lead hosted by ‘Aunty Jean Morton’ with guest co-hosts including ATV continuity announcer Pat Astley. The series followed the adventures of the Koalas as well as stories and competitions. The series proved so popular a fan club was launched, with members getting their woomarang-boomerang and a club badge. There were also a series of puppets made for fans to buy, these however varied from the telly version – notably they didn’t have any feet! but it didn’t seem to matter to the fans, they bought up anything show related in their droves with best-selling annuals and hit records all in their collections.
Sadly the majority of the episodes were wiped by ATV shortly after ITV transmission, however the recent discovery of a cache of film material has allowed three more editions to be reconstructed especially for DVD release.
- Over three hours of existing film insert material (including several Zoo Club sequences, a young Nigel Mansell, Ilkeston Donkey Derby, baby leopards and much more!)
- Tingha and Tucker promotional film
- Blackpool: On Stage
- Jean Morton interview
- Image gallery
- PDF material including annuals, articles and memorabilia