Bagpuss

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Bagpuss, the main character of the show.

Bagpuss was a British children's television programme created by Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate. It ran from February 12 to the May 7, 1974.

Format[edit]

The mice fixing an object while singing "Sumer Is Icumen In".
The Marvellous Mechanical Mouse Organ.

The episode starts with a series of sepia photographs, and Emily bringing an object home to Bagpuss, who would take a look at the object. The mice then come and look at the object while singing a version of "Sumer Is Icumen In". Throughout the show, Madeline and Gabriel play music.

Characters[edit]

The mice on the mouse organ.
  • Bagpuss, the main character; a fat cat with pink and white stripes. Bagpuss is inanimate until Emily sings the song at the beginning.
  • Emily, a little girl who owns Bagpuss, and brings lost objects home in case someone notices them.
  • The mice, several mice who live in a large organ called "The Marvelous Mechanical Mouse Organ". They fix the objects that are brought home.
  • Professor Yaffle, a wooden bookend in the shape of a woodpecker. Professor Yaffle guesses what the object is, often getting it wrong.
  • Gabriel the Toad, a toad that plays the banjo.
  • Madeline the Rag Doll, a rag doll that sings.

Episodes[edit]

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 Episode  Title Original airdate Summary
1 Ship in a Bottle 12 February 1974[1] Some splints of wood are shaken out of a bottle by the mice. Bagpuss tells a story about mermaids and the magic repairs the model ship. The mice put it back into the bottle and raise the sails.
2 The Owls of Athens 19 February 1974 A dirty rag reveals a picture of an owl. Once cleaned, Madeleine recounts a story explaining why owls sound like they do. Gabriel recounts in song the story of a king who needed a cushion to sit on.
3 The Frog Princess 26 February 1974 Assorted jewels, which initially are thought to represent a cat and mouse but which Gabriel decides were the crown jewels of a frog princess.
4 The Ballet Shoe 5 March 1974 Put to inventive use by the mice, and the subject of a very silly song about its possible use as a rowing boat.
5 The Hamish 12 March 1974 A tartan porcupine pincushion, and a legend of a small, soft creature from Scotland.
6 The Wise Man 19 March 1974 A broken figurine of a Chinese man (the Wise Man of Ling-Po, Yaffle explains) and a turtle.
7 The Elephant 26 March 1974 An elephant missing its ears.
8 The Mouse Mill 2 April 1974 A wooden toy mill demonstrated by the mice to make chocolate biscuits out of butterbeans and breadcrumbs. This turns out to be a mischievous fraud. Gabriel and Madeleine sing a song about how ploughmen, farmers, millers, and bakers work at different stages of bread production. Even stern old Professor Yaffle cries.
9 The Giant 9 April 1974 A statuette, and a lesson about how sizes are relative.
10 The Old Man's Beard 16 April 1974 A tangly plant (Clematis vitalba seeding), and a loom for weaving.
11 The Fiddle 23 April 1974 A fiddle that plays itself, and a leprechaun.
12 Flying 30 April 1974 A basket that the mice attempt to turn into a flying machine. Professor Yaffle recites a poem about Percy Pratt, a man who apparently invented the aeroplane.
13 Uncle Feedle 7 May 1974 A piece of cloth, destined to be a house for a rag doll.

References[edit]

  1. Runcie, Charlotte 12 February 2014. "Happy 40th birthday, Bagpuss!", The Daily Telegraph