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Toonhound presents...






It's A Puppet!

     The Spooks of Bottle Bay

   small spacer
    The Spooks
   of Bottle Bay
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     puppet style:
string and hand puppets
Ian Allen
Fugitive / Playboard Puppets
                           for Carlton TV

                                   1992 / SERIES ONE  - 15min eps  
                                   1994 / SERIES TWO
  - 15min eps  
                                   1995 / SERIES THREE
  - 15min eps  


"Spooks! - Woooo! - They live in Bottle Bay...
    Spooks! - Woooo! - They hide away all day..."


     In a bottle, on a shelf, in a house, is the seaside town of Bottle Bay, whose
     cooky inhabitants include a mixture of humans old and young, and big and
     small, and totally off-the-wall. In particular there's young Sidney Sludge, a
     well-meaning lad who just happens to have a twisted sister and wicked
     brother for company. Sybil and Cedric Sludge are a scheming, conniving
     pair of no-goods who are determined to drag their brother down to their
     foul familial level - so Sid's upped sticks to Ted and Lilly Turine's Sea
     View guest house...

     But Sidney need not be so concerned, because Bottle Bay is also home
     to a bunch of spooks. At the stroke of ten, each night Sally, Fred and Baby
     Spook take flight to put the frighteners up those Bottle Bay bad guys!

       Sidney Sludge

     From the creators of "Button Moon", and the folks behind "The Krays",
     "The Spooks of Bottle Bay" is a hoot. Manic antics abound around town,
     from the Sea View guest house to The Happy Plaice chip shop and on to
     the Mermaid Molly galleon in the harbour.  And yes, that was "The Krays"
     name-checked there, as in the bloody film all about that notorious East End
     double-act starring the Kemp brothers, because that was Fugitive's
     breakthrough production. And "Bottle Bay" was a change of direction
     for the folks at Playboard Puppets too. Their previous work had been of
     the preschool variety, although if you look closely, there are hints of the
     same "Bottle Bay" craziness in the antics of the Bottle Army of
     Button Moon.

     "The Spooks of Bottle Bay" is packed with cooky characters, like Lilly
     who is always parading with her pink poodles, Bella at the chip shop, and
     Maxi the bulldog. Not forgetting the horrendous Sybil, who looks like a
     cross between Grotbags from Emu, and Zelda from Terrahawks. But it's
     those spooks who steal the show. Formed out of knotted bedsheets,
     blankets, pillow cases and accessories they float hither and thither by
     the light of the moon, putting the wind up Sid's antagonists with
     spectacular success. The Spooks regularly attend a cockeyed
     Night School, run by a red-sheeted Schoolmaster. But best of all is
     Tommy Spook, a gibbering plaid blanket with a red bowler hat and a
     certain unbound madness in his eyes!

     Three series were produced for Carlton TV between 1992 and 1995,
     and they aired against an equally-manic and marvellous rival on the BBC,
     in the form of Mortimer and Arabel...

      Bottle Bay - a bay in a bottle!

     Bottle Bay episodes

    Meet The Spooks
                 Picking up the Pieces
    Sniffing Out Spooks
              A Spooky Party
    Spook In The Post
                Cedric's Revenge
    To Catch A Cat
                   A Bug in the Bath
    A Shock For Lucy Spook
        Doggy Trail
    Spooks In Distress
    Full Moon Tonight - part 1
    Full Moon Tonight - part 2
    Treasure in the Attic
    Spooks Will Be Spooks
    Flying Baby Spook
    That's Spooky
    The Spooks are Back
    Spooks Ashore
    Mermaid Molly
    Spooky Showtime
    Spook in the Post


    a Fugitive/Playboard Puppets Production
     for Carlton Television

    created by Ian Allen

    producers:        Ray Burdis, John Thirtle

    director:           Paul Cole

    assoc prod:       Matthew Justice
    exec prods:       Ian Allen, Jim Beach, Dominic Anciano
    1st asst dir:      Melanie Dicks
    editor:              Paul Endicott
    script editor:     Paul Cole
    music:              John Beckett
                            Spooks theme by Charlie Skarbert
                            and Richard Blanshard
     & sets:                 
Playboard Puppets
    crew:                Bebe Barrett, Judith Bucklow,
                            Ann Cartwright, Elaine Cartwright,
                            Dodge, Peter O'Rourke, Paul Jomain,
                            Mick Hockney, Neil Arnold, Iain Mennell,
                            Glyn Pugh, Rob Matson, Lesley Husain
    performers:       Ian Allen,
Francis Wright, Simon Buckley,
                            Richard Coombs, Sue Dacre, Phil Eason,
                            Tony Holtham, Steve Nallon, Nigel Plaskitt,
                            John Thirtle, Heather Tobias, Louise Gold
    lighting dir:        Rob Kitzmann
    camera team:    Tony Etwell, Ross Oglethorpe,
                            Tridstan Mullane, Mark Reeson
    grip:                  Joe Smythe
    gaffer:               Sonny Birdis
    rigging gaffer:    Mike Chambers
    sound:               Roy Drysdale, Sean O'Donnell
    prod co-ord:       Anna Lisa Seccombe
    prod asst:          Sarah-Jane Wright
    continuity:         Elisabeth West
    2nd asst:           Jemma forte
    online editor:     Matthew Hall
    dub mixer:         Ian Tapp
    voices:              Ian Allen
                            Francis Wright
                            Richard Coombs

                            Nigel Plaskitt

                            Louise Gold
                            John Thirtle
                            Heather Tobias

     On the web:

       Playboard Puppets
       The official site, with a history page, tv details, and more...

       Little Gems
       Series info is accompanied by a menagerie of screen grabs,
       and more...

       Richard Coombs
       Ya-Boo! - Here's Cyril Sludge - or rather, Richard, who
       was Cyril's puppeteer...

       Nigel Plaiskitt
       Multi-talented Nigel "Pipkins" Plaiskitt has his own site here...

       Simon Buckley
       Here's Simon's site...

       Steven Nallon
       And Steven's is within "spitting" distance....

       Mimic Productions        
       Sally from Mimics previously worked for Playboard Puppets
       and built some terrific creations for the Bottle Bay series...

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© Carlton Television / F2007