10/98 - Michael from Dublin, Ireland writes: Well done David, I searched hard on the 'net and finally came up with your site. I can't believe how old fashioned everything looks! I can't wait to tell my sisters about the site, we used to watch this religiously as kids.....
10/98 - A DD fan writes: When I was a very small child, my favorite show was the "Double Deckers". I even had the lunchbox. Years past, I grew up and the lunchbox was lost or thrown out. Over the years, the only memory I have of the show was "Brains" inside the bus working on something, and without a doubt the most kicken theme song of any kids show ever. No one I ever talk to remembers the show. Today I got on your site and listened to the theme song that has been in my brain for almost 3 decades! It is just as I remember it. Thank you for the site and putting the song on the net. It was great to hear. Is the "Double Deckers" on video? I would doubt it,but I just thought I'd ask. Thanks again, V.
9/98 - Shaun of Australia writes: I saw your "Double Deckers" page where you said you were seeking to confirm that Michael Audreson played the role of "Flynn" in "The Thargon Menace" serial of "The Tomorrow People". I am a Tomorrow People fan (which is how I stumbled upon your page - it came up in a search for the Tomorrow People) and I can confirm that Michael did play that role.
9/98 - Philippe of Belgium writes: I was a child when this series came over in Belgium and the TV show here was named, "FEU VERT" but I sure remember well the "Double Deckers". It was a wonderful time of the day when it was shown (Wednesday afternoon). Now, I'm 38.
9/98 - Andy of Enfield, Middlesex writes: Your website brought a lump to my throat - it's absolutely brilliant!!! I was about 6-7 years old when the show first went out but I remember it vividly and like a lot of your visitors I never dreamed there would be anything on the DD's when I did my search. I'm astonished at how much info you've amassed. It must have been very hard work. It's one of the best things I've ever seen on the web. Congratulations and well done!!!!!
8/98 - Michael Audreson of the Double Deckers writes: Brinsley Forde told me how good this was. I'm delighted both that people are still interested in the show and that we have
such a good site. If anyone has any questions, I'll be happy to try and answer them. It's easy to confuse DD's with 'The
Magnificent Six and a Half,' a series of Childrens Film Foundation films made by the same company, producer and
director. This had similar characters, with different names, and scripts.As well as Brinsley and me. the members were Len
Jones, Ian Ellis, Suzanne Togni, Kimi Tallmadge and Lionel Hawkes. We made 6 films in 1967. In 1969 we made six
more. Len was unavailable as he was starring as the voice of 'Joe 90' in Gerry Anderson's series so he was replaced by
Robin Davies, who some will remember from 'Catweazle'. In 1970 Roy Simpson and Harry Booth took the concept of a
gang of kids with a headquarters in a junk yard to British TV and were turned down! So they obtained finance from 20th
Century Fox. They were told they should start afresh with new children but somehow Brinsley and I survived. After the first series, the head of the studio was replaced and many of his shows were
8/98 - Paul from Ohio writes: I have been tring to remember the name of this show for years and I finally found it in the tv listings from 1971 at the TV Party site. Now I've found your site.....Unbelievable!!!!! I was 9 when the show was on in the early 70's and still could remember some the theme song.Your real audio of the theme song brought back lost memories. This is truely what the internet is for....info on anything you can think of,including past childhood tv shows. Great work!
8/98 - Colin writes: On the episode guide to the seventies show the Protectors, Debbie Russ shows as a guest in the episode Sugar And Spice.
8/98 - Simon from Yorkshire, England writes: I canít believe thisÖthis is the most fantastic site I have ever come across on the web. I came across your Double-Deckers site a couple of days ago when just searching around, and amazingly enough guess what came up! Iíve just got around to having the time to put together an extensive e-mail to youÖ..
When I first got on the net a couple of years ago, it was one of the first things I went looking for, but at that time came up with nothing except a reference to the show and cast list on something which I think was called the Internet Movie Database or something like that. But to find a completely dedicated website to the Double-Deckers just, as I think some of your other e-mail repliers said as well, made my day!
I have to say I was surprised to find that a show such as the Double-Deckers would have a fan-base in the States and Canada (you donít say on your site that thatís where youíre from, but with your references to ABC Television the States is what I assumed! - by the way, where exactly in the States are you from?) because I always assumed that a show like the Double-Deckers was a peculiarly British type of thing, but obviously I was wrong! It just shows our typical British apathy that it took an American to do something as wonderful as this! Also you donít mention how old you are!
Let me tell you a few things about the Double-Deckers as I saw them as a child (Iím 34 now) in the UK. Just a bit of background information which may or may not be a bit of help to you. A few questions as well? Maybe youíll have time to answer them.
The Double-Deckers went out in Britain in around 1969/1970 on the BBC. The first-airing dates you mention seem to be first US airings, which of course being a British show would not be the first worldwide airing dates, as the first worldwide would be the first British airings. Do you have any method of finding further information on that? It might be a good idea if you tried to establish contact with anyone from the original production team. Maybe you already have, I donít know.
I must have watched DD on the first runs, as I was 5-6 at the time and the episodes I remember most vividly, not having seen them for years, are the busker one, the Alice in Wonderland one, the Star-Struck one in the TV studio (I remember Victor Spinetti in that as the harassed TV Producer, heís famous for being in the Beatlesí Help! movie and Sugar Puffs adverts with the Honey Monster) and the ones where Brains invents a robot and the hovercraft. Like many of your respondents, I had a big thing about Billie at the time, and I always used to think that the sequence at the beginning and end with the faces which you have published on the website, was brilliant.
It is correct that DD was repeated in the late 80ís as part of DJ Kat. They also went out again sometime around Ď92 or Ď93 and I taped a couple of those episodes at that time, but they have since been lost to the great tape eraser from hell! I also taped the theme tune of the video onto a cassette tape to play in the car. Mad for it or what!
I donít know if you know this but the Double-Deckers was a product and/or development of something in the UK at the time which was called the Childrenís Film Foundation. They made a large amount of output for a phenomenon known colloquially in the 1970ís as "Saturday morning pictures" which lots of kids went to at that time. It was just the movie theatres (we called it "the pictures") having a Saturday morning kids club down at the local fleapit (do you know that term, fleapit!Öit was years before the advent in the UK of the multiplex!). Anyway, the Childrenís Film Foundation made loads of short features for that type of event, and to be honest, I can remember that although they never showed the Double-Deckers at the Saturday morning pictures itself, that Michael Audreson was in a lot of them. I can remember distinctly a non-Double-Deckers story that had him inventing a hovercraft, just like the Double-Deckers storyline. I also remember thinking at that time that they had ripped it off from the Double-Deckers. But maybe it was the other way around, you never can tell! Childrenís Film Foundation output was all very similar in itís kitsch 70ís Double-Deckers type treatment and they had that genre off to a tee! In fact I suppose they invented it really.
Anybody who can remember the Childrenís Film Foundation will tell you that, and they will also be able to remember the CFF opening screen, which had the pigeons taking off in Trafalgar Square, London. Like I said, the Double-Deckers and the Childrens Film Foundation genre were inextricably intertwined.
There was a 70ís & 80ís childrenís television quiz show called Screen Test, which had two teams of children competing against each other, and they used to show almost exclusively CFF material (Batman and Banana Splits type stuff as well). All they had to do was watch a piece of film and then be asked questions about what happened in the clips. It was all CFF and Double-Deckers type stuff. Screen Test was presented first by Michael Rodd, who was also on Tomorrowís World (a new inventions in science programme - still going) and later Brian Trueman, who earlier was one of the Presenters of Play School, a very well-known pre-school programme of the 70ís & 80ís, another programme which was an integral part of my formative years! Sort of Sesame Street with stuffed dolls and teddy bears instead of puppets! It was cancelled in the mid-80ís. Iím sure Iím boring you stupid by now David!
But anywayÖto be honest I had no idea that there were only 17 episodes of the Double-Deckers. One of the e-mails you published on your site mentions a movie spin-off as well. Is that true? Iíve never heard of that if it is. And someone else mentioned a pilot episode as well. Is that in addition to the 17, or included, or is it what the first person called the movie spin-off?Öany further information on those David?
I have a wager currently with a friend who also is familiar with DD, and I have bet him that the policeman in DD was played by Deryck Guyler (who also famously played a policeman called Corky in Sykes, a 70ís sitcom starring Eric Sykes and Hattie Jacques). He says Iím confusing it with Sykes, and I say he was in DD as a policeman. Iím prepared to accept it might have been only one episode, possibly the busker one, but Iím convinced it was Deryck Guyler!
I always wondered what happened to the cast members in later life. I knew about Peter Firth and his acting career (but had been surprised I suppose on first realising that he was that Peter Firth, the same as realising that Brinsley Forde in Aswad was that one who had been in DD!) but the rest of them I knew nothing about, until that is I came across your site.
I didnít know there was an LP record either. Have you any idea where I would get hold of a copy of that David, or even just a tape from someone elseís copy?
One of your e-mail contributors mentioned he had videotapes which he is willing to copy. I shall certainly be contacting him about that, as I have wanted DD on video for years!
I tried that French magazine website, but even though I do understand French, I couldnít find any reference to DD in Issue 15. Trouble is theyíre not online issues, but contents of the issues, of which they are trying to sell hard copies. Video availability was mentioned in relation to that too, but just consider that theyíll most likely be French dubbed versions. And France is one of those funny countries that has a different television standard format to PAL or NTSC (SECAM).
Iím going to try and cut this to an end now, because itís a massive e-mail already and Iím sure youíre asleep by now David! Iím so unbelievably impressed by your site, and your research is impeccable.
7/98 - Jeff writes: I can't believe you have all of this info. I was starting to think this show was just in my imagination. Nobody else I have asked in the last 15 years remebers this show. Thanks.
7/98 - James writes: ...at last!...I have found something on the Double Deckers!. Well done
on such a splended page - its better than most of the fan pages on any
series that I have come across.
I was trying to find out what happend the the cast a couple of years ago & couldn't find anything. Well done for all your effort. I used to watch the show on Thames TV (I think!). I was only 8 at the time, but it had stuck with me since.
In the late 80's SKY TV showed the series in the DJ KAT show. I got very excited & stuck a tape in stright away & taped the ones that I could. They showed them everyday & I set the timer to tape them. When I read your episode guide, I had a pleasant surprise. Out of the entire 17 episodes, I have 16 of them!. I'm just missing the pilot episode!. If anybody has the first ep. I would love to hear from them. Thanks for such a good page.
Does anybody remember 'The Boy From Space' it featured on an old schools program call 'Look & read'. Also, I forgot to mention, I have both of the Flips of dominic hide on video too!...
7/98 - Ira writes: Wow! Talk about a trip down Memory Lane. I remember watching the show as a 7-9 year old in New York. Had a monster crush on Billie. All the '70s tomboy stars such as Kristy McNichol, Tatum O'Neal and Jodie Foster made me want to jump into the TV. Cool site you have.
6/98 - Stephen from Glasgow, Scotland writes: Brilliant site - you've done masses of research on it. I was 5 or so when it first came out, did everyone have a crush on Tiger? - it's fantastic to see that wink again. In fact I've just saved it as the centre of my pc's wallpaper. I still hum or whistle the theme tune and am thinking of sending a request to the BBC that they repeat the series along with the Banana splits; Mary, mungo and midge and marine boy. I can die happy now.
6/98 - Doug from the US writes: I remember "The Double Deckers" and particularly their theme song. Congrats on jogging my memory!
6/98 - Tom from the US writes: I enjoyed your "Here Come the Double-Deckers" website. I remember
watching the program on ABC-TV back in the early 1970's. I don't remember most of the episodes, but the ones I do remember, I remember quite vividly. One of these is the episode which contained the "Laugh-In" spoof. They set upa stage and charge admission. This must have been from the "Man's Best Friend"
episode because the audience members had to pay with aluminum foil. They seat audience members according to how much foil each person brings in. One girl who brings in a lot of foil gets to sit in the front. A boy who brings a small amount is seated in the back.
During one scene in the play, Doughnut and another kid are dressed up like Laurel and Hardy. Doughnut played Oliver Hardy. I can't remember which kid played Stan Laurel. But I do remember one bit of dialogue. Oliver (Doughnut) says "Stan, would you like to join me?" (he was about to sit down at the table). Stan answers, "Why are you coming apart?"
This probably was from the "Man's Best Friend" episode as I remember the episode ending with a blind man stopping by to show the gang his new guide dog.
I hope that someday this series can be released on videocassette. Your website has brought back a lot of happy memories. Thanks.
6/98 - Phil from Sydney, Australia writes:David, you have made my day! Like a number of your respondents, I got into a conversation with my workmates about kids' programmes and mentioned The
Double Deckers. I don't think they had it here in Australia and they haven't heard of it. But I'm British and remember it with so much affection. Quite seriously, I thought I was the only person who could
remember the series. Even when I was living in London, my friends didn't have any idea what I was talking about.
Again, like one of your guest visitors, I remember these kids as being so much older than me when I watched it - in their mid to late teens but, from your home page photo, it looks like they were only about 12 or 13 themselves. I so wanted to be a Double Decker; I was so envious of their cool blue jeans and white plimsoles and the group dancing and singing. And look at Sticks - so cheesey! I'm 33 now but remember so many little snippets about it.
In the Haunted House episode, I remember Pat Coombs played one of the women in the house - she's a stalwart of British comedy.
In the Alice in Wonderland episode, wasn't it basically only Scooper who appeared in most of that episode? Didn't know it was Jane Seymour, though.
I also remember that when they went in to the scrapyard, they pulled a string through a hole and all these bicycle wheels would turn and open a plank in the fence...!
Your photos are great (and as for the downloaded theme tune - amazing. Just amazing!) There's one photo from a sweet shop where Doughnut was invisible - the tall guy is Julian someone. He played (now does anyone remember THIS?) Cornelius Button in a kids' series called "Grasshopper Island" with Patricia Hayes, I think. Three kids, one called Mouse, I'm sure.
I remember Peter Firth went on (much later) to appear in a BBC TV "Play for Today" called "The Flipside of Dominic Hide" with, I think Pippa Guard. It was an amazing play and I remember the Radio Times (the BBC TV weekly guide) getting more letters about it than any other programme for a long long time. A year or so later, they showed a sequel called "Another Flip for Dominic". He played a man from the future who came back to the present and making a girl (Pippa) pregnant. Interestingly, I remember Dominic being horrified that people were using aerosols - "Don't use that, they destroy the atmosphere!" This was years before the Green issues became popular.
Sorry, going off the track a bit....
David, thank you, thank you. (Are you in America or where?) My afternoon at work has been totally unproductive as I've been scouring your site. What a nostalgia trip.
Now, without wanting to be really morbid, I'm sure I remember something years ago in the UK about Bruce Clark dying of drugs or an accident or something. I'm not trying to be a rumour monger and could be totally out of order but something like that rings a bell.
Quick question. Was it shown on BBC TV in the UK or ITV (commercial television)? And, are there videos available?
Anyway, thanks again. You've really done your research!
6/98 - Fiona in Yorkshire writes: A damp afternoon in Yorkshire and my mind turned to the Double Deckers, don't ask how. So I did a quick search and what do I find but at website! Fantastic! I have always wondered what happened to the actors when they became too big to squeeze through the fence. The only episodes I can remember were one involving a hovercraft and second one where someone got hit on the head and they all woke up in Alice In Wonderland land. Bizare! I particularly remember the tune to asong which Gillian Bailey sang in that episode. And it was a long time ago! Thanks for an amusing site...
6/98 - Rick from South Dakota, USA writes: I often wondered if anyone but me knew about that show. I haven't seen it since 1970 (I'm 33), and I still know the words to the theme song, and some of the melody. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Tiger sure was a cutie, from a 5 year olds perspective of course. It should definitely be put back on the air in lieu of the violent Saturday morning stuff that is on now.
4/98 - John from New York writes: Hello there - So thrilled to find your website - congratulations on a great job! I have been singing the theme song for years to myself and finally found the record last year. I also have the lunch box, thermos, and book I'd love to know where I can find even just one or two episodes on video. Even a copy would make my day (week, month, year!). Can anyone help? Thanks for the terrific memories. I'll be back.
4/98 - Christopher from France writes: Love the Double Deckers page. We had reruns of it here in France about a year ago and it was just as brill as I remember it, even with the voices dubbed. Though not the songs, thank goodness. What's really weird is that I remember them all being older than me, and seeing them again after 25 years and realizing that they were kids after all. I have some questions: I believe Melvyn Hayes was one of the minds behind the series, where is he now? Did his idea (if it was his idea) have anything to do with Cliff Richard's summer holiday? At the same time as I watched the program in the seventies, there was also a series of films at the childrens matinee called "The Magnificent Six and a Half", which seemed to me to have stolen the idea from double deckers. Was there any relation between the two? Ciao
4/98 - Jim from the UK writes: A group of us went out for a birthday meal tonight and started to discuss old time tele shows. One of these was the much loved DD. I am so pleased to have found your site so that I can show it to the group. Keep up the excellent work. Do you remember Marine Boy and if so are there any sites for it? Thanks again for the great site.
4/98 - Yves from Brussels, Belgium writes: Your Double Deckers site is really great !
Here's a piece of information you might find interesting : issue #15 of a
french magazine called "Generation Series" (Gen. serials) features 6 pages about HCTDD.
I haven't read it yet, but it seems they provide information about the bus
itself, a complete guide of the episodes, and video availability (yes).
They have a web site at : http://perso.wanadoo.fr/geneseries/
Of course, it's in french... Ciao, ciao
4/98 - Joe writes: I must say that I was extremely happy to run into your DD site (quite by accident). I had searched for DD a few times on the web about a year ago, but came up totally empty. I used to watch the show when I was about 10 years old. It has been SO long since I saw it that I had forgotten many of the details. Your site "recharged" those memories. My favorite character was Tiger... I used to have a crush on her. I was convinced that I would never find out anything more about the show, and like others have stated, I thought I was the only person in the world who remembered this show. I'd love to get the show on video sometime! Maybe if your site generates enough interest we can convince someone to release it for home video. I've bookmarked your site and I will be back often to check for updates... THANKS FOR THE GREAT MEMORIES!!!
4/98 - Jan writes: Hi there. Thanks for doing a web page on the double deckers and taking me back to my youth!!!! Could you also tell me if any episodes are out on video, so that I could buy them, as I would love my son to be able to enjoy some of the things I did as a child.
3/98 - Christophe of Northern France writes:.. A website about the Double Deckers, at last! Very few people around me remember "l'autobus ŗ impťriale" (aka the DD). Actually, a friend of mine reminded me of this funny show we could watch on Christmas holiday afternoons (oh happy years :) But I had just vague memories of the "Get A Move On" episode, which gave me big fun! The French TV show that gathered some of the cast together was a great time. Some VHS were reissued afterwards, but I still haven't manage to get one. I think I gonna remedy this soon! Then if you're interested in french names and titles, I would mail them with pleasure. Thank you for the Theme song ra, and keep up the good work!
3/98 - Geoff from Auckland, New Zealand writes: Great site. I've been looking for a site on the DD's for some time now. I have fond memories of this show as a kid in the UK. It was endlessly repeated over the summer holidays along with the perennial Monkees of course.
The episodes that seem to stick in my mind is 'the pop singer', when the gang give a struggling busker a makeover - dressing him up in 17th century royalist gear and changing his name to 'the cool cavalier' (great name!) and 'Invaders from space' where Brains swears blind he can turn a black & white TV set into a colour one by making a few adjustments with a screwdriver - in the process picking up an advert for a bubble gum promotion that leads the whole gang to think they're being invaded by aliens.
I also remember hating Billie's song and dance routines, but loving the general wacky, slapstick, cartoony, antics of the gang each week. I even forgave Melvyn Hayes' overacting!
I think your home page's cast list should include 'Tiger as Tiger' (the soft toy) as he/she was always credited at the start of the show. Any news on the post-Deckers career of this lovable creature? This would look great in the where are they now column!.....PS. I'm still looking for the definitive Catweazle site, any ideas?
3/98 - Steve from the UK writes: We were just talking about the DD tonight in the pub, so I thought I would take a look on the net. Your site was the only one found so far, but there is no need for any more. It is much appreciated. THANK YOU.
3/98 - Paul from the UK writes: Found your website whilst researching FOLLYFOOT - very interesting and thanks for your good work. The early '70s was an amazingly fertile period for childrens' TV - other rarities which I am still trying to track down 20-odd years on include 'Ace of Wands' and 'Make A Wish' (from USA or Canada????) More specifically, which DD episode had the gang helping out a struggling singer (Brains building a synthesizer out of a cash till???) and featured a song with the title or line 'I Gotta Get Through' ? This is still lodged in a corner of my brain and I would love to hear it again. Incidentally, I also had a crush on Billie at the time - no surprises there. Best regards.
3/98 - Cal from the US writes: I loved the show. I remember one about collecting aluminum foil in order to buy a seeing eye dog, and another episode in which the kids were fooled into believing that the Earth had been invaded by aliens shooting candy from guns.
3/98 - Jeanette from the UK writes: I haven't seen this programme for years and I loved it as a kid. I found it as I was looking for info on Melvyn Hayes. It's great.
2/98 - -Gareth from the UK writes: Debbie was at La Sainte Union teacher training college about the same time I was at Stranmillis College, Belfast with whom we were twinned. We met during one of their visits here. I've since lost contact with her but would love to hear from her again.
2/98 - Kevin from N. Ireland writes: I was a fan of The Double Deckers years ago, and always kept an eye on the repeats to see if was ever shown again. By now however, I'd given up all hope of ever hearing of the programme again. Today I just tried the Web on the off chance that I might get some info... but what a treat!
2/98 - Trevor from the UK writes: Great to finally find a site for The Double Deckers. My all time fav` program. Brings back such great memories....Keep up the good work, childrens' programs at their best.
2/98 - Simon from Australia writes: I am impressed, nay, flabbergasted...It should be noted that a reasonably regular denizen of the 2:30a.m. movie slot on an Australian commercial channel is the DD's movie spin-off where they all go off on holiday in a gypsy caravan in some very lush meadows. At least that is what my possibly well addled memory is trying to tell me...
1/98 - Barry from Canada writes: Just a quick e-mail to say that I liked your website very much.