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Torchy the Battery Boy

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torchy the battery boy

The adventures of a boy doll (Torchy the Battery Boy) who travels by rocket to Topsy Turvy Land where toys can walk, animals can talk and cream buns grow on trees.

AP Films/Pelham Films/Associated Rediffusion – 1958/59
26 episodes x 13 mins

Producer: Roberta Leigh
Director: Gerry Anderson
Director of Photography: Arthur Provis
Art Director: Reginald E. Hill
Music and Lyrics: Roberta Leigh
Music Arranged and Conducted by Barry Gray

Voice Cast:

Kenneth Connor, Jill Raymond, Olwyn Griffiths, and Patricia Somerset

Each of the episodes started at night with a large rocket outside of a cottage with Torchy sitting inside. It would take off with lots of sparks and the theme tune about Torchy and his magic light as the rocket launched into space.

The first episode introduced Mr Bumbledrop, who had lots of toys and loved children, and his dog, Pom Pom, a white French poodle with straight hair needing curlers every night. Also Bossy Boots, a nasty little girl who likes pulling her toys to pieces, but a trip to Topsy Turvy land reforms her.

Flying kites, the bad children (Bossy Boots, her brother Bogey, etc.) playing in Mr B’s garden tie their toys to the kites they are flying and a strong wind comes along and blows all of the kites and toys away as well as Pom Pom who tries to save them. The children leave and being all alone, Bumbledrop decides to make a boy for himself. In four hours it is completed and Torchy wakes up and knows Bumbledrop’s name and all about his magic beam. He has to recite special words for his magic beam to find something. Torchy has a battery inside him which powers him but unlike the other toys, if it runs down even on Topsy Turvy land, he is helpless till a new one is put in.

Torchy presses the switch on his jacket and uses his magic beam which can shine anywhere to find Bumbledrop’s missing glasses then he bursts into song. Out in the garden, Torchy uses his magic beam to locate the lost toys on the twinkling star. Next morning Bumbledrop builds a rocket of cardboard and such and by nightfall it is finished and Torchy flies off to the twinkling star (these are the scenes which are used at the start).

In the second episode, the toys decide to stay on the twinkling star where they are safe from naughty children. As well as Flopsy the Rag Doll, there is Pilliwig the Clown. Flopsy who was Bossy Boot’s doll hasn’t got enough stuffing inside her because it has been pulled out so is a bit dim as her head is empty and uses the phrase “Piggle-poggle”. In this magic land, there is lollipop fields, cream buns grow on trees as well as bullseye bushes.

The third episode has Torchy on the twinkling star where he meets Squish the Spaceboy (with a water pistol ray gun), who came from America and got to the twinkling star by rocket, which broke on arrival. Squish steals Torchy’s rocket and manages to crash it too. Pom Pom gets to sing a song, being able to talk by the magic there. Torchy has to get back to Earth otherwise his battery will run down. We find that Torchy’s magic beam allows him to talk to people it is shining on, even Bumbledrop on Earth. Episode four they go to an orchard where all the fruit is enormous and they built Frutown by hollowing out these fruits and living in them. Torchy uses a pineapple for his own house and Squish makes Flopsy a house out of a cherry.

In episodes 9 & 10, Bossy Boots wants her stuffed doll, Flopsy back so Torchy takes her to the twinkling star. It is Topsy Turvy Land where grown ups become as small as toys. Torchy lands A strange effect in the episode nine. As Torchy is singing a song, Bossy Boots fires a cannon and the picture shatters showing blackness and Torchy appears, face blackened. Bossy Boots learns her lesson there before being taken back to Earth. Other toys joined the show, notably ruler King Dithers who was as dithery as his name suggested. He lived in an orange peel palace (which looked like a normal palace) and seemed to have no soldiers. Pongo the Pirate (who had belonged to bad boy Bogie) sailed the oceans in a pirate ship made of fruit. His comical song sung by Kenneth Connor was:

“I’m Pongo the Pirate and I live in a grapefruit sloop and with my spy glass I spy and I peer and I snoop. I’m Pongo the Pirate, I love to pinch and spank. If I should catch you, I’ll make you walk the plank. Pongo bad, Pongo bold. Pongo always looks for gold. Pongo bad, Pongo bold. Pongo always looks for gold. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!”

Episode list

Series One

  1. Pom-Pom And The Toys
  2. Topsy Turvy Land
  3. Torchy And Squish
  4. The Building Of Frutown
  5. Torchy And The Broken Rocket
  6. King Dithers
  7. Torchy Goes Back To Earth
  8. Bossy Boots Goes To Topsy Turvy Land
  9. Bossy Boots Is Taught A Lesson
  10. A Bell For A Penny Farthing
  11. A Trick On Pom-Pom
  12. Torchy Is Stolen
  13. King Dithers Loses His Crown
  14. Pilliwig Gets A Present
  15. Bad Boy Bogey
  16. Torchy And The Strange Animal
  17. Bossy Boots Forgets To Be Good
  18. Hungry Money Box
  19. The Naughty Twins
  20. The Twins Learn A Lesson
  21. King Dithers Goes Down To Earth
  22. Torchy Escapes At Last
  23. Torchy And The Man In The Moon
  24. Bogey And The Statues
  25. The Moon Falls Asleep
  26. Torchy’s Birthday

Series Two

  1. Flopsy Goes On A Picnic
  2. Torchy Gets A Surprise
  3. Banana Bridge
  4. King Dithers And Daffy
  5. The Toys Get The Collywobbles
  6. Bogey Learns Another Lesson
  7. The Pollikan Bird Is Stolen
  8. Torchy Has An Accident
  9. Sparky The Dragon
  10. Bogey Is Naughty Again
  11. Pilliwig Cleans The Chimney
  12. Pongo The Pirate
  13. Pongo And The Gold Mine
  14. King Dithers’ Birthday
  15. Washing Day In Topsy Turvy Land
  16. Gluebell Wood
  17. Squish Falls Down A Well
  18. Flopsy In Trouble
  19. The Big Storm
  20. Daffy’s Birthday
  21. Flopsy Makes A Christmas Pudding
  22. Gilly Golly In Trouble
  23. King Bumble Drop
  24. A New Suit For Pilliwig
  25. The Obstinate Donkey
  26. Pom-Pom Gets The Hiccups
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