Catweazle was and still is such a very special program. What was it that made such a mark on us? Funny - yes, sad - sometimes, different - absolutely and magical - most certainly! But we were kids, there were lots of kids programs on at that time that we remember. Why was this something we cherished so much.
I still find it a mark of it's power and indelible quality that people at this stage are still willing to pay to have the privilege to belong to a club dedicated to it 48 years after its first and only airing. Yes I know it was repeated but I don't think it was repeated in order and it's entirety.
The love is deep rooted and discussing it, remembering it and paying homage to it among likeminded folk is a great pleasure and always will be.
The casting was perfect, the little pairings and dialogue between Geoffrey and Robin and then Robin and Neil could not have been played more perfectly.
Watching it is almost like suddenly getting a certain smell and immediately being transported back, like the smell of a big cigar takes me back to Christmas when my father always smoked one on Christmas day - a special occasion! Watching an episode takes me back to lovely times with my family, Sunday car rides out to the country only to have to whizz back in time to see Catweazle. It gives me a warm feeling of happiness and times that make me wish I could go back there - and for a short time I am!
I have to say also that Catweazle has altered my life - sounds dramatic - well it isn't and maybe at some point I will say why.
Do you feel the same way? Let us know your thoughts too.
I was only 7 when Catweazle first aired but by then I was already interested in anything with a fantasy element to it. The time travel aspect I liked, no doubt encouraged by several years of watching Dr Who. But once you were drawn in there was little to stop you having a great time each week. I can still recall how unhappy I felt at the end of series 1. I didn't know there would be a series 2 so Catweazle wandering off into the lake back to his own time didn't really feel like closure and it was the same feeling I had at the end of Ace of Wands a couple of years later. Very pleased when the show returned although like most people I missed Carrot and the rest of the regular cast. I did enjoy the new members of the cast but always missed Carrot and Co. Thankfully at the time, although we lived in the Anglia area we had a primitive form of cable tv called Multisignals which brought us access to London ITV and BBC. Anyone around at the time will tell you that getting an extra ITV region really was like getting an extra channel. You'd see US imports and movies that might never reach your region and you could also be lucky with repeats. I'm sure that Anglia and most other regions if not all of them aired Catweazle series 1 then series 2 a year later and that was it , never to return. Just as Thames viewers benefited from Ace of Wands repeats the rest of the country never saw LWT viewers got to see repeats of Catweazle series 1 and 2 that I don't think anyone else saw (be interested to know if they did). Unfortunately in summer 1973 we moved and access to Thames and LWT was gone and I only had Anglia. You only have to look at the Anglia listings for the 70's to see how inferior it was if you weren't interested in farming. IIRC LWT aired some Catweazle again in the mid 70's but this time I could only look at the listings and sigh. And that was it for Catweazle on ITV.... ...but then in the mid 80's LWT showed the series yet again and once more I don't think anyone else had it. By that time I was in a circle of collectors who traded tapes of series which didn't get round to all regions. Most of the interest was in the ITC shows which made their way slowly round the regions although some shows didn't get aired everywhere which is where the trading came in. I found a guy in London who had recorded Catweazle and he loaned me his tapes to run off copies. However, I was at that age where some kids shows didn't have the same appeal they had 15 years earlier and despite several Catweazle episodes being too childish my interest in the show remained. I kept those tapes until the Network VHS releases then eventually the dvd's. The reunion featurette at the farm between Geoffrey Bayldon and Robin Davies was such a nice bonus. So for me, Catweazle has been an ever present show with fond memories and watching the end of the final scene in series 1 I can still recall how sad I felt in 1970 as a 7 year old.
One thing: for the majority of the country Catweazle was a sunday teatime treat, as mentioned in the dvd booklet. But for the ITV region that covered the largest area, ATV it was lost to weekday afternoons in the usual kids tv slot when many were still at work. I wonder how many potential fans of the show missed out because of the ATV scheduling. They jealously guarded many slots for their own series. Sunday teatime was often filled on ATV by the ITC show Forest Rangers so not only Catweazle but The Flaxton Boys and time travel series Jamie also got aired on weekdays.
I'm glad that Network included PDF files of the Catweazle Annuals on the dvd's. I had them as a kid and they are a nostalgia fest but I don't want to buy them again.
Yes I agree, Carrot was sadly missed in the series, and he is very sadly missed today. Those of us who had the wonderful chance to chat to him before his tragic early passing had the delightful task of telling him just that. He knew that, thanks to the members of the club who attended our weekends just how much he was loved.
I think most of the people who took part in the Catweazle dvd commentaries have since died so it's nice to be able to listen to them occasionally talk about the show. Now they're no longer here the commentaries are worth their weight in gold and it's a situation affecting so many other Network dvd releases too. Gratifying also that all the people involved were able to find out that so many people still enjoyed their work from decades ago.
Dear Carol, and other members of the Catweazle-family, it's been a long time since we've met on the magical Fanclubday, where I had the privilege to meet Geoffrey Bayldon, Richard Carpenter and Robin Davies!! May they all rest in peace! Recently, both Catweazle-series were broadcasted again on Dutch television. It's such a consolation that although last year we had to say 'Fare Thee Well' to Geoffrey, his alter ego Catweazle is still very much alive and loved by younger and older people. Salmay, Dalmay, Adonay!!!
There's something soul-deep about this programme for me. Even watching a small excerpt has a powerful effect on me. I think there are a number of reasons: childhood nostalgia, as well as a different sort of nostalgia for that time period, unrelated to childhood as such - the late 1960s. when the world seemed a more straightforward and honourable place. But there's much more: real characters are part of it, performed perfectly, from Charles Tingwell's Farmer Bennett with all his mannerisms to Sam Woodyard and his innocence, to Peter Sallis's museum curator and many, many more. As well as, of course, the totally inimitable Geoffrey as Catweazle, a unique and remarkable characterisation to watch.
None of that really sums up how I feel, though. I think Richard Carpenter managed to involve me somehow in the magic bond between Catweazle and Carrot, between Catweazle and his new world, and between the main characters and their understanding of life. For me, it was all about the first series and its progression from humour to deep sadness, a sadness which reflected back on all the adventures and made them more real, more innocent, more powerful. I don't know - words don't do it justice, do they? The incidental music has become 'my theme', I walk around whistling it all the time, especially the last chords from the end of series one. I think I'm obsessed! But I'm thankful to be so fascinated by something so wonderful. Thanks for the club and the forum - I'll visit often!
I guess like most of us members I was at an impressionable age in 1970 when Catweazle arrived on our TV screens - 6 years old to be precise for me, so I believed in Father Christmas and Catweazle! Of course, I also loved Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Stingray, Dr Who and Star Trek, but Catweazle made the greatest impression on me! I looked up to Carrot as a kind of big brother, I loved his sense of humour and sense of adventure and to have a friend like Catweazle. And the idea of time travel captured my imagination too, fuelled by Dr Who.
But Catweazle was to have an even greater influence in convincing me I should marry my wife Jacqui, some 30 years ago last month. Very early on when we first met and were getting to know each other, we were discussing our favourite TV programmes of all time and when Jacqui said Catweazle was one of her favourite programmes, this was music to my ears! I could see her eyes light up with enthusiasm recounting memories of the two series and our jaws ached ached with laughter! From there on I knew this was the gal for me!
By a strange coincidence when we met I lived in Surrey not too far from Hexwood Farm and Jacqui lived in Enfield 4 stops on the train from Bayford! We recently recalled a rather long alcoholic lunch at the Bakers Arms pub in Bayford, back in 1985 and when we left for the train station we pretended to be Catweazle & Cedric heading for Duck Halt!
30 years on Catweazle still has this amazing spell over us both. It reminds us of simpler, more innocent times. And to this day we still use Catweazle’s sayings in our everyday life ...is that the “telling bone” ringing, or randomly shouting “electrickery” when we switch a light on, or pointing and saying “shine tiny sun”, asking for a drink of “watter” and of course saying “nothing works” when a household item breaks……oh and saying “art thou Norman” when we greet French folk!
To us Geoffrey made Catweazle the complete legend he remains today, it was a marriage made in heaven, and key to our marriage!
Thank you Geoffrey!
And thanks to everyone at the Fan Club for making the legend live on!
Yes Grant it is difficult to put into words. Both the writing and acting and the actors and actresses themselves were all so lovely it did create magic. It does evoke a definite warm feeling and extremely fond memories.
We so want people to keep this feeling and bond that Catweazle has between us going and it does need people to participate and feel that they "belong" and have a place and purpose in the club. This is why the forum is going to become important as it will be YOUR place YOUR way of communicating and expressing your feelings AND ideas and thoughts. We have a great opportunity to do Catweazle and all those involved in the series proud with the 50th BUT just keeping the love and spirit that we feel alive for as long as we have it in our hearts is the main thing. So stay with us and share the magic and keep safe in its memories and away from such an uncertain world.
There are a few things in life that instantly rekindle memories of a better time. Catweazle was probably the main one followed closely by Auf Widersehen Pet which itself was a superb programme. It's just the memories going back to when I watched the original series - happy days.