In tribute to Geoffrey Bayldon whose death was announced yesterday. Catweazle was a cult Sunday teatime kids drama series.
Despite it only running for two seasons it’s still fondly remembered over 40 years after it’s first broadcast. A third series was in the works and was to be set again on the Bennet’s farm, but never made it past the draft stage.
Writer Richard Carpenter would go on to create another cult series. Dick Turpin starred an actor better remembered for his comedy roles than the drama: Richard O’ Sullivan.
The series won the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain award for Best Children’s TV Drama Script in 1971. It also inspired the Boo Radleys song,’Catweazle’.
Geoffrey Bayldon plays Catweazle, an eccentric 11th century wizard who accidentally (by total immersion in water) travels through time to the year 1969.
Here he befriends a young red-headed boy: Edward Bennett, nicknamed ‘Carrot’,who spends most of the rest of the series attempting to hide Catweazle from his Father and farmhand Sam.
Meanwhile, Catweazle searches for a way to return to his own time whilst hiding out in ‘Castle Saburac’, a disused water tower, with his familiar, a toad called Touchwood.
The second series featured a 12-part riddle which Catweazle, once more transported to 1970s England, attempts to solve one clue per episode, with the solution (as he thinks) being revealed in the 13th.
Catweazle mistakes all modern technology for powerful magic (an example of Clarke’s third law), particularly ‘elec-trickery’ (electricity) and the ‘telling bone’ (telephone).
Catweazle – Geoffrey Bayldon
Edward Bennet (‘Carrot’) – Robin Davies
Mr. Bennet: – Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell
Sam Woodyard – Neil McCarthy
Written By: Richard Carpenter
Produced and Directed By: Quentin Lawrence
Production Company: London Weekend Television
Original Transmission Dates: 15th February 1970 – 4th April 1971