T-Bag

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T-Bag
FormatFantasy drama
StarringElizabeth Estensen
Georgina Hale
John Hasler
Kellie Bright
Diana Barrand
Jennie Stallwood
Evelyn Sweeney
Natalie Wood
Bea Julakasiun
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series9 plus 4 Christmas Specials[1]
No. of episodes91 x 20 minutes, 3 x 25 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelITV Network (CITV)
Original run4 April 1985 – 16 November 1992
 
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T-Bag
FormatFantasy drama
StarringElizabeth Estensen
Georgina Hale
John Hasler
Kellie Bright
Diana Barrand
Jennie Stallwood
Evelyn Sweeney
Natalie Wood
Bea Julakasiun
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series9 plus 4 Christmas Specials[1]
No. of episodes91 x 20 minutes, 3 x 25 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelITV Network (CITV)
Original run4 April 1985 – 16 November 1992

T-Bag is a witch-like character who appears in a television series that ran from 1985 to 1992 on Children's ITV. Written by Grant Cathro and Lee Pressman, each season adopted a different title and features a single story told over several episodes.

History[edit]

The programme was first broadcast on 4 April 1985. From 1985 to 1989, Tallulah Bag was played by Elizabeth Estensen. In 1990, Estensen left the show and Tallulah Bag was replaced by her sister Tabatha Bag, played by Georgina Hale. She played the role, until the series ended in 1992.

Plot[edit]

The sisters obtain magical powers by drinking tea made from the 'High T-Plant'. They are incapable of brewing it properly, requiring an assistant (T-Shirt) to do it for them. In return, T-Bag shares her magical powers with T-Shirt (Thomas Shirt), played by John Hasler. He started as a small child and grew until he towered above Hale by the series end in 1992. T-Shirt is presented as T-Bag's constant companion, part harassed surrogate son, part household servant. T-Bag and T-Shirt's magical powers, (rather limited, owing to cheap 1980s special effects) mostly consist of conjuring objects out of thin air when needed, sending objects elsewhere and teleporting across time and space. T-Bag triggers her teleport ability by clicking her fingers. T-Shirt finds finger clicking too difficult and blinks instead. T-Shirt finds solace in being unable to click his fingers by letting T-Bag engulf his vision at the end of the second series.

Each season, various items are hidden across time and space for T-Bag and the heroine to find. Debbie Carter, played by Jennie Stallwood, was the heroine of the first three seasons. Diana Barrand took over for the fourth as child television presenter Holly Anna Jones. Kellie Bright, who later appeared in The Upper Hand and The Archers, played Sally Simpkins in series five and six, plus a Christmas special.

In T-Bag and the Rings of Olympus, the heroine is the Goddess Athena's handmaiden, Polyzena, or Polly, played by Natalie Wood. In T-Bag and the Sunstones of Montezuma, archaeologist's daughter, heroine Penny Hunt was played by Evelyn Sweeney. Typically, each episode also features two non-regular cast members to enliven the story.

Each episode has a different setting in which a magical item is hidden. These are often historical settings or settings from folklore or literature, such as ancient Egypt, ancient Rome, Renaissance Italy and Elizabethan England, Tom Sawyer's American South, Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest or a French Foreign Legion station in North Africa which owes something to Beau Geste. Historical figures such as Napoleon, Leonardo da Vinci or Queen Elizabeth I make guest appearances.

Series[edit]

The series titles and broadcast dates are given below:

TitleYear of broadcastSeries on IMDb
Wonders in Letterland1985[1]
T-Bag Strikes Again1986[2]
T-Bag Bounces Back1987[3]
Turn on to T-Bag1988[4]
T-Bag's Christmas Cracker1988[5]
T-Bag and the Revenge of the T-Set1989[6]
T-Bag's Christmas Carol1989[7]
T-Bag and the Pearls of Wisdom1990[8]
T-Bag's Christmas Ding Dong1990[9]
T-Bag and the Rings of Olympus1991[10]
T-Bag's Christmas Turkey1991[11]
T-Bag and the Sunstones of Montezuma1992[12]
Take Off with T-Bag1992[13]

DVD[edit]

A new DVD, T-Bag: The Reunion Documentary, featuring interviews with principal cast and crew members was released on 17 September 2007, through UK based company Fantom Films. In December 2008 it was broadcast on Film24.[2] In May 2010, Revelation Films announced plans to release the series on DVD, with only the first 3 series have been made available by Revelation, as of autumn 2013, there hasn't been any further DVD releases at present.

Reception[edit]

The Guardian described the show as '...time travel drama somewhere between Doctor Who and Blackadder".[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "T-Bag: Series 3 DVD review". Cult Box. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  2. ^ "T-Bag: The Reunion Documentary". Sci Fi Online. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 

External links[edit]