The Wind in the Willows (TV series)

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The Wind in the Willows
GenreStop-motion
Family
Created byCosgrove Hall
Written byKenneth Grahame
Rosemary Anne Sisson
Brian Trueman
Directed byMark Hall
Chris Taylor
Jackie Cockle
StarringRichard Pearson
Peter Sallis
Michael Hordern
David Jason
Ian Carmichael
Daphne Oxenford
Brian Trueman
Delia Corrie
Brian Southwood
Kate Lee
Peter Wheeler
Jimmy Hibbert
Theme music composerKeith Hopwood
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes65
Production
Producer(s)Brian Cosgrove
Mark Hall
John Hambley
Chris Taylor
Running time20 min.
Production company(s)Cosgrove Hall Films
Thames Television
Broadcast
Original channelITV Network (CITV), Channel 5, KidsCo TBA (UK)
ABC-1 (Australian Broadcasting Company), ABC-2 (Australia)
PBS (USA)
RTÉ (Ireland)
TF1 (France)
RTL 7, TVP 1 (Poland)
Original runDecember 27, 1983 – December 11, 1989
Chronology
Preceded byThe Wind in the Willows (1983 movie)
Followed byA Tale Of Two Toads (1988 movie)
Oh, Mr. Toad
 
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The Wind in the Willows
GenreStop-motion
Family
Created byCosgrove Hall
Written byKenneth Grahame
Rosemary Anne Sisson
Brian Trueman
Directed byMark Hall
Chris Taylor
Jackie Cockle
StarringRichard Pearson
Peter Sallis
Michael Hordern
David Jason
Ian Carmichael
Daphne Oxenford
Brian Trueman
Delia Corrie
Brian Southwood
Kate Lee
Peter Wheeler
Jimmy Hibbert
Theme music composerKeith Hopwood
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes65
Production
Producer(s)Brian Cosgrove
Mark Hall
John Hambley
Chris Taylor
Running time20 min.
Production company(s)Cosgrove Hall Films
Thames Television
Broadcast
Original channelITV Network (CITV), Channel 5, KidsCo TBA (UK)
ABC-1 (Australian Broadcasting Company), ABC-2 (Australia)
PBS (USA)
RTÉ (Ireland)
TF1 (France)
RTL 7, TVP 1 (Poland)
Original runDecember 27, 1983 – December 11, 1989
Chronology
Preceded byThe Wind in the Willows (1983 movie)
Followed byA Tale Of Two Toads (1988 movie)
Oh, Mr. Toad

The Wind in the Willows is a TV series that was originally broadcast between 1984 and 1987, based on characters from Kenneth Grahame's classic story The Wind in the Willows and following the 1983 film The Wind in the Willows. It was made by animation company Cosgrove Hall for Thames Television and shown on the ITV network. An hour-long feature, A Tale Of Two Toads, was broadcast in 1988, and a fifth season of 13 episodes was shown in 1989 under the title Oh! Mr Toad in some countries, whilst retaining the title The Wind in the Willows in others.

Characters[edit]

The series stars David Jason as Toad and the Chief Weasel, Michael Hordern as Badger, Peter Sallis as Rat (replacing Ian Carmichael who voiced Rat in the original 1983 film), and Richard Pearson as Mole. Ian Carmichael remained in the series, re-cast as the narrator. The Chief Weasel was almost always accompanied by his unnamed bumbling henchman.

Background[edit]

The series is sometimes misidentified as being filmed in claymation. The method used by Cosgrove Hall is a stop-motion animation process using scale model sets and posable character figurines. The figurines are composed of an articulate metal skeleton (armature) covered in latex rubber, providing the flexibility and the detail which distinguishes the series. The series is set at "The Riverbank", a mythical location somewhere in Berkshire. The Riverbank is where Ratty, Mole and Toad live. Nearby is the Wild Wood, where Badger and the Wily Weasels live. Each episode has a unique story line, although there are some common themes running throughout the series. In series 4, the humans start building a new railway that is planned to be built through the area where the animals live. The show teaches children about the destruction of forests and animals' natural habits. The railway gets closer and closer to the animals' homes, yet in the episode Happy New Year it turns out that the railway would be travelling under unsuitable land, and therefore the route is diverted from the Riverbank & Wild Wood areas.

Music[edit]

The popular theme song - based on the instrumental theme to the original film - was sung by British singer-songwriter Ralph McTell. The Stone Roses guitarist John Squire also worked on this series, but as a prop maker not a musician.

Episode list[edit]

Movie (1983)[edit]

The Wind in the Willows (1983 film) (27 December 1983)

Series 1 (1984)[edit]

TitleSynopsis
1.The Further Adventures of Toad (27 April 1984)After having overthrown the Weasels in the battle of Toad Hall, Toad hosts a celebration dinner for his friends. He reminisces about his time in prison, escape from jail, his exploits with the barge woman, etc. His friends are less than impressed with how he handled some of the situations, but Toad gets offended when they tell him so.
2.The Kidnapping of Toad (4 May 1984)Invited to the weasels' den for a 'literary evening', Toad is taken prisoner and a ransom demanded. Badger has no intention of paying for his return and instead opts to attack the weasels with Mole and Ratty, but Toad's incessant chatter drives the weasels to distraction, so they play a final trick on him before letting him go free.
3.The Ghost at Mole End (11 May 1984)Mole hears sounds which he cannot account for. It leads him to fear that there might be a ghost in his house. Mole seeks reassurance from Badger that the sounds could be the noises of growing tree roots, etc., but Toad exacerbates the issue by singing to Mole about the thousands of ghosts skulking in Toad Hall. Eventually, though, he discovers that the sounds are produced by a hedgehog which has fallen into a crevice immediately above his burrow. With the help of Rat, he saves the animal.
4.The Great Steamer (18 May 1984)After Rat's house is shaken by the passing of a great steamer, he and Mole hear the calls of the riverbank youngsters, who have lost their friend Billy (a fieldmouse - not Billy Rabbit) in the commotion. A desperate search for ensues, and he is found clinging perilously close to the weir. Rat and Mole stage a brave rescue, and bring the youngsters back to the house to dry off and have a hot drink. Rat admonishes the youngsters for playing dangerously on the river, before entertaining them with a rendition of "We'll Go Boating".
5.Buried Treasure (25 May 1984)The Chief Weasel visits Badger (with Mole) revealing he and the other weasels buy the part of the Wild Wood upon which stands the entrance to Badger's home. To the horrified shock of Mole, he orders Badger to vacate the property in three days noon, giving him the document from the court of law. When Badger takes the weasels, Rat, Mole and the youngsters to court, Mrs. Carrington-Moss decides in their favour, as the weasels' deed to the property appears to be valid. Badger, faced with eviction, prepares to leave his domicile despite the friendship he always treasured from Rat, Mole and the youngsters. However, it is Mole who saves the day when he discovers a Roman document signed by Julius Caesar; which conveys the ownership of the area that is now the Wild Wood to the badgers, and their descendants. With this document in hand, Badger and Mole are able to chase the weasels away only minutes before they take permanent possession of his burrow in a struggle against Rat and the youngsters.
6.Mole's Cousin (1 June 1984)Mole's cousin, a famous literary figure called Auberon Mole, comes to stay after being invited by Toad to a 'literary soiree.' Mole's friends deem his dwelling and appearance too humble for the famous guest, and 'try to give him a little bit of style'. Toad and Rat redecorate Mole's house, and Badger sets out to teach Mole a smattering of Latin and Shakespearean drama. Eventually Mole decides to resist the attempts to have him present himself as someone he is not. Auberon and Mole have a lovely time, and the others are somewhat ashamed of their earlier actions.
7.The Grand Annual Show (8 June 1984)Mole's jam, Rat's walnut cake, Badger's pickled walnuts, and Toad's 'homemade' elderflower wine all compete to be best in the grand annual show holded by Mrs. Carrington-Moss, Reggie and Rosemary. The weasels also have an abnormally large pumpkin. But two competitors aren't playing fair...
8.The Open Road Again (15 June 1984)On a Toad-inspired hiking trip attended by Mole and Rat, the trio soon bump into an old friend - Alfred the horse who once pulled Toad's caravan. Tired of the ghastly 3 quarters of a mile journey thus far, Toad leads the way to the derelict caravan full of desire to hit "the open road again". In no time at all, Toad is off on another craze astride his new Dersey-Patterson bicycle.
9.Wayfarers All (22 June 1984)Based on chapter 9 of the original book. The Rat is visited by a seafarer, who captivates him with stories of his travels, and entices him to journey south, to embark on a ship bound for Constantinople. Mole and Toad must catch him before he leaves the River Bank behind forever.
10.The Weasel's Trap (29 June 1984)After Badger interrupts the Chief Weasel's attempts to rob Billy Rabbit in the Wild Wood, the angry Chief plots his revenge. When his henchman stumbles upon an old hunter's trap, he sees what seems to be the perfect opportunity. However, despite the Chief setting everything up, things go horribly wrong. Badger unexpectedly takes another route to help judge ownership of a fence between the hedgehogs and the rabbits, and when the Chief Weasel's henchman relocates the trap, the Chief accidentally walks right into it.
11.Burglary at Toad Hall (6 July 1984)Toad opens Toad Hall to the public with Mrs. Carrington-Moss, Reggie and Rosemary, in order to (modestly) show of his many family heirlooms, oblivious to the large proportion of weasels in attendance. But the weasels have a dastardly plan to sabotage his efforts. All Toad's possessions begin to disappear, causing him terrible embarrassment. Fortunately, Badger is on hand to save the day.
12.The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (13 July 1984)Another dramatisation of an episode from Kenneth Grahame’s book (chapter 7). Portly, Otter's young son, goes missing. He has picked the worst possible time – there are otter-hunters on the prowl. Rat and Mole set out on a mission to find him, and in the process have a supernatural encounter with the god Pan- a statue under which Portly, who has also encountered him, is found sleeping.
13.The Yuletide Entertainment (24 December 1984)For the Christmas holidays, the riverbank residents are organising a fun gathering where they show off their singing, dancing and instrument-playing talents: Otter on the piano; Rat playing accordion and singing Uptails All; Badger's slideshow journey across the world. The pièce de résistance (Toad singing excerpts from Gilbert and Sullivan) suffers a setback when he swallows his fake moustache just before coming on. Mole, who had not intended to appear in the show, is drafted in at the last minute to sing. The episode finishes with a lovely choir song: “Dulce Domum”. Sadly, Toad finally manages to cough up his moustache just as the guests are saying their goodnights.

Series 2 (1985)[edit]

TitleSynopsis
14.Winter Sports (24 December 1985)It is snowing, and Mr. Toad has dug out his skis. Rallying for a winter sports competition among the Riverbankers, he only finds enthusiasm for a snowman building competition, but the weasels are up for a race, and as usual there is a bet to be had.
15.Toad, Photographer (7 January 1986)Toad decides that he must have a portrait on the wall in his home, alongside his ancestors, and not being convinced by the merits of painting, he sends for some expensive camera equipment. Having contemptuously disregarded the introductory manual “For Novices”, he sets out to practise what he believes to be a natural ability for photography. Needless to say, the results are not quite what he expects.
16.The Rescue (14 January 1986)Ernest, a young shrew, is missing in the snow. Rat and Mole discover him with the Chief Weasel and his Assistant, who Ernest calls "Uncle Bill" and "Uncle Bert". They have taken him in after finding him lost and taught him to make a bunny from a handkerchief. Rat and Mole are surprised by the weasels' kind streak, but the weasels are rather affronted to be accused of kindness, and try to pretend they have been mistreating the shrew. Accompanying Ernest home, they encounter Toad. Toad was also searching for the shrew, but became lost along the way. The weasels stole his possessions, and he is displeased to discover that Ernest was treated to his lunch.
17.Bankruptcy (21 January 1986)The weasels intercept Toad’s morning newspaper delivery, and discover his new-found interest in stocks and shares. Seizing their opportunity, the Chief and his henchman call on Toad several times, disguised as wealthy businessmen, to sell him shares in their spurious companies. After some persuasion, he agrees to give them first his Rolls-Royce, then other treasured possessions, as payment. Toad Hall quickly becomes very empty, and Badger is furious when he finds out. Of course, the companies all collapse, and Toad soon finds himself bankrupt and about to lose Toad Hall. Fortunately, it does not take long for Badger to find out who is behind all this.
18.The Storm (28 January 1986)It is Badger's birthday, and his friends come bearing gifts. Meanwhile, a storm is brewing. While Ratty secures his boat, Mole and Otter go on ahead to join Toad and Badger in the Wild Wood. Alone, and on his way to Badger's house, Ratty is caught by a falling tree. While the others speculate that Rat has stayed at home, Mole is sure that Ratty would make the trip on Badger's birthday. Mole ventures into the Wood to find the incapacitated Rat, but cannot shift the tree, and he is lost. He seeks the Chief Weasel's assistance, who reluctantly tries to help, before giving up on the unfortunate pair. The others notice Mole's absence and come to the rescue. Rat recuperates at Toad Hall.
19.Patient Toad (4 February 1986)Toad comes down with a minor cold, but begins to think it something much more serious after he realizes that all his ancestors died young. He searches what he thinks are his father's medical books and realizes that he has come down with a fatal combination of diseases (specifically, armillaria mellea, botrytis, and ranunculus repens). While Rat and Mole diligently wait on the seemingly-dying Toad, Badger searches the books and discovers that Toad's diseases are actually plant ailments. When informed of this, Toad leaps out of bed in happiness, falls down the stairs, and breaks his leg.
20.The Labyrinth (11 February 1986)On his way to visit Badger, Ratty stumbles down a hole in the Wild Wood. Injured, he wanders the labyrinth of tunnels while Toad, dressed as Sherlock Holmes, tries to track him down.
21.Harvest (18 February 1986)The four go harvesting wild berries and the weasels are out to steal the hoarde. Toad just has his breakfast on his mind. Finding a secluded place to eat his hamper and have forty winks, Toad stumbles across the weasels' hiding place and the stolen harvest; which he foiled their plan by returning it back to his friends.
22.Auberon's Return (25 February 1986)Mole is visited by his cousin Auberon, who is in low spirits after receiving poor reviews for his latest West End offering. Auberon is suffering from writer's block. Word of Auberon's visit has reached the Riverbank, and Mole soon has visitors. Ratty wants feedback for his poetry, while Badger wants to share a literary conversation with the esteemed visitor. Mole tries to protect his cousin, who needs peace and quiet, but hurts Badger's feelings in the process. Toad, too, pays a visit, but proves rather insensitive about the poor reviews. Toad fancies himself quite the playwright, much to Auberon's amusement. After Auberon's visit, he relates in a letter the successes of his new play. Auberon's new comedy, "Oh Jeremy" is based on a "conceited country squire" whose enthusiasms include writing. The character is clearly based on Mr. Toad, although the Toad seems oblivious to the resemblance.
23.The Great Golfing Gamble (4 March 1986)Toad becomes disillusioned with croquet after losing a game with Badger, and discovers a new exciting pastime: golf. Firmly convinced that he is a natural champion, he agrees to a match with the Chief Weasel, for rather high stakes – if Toad loses, the Chief takes Toad Hall. Badger, as usual, despairs at Toad’s folly, but may yet be able to save the situation.
24.Gadget Mad (11 March 1986)Toad invites his friends around for a big surprise after supper. He has spent the past weeks installing an electrical generator to power his newfound craze. Toad Hall's stairs are "not in use" thanks to his new elevator, a variety of other strange state-of-the-art appliances also make an appearance, much to the dismay of Mole who loses his best waistcoat to the suction cleansing device.
25.May Day (18 March 1986)May Day celebrations are in full swing on the riverbank, and Toad, Ratty, Badger and Mole are enjoying all the fun of the fair. Toad fails miserably at "Test Your Strength"- he cannot even lift the mallet- but Badger breaks the bell! Unfortunately, the weasels are set to spoil Mr. Toad's day. Posing as the fortune teller, Madame Pastelengro, after sending the real one away by telling her that her son is injured, the chief's henchman foretells an encounter with "a tall, dark stranger with a foreign accent". Later that day, encountering another weasel who matches this very description, the gullible Toad is persuaded to part with all his belongings. Luckily for him, Badger, Mole and Rat are on hand to uncover the deception.
26.Fancy Dress (25 March 1986)Toad invites everyone to a fancy dress Christmas party, at which he plans on making a surprise entrance. Mole decides that he will go as an Indian chief, while Ratty goes as an admiral and Badger as a rajah. A group of weasels have also shown up at the party, all of them dressed as burglars (except for one who is dressed as a fairy), with the Chief Weasel as a policeman. Throughout the party, they secretly snatch cutlery, jewels, and even Ratty's watch, and hide them in a suit of armor, which turns out to be Toad in costume (he intended to appear as a "knight watchman", but his ancestor's suit was too heavy to move). The plan works fine until the suit falls down the stairs and all the jewels tumble out, along with Toad, who exposes the weasels and has them driven out.

Series 3 (1986)[edit]

TitleSynopsis
27.Paperchase (30 December 1986)When the riverbank youngsters accidentally smash one of Mr. Toad's windows while playing cricket, Badger, Ratty and Mole decide a good clean paperchase is in order. With Badger in charge, and Ratty and Mole as checkpoint stewards, the race is complicated by one "Aloysius Weasel" (represented, in fact, by three runners in disguise), and Mr. Toad, who cannot resist his beloved motorcar. Unfortunately for the cheats, there is a booby prize. The last two to finish pick up the paper, and, since Toad and "Aloysius" (as Badger puts it, "however many Aloysiuses there were.") were disqualified, they became the last two home.
28.Mercury of the Motorbicycle (6 January 1987)Another motorcar crash turns Toad off motoring. He determines to purchase a motorbicycle, and his friends are unimpressed. Later, a caped motorcyclist is seen to narrowly miss Billy Rabbit, who falls into the canal. The motorcyclist causes havoc around the Riverbank. Badger, Rat and Mole decide to indicate their disapproval by ostracising Toad. Toad has a problem involving his motorbicycle and the Law, but receives little support from his friends. Billy Rabbit realises that the motorbicyclist was not Mr. Toad after all, and informs Mr. Toad that the culprit was a weasel. Toad tries to re-capture his machine but falls into difficulty. Thankfully, Badger, Rat and Mole come to the rescue and apologise to Toad for their assumptions.
29.Mr Toad's Telephone (13 January 1987)Toad has bought a new telephone from the weasels, and is very excited about it. But there are a few problems: firstly, the kit has no wires (the weasels point out that he never asked for wires); secondly, no one else on the Riverbank owns a phone. Toad has to spend even more money connecting up his friends, and the situation quickly becomes more complicated than he expected.
30.Toad, Astronomer (20 January 1987)Toad has taken up an interest in stargazing, in anticipation of the return of Halley’s Comet. Naturally then, he has bought a telescope at, as Badger puts it, "an astronomical price". Having managed, with some difficulty, to get it onto the roof of Toad Hall, Mole and Rat leave Toad to his observations, and as night falls he spots a moving light which he assumes to be the comet. Little does he realise that the weasels are creeping about with a torch, and suddenly his ladder disappears, leaving him stranded on the roof. Rescue and explanations follow in the morning.
31.Caught in a Maze (27 January 1987)It's holiday time, and Toad visits the palace at Hampton Court and sees the famous maze. On his return he decides to restore his father's maze in the grounds of Toad Hall. He challenges Badger, Mole and Rat to a race around the maze, and is sure he will win because he plans to cheat using some string to mark his path. Unfortunately, Mole encounters the string and thinks it will prove jolly useful, and picks it up. Toad is lost in the maze!
32.School Days (3 February 1987)The riverbank youngsters are not at school, because their teacher is indisposed. Badger decides to organise a temporary makeshift school until she has recovered. Toad, Mole, Ratty and himself will each take some of the children for lessons. Toad's lessons go badly wrong, and students soon start leaving his class and asking to join one of the other animals'. This is because of Toad's lack of academic knowledge - he thinks Columbus; before he discovers the United States of America, won the Battle of Trafalgar! At last, there is only one pupil left, as Toad tries to teach chemistry. The lesson ends with a test-tube exploding, and Toad lying heavily bandaged in Toad Hall. But he soon recovers, and promptly decides to take up pyrotechnics.
33.Badger's Remedy (10 February 1987)Badger and Rat are busy organising the harvest festival, and Mole is unaccountably absent. A concerned Rat calls round to find him seriously ill in bed. Badger suspects mushroom poisoning and organises a search for ingredients to make up an antidote, enlisting the help of riverbankers and weasels alike. One elusive but vital ingredient (a rare fungus) is causing them the most worry, and with time running out for Mole, they just need to look in the right place…
34.Masterchef (17 February 1987)After staying with Mole's cousin Auberon in London, Toad excitedly tells his three friends of the wonderful French cuisine he ate whilst there, and promptly announces his plans to host a special dinner at Toad Hall, which Toad himself will prepare. Toad sets to work on preparing the various dishes, with calamitous results. Upon receiving their error-strewn invitations, Badger, Rat and Mole agree to attend, and fearing the worst, take their own provisions with them...
35.Fire at Toad Hall (24 February 1987)While out for an autumn stroll, Mole and Rat notice a column of smoke rising from Toad Hall, and hasten to the rescue at once. Toad himself leaves them to extinguish the blaze, then returns and tries to take the credit. Badger arrives and elicits the cause of the fire from Toad: he had been camping indoors (claiming "it looked like rain"), and lit a stove inside the tent. Mole is persuaded to put him up while the Hall is restored, but reluctant to adapt to his bucolic way of life, Toad insists on filling Mole End with his furniture and objets d’art. Of course, this can only lead to trouble. Eventually, Mole gets fed up and leaves to spend time at Ratty's, making sure to lock Toad out of the house.
36.Unlikely Allies (3 March 1987)A dark and mysterious stranger appears in the weasels’ den, and incites the henchman and other weasels to rebellion against the Chief. Under this new influence, they make even more mischief than usual, setting fire to haystacks and stealing Toad’s Rolls-Royce. Having forced out the Chief, they then plot to invade Toad Hall and seize it for themselves. For once in his life, the Chief decides to call for Badger’s help, and so he is able to warn Toad of the impending attack.
37.A Producer's Lot (10 March 1987)It is 25 years since Badger started running annual dramatic productions in the locality, and Mole and Rat insist that they perform The Pirates of Penzance to mark the occasion. Rat offers to handle the music, and Mole the scenery. Toad, whose father played Major-General Stanley in the first production, demands a big part in this one, but the others are not entirely convinced by his musical abilities.
38.Champion of the Green Baize (17 March 1987)The four friends are at Badger's home playing bridge. Toad however believe he is playing a multitude of different card games and spoils the game for the others, and is heavily chastised by Badger. Sulking in a corner, Toad comes across a newspaper advertisement for a billiard table, and soon enough orders one for Toad Hall. Seizing upon Toad's lack of skill, the Chief Weasel challenges Toad to a game of snooker, with a bet - the Weasel den or Toad's motor car. Toad soon loses; however, witness to this, Badger immediately challenges the Chief Weasel to a game...
39.Winter Haunts (24 March 1987)Snowed in at Toad Hall, the four friends recall the episode in which Mole mistakenly thought his house was haunted. Toad, who is proud of his illustrious ancestors (despite Badger's revelation of how one of them made his money in candles), maintains that a few still haunt the Hall, but no one takes him seriously. Deciding to play a trick on them, Toad retires early to bed, then dresses up as a ghost and waits in the cellar to surprise the others. However, the trick suffers a setback when, before going to bed, Mole locks the cellar door. Fortunately, Toad remembers the secret tunnel…

Series 4 (1987)[edit]

TitleSynopsis
40.Auld Lang Syne (29 December 1987)Toad's New Year's Eve party goes wrong when he locks himself outside and can't find his way around through the rear entrance of his own house. Badger, however, has some serious news which puts a damper on the celebration: a railway company is planning to build its line through the Riverbank, possibly destroying their homes.
41.Bricks and Mortar (5 January 1988)Toad Hall is in need of some renovation work. Badger tells Toad about his ancestor, Inigo, a great architect. Inspired, Toad decides to take up architecture himself, and re-design Toad Hall. As usual, his efforts are somewhat misguided – he thinks the west wing has been put on the wrong side of the hall – and the weasels see yet another opportunity to take advantage of him.
42.The Lost River (12 January 1988)The day after a fierce storm, the Rat emerges from his home to discover that the river has disappeared from its channel. Confused and distressed, he enlists the help of Mole, Badger and Toad, and they all set off to find out what happened. But Rat is not the only one to have lost something: on their search, he and Toad encounter a family of fieldmice whose caravan home has been flooded out. Toad is eventually persuaded to put them up at Toad Hall, but meanwhile the others may have found a clue to the disappearance of the river.
43.The Tournament (19 January 1988)Excited by reading 'A Boy's First Book of Wonders', Toad announces that he will host a medieval jousting pageant. Astride his trusty steed (his motorcycle), 'Sir Toad' issues a challenge to joust, which the weasels accept.
44.Lord Toad (26 January 1988)Just miles away from the riverbank, Lord Rushton, a famous archaeologist, has uncovered an ancient barrow. Tired of the inconspicuous life of a country squire, Toad resolves to become "Lord Toad", a famous archaeologist. Toad's excavations meet a tunnel that the Chief Weasel and his assistant are digging. Lamenting his lack of finds, Toad is convinced by the weasels that he has found treasure. But is that a Roman shield, or a dustbin lid?
45.Hot Air (2 February 1988)Toad's hot air balloon finally arrives, and Badger thinks it will be a good way to survey the approach of the railway. However, when Toad packs a huge hamper to take up with him, only Mole is left to help. The henchman weasel has fallen asleep in the basket, and as Mole tries to carry the hamper he trips over the rope and the balloon begins its ascent. Mole drives along in Toad's car, following the balloon across the countryside. Up in the air, Toad takes photographs of the railway as the henchman tries not to be sick. With too much weight, the balloon starts drifting downward towards a lake. With all the sandbags released, Toad and the henchman fight over who should jump out. Toad pulls the wrong lever and the balloon crashes down into a tree. Examining the developed photographs, Badger is pleased with Toad's efforts.
46.Fighting Fit (9 February 1988)Badger, Rat and Mole are preoccupied with the progress of the railway, which looks set to encroach on the Wild Wood and Riverbank. Toad almost collapses at the end of the long walk, and is rather cross when the others brand him overweight and unfit. He orders an array of expensive exercise equipment, which turns out to be quite beyond his capabilities. As Toad cavorts into a cabinet in front of Rat and Mole, a stack of letters is revealed. They refer to a consultation period for those affected by the railway, but Toad has failed to object in time.
47.Hall for Sale (16 February 1988)Disguised as representatives of the railway company, the weasels talk Toad into selling Toad Hall to them. Toad plans to travel the world with the proceeds, until Badger gets wind of the deal and reads the fraudulent contract.
48.Toad's Harvest (23 February 1988)It is autumn, and Rat, Mole and Badger are making preparations for winter, exchanging their home-made jams and preserves. Toad's garden supplies most of the fruits and vegetables for his friends, but Toad himself prefers to buy his own winter provisions in a hamper from London, much to Badger’s distaste. Determined to impress them all, Toad buys a tinning machine imported from the USA. However, having refused to blanch the vegetables before putting them into the tins, the impression he makes when they are opened is not the sort he planned.
49.Monster of the Wild Wood (1 March 1988)With only a few days to Halloween, the riverbank youngsters are brimming with excitement. Meanwhile Toad is planning a party for the youngsters and is planning to make the best Halloween mask and costume. Billy Rabbit and the others venture into the Wild Wood to go play trick-or-treat, and they are scared by a monster. When the youngsters come running to his house for help, Toad determines to investigate(After Billy and the others have to help him remove his mask which has become glued to his face). In the Wild Wood, his nerves get the better of him, and terror ensues when the monster reappears, hot on the tail of the weasels. The following day Toad has taken to his bed in fright and Badger explains that the "monster" is, in fact, a steam traction engine, part of the construction effort in the Wild Wood. Toad feels silly and pretends to Badger he knew it was not a monster after all!.
50.Remember, Remember (8 March 1988)It is nearing the 5th November, Bonfire Night, and the riverbankers decide to celebrate as a welcome distraction from the construction of the railway in the Wild Wood. Toad determines to have fireworks, and after trying his hand at firework-making without success, he heads to London to buy a luxury box. The display is in peril when the weasels steal the wood for the bonfire and the fireworks, but the riverbankers have a merry gathering nevertheless. Seeing the fireworks being let off from the Wild Woods, the riverbankers notice that the woods are on fire. While tending to the injured weasels, Badger offers them asylum in Mr. Toad's outhouses. He makes an impassioned speech for unity in the face of the builders.
51.Tunnels and Tremors (15 March 1988)Toad is planning a Christmas party starring the great magician 'Il Mysterioso' (who looks an awful lot like Toad). Meanwhile, Mole End is struck by an earth tremor. Mole and Rat rescue the trapped Billy Rabbit. Toad's performance eventually goes ahead, but Badger is concerned about the cause of the tremor.
52.Happy New Year (22 March 1988)The New Year brings little cheer for the riverbankers, as the approaching railway threatens to destroy everyone's homes, and even Badger seems to have given up hope. Despite this, Toad insists on holding a New Year’s celebration at the Hall, and on providing the entertainment himself (by playing the bagpipes very badly and reading with an exaggerated accent from the poetry of Rabbie Burns). Mole’s cousin Auberon is in attendance. During the evening two messengers bring news to the group: the first concerning the weasels and a stolen traction engine; the second concerning new developments on the railway…

A Tale Of Two Toads (1988)[edit]

'A Tale Of Two Toads' (6 December 1988)

The Chief Weasel discovers that Toad has a double: an actor, impersonator and con artist (in short, someone after his own heart) called Isambard Bilbone Toad. Together, they form a plan which involves the kidnapping of the real Toad and the acquisition of Toad Hall, all without the riverbankers noticing. Once this is done, Isambard continues to play the rôle of Toad in public, having perfected his voice and mannerisms. However, Badger, Rat and Mole cannot help noticing some slight oddities about their friend, particularly when he spreads slanderous remarks that the three have supposedly made about each other. Then, as if that were not strange enough, Toad breaks off his friendship with them, in favour of the weasels who are now sharing the Hall. Eventually, Badger’s keen observation leads them to realise the truth, and they must now rescue the real Toad before the weasels put an even more audacious plan into action…

Series 5 (or Oh, Mr. Toad) (1989)[edit]

TitleSynopsis
53.The Chief's Return (18 September 1989)After been arrested and thrown in jail over the business in "A Tale of Two Toads". The Chief weasel and his henchman send some weasels to Toad Hall with a message saying the Chief wants Toad to be the weasels new leader and arrange a meeting in his prison cell. Gullible Toad believes them and visits the Chief. The Chief and his Henchman trick Toad, escape and take over Toad Hall. When Badger, Mole and Rat find out they do some "Prison Visiting" and set Toad free. Then they think of the perfect "cure" for getting the Chief (who is pretending to be Toad ill in bed) and his henchman (posing as a nurse)out of Toad Hall. Enter " Doctor MacSporran".
54.Oarsman Toad (25 September 1989)Toad decides to enter the "Home-Made Boat Competition" in the River Bank Regatta. However, he can't be bothered to build a boat, and therefore decides to buy one and attempt to pass it off as his own. This plan fails, and he decides to build a boat just to spite the cynical Badger. His first attempt at building a boat fails, but the Weasels offer to help him build another one. But can they be trusted?
55.Midsummer Night's Disaster (2 October 1989)Toad decides to produce the Summer Entertainment, after Badger, who usually does the job, decides to take a year off. Toad decides to do a drastically re-written version of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The show includes Oberon, the Fairy Characters- Oberon, the King- who turns out to be Robin Hood in disguise- Titania and her attendants, but it also includes D'Artagnan, Ophelia from Hamlet, and most of the cast of Robin Hood. Mole plays Friar Tuck, and Ratty is the Sheriff of Nottingham, but the Chief Weasel and his bumbling henchman are out to sabotage the production. They make scenery and then steal from Toad Hall during the production, but they are spotted as they make their getaway.
56.The Complete Bungler (9 October 1989)Toad takes up fishing. Badger, unusually, encourages this obsession, and offers to give him a lesson in fly fishing. Toad refuses, and goes to London to buy the finest fishing tackle money can buy. With Toad Hall unattended, the weasels decide to steal Toad's motorbike. Will Toad's attempts at fishing be up to scratch?
57.Mr. Toad of 'The Times' (16 October 1989)Annoyed that there is no mention of his speech in the local newspaper, Toad decides to write his own. He interviews his friends, but this does not work out. Mole has nothing exciting to tell Toad – his most exciting experience is winning second-prize at a flower show – and Toad is bored by Badger's account of his travels around the world. He attempts to photograph a fake boating accident with Ratty, but this ends in disaster. However, Toad finally gets the paper together and sets out to make copies of it with his new printing press. Will it work out? The action of this episode is interspersed with Toad's fantasies about when his newspaper is a success – a semi-regular character, a young rabbit named Billy, is seen shouting "Read all about it!", as he attempts to sell "The Toad Hall Times".
58.Toad in Motion (23 October 1989)No one would be silly enough to believe in a perpetual motion machine, would they? Except, of course, for Toad, who acts as generous benefactor to a rather weasely "professor"...
59.Piano-Roll Toad (30 October 1989)Toad inherits a pianola, and decides to impress his friends by pretending that he can play a real piano, in a grand recital at Toad Hall. When the pedal action proves too much of a strain for him, he enlists the help of Billy Rabbit and a modified bicycle. However, once the weasels learn of the trick, they plan an act of sabotage.
60.Gypsy Toad (6 November 1989)Inspired by the lifestyle of an old gypsy that visits Toad Hall, Mr Toad finds his tent and fiddle, and heads out to a new life on the open road... until it rains.
61.Hip-Hip Soirée! (13 November 1989)Bored by Badger's intellectual slide show, Toad decides to hold a soirée at Toad Hall. He starts with a game of charades, but when his opening charade (The Three Musketeers) goes wrong, he calls a halt and suggest they play Pin the Tail on the Donkey instead. This plan goes awry when a blindfolded host falls down a flight of stairs. Badger suggests an impressions game, but Ratty's impression of Toad offends him, and he storms off to bed, vowing never to speak to them again. He then has a strange dream.
62.Happy Birthday! (20 November 1989)November 28 is coming. It is a special day for Toad, and though all his friends know it, they are not letting on. Ignoring all his hints, they move the conversation round to astrological signstar signs and astrology, and soon Toad becomes fascinated and decides to become an "astrologer". He even dreams of a mention in the Orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom New Year's Honours List. His fortunes take a turn for the worse when the weasels steal his "pocket watch", but the dawn of November 28 holds some more pleasant surprises…
63.A Toad in Time (27 November 1989)Toad decides to build a "time travelling machine". His friends think that his latest project is doomed to failure. Undaunted, Toad sets to work. He falls asleep and dreams of being "Robin Hood", and then "Julius Caesar". His friends wake him up, but he is convinced he really did go back in time.
64.Toad in Love (4 December 1989)Toad has a new craze "filming" and goes London to buy a film camera. While he is there Toad visits a music hall to see a show. Toad falls in love with a singer he sees at the music hall, Lottie D'Urbeville (who never actually appears) which puts him off filming,food and even motoring!. Badger discovers that Lettuce Pommefrite (her real name) is married to a "tightrope walker" – how can he break it to Toad gently?
65.Toad: Film Maker (11 December 1989)Toad's new enthusiasm is film-making, but with Badger, Mole and Rat preparing for the winter he seeks other cast members. After the initial failure of a young hedgehog and of Billy Rabbit in the role of the orphan child, the heroine and her villainous father are replaced by the Assistant and Chief Weasel. The screening reveals a rough cut, and much hilarity, and even Badger is cheered by Mr. Toad's screen wedding to the Chief Weasel's assistant. During the movie, Badger explained to Mole that out of all of Toad's follies, he had given everyone a little magic with his film. He also says that when they're gone, they will be remembered forever on a little strip of film, showing those in the future of what their lives were like in their time.

Cast[edit]

Main Characters

Recurring Characters

Credits[edit]

International Showings[edit]

VHS/DVD releases[edit]

  1. REDIRECT Target page name

VHS/DVD (Region 2)[edit]

VHS

DVD

1. Classic Willows Tales - 1. The Yuletide Entertainment (cut version), 2. Caught in a Maze, 3. Grand Annual Show, 4. Badger's Remedy.

2. Typical Toad - 1. Mercury of the Motor bicycle, 2. Burglary at Toad Hall, 3. Fire at Toad Hall, 4. Patient: Toad.

3. Ratty and Mole - Chums for Life - 1. The Ghost at Mole End, 2. The Great Steamer, 3. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, 4. The Storm.

4. Champion of the Willows - 1. Paper Chase, 2. The Great Golfing Gamble, 3. Champion of the Green Baize, 4. Winter Sports.

5. Those Wily Weasels - 1. The Weasels' Trap, 2. The Rescue, 3. Unlikely Allies, 4. Fancy-Dress.

6. Wise Old Badger - 1. Buried Treasure, 2. Harvest, 3. School Days, 4. A Producer's Lot.

These DVD's are now out of print and are very rare to find but can be found on eBay every so often.

DVD (Region 1)[edit]

DVD (Region 4)[edit]

External links[edit]