And so we reach the last episode of Worzel Gummidge to be made in the UK, and the final appearance of most of the characters. The story, like most of series four, is slight and not very surprising, but our son found lots to giggle about. Worzel has decided that he has six birthdays, two for his legs, two for his arms, and one for his stomach, but his bestest birthday is for his head. The kids had to help him with arithmetic to figure that much out. He wants Aunt Sally to come to his bestest birthday party, and Aunt Sally wants to ruin it, and that sort of thing.
Behind the scenes, unfortunately, events were conspiring against continuing Worzel Gummidge in Britain. Southern Television lost its franchise to a network called TVS, who didn’t want to continue most of Southern’s programming. (TVS went on to produce several interesting programs for families, including the Third Eye serials Haunting of Cassie Palmer and The Witches and the Grinnygog. They later co-produced the Jim Henson programs Fraggle Rock, including the human segments with Fulton Mackay instead of Gerry Parkes, and The Storyteller, which we’re going to watch next year.) An investor bought the rights to Worzel with an eye to making series five in Ireland, but it didn’t work out, and the show remained in limbo for more than six years.
So this was the last appearance of Geoffrey Bayldon’s Crowman, along with Aunt Sally’s cranky owner, played by Michael Ripper, and the Braithwates and the Peters. It’s really the end of an era, since none of the recurring characters from the first four series will move into the next phase, but I’m curious what we’ll see next.
We’ll leave it there for now and take a break from scarecrow shenanigans. We like to mix things up to keep them fresh, and will pick back up with series five of Worzel Gummidge in February. Stay tuned!