Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The Adventures of Parsley

As I had already mentioned previous, spin-offs in animation have been quite common over the decades, so here's another example.
The Herbs was the creation of Michael Bond (of Paddington Bear fame), and was produced by FilmFair Productions as part of the Watch with Mother timeslot in 1968. Featuring the enthusiastic voice of Gordon Rollings, it focused on the goings-on in the Herb Garden of a country estate. In case you've never seen the series before, all the characters were personifications of a different herb; possibly the work of Nicholas Culpeper's 17th Century book, "Culpeper's Complete Herbal" inspired Michael to create the series.

Though it was written for a younger audience, the sophisticated, broad humour of the characters and Storyteller have made it a cult classic since. One only needs to hear the magic word "Herbidacious", and the memories of Sir Basil, Lady Rosemary, Bayleaf the Gardener, Constable Knapweed, and even Pashana Bedhi will come flooding back.

"I'm a very friendly lion called Parsley..."
But it was the animal characters that seemed to have more appeal than the humans - Parsley the Lion, Dill the Dog, Sage the Owl and even Tarragon the "Dwagon". So much so that, two years later, Michael Bond wrote a spin-off series with Parsley and Dill taking lead. However, The Adventures of Parsley differed from its predecessor in a few areas;

  • The episodes (all 32 of them) had a running time of 5 minutes compared to the 10 - 15 minute run.
  • The scenery was a little more basic, almost similar to the set design of "The Magic Roundabout" (considering Ivor Wood also worked on both shows).
  • The humour was much broader, often relying on clever word-play and puns-a-plenty.
  • Whereas all the characters had a signature song, Parsley and Dill were finally given "voices" of their own.

Here's a few personal choice episodes to view from the Playlist below. And if interested, you can get the Complete Herbs Collection on DVD to relive those memories =)


No comments:

Post a Comment