Here Come The Double Deckers - Series evolution - Present day.
I too have fond memories of this marvelously-slapstick children's show that debuted in the dawning 70's - a joint amalgamation of a venture between US television and the BBC. It dealt with the madcap exploits of a group of London children with a great den (a large red London double-decker bus in a disused works yard). Each week saw the gang in hilarious and ludicrous adventures - a runaway home-made hovercraft, invading "Martians", a haunted house and so on. Film-goers who recall the Children's Film Foundation productions may well recall also the adventures of 'The Magnificent Six-And-A-Half' - which was the mold for the TV series to come. Made by the CFF, with I believe Roy Simpson & Harry Booth at the helm it had seven children (the half was the youngest girl - as with "Tiger" being the youngest when it transferred to the small screen). Various insanely silly adventures made enjoyable children's stories - and included Michael Audreson and Brinsley Forde among the cinema cast - later to be members of the TV series gang. Mervyn Hayes who also became a stalwart member of the TV series also appeared in the cinema originals. The stories in fact were also re-worked for the TV series: "Ghosts & Ghoulies" transferred to become "Happy Haunting", "Bob A Job" became the TV episode "A Helping Hand" and so on. I believe the CFF story "Kon-Tiki Kids" may also have been the base for the TV story "Tiger Takes Off" (hovercraft adventure). Other TV ep's were derived from other productions by the CFF - such as 'Go-Kart-Go!' - a go-kart racing adventure - which transferred to the small screen with the episode "Go-Karters". Three of the TV cast (Michael Audreson ("Brains"), Gillian Bailey ("Billie") & Brinsley Forde ("Spring")made an appearance on French television in 2000 for a small re-union. Peter Firth - who became an established TV and film actor was unable to attend - nor was Debbie Russ ("Tiger") - she now works for a radio station in Hong Kong. There was no mention of Bruce Clarke ("Sticks") or Douglas Symmonds ("Doughnut") - or indeed Mervyn Hayes - now better known for his role in 'It Ain't 'Alf Hot Mum'. A full re-union would be good to see - though it's unlikely. I don't know for example whether all members are now still alive. Douglas Symmonds is the one who first springs to mind because of his massive appetite for food - but if he is - and if ever the series gets a DVD release (long-overdue!) - it would be immensely satisfying to hear the old gang (and "old" perhaps being the more operative word - they are all well-past their childhood days!) - seeing the old gang make a narrative track for the old TV episodes - to enlighten us with comical anecdotes and past memories of their time on the marvelous old show that was uniquely a British institution - British to the core - 'Here Come The Double Deckers!'...
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