Made by Southern TV in Southampton - the company had spent a fortune in kitting out a boat as an Outside Broadcast Unit, believed to be the first time it had been done in the U.K. There was an idea in addition to covering Cowes Week, they could press it into service for other programming - and Freewheelers was seen as a great opportunity (which explained the many 'boat chase' scenes in multiple episodes. See more »
The Freewheelers, that certainly brings back memories! I have not seen the show since it was canceled nearly 30 years ago so I might be disappointed if I was to see it again. This show was consistent with the times as Enid Blyton and "boy's own" adventure story books were popular in those days. Today most kid's shows are about drugs, teenage pregnancies, problems with dopey or abusive parents and whose making out with who (for the British reader" who fancies who") I can't remember the theme song for the show although I do remember Holtz's haunting classical piece "Mars, the bringer of war "which was often played either during a tense moment or else when an episode was coming to a climax. I also remember the evil Von Gelb who lived on what can best be described as a World war II E-boat, (the mounted gun turret was a dead give-away) which looking back must have given the harbor master cause for concern. Nobody who remembers the Freewheelers can for get the infamous rouges Ryan and Burke,who had the limp wrist-ed 'karate-chop' on the back of the neck down to a fine art. Even as an eight year old I was often surprised at how these two clowns were able to get the better of people, because by today's standard these two looked as hard as Laurel and Hardy.
During it's run the team changed over the years, (presumably the rotation was due to the fact that that some of the freewheelers eventually passed their A-levels and went to University, although how they had time to study is any bodies guess, wish I could have devoted so little time) which I think added to it's interest. Never the less despite some flaws the freewheelers 5-year run reflected how popular this show was for the 8-14 year olds ( and perhaps older) during the late 60's and early 70's and I looked forward to watching it during the children's hour in the early evening.
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