Trying to put together the few remaining pieces of the puzzle of 'T Schaep Met De Vijf Pooten I'm amazed that the entire show, which debuted in 1969 was broadcast in color. This in contrast to the adventure series for the youth, 'Floris' which was shot in black and white - thereby immediately ruining it's chances of being sold abroad and who's tapes, unlike 'T Schaep weren't wiped clean to be used again after the completion of a compilation of musical numbers. Indeed, it is this compilation (available to buy on DVD for die-hard fans) that provides the only visual insight into what the series was like. When watching the songs after having seen the 2006 remake, one gets a better insight into the context of the episodes and the differences that were made in the new series, which used the original script as a starting point and featured all the same songs in new arrangements.
First of all, Joes Odufré's direction relies much more on wide tracking shots with very few cuts, as per the norm of the day. Nearly every song is performed on the set of the titular café ('T Schaep Met De 5 Pooten) itself. The pre-recorded songs were clearly being mimed by the actors while Odulfré caught it all on camera, often in one long shot. During one of the most often seen clips, "We Benne Op De Wereld", Leen Jongewaard noticeably misses his cue and is has to catch up with his own singing voice blaring through the speakers. Meanwhile in the re-imagined series, each musical number features a lot of quick cut and many of them are situated in some kind of musical la-la land instead of the café. Interestingly enough, this 'music video' effect is not as newfangled as this comparison would have you believe, as a similar technique was used during the musical performances in both of the series that followed 'T Schaep: "Citroentje Met Suiker" & "Durmazon". The second noticeable thing is that the original cast had substantially better singing voices than their contemporary versions. This is not entirely surprising as actors were more accustomed to being all-round entertainers in the last century then they are in this one. That being said, a resurgence of the long out of fashion musical comedy tradition seems to be underway (spearheaded by the remake perhaps) as more and more new comedies see their cast-members bursting out in song.
It's funny to see a young Piet Römer with incredibly fake Reed Richards style gray streaks in his hair in an attempt to make him seem older than his actual years. Adèle Bloemendaal, wearing Dame Edna glasses and an enormous beehive hairdo, still manages to make her character Tantje Door into less of a caricature than her follow-up Loes Luca. Of the three main barflies from the original series (Arie, Huipie & Tinus), only two were retained for the remake (Tinus was dropped) but this time around they were joined by their wives. To stretch out the female clientèle of the café, both Lena (originally played by a young Willeke van Ammelrooy) and Opoe Withoff (who only appeared once in the 1969-1970 season) got greatly expanded roles, while Ronnie Bierman's character Femma Nagel was completely dropped. While contributing a comment on the IMDb page for the new series some years ago, I mentioned how inspired the casting of Marc-Marie Huijbregts in the part originated by Leen Jongewaard was. Although we see little of Leen's performance outside of the musical performances in this TV special, I may have to revise my previous opinion. Jongewaard's version of Lukas Blijschap comes over as far less gullible and innocent than Marc-Marie's. Obviously both performers molded the character into their own image. Also, the fact that in the 2009 follow up series to the new version, Lukas finally comes out of the closet is a revelation that would probably never have been considered if the original series had spawned a straight sequel.
You see, despite the enormous success and a record number of viewers for all 8 episodes of the series, plans for the inevitable second season never came to fruition because producer/director Odufré refused to sell the rights of the series to Joop van den Ende. With that knowledge, it becomes apparent that the music-special, in which the main cast members, Odufré, writer Eli Asser and composer Harrie Bannink reflect on the series and their favorite songs, was basically a last ditch effort to secure a second series. The director is even seen to ask his son if he isn't sorry there hasn't been a new series of 'T Schaep for over a year! Eventually, Van den Ende commissioned Eli Asser to go ahead and write a new series utilizing the same cast but different characters (as well as new director), which became the aforementioned "Citroentje Met Suiker". However, the seemingly impossible occurred in 2008 when the remake got green-lighted for a second series. Seeing as all the original scripts and musical numbers had already been used and they couldn't touch the ones from "Citroentje", screenwriter Frank Houtappels decided to stir it up a bit, move the setting from the late sixties café in Amsterdam to a mid-seventies camping near the beach, and have the returning cast belt out interpretations of actual pop-songs from the era. This last touch was obviously inspired by the recent trend to base entire musicals on pop-music from the last century. They are even speculatively talking about a third series set in the eighties, though I'm afraid they'll have to whip out the Reed Richards hair streaks again if they venture that far.
8 out of 10
To be continued on the comments section for "Citroentje Met Suiker" here on the IMDb
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