Henry's Cat

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Colourful cartoon series about the adventures and flights of fancy of a laid-back yellow cat and his animal friends.

The series was created and written by Stan Hayward and animated by Bob Godfrey, who had been irregular collaborators (on more adult material) since the late 60s; the title alluded to a rather risque and distinctly non-child-friendly (but hilarious) cartoon short called Henry 9 to 5 that they had collaborated on a decade earlier.

Henry's Cat was a laconic sort, quite happy to save the world from the nefarious plans of evil sheep if the need happened to arise, but ultimately perfectly content to just lie in bed daydreaming. Either way, Henry's Cat was quite unperturbed by events and always managed to solve any crisis in time for dinner.

Much of the appeal of Henry's Cat lay in its cast of supporting characters. Hyperactive Chris Rabbit was Henry's Cat's best friend and complete opposite, and often it would be Chris's enthusiasm that would land the friends in trouble. A whole gang of pals was included, to be called on when necessary: Douglas Dog, Mosey Mouse, Pansy Pig, Sammy Snail, Phillipe Frog and Denise Duck. None of them were particularly capable but all were enthusiastic (to varying degrees) and keen to render help when needed.

And then there were the bad guys. Lesser adversaries were Farmer Giles, whose cows were constantly being disturbed by the gang's well-meaning antics, and Constable Bulldog, unwavering upholder of the law. But the one truly bad, or rather baaaaa'd, character was Rum Baa Baa, the most evil sheep in the whole wide world, who was introduced in the later seasons as (with a expanded timeslot) the plots developed from simple tales to more off-the-wall and complex storylines.

Cast

Narration and all voices by Bob Godfrey.

Episode list and transmission details

First series

Five-minute episodes. Initially broadcast on BBC1 in the 5.30pm slot before the early evening news, Monday to Friday for three weeks starting 12 September 1983.

  1. The Race
  2. The Hypnotist
  3. The Hobby
  4. The Treasure
  5. The Whale
  6. The Diet
  7. The Invention
  8. The Circus
  9. The Holiday
  10. The Competition
  11. The Film
  12. The Artist
  13. The Moon Trip
  14. The Fortune Teller
  15. The Disco Doddle
  16. The Christmas Dinner (BBC2, 25 December 1983 at 4.20pm)

Series 2

Another batch of 5-minute episodes. Same slot as before but now weekly on Thursday evenings, from 13 September 1984 to 3 January 1985 (except New Year Resolution which aired a day later than it normally should have, on Friday 28 December at 3.50pm.)

  1. The Ill Wind
  2. The Dream
  3. The Robbery
  4. The Explorer
  5. The Secret Weapon
  6. The Hot Day
  7. The Invitation
  8. The Magic Tummy Button
  9. The Actor
  10. The Ventriloquist
  11. The Hero
  12. The Catseye Kid
  13. The Clever Trick
  14. The Abominable Snowman
  15. Caveman Cat
  16. New Year Resolution
  17. Good News Day

Series 3

By the time this series aired, a proper Children's BBC strand had been introduced in the afternoons with Phillip Schofield linking the programmes from "The Broom Cupboard", and for this run Henry's Cat was the first programme in the strand on Wednesdays at 3.55. It was paired with another soon-to-be cult cartoon, Jimbo and the Jet Set which immediately followed it. Series ran weekly from 8 January to 12 February 1986.

  1. Treasure Hunt
  2. The Day of Terrible Jokes
  3. The Pilfered Pearls
  4. The Lost World
  5. The Computer
  6. The Correspondence Course

Series 4

Rather haphazardly thrown into the schedules, with one chucked out before Christmas, two episodes airing in consecutive weeks two months later only for the slot to be usurped seven days later by The Amazing Adventures of Morph and no new episodes emerging for another seven months. Anyway, these are the episodes that are considered to make up series 4:

  1. Once Upon A Time (22 December 1986)
  2. The Birthday Caper (13 February 1987)
  3. The Funny Feeling (20 February 1987)
  4. Out For The Count (22 September 1987)
  5. The Jingle (1 December 1987)
  6. The Great Adventure (8 December 1987)


Series 5

Transmission details unknown.

  1. Mystery of the Missing Santa
  2. When Time Went Wrong
  3. The New President
  4. Valentine's Day

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