This is the second in the "Adventures of T. Bag" series. Having been defeated and had her T. plant destroyed by Debbie (Jennie Stallwood) in "Troubles with T. Bag", the titular sorceress (played by Elizabeth Estensen) finds her way into a fairytale book where new T. plants grow in a story about a magical garden. Having restored her powers, she steals all the silver numbers from the town clock in the first story. Stopping the clock means that time can't go on and so there are no more happy endings. It is up to Debbie to help the town crier, Hickory Dickory-Dock (Roy Barraclough), to collect the numbers and restore the clock. T. Bag once again is assisted (or hindered) by the mischievous T. Shirt (John Hasler). This series sets the tone for the rest of the nine series in that it feels as though it has found its feet and has a real sense of direction. The principle actors seem to be more comfortable in their roles, and the performances seem less self-conscious as a result. The infamous yet beautiful cardboard sets are still there, but are richer and more elaborate, and the whole production seems more solid and less tentative than the first series. Although the first series is still wonderful in its own right and delivers some real comic gems, "Strikes Again" delivers more, but bigger, better and brighter.
In short, if you liked the first series, you are going to LOVE this one!!!! Buy it now!!!
The second instalment of the T-Bag series and I think my personal favourite apart from maybe Revenge of the T-set (series 5). The characters are all there again. Debbie, the annoying goody-goody, T-Shirt the comic relief and the unmistakeable star of the show T-Bag (Played by the wonderful Elizabeth Estenson!). Yes sometimes the acting is a little wooden and yes the sets look like something from Doctor Who in the 70s and yes the storyline is sometimes as see through as a window. But do you know what - I don't care. This is a true slice of nostalgia and a piece of my own childhood. I am so glad that this has finally been released on DVD. It's a real pleasure to be able to watch it properly again in all its glory!! Fantastic!
Series Two range of actors, storylines and production value much improved from original series. Just keeps getting better. I highly recommend this series to anyone. The characters interaction is very entertaining and just keeps you glued to the screen. Sets a bit better also. Extras include photo gallery, and voice commentaries. Just wished they had some video interviews of the cast and guest stars today. Can't wait for Series Three release as my niece and nephew loved the first two.
Young Thomas returns to his granddad's deserted toy shop only for his game of make-believe, played out with props from a dressing-up box, to be interrupted when an invisible force drags a pop-up book of stories down to him and its pages open. Within the pop-up representation of a glass plant-house appears a familiar witch - he calls her T-Bag while she insists on being addressed as `your majes-T'. He betrayed her once but now she's regained her powers and soon has him under her spell as `T-Shirt' (her own personal tea-maker). Help is at hand, though, as Thomas' previous ally, Debbie, soon appears on the scene and sets out to retrieve the silver numbers that T-Bag took from the book's town clock and scattered throughout the stories. Debbie believes that T-Bag removed the numbers in order to cling onto her magic powers, so their recovery will lead to the witch's defeat.
So begins this ten-part pantomime-esque Children's ITV series that was first broadcast in 1986. Each twenty-minute episode focuses on a different tale from the book and these are usually based on well-known children's stories albeit with a twist - for example, the genie who emerges from a lamp has been sleeping so long that his magic is pretty rusty so he's of limited help. The list of characters also includes a Prince Charming, a court jester and pirates.
T-Bag must have been a part of a lot of people's childhoods - in all there were 9 series made which featured a character of that name (this is the second series) so it's great to get the chance to find out whether the show deserves to be so fondly-remembered or not.
What took me back more than anything on the DVD was hearing the music cues and, in particular, the jolly closing theme tune. Another memorable recurring image is that of an enraged T-Bag opening her mouth to roar while we hear a rumble of thunder and see objects on screen outlined in white - presumably to resemble a lightning strike. The character also vents her frustration with frequent cake-based curses, such as `teacakes and crumpets!'. There are occasional cliff-hanger endings to episodes and even the occasional song.
Visually, the show stands up well - it helps that the action takes place within a pop-up book, meaning that, although some of the sets seem to amount to little more than painted boards, this is perfectly in keeping with the plot. The special effects in the closing episode more than make up for the opener's image of Debbie entering the world of the book as a spinning doll.
Acting-wise, Elizabeth Estensen inhabits the grown-up spoilt brat that is T-Bag expertly and entertainingly. She really cranks up the threat to Debbie as the series progresses. John Hasler is endearing as the sometimes bad, sometimes good servant/slave T-Shirt - a wonderfully varied character. Jennie Stallwood does well as the capable Debbie, who outsmarts T-Bag at almost every turn, but is somewhat saddled with having to be the driving force for the story - Debbie seems, at times, tiresomely obsessed with retrieving the numbers while T-Bag and T-Shirt are allowed their diversions. All three stars are brought together for commentaries on episodes 1, 2, 9 and 10 - in which we find out much about John and Jennie's attitude to the show at the time and how its following affected them. (A word of warning: stop listening to episode 1's commentary at the end, when the action moves to the forest glade, if you want to avoid having episode 2's plot spoiled for you.) The series also features several actors still familiar today thanks to their comedy roles, such as Roy Barraclough, Frank Middlemass, Jack Haig and Brian Murphy.
So, does this series end up as a string of repetitive stages in a quest or is there enough novelty and interest here to sustain its ten-episode run? The first episode was interesting enough but wrong-footed me into thinking that the viewer would be challenged each week to spot the silver number before the characters did - this is not an aspect that gets repeated. I found that episodes 2 & 3, and 5 & 6, taken as pairs, shared a little too much in common with each other to be that enthralling the second time around. That said, the episodes are never less than involving. I particularly enjoyed parts 4 and 7 and with episode 7 comes the advantage that T-Bag's spell over T-Shirt is beginning to wear off - leading to greater character development for those last four instalments. I'd be surprised if, after watching episode 10 you don't share Debbie's momentary feeling of bereavement upon realising that the story is over.
Overall, then, I feel the series deserves to be fondly-remembered and I particularly recommend it to those of you who can still recall it from its first airing - no matter how dim your memories.
[The DVD also features a photo gallery from the series and a separate gallery of sketches (mainly of the sets) from show designer John Plant.]
This time Deborah has to locate Silver Numbers to put back on the Clock.Of course she does a GRAND job and eventually retrieves the numbers. But of course she meets T-Bag along the way with her sidekick T-shirt, But as usual they FAIL to stop Deborah.
She has help along the way meeting Princes and Court Jesters and Laundry Men and Genies.
It's SUCH FUN and STILL reminds me of my Idyllic Childhood in the 1980's. I remember each episode and the Characters like if it was yesterday.
I can't believe it's ALMOST 30 Years ago.
They just don't make Children's Television like this anymore. The Innocence the Sweetness and the Charm of the Era have gone for good.
T-Bag is a Series that EVERY Child of the 1980's REMEMBERS FONDLY.
And a THOUSAND THANK YOUS to Talkback Thames,Revelation and FremantleMedia for FINALLY releasing it on DVD.
In the second series of T-Bag, Debbie returns to go up against T-Bag who is now living inside a storybook of fables. Here she has found a magic "T plant" (after T-Shirt destroyed the first in series 1) that has given her magic back.
I really loved the guest characters in this series - and it was nice to see the return of the mermaid - though she played a different character.
This show just has the right balance - the goody-two-shoes and the lovable trying to be good T-Shirt, not to mention T-Bag.
One thing that is well worth listening to are the commentaries. Usually I am not a fan of them but it was quite amusing listening to the three main actors talking about the episodes.
This DVD contains all 10 epsiodes of the second series of T.Bag and probably the most memorable from the era.
In this series Debbie (Jennie Stallwood) has to prevent T.Bag (Elizabeth Estensen) and her sidekick T-Shirt (John Hasler), from collecting numbers (instead of letters like in the last series) that belong to a magical town clock.
The quality of these episodes are very good, nothing is really digitally remastered, but it is superb to see these episodes again, the way they were originally broadcasted after nearly 30 years.
A great title that won't dissapoint any fans of this great CITV classic!