Friday, 13 March 2015
114 Captain Pugwash
First watched : 1973
This was actually the first of John Ryan's rolling-eyed animation series; the first series's 86 episodes were broadcast between 1957 and 1966. Pugwash was a basically harmless, rather cowardly excuse for a pirate with an equally motley crew who were usually extricated from trouble by the intelligence of clean cut Tom the Cabin Boy. It returned after some years off screen on New Year's Day 1973 and quickly became a holiday morning staple. I never thought too much of it but it seems to have been well-loved and Ryan was soon re-commissioned to make a new series in 1974 which ran to 30 episodes. In 1997 the rights were sold to the Britt Allcroft Company who made a cartoon series The Adventures of Captain Pugwash between 1997 and 2001.
You still get pub bores telling you that the series featured rude character names like Master Bates and Seaman Staines despite Ryan, a devout Catholic, proving in court that this urban legend originated in student rag mags of the seventies when The Guardian and Sunday Correspondent were foolish enough to print it as fact in 1991.