Here Come the Double Deckers
Here Come the Double Deckers was a 17-part British children's TV
series from 1970–71, revolving around the adventures of seven
children whose den was an old red double-decker London bus in an
unused junk yard.
1 The show
2.2 Guest stars
4 Original soundtrack
5 DVD release
6 Comic Strip
7 Go for a Take
8 The Magnificent Six and 1/2
10 External links
A co-production between British independent film company Century Films
and the television division of 20th Century Fox, it was a children's
adventure sitcom. The shows (without adverts) are about 22 minutes in
Each week saw the gang in a separate adventure including episodes
based around a runaway homemade hovercraft, a chocolate factory and
invading 'Martians' with guns that shoot out chocolate candy, a
disastrous camping holiday, collecting tin foil for a guide dog,
becoming pop moguls with their protégé 'The Cool Cavalier' and a
haunted stately home.
Some of the cast were unknown, though
Melvyn Hayes was an established
Gillian Bailey was fairly experienced for a child actor
Brinsley Forde and
Michael Audreson had appeared in The
Magnificent Six and a Half, a series of Children's Film Foundation
films on which the Double Deckers were based.
Melvyn Hayes also wrote
the episode "Man's Best Friend", co-wrote the episode "Get a Movie
On!", co-wrote the series' theme song, and acted as a dialogue coach
for the series. Bailey is now head of the drama department at Royal
Holloway, University of London.
Peter Firth has gone on to a prominent
acting career, appearing in Equus, The Hunt for Red October, Tess,
Pearl Harbor and Spooks (MI-5). Co-star
Brinsley Forde later became
the lead singer in Aswad.
The programme made its debut on 12 September 1970 at 10:30 am ET in
the US on ABC, and at 4:55 pm on 1 January 1971 in Britain on BBC 1.
In the US, the series was repeated on Sunday mornings during the
1971-72 TV season on ABC from 12 September 1971 to 3 September 1972,
in the same time slot.
The series was originally scheduled for 26 episodes (as well as a
second series of 26 additional episodes), but production ceased after
17 had been completed. The entire series was released on 1 November
2010 on DVD in the UK.
Michael Audreson - Brains, the group's resident science geek.
Gillian Bailey - Billie, the tomboyish mother of the group.
Bruce Clark - Sticks, the only American in the group, so-named because
of his drumming skills.
Peter Firth - Scooper, the leader of the group.
Brinsley Forde - Spring, the only black member of the group.
Debbie Russ - Tiger, the youngest member of the group, who has a
stuffed tiger also called "Tiger".
Douglas Simmonds - Doughnut, who is not the brightest member and is
Melvyn Hayes - Albert (all episodes except 4, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16 and
Ivor Salter was in many of the episodes, usually as a policeman.
Julian Orchard, Jack Haig, Roy Evans in episode 2.
Norman Vaughan in episode 3.
David Lodge, Hugh Walters, Bob Todd,
Liz Fraser in episode 4.
Clive Dunn, Frederick Peisley,
Pat Coombs in episode 5.
Betty Marsden, Hugh Paddick, George Woodbridge in episode 6.
Anthony May in episode 7.
Jane Seymour, Bonnie May, Tim Barrett, George Benson, John Barrard,
Ruth Kettlewell in episode 8.
Michael Sharvell-Martin in episode 9.
David Hutcheson, Jimmy Gardner,
Robin Askwith in episode 10.
Graham Stark, Nora Nicholson, Nicholas Phipps,
Jennifer Daniel in
Sam Kydd, Dervis Ward, John Horsley, Michael Brennan in episode 12.
Julian Chagrin in episode 13.
Pat Coombs, Derek Royle, Jack Haig, Bob Todd,
John Barrard in episode
Ann Lancaster in episode 16.
Georgina Simpson, Brian Hayes, Damaris Hayman, John Clive, Lucy
Bryan Hunt in episode 17.
Tiger Takes Off (Tiger accidentally goes for a trip on a hovercraft
Brains created - and chaos ensues!)
The Case of the Missing Doughnut (Doughnut eats an invisibility
formula Brains invented.)
Get a Movie On (The gang make a film to enter a contest, and Brains is
left to somehow edit the footage - what will he come up with?)
Starstruck (The gang are chased by security around Elstree Studios, as
they look for a movie star's runaway dog.)
Happy Haunting (Albert takes the gang to a stately home for a day
Summer Camp (The gang camp in a field with a middle-aged couple who
get the worst of it.)
The Pop Singer (Sidney, a never-was musician, is discovered hiding in
the gang's bus. They attempt to reinvent him as 'The Cool Cavalier'
with a performance and disco in the yard.)
Scooper Strikes Out (Scooper is knocked out by a baseball and dreams
he is with
Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland (played by Jane Seymour).)
Robbie the Robot (Brains invents a robot which is sent to rescue
Tiger's tiger from a neighbour's garden, and later becomes the hit of
the television show Inventors' Club.)
The Go-Karters (A biker sabotages the gang's go-kart, as a result of
which Spring ends up in court after a high-speed police chase.)
A Helping Hound (The gang unsuccessfully try to help a woman
threatened with eviction to decorate her house, but help comes when
Tiger receives a large cash reward for finding a lost dog.)
Invaders from Space (Men in spacesuits are advertising a new sweet
called Planet 7, but the gang think it is an alien invasion.)
Barney (The gang befriend Barney, a one-man band who keeps getting
moved on by the police. When he suddenly hits the big time with a
special gig, they decide they have to be there to see him.)
Man's Best Friend (Inspired by Albert, the gang put on a show - based
on 'Laugh-In' - with aluminium foil as an entry fee to buy a guide dog
for the blind.)
United We Stand (The owner of the yard that the gang use wants to turn
it into a car park, but the kids sabotage his meeting with the Mayor.)
Up to Scratch (Billie has to look after a dog named Scratch which runs
off after a man with a flea circus turns up.)
A Hit for a Miss (The boys fall for substitute teacher Miss Petit,
which makes Billie jealous, and help her put on a show for an old
Music played a prominent part in the programme, with an original
soundtrack sung by the cast and written by Harry Booth, Melvyn Hayes
and Johnny Arthey. The music was composed and directed by Ivor Slaney.
An 11-track album of this was issued on
Capitol Records in 1970 and
re-issued as a CD in 2007 with liners notes by David Noades.
It's a Day and a Half (from episode 5)
To the Countryside (from episode 6)
Good Day at Yellow Rock (from episode 3)
With a Little Bit of Love (from episode 17)
I Gotta Get Through (from episode 7, sung by Anthony May)
Get On Board (Title song)
Life Is a Wonderful Thing (from episode 7)
Grannie's Rocking Chair (from episode 6)
One Man Band (from episode 13)
Welcome to the Party (from episode 8.
Peter Firth [Scooper] was the
only one of the gang singing in this. Jane Seymour,
Melvyn Hayes and
others cast members sang too.)
Fat Ladies (from episode 17)
In the United Kingdom,
Here Come the Double Deckers
Here Come the Double Deckers was released in
November 2010 by Second Sight as a two-disc Region 2 DVD set
containing all 17 episodes. All the episodes are presented as
originally broadcast. The set also includes a special feature, Double
Decker Memories, featuring interviews with
Brinsley Forde and Michael
Whizzer and Chips
Whizzer and Chips ran a "Double Deckers" cartoon
strip which started on 22 May 1971 and ended approximately a year
later on 13 May 1972. This suggests that the publishers had a one-year
contract with Twentieth Century Fox, who were credited in the
publication as holders of the copyright.
Go for a Take
Debbie Russ appears as herself/Tiger in the comedy film Go for a Take
(1972), which was directed and co-written by Harry Booth. The film
Reg Varney and is set in a film studio. Evidently, Here Come the
Double Deckers is one of the shows in production within the fiction of
the film. Unfortunately the original stuffed tiger prop had been
lost shortly after filming had been completed on the series, so a
look-alike had to be used. Tiger makes mention of the character
"Brains". Production was at Pinewood Studios and on location.
The Magnificent Six and 1/2
Prior to Here Come the Double Deckers, Century Films produced a film
serial for the
Children's Film Foundation
Children's Film Foundation called The Magnificent Six
and 1/2. The series was very similar to the Double Deckers, and
essentially acted as a blueprint for the latter. Like the Double
Deckers, Six and a Half centred on the adventures of seven children,
who had similar personalities to the characters in Double Deckers.
Many of the crew members from the Six and a Half series also worked on
the Double Deckers, including producer Roy Simpson, director and
writer Harry Booth, writer Glyn Jones, and choreographer Arnold
Taraborrelli (who designed the title cards for Six and a Half). In
addition, future Double Deckers cast members
Brinsley Forde and
Michael Audreson were among the stars of Six and a Half, and Melvyn
Hayes appeared in a few episodes. Six and a Half also featured several
gags and plotlines that would later be reused in Double Deckers.
^ The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television, by Wesley Hyatt (Billboard
^ Original TV Soundtrack Archived 11 January 2008 at the Wayback
^ "fan web site". Thedoubledeckers.com. Archived from the original on
30 March 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
Double Deckers fan site
Children's programming on the
American Broadcasting Company
American Broadcasting Company in the
The New Casper Cartoon Show (1963–70)
The Smokey the Bear Show (1969–70)
Cattanooga Cats Show (1969–71)
Hot Wheels (1969–71)
The Adventures of Gulliver
The Adventures of Gulliver (1968–70)
Fantastic Voyage (1968–70)
Will the Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down (1970–72)
The Road Runner Show
The Road Runner Show (1971–73)
The Funky Phantom (1971–73)
The Jackson 5ive (1971–73)
The Osmonds (1972–74)
The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie (1972–74)
The Brady Kids
The Brady Kids (1972–74)
Kid Power (1972–74)
Yogi's Gang (1973–75)
Super Friends (1973–74)
Lassie's Rescue Rangers
Lassie's Rescue Rangers (1973–75)
Goober and the Ghost Chasers
Goober and the Ghost Chasers (1973–75)
Mission: Magic! (1973–74)
Hong Kong Phooey
Hong Kong Phooey (1974–76)
The New Adventures of Gilligan
The New Adventures of Gilligan (1974–77)
These Are the Days (1974–76)
The Tom and Jerry Show (1975–77)
The Great Grape Ape Show
The Great Grape Ape Show (1975–76)
The Oddball Couple
The Oddball Couple (1975–77)
The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour (1976–77)
The Mumbly Cartoon Show
The Mumbly Cartoon Show (1976–77)
The All-New Super Friends Hour (1977–78)
Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics
Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics (The Scooby-Doo Show
Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels) (1977–79)
Challenge of the Super Friends
Challenge of the Super Friends (1978–79)
The All-New Pink Panther Show (1978–79)
The World's Greatest Super Friends
The World's Greatest Super Friends (1979–80)
The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show (Mighty Man and Yukk
Rickety Rocket) (1979–81)
Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo (1979–80)
American Bandstand (1957–87)
Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp (1970–72)
Here Come the Double Deckers
Here Come the Double Deckers (1970–72)
Curiosity Shop (1971–73)
Make a Wish (1971–76)
Korg: 70,000 B.C. (1974–75)
The Lost Saucer (1975–76)
Uncle Croc's Block (1975–76)
The Krofft Supershow (1976–78)
Bigfoot and Wildboy
Electra Woman and Dyna Girl
Junior Almost Anything Goes (1976–78)
Animals, Animals, Animals (1976–81)
ABC Weekend Special (1977–97)
Kids Are People Too
Kids Are People Too (1978–82)
George of the Jungle (1967–70)
Jonny Quest (1970–72)
H.R. Pufnstuf (1972–73)
The Monkees (1972–73)
The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show (1972)
The Roman Holidays
The Roman Holidays (1972)
Speed Buggy (1976)
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (1978)
Animation in the United States in