TV UK TV

Follyfoot (ITV 1971-1973 with Gillian Blake, Steve Hodson and Desmond Llewellyn)

In children’s drama series Follyfoot, teenager Dora is sent to live with her Uncle Geoffrey (aka The Colonel) where she quickly becomes involved at Follyfoot Farm, the home for neglected horses that the colonel runs as a hobby. Also around are fellow teens Steve and Ron Stryker and general help, ex boxer Slugger.

Hugely well remembered, Follyfoot (which was shot all on film) is one of the best family drama series ever, unlike most such series it never strayed too often into story of the week territory, maintained continuity throughout its three season run and mixed adventure and humour in equal measure.

Being a series about neglected horses the show often featured some hard hitting storylines including some where the horse doesn’t make it through. Throughout the series you expect that Steve and Dora will eventually become an item but despite some lingering looks and unspoken commitments they never did. By the time the third season arrived Dora was in charge of Follyfoot after the Colonel becomes too ill to look after it himself.

Based on the novels Cobblers Dream and Follyfoot by Monica Dickens the bulk of the series was written by Francis Stevens (which was in the fact the pen name of Executive Producer Tony Essex) whilst some major league directors also worked on the series including the likes of Stephen Frears, Vic Hughes, Michael Apted, Desmond Davis, Claude Whatham and actor David Hemmings (who also appeared in season three) . The show was deservedly very popular and there was quite a bit of merchandise released to tie-in with the series, from yearly annuals, to novelisations and even a comic strip in Look-In magazine.

production details
UK / ITV-Yorkshire / 39×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 1971-73

Creator: Monica Dickens / Horse Manager: Jane Royston / Theme Music: The Lightning Tree by The Settlers (written by Steven Francis) / Executive Producer: Tony Essex / Producer: Audley Southcott

cast
GILLIAN BLAKE as Dora
STEVE HODSON as Steve
DESMOND LLEWELLYN as Uncle Geoffrey aka The Colonel
ARTHUR ENGLISH as Slugger
CHRISTIAN RODSKA as Ron Stryker
PAUL GUESS as Lewis Hammond (season one)
GILLIAN BAILEY as Callie (season one)
BRYAN SWEENEY as Gip (season one)
FREDERICK TREVES as Sam Lockwood (season three)
NIGEL CREWE as Chip Lockwood (season three)
VERONICA QUILLIGAN as Hazel (season three)

THE EPISODES
SEASON ONE 28 June – 20 September 1971
1. DORA (28 Jun 1971)
2. STEVE (5 Jul 1971)
3. GYPSY (12 Jul 1971)
4. SHADOW (19 Jul 1971)
5. ONE WHITE FOOT CHARLEY (26 Jul 1971)
6. THE CHARITY HORSE (2 Aug 1971)
7. KNOW-ALL’S NAG (9 Aug 1971)
8. MOONSTONE (16 Aug 1971)
9. STRYKER’S GOOD DEED (23 Aug 1971)
10. MR SHE KNOWS (30 Aug 1971)
11. THE STANDSTILL HORSE (6 Sep 1971)
12. BIRTHDAY AT FOLLYFOOT (13 Sep 1971)
13. A DAY IN THE SUN (20 Sep 1971)

SEASON TWO 28 May – 27 August 1972
1. SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE (28 May 72)
2. THE DEBT (4 Jun 72)
3. FAMILY OF STRANGERS (11 Jun 72)
4. A PRESENT FOR SANDY (25 Jun 72)
5. THE INNOCENTS (2 Jul 72)
6. THE HUNDRED POUND HORSE (9 Jul 72)
7. POOR BALD HEAD (16 Jul 72)
8. THE PRIZE (23 Jul 72)
9. TREASURE HUNT (30 Jul 72)
10. DEBT OF HONOUR (6 Aug 72)
11. OUT OF THE BLUE HORSE (13 Aug 72)
12. THE AWAKENING (20 Aug 72)
13. FLY AWAY HOME (27 Aug 72)

SEASON THREE 24 June – 15 September 1973
1. THE DISTANT VOICE (24 Jun 73)
2. THE FOUR LEGGED HAT (30 Jun 73)
3. BARNEY (7 Jul 73)
4. MISS HIM WHEN HE’S GONE (14 Jul 73)
5. THE DREAM (21 Jul 73)
6. THE CHALLENGE (28 Jul 73)
7. THE LETTER (4 Aug 73)
8. THE BRIDGE BUILDER (11 Aug 73)
9. UNCLE JOE (18 Aug 73)
10. THE HELPING HAND (25 Aug 73)
11. RAIN ON FRIDAY (1 Sep 73)
12. HAZEL (8 Sep 73)
13. WALK IN THE WOOD (15 Sep 73)