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Follyfoot (ITV 1971-1973, Gillian Blake, Steve Hodson)

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In classic 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 / 39×25 minutes / 1971 – 1973

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
Steve Hodson as Steve
Gillian Blake as Dora
Christian Rodska as Ron Stryker
Desmond Llewelyn as Colonel
Arthur English as Slugger
Frederick Treves as Sam Lockwood (S3)

EPISODE GUIDE
SEASON ONE 28 JUNE – 20 SEPTEMBER 1971
1. DORA
2. STEVE
3. GYPSY
4. SHADOW
5. ONE WHITE FOOT CHARLEY
6. THE CHARITY HORSE
7. KNOW-ALL’S NAG
8. MOONSTONE
9. STRYKER’S GOOD DEED
10. MR. SHE-KNOWS
11. THE STANDSTIIL HORSE
12. BIRTHDAY AT FOLLYFOOT
13. A DAY IN THE SUN

SEASON TWO 28 MAY – 27 AUGUST 1972
1. SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE
2. THE DEBT
3. FAMILY OF STRANGERS
4. PRESENT FOR SANDY
5. THE INNOCENTS
6. THE HUNDRED POUND HORSE
7. POOR BALD HEAD
8. THE PRIZE
9. TREASURE HUNT
10. DEBT OF HONOUR
11. OUT-OF-THE-BLUE HORSE
12. THE AWAKENING
13. FLY AWAY HOME

SEASON THREE 23 JUNE – 15 SEPTEMBER 1973
1. THE DISTANT VOICE
2. THE FOUR LEGGED HAT
3. BARNEY
4. MISS HIM WHEN HE’S GONE
5. THE DREAM
6. THE CHALLENGE
7. THE LETTER
8. THE BRIDGE BUILDER
9. UNCLE JOE
10. THE HELPING HAND
11. RAIN ON FRIDAY
12. HAZEL
13. WALK IN THE WOODS

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