Trouble with T-Bag The Trouble with T-Bag is an 80’s Children’s TV show, which was educational, trying to encourage viewers to read. The majority of the show was filmed at the Thames Television Studio in London. The show was known for its flat sets, which was supposedly done on purpose to fit in with the Board Game theme of the show. The only thing filmed on location was the outside of the Curiosity Shop. The show was rushed to production at break neck speed, with quick auditions and swift rehearsals. The cast weren't given long to learn the lines and recorded long scenes without a retake. Even the the songs for the show were written at short notice. Jim Norton, who played many characters in the show, initially though he was playing only one character in the show. But was eventually told that he had to play many different characters in the show. At the time of filming Jenny Stallwood (who played Debbie) was 10 years old and John Hasler (who played T-shirt) was 8 years old. Both Jenny and John went to Silvia Young’s stage school. John was a late addition to the show, after he was talent spotted. As a result, the character of T- Shirt was written into the show and made his first appearance in episode 2. It seems that T-Bag was initially going to be accompanied by a puppet character, rather than T-Shirt. It's lucky for us that this didn't happen. The last scenes to be filmed for the show were the ones with T-Bag and T-Shirt in the T-Room. Both actors have said that they were great fun to do.   Story  When a young girl called Debbie was making her way back from school, she passed by 'The Curiosity Shop' and some reason she was drawn to it, but the shop was closed. Debbie was about to leave when she looked in the shop window. Here she saw a toy clown beckoning her inside. When she approached the shop door for a second time it automatically opened. Inside she found the shop was full of unusual and interesting things. She couldn't see anyone in the shop, so started to look around, which is when a board game called 'Wonders in Letterland' fell at her feet. Magically the shopkeeper appeared, who told Debbie that the game was the most valuable thing in the shop, but the rules of the game had been lost, but did she want to play it? When she said that she didn’t have enough time to play it, the board game came to life allowing her peek inside of Letterland and speak to one of its inhabitants, the Gardener. He told Debbie life in Letterland wasn’t good, and that the land was ruled by an evil tyrant called T-Bag, who makes their life a misery and only thinks about is drinking tea. Debbie was appalled by what she had heard and decided to help them. The shopkeeper advised her to think small, and she began to shrink in size. The next thing you know, she was transported into Letterland, where she found her school clothes had transformed into a yellow dress. The Gardener was very excited when he saw her, as he said it had been foretold that a guest would come in yellow dress and solve the puzzles. The only puzzle that she could see was a chest with missing golden letters. This is when the evil T-Bag magically appeared out of nowhere. She tried to persuade Debbie to go home and forget about Letterland. But when Debbie saw how desperate T-Bag was to stop her from finding the missing letters, she decided to embark on a quest to find the letters in each of the lands, much to the annoyance of T- Bag. Trouble with T-Bag Characters      Debbie     (played by Jennie Stallwood) Debbie is a schoolgirl who came across the 'Wonders in Letterland' game by accident. She is a caring person, which is evident by the fact that she agreed to help the inhabitants of Letterland fight against the tyranny of T-Bag. When she first arrived, T-Bag pretended to be the Gardener and told her to go home, as she wasn't needed. Luckily the real Gardener turned up foiling her plans. T-Bag warned her not to go on the mission to collect the golden letters or there would be trouble. But Debbie chose to ignore her protests and went searching the whole of Letterland to find the golden letters. On the way she befriended a lot of people who were won over by her kind and helping nature. She even befriended T-Shirt, T-Bag’s T-Caddy, who eventually joined her on her journey to recover the golden letters. When he pinched T-Bag’s T-Plant, she had no hesitation in destroying it, hoping that this would rid Letterland of her finally. But still she had to have a show down with T-Bag and think of a way to get the remaining golden letters from her and free Letterland.    Telulla Bag     (played by Elizabeth Estensen) Telulla Bag is known by most people as T-Bag, a witch, who rules Letterland with a rod of iron. She doesn't like being called T-Bag and makes the sky rumble with thunder and flash with lightening, if anyone mentions T-bag. T-Bag oversees the inhabitants of Letterland from The T-Room (in the T-Square at the centre of Letterland), by looking in the saucer full of her magic tea. You see, T-Bag is addicted to tea. She has at least 20 cups a day, which T-Shirt makes her, from her very own T-Plant (it has T's growing on it). This isn't the only reason why she drinks tea, it's because the tea makes her strong with magic, calms her nerves and keep her looking young and beautiful. There is one thing that T-Bag likes, and that is to get her own way. If things go against her, she can have a right tantrum, shouting and stamping her feet, much to the amusement of her helper, T-Shirt. T-Bag brought up T-Shirt from an early age and looked after him as if he was her own (well, that’s what she says). In truth, she uses him as a slave, forcing him to do most of her dirty work. T-Bag also (tries) to intimidates everyone she meets, with most of the inhabitants of Letterland scared stiff of her. They just don't know who to trust, as T-Bag has the ability to transform herself to look like anyone. So no one bad mouths her in public, as the person they are talking to could be T-Bag! She ensures no one in Letterland knows how to read and feels that ignorance is bliss. This is another one of her schemes to keep them in line. So she wasn't happy when Debbie arrived on the scene, offering to help them and teach them to read. She tried every trick in the book to stop her from collecting the golden letters, that would help her solve the puzzle of Letterland. She has even sent members of the T-Set, a band of loyal followers, to stop her, but they failed too. She was very upset when T-Shirt betrayed her, by running off with Debbie. That wasn't the only reason, the other was that without T-Shirt making her tea, her powers started to fade. You see, T-Bag isn’t very good at making tea, it always comes out too weak. Still, T-bag has a backup plan, she holds all the golden letter T’s, so there is no way she can solve the puzzle of Letterland, or is there?     T-Shirt     (played by John Hasler) T-Shirt is T-Bag's little helper. He doesn't help her out through choice, but is forced to wait on her hand and foot. She is always telling him that when he grows up he'll be a proper T-Caddy. I'm not sure he really cares. T-Shirt does all the housework and makes all the tea she can drink. T-Bag does recognise that T-Shirt makes the best tea, not too strong and not too weak, but isn't rewarded for it. Instead she just lounges around giving him orders. It's no wonder he's always complaining that he's never given a tea break. Still he has his own way of getting her back, like the time he drew glasses and a moustache on her picture. The trouble was she found out it was him! Initially T-Shirt did everything that T-Bag asked, he was a yes man ('Yes Your Majest-T, No Your Majest-T'). When she sent him out on missions, she gave him a small magic cup and spoon, which he could use as a telephone to speak to her (just stir the spoon first). Most missions he was sent on consisted of himself trying to steal the golden letters from Debbie. It's no wonder Debbie didn't trust him. T-Bag isn't the only one that can do magic, T-Shirt can too. He's always practising his magic, but it doesn't always work out right and T-Bag seems to be the one on the receiving end (what a shame). Also his magic isn't reliant on him constantly drinking tea, unlike T-Bag. All he has to do is blink to use his magic. Over time, T-Shirt got to know Debbie. She was the only person he had ever met that had stood up to T-Bag. Not only that, she was willing to teach him how to read unlike T-Bag who thought that ignorance was bliss. This is the reason why he thinks Debbie is marvellous Eventually he decided he didn't want to work for T-Bag and instead wanted to help Debbie find all the remaining golden letters. So he ran away with her. As you can imagine T-Bag was furious. But T-Shirt didn't escape for very long and was captured by T-Bag. But his loyalty was now with Debbie and it wasn't very long before he escaped her clutches again.     The Gardener     (played by Jim Norton) He is an odd looking fellow, who wears outlandish clothes and has pink hair. It was him who persuaded Debbie to come and help the inhabitants of Letterland from the evil T-Bag. After Debbie arrived, he tried to tell her more about T-Bag, but T-Bag was watching and she took his voice away. Eventually he got it back and asked Debbie if she could open the nearby chest. It had strange shapes on it, which he didn't know what they were. But Debbie told him they were letters, but some were missing. This is when Debbie decided to find the missing letters to unlock the mysteries of the chest. The Gardener helped her through the first land, where they had to find the golden letter 'B', but he was separated from her by the Genie. They were only reunited when Debbie returned with the letters she had collected. It was at that time Debbie found the Gardener had a piece of paper in his pocket. He didn’t know what it was, as he couldn’t read. In fact it was the rules of the game, which would have told them how to win the game.     Balthazzar     (played by Peter MacKriel) He is a Genie who for 400 years has stood guarding the gates to the land of 'B'. But he was ordered by T-Bag not to let Debbie through. But this Genie likes to play games with people and promised to let her past if she could guess his name, which began with the letter 'B'. He wasn't too happy when they tricked him into saying his own name (Balthazzar), by singing 'Happy Birthday' to him. So he had a strop and continued to refuse to let them past. The bad tempered Genie insisted that they should entertain him before he would even consider letting them past him. But Debbie had spotted that Balthazzar’s braces were held up by the golden letter 'B'. So she took the initiative and stole the letter. Poor Balthazzar, his trousers fell down, he fell over and Debbie ran past him through the gates. As you can guess, T-Bag wasn’t happy with him.     Skipper McKipper     (played by Jim Norton) Skipper lives in the land of 'S' and is the captain of a dipper. When on dry land he likes to fish, even though the sign behind him says ‘No Fishing’. It’s not his fault he can’t read. Still, he doesn't seem to have any luck catching fish. All he seems to catch is the rubbish that people have thrown away, such as roller skates and socks. But he did manage to catch the golden letter 'S', but threw it back as he thought it was rubbish, much to the horror of Debbie. Once he found out that Debbie really wanted the golden letter, he told her he’d help her look for it. He even told her that as Letterland was a game, that anything was possible. All they had to do was imagine themselves underwater and they would appear there still being able to breathe. You need to be a good listener, concerning Skipper, as he will regale you with tales of his adventures that he’s been on, such as the time he chased the whale called Spotted Dick.     Seraphina     (played by Deborah Thau) She is a sea sprite (Mermaid) and is very vain. All she likes to do is brush her hair and look in her mirror asking who the prettiest is under the sea. She was totally taken in when T-Bag hijacked her mirror and said that a girl called Debbie would come along and take her charm away (which had the golden letter 'S' on it) and lose her beauty. So when Debbie turned up, she wasn’t happy to see her. But Skipper had told Debbie that she liked to be told she is special. So Debbie tried to flatter her to get her hands on the Golden Letter ‘S’. The trouble was T-Bag kept warning her against Debbie via her mirror. Debbie and Skipper came up with a plan to put her in her place, by putting spots on her mirror, to scare her. They pretended Skipper was a doctor and said that maybe she was allergic to something (around her neck). Seraphina quickly gave the necklace to Debbie, as she was mortified to have spots. When T-Bag found out about this, she was furious. She appeared and told Seraphina that she would give her real spots. Accidentally the spell rebounded off Seraphina’s mirror back onto T-Bag, who now had a huge spot on the end of her nose (what a shame).     Indiana Inkspot     (played by Jim Norton) Indiana is an American explorer who is seeking the golden treasure of the Incas. This consists of the golden inkwell, ink pen, ink stand. Initially he was sceptical about Debbie when she turned up, but her charm won him over and they looked for the treasure together. When Indiana was by himself, T-Bag pounced. She appeared and gave Indiana a present, a scarf soaked in her magic tea. Once he was wearing it she had full control over him and tried to get him to stop Debbie finding the Golden 'I'. But Debbie is strong willed and still found the Golden 'I', without his help, in the middle of an invisible ink pond. Debbie found out that that T-Bag was controlling him via the scarf and threw it away. They then worked out how to get to the island without disappearing, where Indiana gave her the golden 'I'. She promised that she would teach him to read.     Polar Pete     (played by Jim Norton) Polar Pete is an English airman who lives at the North Pole in his log cabin. He parachuted in to enjoy the peace and quiet of the area. When he talks, nearly every word he says begins with the letter 'P'. He is very kind person and made Debbie feel very welcome when she arrived. He loves to cook and when Debbie visited he cooked up a banquet for her. There was no way she was going to eat it all, but he recommended that she should put mustard on her pizza. It tasted lovely. One of his hobbies is painting, but it's difficult to see some of his pictures are they all look white. Such as the painting of a polar bear playing in the snow. Luckily for Debbie, one of his painting (which was visible) showed a Golden Letter 'P' on top of the North Pole. Debbie asked to be taken to the place where he painted it, so he kindly obliged. The trouble was that T-Bag found out about this and froze the golden letter in a thick block of ice. When T-Bag turned up, Pete flattered he by saying she was glamorous, pretty and beautiful. and that he must paint her. As T-Bag is a vain person, she agreed and he set to work. But she wasn't happy with her picture, and when she ate the mustard pizza she got even hotter and melted the block of ice the golden letter ‘P’ was in (luckily for Debbie).     Rascally Roger     (played by Jim Norton) Rascally Roger is a horrible pirate, and like most pirates he loves nothing more than gold (or raspberry juice). He is a devoted member of the T-Set and obeys T-Bag When he came across Debbie he thought his luck was in, as he stole all the golden letters she had collected so far and kidnapped her, forcing her to be his cabin boy. On board his ship, the Rhubarb, he put her to work swabbing the decks. When T-Bag found out that Roger had Debbie’s golden letters, she sent T-Shirt to get them from him. When he arrived, he ordered Rodger to hand over the letters for T-Bag. But Debbie told Roger that he was telling fibs and he’d come to get them for himself. So Roger decided he needed to hide his treasure, as it seemed everyone was after the golden letters, so he hid them under some rocks on the nearby beach. But Debbie escaped from his ship, with his treasure map and recovered the letters.     Vic Vampire     (played by Jim Norton) Vic used to be called Vicious Vic the Vilest Vampire. He was horrible, but over time he has mellowed. He has literally lost his bite, as he no longer has any fangs and he normally keeps his teeth in a glass of water. He prefers to eat ‘scream of tomato soup’ rather than drinking blood. As with most vampires he likes dark and gloomy places, so lives in a cave with his friends, 2 furry caterpillars. When Debbie arrived, he was a perfect gentleman looking after her and trying to help her with her quest. When T-Bag turned up, Vic was more interested in going on a date with her. But T-Bag wasn’t interested, as she was in a rush to catch up with Debbie, so she made him vanish to get him out of her way. When he did reappear, he tried to give her flowers. The trouble was that the flowers make people fall asleep for 100 years. Which she did. T-Shirt was really happy about this, he was free, but he accidentally broke the sleeping spell by kissing her hand in his excitement.     Wise Old Vulture     (voiced / operated by John Thirtle) He is a wise old vulture, who is a vegetarian. He can't help mentioning all the vegetables he likes to eat and even sings about them.       Fife O'Clock     (played by Jim Norton) Fife is an Irishman who lives inside of the large Letterland clock. He maintains the clock, oiling the the cogs (even talking to them), ensuring the clock continues to run like clockwork. The trouble is that the job had become a 24 hour one and when the clock broke down, he had to revert to making the clock chimes himself, by hitting pots and pans. The noise was terrible. So when T-Bag turned up to find out why he was making the terrible din, he explained the clock had broken down and that he needed an assistant to help with the maintenance. T-Bag thought T-Shirt would be perfect for the job. But while she went to fetch him, Debbie arrived. Fife thought she was his new assistant. He showed her how to manually change the clock hands and how to make the clock chimes with the pots and pans, This is when Debbie found out that Fife had been using Ink to oil the clock, as he couldn’t read what it said on the outside of the tin. Debbie showed him which one was the oil can and they both ensured the clock began to work again and she retrieved the letter 'O' from the end of his watch chain.     The Emperor     (played by Terence Conoley) The Emperor lives in a grand palace surrounded by beautiful gardens. His every wish is granted, except one, he wants to laugh. So he set-up a competition, where any person who made him laugh could choose anything they ever wanted. People came from all corners of Letterland to try to entertain him, but no one managed it. Even T-Bag tried to make him laugh, so she could get her hands on the gold chain he wore, as it contained many golden letter E's. But she failed too. Debbie tried too, but wasn’t having any luck either. That was until she accidentally tickled him with a feather from her hat. He just couldn’t stop chuckling on his throne. The trouble was the Emperor wanted Debbie to stay at his palace and tickle him forever. Luckily Eric the Envoy had an idea that allowed Debbie to continue on her journey with the golden letter E's the Emperor’s gave her.     Eric The Envoy     (played by Jim Norton) Eric is a soldier employed by the Emperor. He is always on the look out for people to try their hand at making the Emperor laugh. When Debbie made the Emperor laugh, he became a little jealous and wanted to become the chief tickler. Initially the Emperor didn't want to know, but he found out that Eric was a better tickler than Debbie and got the job full time, much to the relief of Debbie. Trouble With T-Bag - T-Bag and T-Shirt T-Bag T-Shirts - NONE T-Bag DVDs Region 2 (Europe) - T-Bag DVDs Region 1 (USA) - NONE Trouble with T-Bag Video Trouble With T-Bag - Ready For Action Trouble with T-Bag Episodes Series 1 (1985)  1. Arrival In Letterland  2. Debbie In The Land Of B  3. Debbie In The Land Of S  4. Debbie In The Land Of I  5. Debbie In The Land Of P  6. Debbie In The Land Of R  7. Debbie In The Land Of V  8. Debbie In The Land Of O  9. Debbie In The Land Of E  10. Debbie’s Journey Home Trouble with T-Bag Images (click to enlarge) Trouble With T-Bag - Debbie Trouble With T-Bag - Telulla Bag Trouble With T-Bag - T-Shirt Trouble With T-Bag - Under The Sea Trouble With T-Bag - Seraphina Consults The Mirror Trouble With T-Bag - Time For A Disguise Trouble With T-Bag - Debbie Meets Polar Pete Trouble With T-Bag - T-Shirt Gets His Revenge Trouble With T-Bag - T-Bag Is Upset Trouble With T-Bag - T-Shirt Is In Trouble Trouble With T-Bag - All Warpped Up Trouble With T-Bag - Spying On Debbie Trouble With T-Bag - Skipper and Debbie Trouble With T-Bag - T-Bag Checks On Debbie Trouble With T-Bag - Spotty T-Bag Trouble With T-Bag - Debbie and Indiana Inkspot Trouble With T-Bag - The T-Room Trouble With T-Bag - Let Us Part Trouble With T-Bag - Titles Trouble With T-Bag - T-Shirt Looks In Trouble With T-Bag - Letterland Game ©
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