The Wombles 1970s TV episodes

The Wombles series one opening titlesThe original BBC TV series began on 5 February 1973 and had a total of 60 five-minute episodes. They were produced by Ivor Wood and Barry Leith at FilmFair, and narrated by Bernard Cribbins. Here is the official synopsis of each classic episode.

1973

  1. Orinoco and the Big Black Umbrella – On a blustery day, Orinoco is swept up by the wind!
  2. The Rocking Chair – Orinoco gets stuck in a tyre but all is well when it’s used to mend Great Uncle Bulgaria’s rocking chair.
  3. A Sticky End – Sticky toffee papers are just the thing for mending leaky ceilings.
  4. Great Uncle Bulgaria’s Keep-Fit Lesson – Great Uncle Bulgaria practices kicking a football, but not too successfully.
  5. A Safe Place – A safe place must be found for a valuable Womble History book.
  6. Peep-Peep-Peep – Wellington creates a telephone from tins and strings.
  7. The Purple Paw Mystery – Making purple ink can make a lot of mess!
  8. Bungo’s Birthday Party – Bungo thinks everyone’s forgotten his birthday but a surprise secret is in store.
  9. The Invisible Womble – Orinoco decides that if he is invisible, no one will know he’s sleeping instead of working.
  10. Orinoco Sees the Light – Planting light bulbs in the garden can lead to trouble.
  11. The Conkering Hero – How to play conkers and learn to count.
  12. One Pair of Feet – Wellington is rescued by Bungo disguised as a cardboard box.
  13. Tobermory on Television – Tobermory puts on his own TV show.
  14. Crossed Lines – Tobermory invents a new interburrow telephone system.
  15. Blow the Womble Down – A vacuum cleaner blows rubbish – out!
  16. Madame Cholet Returns – Cake mixing gets out of hand.
  17. Weighing in Time – After weighing himself, Orinoco decides to go on a diet.
  18. Musical Wombles – Tin cans and tennis racquets sound just like drums and guitars.
  19. Wombles and Ladders – A ladder is adapted to Womble size.
  20. Orinoco and the Ghost – Moonlight can make white shapes look deceptive.
  21. A Game of Golf – Golf balls sometimes travel in the wrong direction.
  22. North, South, East, West – Demonstration of a new portable weather vein.
  23. The Picnic – How to make a picnic basket not so heavy to carry.
  24. Games in the Snow – Plays for sleighs and how to start a minor avalanche.
  25. The Snow Wombles – Competition for the best snowman.
  26. What’s Cooking – A bird’s nest in the ventilation shaft.
  27. Spring Cleaning Time – An elastic washing line can lead to trouble.
  28. Marrow Pie – A packet of fertilizer makes a marrow grow and grow.
  29. The Cement Mixer – Paw prints in wet cement.
  30. The Circus comes to Wimbledon – The Wombles put on their very own circus act.

1975

Orinoco

  1. Bungo Up a Tree – Going up a tree is easier than coming down.
  2. Time and Slow Motion – Tobermory “organises” so more work can be done in less time.
  3. Tomsk in Trouble – Tomsk gets in a tangle learning to make his bed.
  4. The Largest Womble in the World – Orinoco finds a huge coat – and tries it on for size.
  5. Running out of Steam – The Wombles recreate the days of the steam train.
  6. Orinoco’s Midnight Feast – Orinoco is too hungry to wait until midnight!
  7. Speak Up – Tomsk joins up the water pipe with the telephone pipe by mistake.
  8. The Vanishing Pancake – Orinoco is the best judge of pancakes in the whole world.
  9. Madame Cholet and the Blackberries – Blackberry time and no volunteer pickers!
  10. The Fruit Machine – The one-armed bandit that does not produce real fruit.
  11. Portrait of Great Uncle Bulgaria – The painting that comes alive.
  12. Very Behind the Times – An enormous road to be built causes panic.
  13. The Burrow Hot Line – Papers and wet laundry get muddled on the washing line.
  14. Trunk Call – A hidden Womble is mistaken for a talking tree.
  15. MacWomble the Terrible – A monster in a kilt turns out to be quite friendly.
  16. A Single Piper – Peace at last when a musical instrument is broken.
  17. Porridge for Breakfast – The Scottish Womble who likes salt on his porridge.
  18. Highland Games – The Wombles try sword dancing and hammer throwing.
  19. Home Sickness – Womble poetry is always entertaining to other Wombles.
  20. Goodbye MacWomble – Cousin MacWomble takes his bagpipes home and he leaves the others in peace.
  21. Hic-Cups – Tomsk and Bungo get hic-cups.
  22. Film Show – A film all about the Wombles – but some of it turns out upside down.
  23. Pirate Gold – Following a pirate treasure map.
  24. Warm and Cosy – Another experiment in the workshop goes wrong.
  25. Autumn Leaves – Tomsk discovers knitting needles pick up leaves very quickly.
  26. The Womble Times – The Wombles make their own printing press.
  27. Operation W.R.A.P. – Learning first aid for an operation.
  28. The Secret Snorer – Orinoco falls asleep when he should be scaring crows away.
  29. Womble Fool’s Day – Great fun with a rubber hammer.
  30. Womble Summer Party – Demonstration of magical vanishing tricks.

1990

Central Independent Television, part of the ITV network, bought a controlling share of the European branch of FilmFair in the early 1980s. After showing repeats of the original 1970s Wombles episodes on ITV, they made two half-hour specials, still narrated by Bernard Cribbins.

  • World Womble Day (30 August 1990)
  • Wandering Wombles (20 December 1991)

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