T-Bag (CITV, 1985-1992)
Following on from Mr Majeika, this is another CITV show that could be classed as a fantasy comedy-drama. T-Bag is a show that was written by Grant Cathro and Lee Pressman, who around the same time were also behind such goodies as Mike And Angelo and Spatz. This is another creative and enjoyable show that did very well with viewers.
The show starred T-Bag, who is an old witch. Her assistant is T-Shirt, a boy who liked to wear a green cap who had to make endless cups of tea made from a special plant whether he liked it or not. All of the series were ten episodes long, and featured a different story, the basic idea being a quest for a female companion to find various things. The first series had an educational element, so for this one the search was for various letters.
After this, the show settled into the companion travelling to places around the world and beyond trying to find various objects, hopefully one day all of the gold coins will be found. And along the way they would meet various characters, usually guest appearances from veteran actors including Frank Thornton (but with no beard) and Roy Barraclough. Every series had a different title such as T-Bag Strikes Again or Turn On To T-Bag.
After having too much tea, T-Bag would be able to gain magical powers, and can see what is happening by looking into her saucer, and she often decides to magically appear and interfere with everything, but her plans are always thwarted. The final series had a slightly different format, as it was presented as a more general adventure, and introduced the new characters Granny Bag and Doggy Bag. T-Bag didn’t return after this, although it could be because production company Thames left ITV a few months later.
T-Bag was originally played by Elizabeth Estensen (who also appeared in Danger – Marmalade At Work among other things). In 1990, Estensen left and was replaced by Georgina Hale, although this wasn’t a regeneration as such because the second T-Bag was the sister of the first, and she managed to be even more grumpy and short-tempered to everyone. This Tabatha definitely wasn’t shy or affectionate!
T-Bag once appeared in the CITV studio to promote the show and terrified Scally the dog. There were 94 episodes of T-Bag in nine series, featuring nine stories and some Christmas specials. An episode was shown as part of CITV’s Old Skool Weekend, and there have also been books released, along with plenty of fansites dedicated to the show. The first three series have been released on DVD, and there was much anticipation of more releases, but there currently seems to be no plans for them.