Samson Superslug (CITV, 1995-1996)
This is another comedy-drama series I remember watching that had a rather unusual twist. Once again, there isn’t a huge amount about this one online (no Wikipedia entry and all that), but it’s definitely worth featuring here. Samson Superslug started out as a series of books written by Ken Adams in the early-90s, before transferring to CITV in a series written by Jeff Povey in the mid-90s.
Samson Superslug (probably not his real name) is an 11-year-old boy who is fond of slugs, and I mean really fond, stopping just short of wanting to actually be one himself. The slugs seem to be everywhere, and the show is set in Milton Keynes, which is claimed to be “the slug capital of the world”. As the slugs get into some unusual places, they constantly give his friends a fright, along with his parents and neighbours.
Of course, as with most children in these type of shows, Samson has a rather wild imagination, and he is often on the lookout for slugs from his special treehouse. His parents can do some odd things sometimes too, his dad drives around in a sandwich-shaped car, and his mum (Janine Duvitski, who also appeared in One Foot In The Grave among many other things) often wonders what Samson’s up to.
The main thing about Samson Superslug though that made it stand out was that most of the slugs were animated, and they would often feature in short unusual intervals. It also meant that if people ever interacted with them, there would be a rather weird live-action/animation mix that was rather effective, and the highlight of the show for me. I suppose that it could be described as a gimmick, but it worked, and it wasn’t overused.
I also noticed in an episode that Zzzap! was on the TV in the background, so the cast clearly have great taste in CITV shows (and it’s probably not a coincidence that both shows were co-produced by Meridian). But these green slimy things though, going everywhere they shouldn’t, I suppose that the action in this show could definitely be described as sluggish!
There were (I think) 13 episodes of Samson Superslug in two series, and it deserves more credit for being another unusual show on CITV. It’s barely been seen since the original run, I don’t think that there was ever a VHS or DVD release, and it seems that there have been no more books in recent years. It’s another one that deserves more acclaim.