Touché Turtle (1962-1963)
About the only area of old TV I remember watching that I haven’t really tapped into yet is various cartoons from the 60s and 70s (mostly Hanna-Barbera ones) that I saw as a second generation viewer in the 80s and 90s, back in the days of the CBBC afternoon strand. I know that I have already reviewed one or two like Wacky Races, but I thought that I might as well now go all the way with this.
When cartoons are created, I do wonder sometimes where the ideas come from. Not only do you get talking animals which can be unusual enough, but they can also have a superpower or something like that. Touché Turtle was all about a sleepy turtle… who also happened to be a swashbuckler! Well of course. He could’ve shown Dogtanian a thing or two I’m sure.
This was originally shown in America as part of The Hanna-Barbera New Cartoon Series in the early-60s. But Touché was actually part of a double-act, appearing alongside a rather dozy sheepdog called Dum Dum (they were voiced by the same people as Droopy and Fred Flintstone), I always remember this being referred to on CBBC and being listed in magazines simply as Touché Turtle.
All of the episodes were only five minutes long, and usually followed the same pattern. Touché would be with Dum Dum, when suddenly the phone would ring, but this was inside his shell oddly, so he would always have to pop his head inside to talk to them. He would then go wherever it was he was needed, whether it was somewhere rather far away in the world, or even back in time.
His aim was to avenge the wrongs, and protect the weak. He would then take his sword and say his catchphrase (yes, he did have a catchphrase) “touché away!”, and well look at that, whether it was a monster, a dragon, a big scary octopus thing, or anything else like that, he would never fail to save the day for everyone. Oh, and he always wore a terrific hat.
There were 52 episodes of Touché Turtle, and they were repeated on CBBC until as late as 1992 by which point they were rather mouldy-looking (and also shown in a strand called Doodle in the late-80s). I don’t think there has been much demand in recent years for a revival though. And there was also a random reference in an episode of sitcom Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps, which was nice.