Sebastian The Incredible Drawing Dog (CBBC, 1986)
There have been a lot of rather strange ideas for CBBC shows over the years, and this is definitely one of them. Sebastian is a dog (and a puppet) who has a rather unusual talent, because he can draw. And this wasn’t the only thing that he could unexpectedly do, because according to the opening sequence, he could play various musical instruments as well.
In every edition he would be at home, and some scenario would play out that would lead to a story on that theme being told from a rather large book that supposedly contained many. For this, Sebastian would go and sit at his desk and get his pens and paper out, and then he would draw various images that would illustrate the story as this was being told.
Among the exciting stories that were featured were “The Man Who Made Custard” and “The Man With Big Ideas”. And in “The Funny Story Man”, there was the story of Percy Brightside, who thinks up the world’s funniest joke. Now wait, he’s not the Mr Brightside is he? As for Sebastian’s drawing ability, well he was no Bill Tidy, but he was still rather good.
I’m sure that the other memorable canine character Dogsbody did something rather similar to this in the later CBBC series Cartoon Critters, so maybe there are more incredible drawing dogs out there than we could’ve previously possibly ever imagined. Oh, and I should say too, just when you thought that it couldn’t get any stranger, Sebastian lived with none other than Michael Barrymore, which must’ve been an experience.
There was only one series of Sebastian The Incredible Drawing Dog, maybe there weren’t any more because they had to save some money and make some space in the schedule for more episodes of Jolly Farm Revue. There were 13 episodes, that were all not even ten minutes long, and there really were only about three people in the credits.
The repeat runs continued until 1988, and I don’t think that this was shown as part of the CBBC On Choice strand. There were also some books released that were based on the stories told in the series, all drawn by Sebastian I presume. In 1990, by which time he was much more famous, Barrymore appeared in the CBBC comedy show Mick And Mac, which might be worth a review too.