This is another one of those shows that I loved more than life itself in its heyday. There was something about a crazy witch woman living in a giant teacup in outer space that was just so addictive. What I remember of it seems like one giant acid trip, but there are plenty of fan sites on this interweb thing that lead me to believe that yes, T-Bag existed in a reality other than the one in my head. And other people loved it as much as I did.
T-Bag and the Pearls of Wisdom is actually the sixth series in the T-Bag franchise, which began in the eighties. Since I most definitely remember watching this (and a couple of the follow-up seasons as well), I'm positive that Pearls of Wisdom was a nineties show.
Oh, and this is the first British show being recapped on ABC Not-Just-For-Kids! Woot! Let's hear it for England, folks. Sure, your ABC Kids shows are few and far between, but the ones that were shown here are absolutely ripping. This was one of my absolute all-time favourites, and I would give up a limb or two for a copy of this series.
This T-Bag series saw our brave pre-teen heroine Sally Simpkins teleport inside a board game in order to find ten of these 'pearls of wisdom' before the evil Tabatha Bag could get her greedy mitts on them. While Sally had her kindly sailor friend Captain Cockle looking out for her, Tabatha had her son, T-Shirt (no, I'm not kidding) on her side...or was he? Needless to say, righteousness prevailed in the end and Tabatha was destroyed...until the next season, which saw her and T-Shirt living in a giant teacup in outer space. Again, not kidding. This was the nineties. Deal with it.
This series was the first to have Tabatha as the villain. Previous seasons saw various different twelve-year-old girls do battle with her sister, Tallulah Bag. I remember being a little distressed when I found out that not only was Tabatha not the original T-Bag, but she's often maligned as being the sub-par T-Bag. I thought she was brilliant. She used to frighten me, and even back then I wasn't easily scared. Who doesn't remember evil Marge Simpson-esque gaspy/grunty noise Tabatha use to make whenever she was shocked/angered/annoyed? Ooh, chills.
Apart from The Pearls of Wisdom, there were nine other T-Bag seasons, along with four Christmas specials. I've outlined them for you below, because they're so unbelievably ludicrous that it's really worth checking them out on YouTube if you can:
Wonders In Letterland -- first heroine is Debbie
T-Bag Strikes Back
T-Bag Bounces Back
Turn On To T-Bag -- new heroine is Holly Anna, a child television presenter
T-Bag's Chrismas Cracker
T-Bag and the Revenge of the Tea Set -- our new heroine is Sally Simpkins, or as T-Bag called her, 'Smug-Face'
T-Bag's Chrismas Carol
T-Bag and the Pearls of Wisdom -- first appearance of Tabatha Bag.
T-Bag's Chrismas Ding-Dong
T-Bag and the Rings Of Olympus -- new new heroine is Polyzena. (Also known as Polly)
T-Bag's Christmas Turkey
T-Bag and the Sunstones of Montezuma -- new heroine is Penny, an archaeologist's daughter
Take Off With T-Bag -- the final season. By this time, T-Shirt was all grown up and substantially taller than T-Bag.
I was in the target age demographic for the final four seasons. I didn't see the Chrismas specials though, as far as I remember. (And let's face it, I think I'd recall watching something called T-Bag's Christmas Ding-Dong. Are they just arranging random words in a sentence now?) Rings of Olympus was pretty cool, and after that I really wished my mother had named me Polyzena. Sunstones of Montezuma also had a pretty big impact in me, because I remember pretending that my clear Treasure Rocks (remember them?) were the sunstones from the show and I was Penny and had to save them. Until I hid them in the ducted heating vent and could never get them out again. That was a dark day for me.
The episode I'll recap for you today is the first in the Pearls of Wisdom series. I really wanted to recap the last one, because I remember that episode so clearly. (Spoiler alert -- T-Bag gets the pearls, but Captain Cockle replaces them with peppermints!) This first episode is also on YouTube, proving that there are people in this modern world (video-posting people!) who are eligible for sainthood. Thank you, dear soul.
Episode recap to come, as soon as YouTube finishes loading it.
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