Figure 1.--The boys in this episode wear identical gingham shirts. Click on the image for another view.
HBC know little about Australian TV shows. One that we have found is "Skippy". It is of the most well known Australian children's TV series, if not the best known. Skippy is sort of an Australian "Flipper" only about a kangaroo. The series is set in contemporary Australia, that is the 1960s and 90s as there have been two differenbt series. Many children are featured in both series and they are both an accurate depiction of Australian school and casual clothing at the time. This series was enormously popular in Australia, especially the 1960s shows. Most Australians instantly recognize the Skippy jingle.
Set in the Australian bushland of Waratah National Park. Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo, assists ranger Matt Hammond (Ed Devereaux), and flight ranger Jerry King (Tony Bonner).
HBC has little information about episodes in the Skippy series. With his cheerful tch tch tch tch tch noise, he can impart invaluable information to any nearby human, and usually saves the day when Clancy, Sonny or Mark fall down the inevitable hole. In the episode pictured here, the boy who's the main character is inducted into his mate's pirate gang after being kidnapped.
One of the most well-known tunes in Australia is the theme song to Skippy. Virtually any Australian will reconize Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. The opening credits to Skippy would have Sonny pull a leaf from a bush, and use it to whistle for Skippy ... And then the theme song would begin.
Figure 2.--The gang of the main character and his mates is seen here. Note that they are still wearing their school uniforms after school.
Many children are featured in both series and they are both an accurate depiction of Australian school and casual clothing at the time. The boys in the image here mostly wear blue gingham shirts with grey short pants. As the mostly appear to be wearing identical shirts and shorts, I assume it must be a school uniform. The boys wear an informal uniform, of open ginham shirt, no blazer or tie, and shorts with ankle socks. The uniform seems more suited to Australia than the formal English styles. HBC does not at this time have information on what the boys in the 1968-69 series wore. It is likely that they were much more formal. Note that they are still wearing their school uniforms after school. A HBC reader reports, "You say the boys in the 1992-94 Skippy series always wear their uniforms after school. This is true because I used to do the same right up to age 14 in grade 7 (primary school). Mmost people finish primary school at 12 or 13 depending on if they were kept back a year or two. (I stayed in grade 3 via a broken leg.)" A reader writes, "In the 1992/1993 TV series The Adventures of Skippy the 10 year old Simon James, (Jerry Hammond), sometimes wore a dark/light blue cap with the words HEADWORX in a square and the tiny word AUSTRALIA above the cap's peak. Simon also wore a blue polo shirt with vertical green lines. Our reader would like to find a cap like this, but HBC has no idea if they can still be purchased.
There were actually two Skippy series.
Skippy, The Bush Kangaroo is a family TV series set in the
'virgin' Australian bushland of Waratah National Park. Skippy, the kangaroo, and her pals, head ranger Matt Hammond (Ed Devereaux), flight ranger Jerry King (Tony Bonner), Matt's two sons Mark (Ken James) and Sonny (Garry Pankhurst) feature in each episode, and there are regular appearances from Clancy, the teenage girl who can't
keep out of trouble, and Dr. Anna Steiner, the beautiful German scientist who lives and works at her wildlife studies in Waratah National Park.
Figure 3.--The boys are seen here at their school.
Background. The series first appeared on Australian TV on the Nine
Network in 1968, and by the end of 1969 eighty countries were reportedly screening it, with QANTAS flying release prints around the world each week. The series popularity spawned books, money boxes, and the opening of Waratah Park near Sydney. A feature film based on the TV series, which was called The Intruders, was directed by Lee
Robinson in 1969, but did not attract the same popularity as the TV series. Skippy has been dubbed in French, Japanese, German, Spanish and Portugese, and sold in 1997 to US Cable TV. The series was shot on colour film, even though originally screened on black and white TV, which means it has survived the transition to colour .
The New Adventures of Skippy bounded onto the screens in 1992, featuring a completely new cast a recognisable Australian tunes, and is commonly played by bush bands. The twin boy and girl in the next generation of Skippy are the two children of the bush boy Sonny from
the original series.
This series was enormously popular in Australia, especially the 1960s shows. Most Australians instantly recognize the Skippy jingle. We have, however, received few comments from our Australian readers on the show. Hopefully we will eventually received some more detailed comments.
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