Tales of The RiverBank
1 9 6 0 – 1 9 6 3 (Canada)
52 x 15 minute episodes
1 9 7 1 (Canada)
26 x 30 minute episodes
This children’s series featured real animals and related the adventures of two friends; Hammy (a hamster) and Roderick (a white mouse).
Both animals lived along a riverbank and shared adventures with their neighbours – a guinea pig, a raccoon, a squirrel, a chipmunk, a frog, a toad, a vampire bat (ok, we just made that one up) and various weasels and skunks.
The stars of the show were real animals, who were shown moving around in miniature boats, cars, balloons and airplanes and their homes were fully furnished with animal size furniture.
The fifteen minute episodes were filmed at double the normal speed to allow the camera to slow down the movements of the animals (who were probably in a state of constant fear and anxiety during filming!).
Narration for each story was provided by Johnny Morris (who also appeared in his own show, Animal Magic) and the series was one of my big favourites as a wee young ‘un.
Tales of the Riverbank was produced in Canada (in black and white) and screened on television in England, in Canada, in Australia, and in 34 other countries around the world.
An additional 26 half-hour episodes were produced in the 1970’s.
The concept was to create a programme that was non-violent and highly entertaining, that kids would love, and that their parents could watch with them.