1 9 6 6 - 1 9 6 9 (Australia)
91 x 25 minute episodes
Making very good use of the Australian bush landscape (and yes, it really does look like that) Skippy - the bush kangaroo - used to bound through the Waratah National Park Wildlife Reserve in Sydney with his adoring owner, Sonny Hammond (son of the park ranger) to an irritating banjo-driven theme song.
Stories related the duo's adventures as they helped to protect the National Park from smugglers, rustlers and escaped convicts.
There were tearful moments whenever Skippy was ill or the victim of a villainous plot, but the eponymous marsupial was very, very intelligent.
A typical exchange between Skippy and Sonny went like this:
Sonny: (looking worried) What is it Skip?
Skippy: A funny clicking sound like someone tutting disapprovingly
Sonny: What kind of accident, Skip?
Skippy: The tutting sound again
Sonny: Better run and tell dad to get help, Skip
Skippy: More bloody tutting . . .
Sonny: Oh alright then Skip. You go and get the helicopter - I'll wait here.
Other characters were Matt Hammond (Sonny’s Dad, the park ranger), his brother Mark, macho helicopter Pilot, Jerry King, and the sexy long-legged, long-haired blonde, 'Clancy' Merrick (the Hammond’s sex slave) played by Liza Goddard.
Goddard recalled about filming the series: "I was wee'd on by a wombat, I got lice from an emu or a koala . . . I had to wash in DDT".
The production company, Fauna, tried to preserve the myth that there was just one Skippy, but there were actually many - dead and alive. Nine eastern grey kangaroos were used in the filming of the series, while a stuffed roo was used for rear shots, and kangaroo-paw bottle openers were used for close-up shots where the script called for the cluey roo to hand over money or play the piano . . .
Neither was Skippy's distinctive "tch tch tch" call for real either. It was dubbed in later.
One particular kangaroo called Jo Jo (who wore a diamante necklace) was used for shopping centre appearances and suchlike.
DISCLAIMER: Clancy wasn't really the Hammond's sex slave, just a friend of the family who acted as their housekeeper - but it doesn't hurt to fantasise, does it?
Clarissa 'Clancy' Merrick
Dr Anna Steiner