1 9 6 8 – 1 9 7 3 (UK)
13 x 25 minute episodes (1968-69)
13 x 25 minute episodes (1970)
13 x 25 minute episodes (1971)
13 x 25 minute episodes (1973)
Freddie Garrity (bespectacled former lead singer of 60s beat band Freddie & The Dreamers) was the star of Little Big Time – a zany kids entertainment series featuring a mixture of music, variety acts and sketches over 25 minutes on Wednesday afternoons.
The second series (1970) featured a slightly eerie panto-like segment called “Oliver In The Overworld”. The third series (1971) consisted entirely of this serial.
“We’re all going to the Overworld … we’re all going to the Overworld”
The Overworld is inhabited by machines. Some are very good, some are very bad, and some are quite bad but with some good points.
Some of the very good machines are Oliver the clock (Dreamers bass player Pete Birrell), whose only fault is his bad memory; the Clockwork King (Philip Ray, pictured above left) who is King of the Overworld; the King’s daughter, Princess Necessity (Debbie Bowen); the Deferential Gearbox and the Undercog (Graham Haberfield) – who was once a very bad machine.
The Mighty Dictaphone (David King) is very bad indeed. He turned successfully from crime to business and is now the Overworld’s richest machine. His assistant, Grim Gramophone (Blake Butler, pictured above right), is equally bad and has an exceptionally underhand nature.
Machines with some redeeming features include chief High Pipe (pictured at right), the leader of the Hungry Drains (Gordon Clyde), and the Waste Disposal Unit (David Monico) who has only recently turned bad because he’s frustrated. They’ll both eat anything that’s going, but High Pipe always gets there first.
The Belle Telephones are bad because they’ll do anything for a bob or two, but all three can sing well and are quite fanciable.
Windy Bill is an air conditioner and a prisoner of the Mighty Dictaphone. He’s more good than he is bad. In fact, he’d be very good if he wasn’t so scared all the time.
Freddie was the only human to ever travel to the Overworld. Accompanied by Oliver the clock he helped retrieve the Royal Winding Up Key from the bad machines in the Overworld and return it to the Clockwork King.
Other characters included Stupid Nana, Mr InOut Pending, Professor Frantic and evil Sir Jasper Nasty Bonce.
The 4th and final series of Little Big Time commenced on screen in July 1973 and ran until October of that year. It featured “Freddie’s Joke Hall of Fame” – a fictional story with jokes music & songs.
Oliver the Clock
The Mighty Dictaphone
The Grim Gramophone
Waste Disposal Unit
Chief High Pipe
Sir Jasper Nasty Bonce
Mr InOut Pending