1 9 7 1 – 1 9 7 2 (UK)
13 x 25 minute episodes
Thames Television’s answer to Bright’s Boffins featured the friendly 43rd Duke of Tottering, a certain Clarence Emsworth Archibald Montmorency Maltravers (William Mervyn), who lived in Tottering Towers – a somewhat crumbling mansion that he clung to as his everlasting heritage.
The lovable old Duke pottered around dreaming up weird and wonderful inventions; a fully-automated suit of armour, for example, equipped with a speaking device to act as a footman at the front doors.
The Duke was an ex-boffin who had provided war service with WOOSI (Weapons Of Odd Strategic Ingenuity) and CRACPOTS (Council for Research And Coordination of Potential Objectives Tactically Suitable).
Gabbige the butler (David Stoll) and housekeeper Mrs Daisy Pouncer (Avis Landon) were the Duke’s long-suffering ‘retainers’. The resident country bobby, PC Poppy (David Lodge) had an eye for Mrs Pounder and her cooking.
Mrs Pouncer’s nephew, Dick (Tom Owen, pictured below), acted as a sort of handyman around Tottering Towers, although maintaining some of the Duke’s inventions proved to be a trifle bewildering for him (such as the car that apparently laid eggs).
Daffy (Stacey Gregg, pictured above left) – more properly Daffodil Primrose O’Kelly – was a distant relative of the Duke’s who had come over from America.
There was also a resident ghost called Marmaduke (Robert Gillespie) in the house.
The house used in the Thames series was an old people’s home at Pax Hill (Paxhill Park), near Lindfield in Sussex. Producer Adrian Cooper lived nearby and spotted the home.
Duke of Tottering (Clarence Emsworth Archibald Montmorency Maltravers)
Mrs Daisy Pouncer
Daffy (Daffodil Primrose O’Kelly)
John Louis Mansi
Benny the Nose