1 9 8 5 – 1 9 8 6 (UK)
13 x 15 minute episodes
Bertha is the best machine at the factory of Spottiswood & Co. When programmed right, she can produce just about anything the chief designer Mr Sprott designs – from jigsaw puzzles to cuckoo clocks to beach balls.
All the employees at the factory – including her best friend, assistant machine operator Roy (pictured below right) and Panjit the Pakistani forklift driver – love her and almost treat the big green machine like a real person.
Other characters included Mr Willmake, the manager of the factory; his secretary Miss McClackerty; Tracy James (Mr Sprott’s Assistant); Works foreman Mr Duncan, who regards Bertha as an old inefficient machine; Ted Turner the chief machine operator (pictured below right); Mrs Tupp the tea lady; Nell the packer and Flo the stacker.
T.O.M (which stood for “Talk Operated Machine”) was a robot designed by Tracy and built by Bertha to perform odd jobs around the factory.
Roy Kinnear and Sheila Walker voiced the characters, and Kinnear narrated.
All the characters were designed by Ivor Wood. The show was produced by his company (Woodland Animations) and broadcast on BBC1. The theme tune was sung by Guy Fletcher.
The Great Painting Job | The Windmills | Mouse in the Works | The Best Machine Competition | T.O.M Gets Lost | The Flying Bear | The Tea Nurse | The Big Order | The Burglars | Bertha’s Birthday Party | The Big Sneeze | T.O.M’s New Friend