1 9 8 5 (UK)
6 x 35 minute episodes
This six-part drama documentary from Channel 4 premiered on Saturday 23 November 1985 at 6.00 pm and told the story of a puppeteer called Walter Wilkinson and his journey through the Cotswolds, Somerset and North Devon in 1925.
Walter – an artist, vegetarian and utopian thinker – chucked in his city job, abandoned the hurly-burly of London and set off on a personal voyage of exploration, living in a tent. He took with him his puppet theatre on wheels, which he called The Old Encumbrance and performed in villages and hamlets along the way.
Roy Hudd starred as Walter, and 100 actors played the parts of the people the puppeteer met on his journey. Guest stars like Billy Dainty and Susan Jameson appeared during the series, with Jonathan Cecil as his companion (William) in the early stages of his trip.
Commissioned by Paul Madden, the series was produced and directed by David Furnham, who also wrote the scripts based on a book by Walter Wilkinson called The Peep Show.
The puppets used in the episodes were made by John Wright and were based on original drawings of the real Wilkinson puppets. Roy Hudd provided the voices for the puppet shows and Ronnie Le Drew was the puppeteer.
The series was recorded on videotape and shooting was done entirely on location in Somerset, Gloucestershire and Devon during the summer of 1984.