The Space Gypsy Adventures
are a set of British sci-fi comedy radio stories
created by Terry Askew. Notable in that the characters are all anthropomorphic animals. Mostly detailing the misadventures of the "space gypsy" fox Gemma Mildury and her younger brother, Damien, along with her on-and-off boyfriend, Duke; Duke's sister, Leah; shuttle dealer and rocker Fluff Cat, and their frequent nemeses, Detective Inspector Spiker and Detective Constable Bones of the Intergalactic Federal Alliance Police.
The original series ran on the UK National Hospital Radio Network over 1986/87 and was in syndication until 1997. The show was revived in 2004 and has been running since. Since late 2011, the creators
have been reposting select stories online. They also have a band called Fluff Catt & The Rock Kittens
The accompanying artwork for the show was originally drawn by Terry Askew himself, but in more recent years the show's official artwork has been drawn by comic artist Mark Alexander Smith, author of the furry webcomic Transmission
These radio plays provide examples of:
- Animals Not to Scale: They're shorter than most anthropomorphic animals but still larger than their real life counterparts, as shown by this chart. Except maybe for Spiker who might actually be a bit shorter than a real Alsatian/German Shepherd standing on its hind legs.
- Animated Actors: Shown to be the case in "Duke and the Space Gypsy" and "The Christmas New Arrival", in the latter case with Damien claiming that the (unseen) freighters are just wooden sets.
- Anthropomorphic Shift: Since Mark Alexander Smith took over as the lead character artist, the characters' designs have been given slightly more human proportions.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Subverted in the classic story "Gemma's Dilemma", a cop reads off Gemma's criminal record which includes: stealing shuttles, handling stolen goods, bootlegging, counterfeiting, and shoplifting. Lifting the shop itself 450 feet into the air.
- Asteroid Thicket: Gemma escapes Spiker and Bones in "Daytrip to Tower City" by dragging them (their ship attached to the Rapscallion) into an asteroid field.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Mostly in the pilot and the Christmas specials.
- Casual Interstellar Travel: As stated in the pilot, one might go to another star system for groceries.
- Christmas Special: At least two.
- The Clan: Space Gypsies are organized into species-based clans, the Mildury's are part of the Mogavis clan of red foxes with raccoon-like facial markings. Unfortunately most of the others seems to be in prison.
- Commitment Issues: Duke keeps putting off his and Gemma's wedding.
- Counter-Earth: Zenophon in the 1986 series.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: Space Gypsies have Ronsin, whose holiday, Ronsinfest is celebrated the same time that the rest of the galaxy celebrates Christmas.
- Cunning Like a Fox: Gemma, Damien has his moments as well.
- Darker and Edgier: While remaining largely light and comedic the 2000s series does touch on some darker themes. For instance actually explaining why Gemma and Damien live on their own, which is that their parents (most of their clan actually) were arrested and in fact the two siblings spent a few years in a Federal Alliance prison camp.
- Data Pad: Damien keeps his homework on one, which he tries to lose.
- Deflector Shield: Called "grids" for some reason.
- Earthburrow that was: The space gypsy homeworld was destroyed by a supernova thousands of years ago.
- Embarrassing Old Photo: In "The Great Chocolate Biscuit Caper" Gemma and Damien find their family photo album, and threaten to show people at the spaceport baby pictures of one another.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Mogavis space gypsies borrow a lot from Romas. Also people from Galvert 6 sound Welsh.
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: The explanation given is that it cancels Time Dilation and the increase in mass from relativity.
- The Federation: The Federal Alliance, corrupt version and imperialistic version.
- Fictionary: Mogavis. Most often the Mildury's pronounce "us" as "huz".
- Frickin' Laser Beams: "Blazers".
- FTL Radio: "Stellaphones".
- Global Currency: Averted, there are both Federal Alliance credits and Zenophon zents and grotchets.
- Happily Married: Leah and Rekki, more or less.
- Hyperspeed Escape: A favorite tactic of Gemma, Damien, and friends. Sometimes combined with dumping their cargo as a distraction (which Spiker tends to mistake for Space Mines).
- Interspecies Romance: Gemma and Duke (fox/border collie), Leah and Rekki (collie/raccoon), Damien and Jehlise (fox/cat), Fluff and Bones (cat/fox).
- Lovable Rogue: Gemma and Damien of course.
- Matronymic: Leah and Rekki's daughter's name, Leandra, literally means "child of Leah" in Mogavis.
- Numbered Homeworld: The Galvert system worlds, such as Galvert 6.
- Panicky Expectant Father: Rekki in "The Christmas New Arrival".
- Pardon My Klingon: Gemma launches a tirade of Mogavis at Bones (who speaks the language, though the others don't) for shooting down Fluff's transporter in "The Christmas New Arrival".
- Photoprotoneutron Torpedo: Federal Alliance ships carry "neucleonic" rockets as well as blazers.
- Promotion to Parent: Gemma towards Damien after their parents were captured.
- Run for the Border: Gemma, Damien, Fluff, and Jimmy DaWeasel's preferred method of escaping arrest is to escape to Zenophon
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Damien frequently insists this with regards to Jehlise; his bioamulet suggests otherwise.
- Shout-Out: In part 3 of "Duke and the Space Gypsy" alone:
- Space Jews: Space Gypsies are Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Space People: Space gypsies, obviously.
- Space Pirates: In The Christmas New Arrival" Damien freaks out when he mistakes a snow-covered freighter for a pirate ship. Then the name is uncovered and he realizes it was just his and Gemma's Rapscallion'', which honestly wasn't too far off though they're more like smugglers and thieves.
- Space Police: Spiker, Bones, and the Federal Alliance police are non-heroic examples.
- Stealth in Space: Devisualizer grid.
- Tractor Beam
- Truce Zone: Zenophon.
- Will They or Won't They?: Duke and Gemma have been engaged since "Daytrip to Tower City" but he keeps putting off their wedding.