Series / T-Bag
Along with Knightmare
, this was an ITV kids' favourite of the eighties and nineties. It consisted of nine seasons, each of which had its own title. There is no official title for the series as a whole but it's known as T-Bag
for simplicity's sake.
T-Bag (short for either Tallulah or Tabatha, depending on which season you're watching) is a witch who wants to Take Over the World
but is constantly thwarted either by a young girl collecting the scattered MacGuffins
which can defeat her and using them to do just that, or by having her own MacGuffins scattered through time and space and a young girl beating her to finding them again. There were five different girls (Debbie, Holly, Sally, Polly and Penny) throughout eight seasons and the ages at which they were cast changed to match the age of the one constant character, T-Bag's assistant, T-Shirt. Originally, he was a little boy but, being played by the same actor throughout nine seasons, he wasn't so little anymore by the end. T-Shirt (short for Thomas) is abducted from the real world by Tallulah and put under mind control in order to brew T-Bag's magical-power-giving tea and help her collect the MacGuffins. At the end of each season, T-Bag almost reaches her goal but then the MacGuffins are reunited and T-Bag's control over T-Shirt is broken and he helps the girl defeat T-Bag and return home. When Tabatha came along, T-Shirt seemed to be helping her out quite willingly but then Tabatha wasn't really scary. For Season Nine the idea of a girl on the opposite side of things was dropped and a previously unmentioned cousin
of T-Shirt appeared instead.
Originally intended to be reasonably educational but that idea was dropped pretty quickly.
- Wonders in Letterland (1985).
- T-Bag Strikes Again (1986).
- T-Bag Bounces Back (1987).
- Turn On to T-Bag (1988).
- Revenge of the T-Set (1989).
- T-Bag and the Pearls of Wisdom (1990).
- T-Bag and the Rings of Olympus (1991).
- T-Bag and the Sunstones of Montezuma (1992).
- Take Off With T-Bag - which broke the mould and changed the format. (1992).
- T-Bag's Christmas Cracker (1988).
- T-Bag's Christmas Carol (1989).
- T-Bag's Christmas Ding Dong (1990).
- T-Bag's Christmas Turkey (1991).
This programme provides examples of:
- Adults Are Useless
- Alliterative Name: Sally Simpkins.
- Artifact Title: Or rather, Artifact Theme Naming. In Wonders in Letterland, the entire world had an alphabet theme, so the T-based villains fitted with that. In the later seasons, not so much.
- Badass Adorable: All the heroines.
- Big Bad: Tallulah more than Tabatha.
- Big Good: Apparently, The T-Set. But only its leader, The High-T, appeared and only in one season.
- Bound and Gagged Happens occasionally to our heroines. Goes with the territory.
- Christmas Episode: Four of them.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Tabitha.
- Deadpan Snarker: T-Bag more than any other character (especially Tallulah).
- T-Shirt in his rebellious moments.
- Fiery Redhead: Debbie
- For the Evulz: Why else would a witch want to take over the world?
- Gotta Catch 'Em All
- Good Colours, Evil Colours: Nearly all of T-Bag's dresses were red whilst Debbie wore yellow and Sally and Holly wore pink.
- Heel–Face Turn: What T-Shirt did in the last episodes of most seasons.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: T-Shirt grew into one. Well, almost; he still kept losing the MacGuffins.
- Instant Sedation: Penny, in Napoleon and Josephine.
- It Belongs in a Museum: An archaeologist's view on The Sunstones of Montezuma.
- Large Ham: T-Bag, big time.
- Literal Genie: Unusually reluctant version in the third series. Holly had made a mistake with the second of her three wishes, and muttered that she wished she hadn't wished that wish. The genie granted that as her third wish and was about to leave when Holly's friend pointed out that, taken literally, it meant that she hadn't wished her second wish and so still had it. The genie regarded this as Loophole Abuse, but grudgingly allowed Holly to put things right by having her second wish again.
- Love Potion: In one episode caused T-Shirt to fall in love with Polly and give her the week's McGuffin.
- MacGuffin: Naturally.
- Minion with an F in Evil: T-Shirt. It helps that he isn't a bad kid at all, and is just under a bit of mind control.
- Mouthy Kid: Debbie and Penny, more than any of the other heroines.
- Mr. Fanservice: T-Shirt, after he'd grown up.
- Nice Girl: Pretty much all the heroines of the series - naturally.
- The Professor: Professor Sparks in Season Four.
- Punny Name/Theme Naming: Guess.
- Who made ya happy? Major Happy!
- Puppy Love: Vaguely hinted at between T-Shirt and Debbie at times - although the instances of disgust tend to contradict this.
- Revenge of the Sequel
- Servile Snarker: T-Shirt when dealing with Tabatha.
- Sneeze of Doom: In Episode 5 of "T-Bag Strikes Again", Debbie sneezes when creeping into a sultan's chamber, thereby alerting him to her presence. She manages to hide successfully, however. This is an unusual instance of a character sneezing before she has actually hidden herself.
- In Episode 8 of "Pearls of Wisdom", Sally sneezes at least six times while singing a song, due to T-Bag putting pepper on her bouquet of flowers. Sally subsequently gets revenge on T-Bag by throwing the flowers at her, thereby causing T-Bag to sneeze and drop the pearl that Sally is after.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Two T-Bags and five heroic girls.
- Take Over the World
- Technobabble: Regarding the Booster Device in Season Four.
- The Theme Park Version: Of the Wild West, Pirate Ships and Ancient Egypt, among others.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Holly was was noticeably taller than T-Shirt which looked a bit odd.
- The Woobie: T-Shirt very frequently.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: Penny
- Victorian London: Appeared more than once.
- Villain Song: "Ignorance is Bliss", sung by Tallulah in the first episode.
- Would Hurt a Child: T-Bag in her more alarming moments. This witch is prepared to have innocent young girls die of exposure to desert sun, freeze to death on London streets, starve to death trapped in tombs... it's just lucky she never truly succeeds.
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: The second Christmas episode.