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Series / The Ferals

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The Ferals was a television series created and broadcast in Australia for 1994 through to 1995. The series was set in a nameless town somewhere in the Australian suburbs and focused on a specific house being rented by two university students, the eccentric yet affable Leonard (a science student), and the simultaneously more and less grounded Robbie (a medical student and a girl, despite the name). The show revolved around the interactions between the two students, their landlord Joe, and the focus of the show, the motley crew of four noxious animals living in their shed — Rattus P. Rattus (a black rat), Modigliana (a feral cat), Mixy (a rabbit) and Derryn (a feral dog, most likely a dingo).

After it was cancelled, spawned a successor series: Feral TV. When this in turn was cancelled, Mixy would become a host for the ABC Kids programming block for some time, while Modigliana would become the puppet cohost of Creature Features. Before that Rattus and Modi both stared in a recurring segment on the edutainment show Numbers Count.


This show includes examples of:

  • Amusing Injuries: All the time, of note was the episode where Rattus keeps getting injured as he attempts to go to the moon, until finally he's on crutches for the final act.
  • Batman Gambit: In one April Fools episode, Rattus claims that he's not going to bother joining the other Ferals in their usual prank celebration. After a long and complex array of events, Joe is frantically scrambling to try and get the place back in order in preparation for the "Honorable Society of the Musk Oxen", the latest snobby, uppercrust club he's tried to join... and the club turns out to have been made up entirely by Rattus, meaning every last humiliation and panic attack Joe has gone through all day, as well as all the humiliations suffered by the Ferals as they tried to prove they could pull off a prank without Rattus, is ultimately the climax of one big prank. And then when it's pointed out that pulling this reveal just after midnight so as not to violate his "prank insurance" means Rattus' prank isn't "square" because it's no longer April Fool's Day, Rattus reveals he turned all of the local clocks forward by one day — so it's only just turned April Fools'!
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  • Black Comedy: One of the reasons the show was fondly remembered was because of its macabre stance towards humor. Mixy's name, for example, is admittedly derived from Myxomatosis.
  • Butt-Monkey: EVERYONE.
  • Catchphrase: "Gonna get ya"!
  • Comedic Sociopathy: The first episode begins with Rattus and Moddy smacking each other out through the shed window, only to run back inside and do it to the other. This is not an isolated incident.
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Derryn, who is also an example of Dumb Is Good, being the sweetest, nicest and most naive of the Ferals.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: One episode features Modigliana's fantasy of cat heaven... With Rattus enslaved as a fan waver:
    Rattus: This isn't cat heaven, this is rat hell!
  • Grand Finale: The shed and flat are destroyed so the Ferals go underground and Lenny and Robbie move out, leaving Joe alone and ruined.
  • Idea Bulb: Often. Derryn once had an Idea Candle and Lenny had an advanced ceiling Light Bulb.
  • It's All About Me: Rattus has heard of compassion and empathy but he's not quite sure what they are. Modigliana isn't much better.
  • Jerkass: Joe, the landlord; greedy, narcisstic, self-absorbed and desperate to get more power.
    • Rattus and Moddy as well.
  • Mad Scientist: Leonard, or "Lenny", seems to be studying to be this. The house is full of his weird inventions, with one episode revolving around his attempt to build a robotic helper, which Joe promptly tries to market without Lenny's permission, and another revolving around a matter cloning machine he'd created accidentally.
  • Punny Name: In what is one of the most dark examples to ever feature on children's television, Mixy, from Myxomatosis. Doubles as Parental Bonus, considering almost no-one in the target audience would have understood the joke, (and when they did...)
  • Realistic Humans, Cartoony Animals: The humans are played by actual people while the animals are played by puppets.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Mixy is generally the most reasonable and sweet-tempered of the gang, yet quite capable of bullying the others into following her lead when she felt inclined to stand up for herself.
  • Slapstick: The humans weren't safe either.
  • Something That Begins with "Boring": Mixy doesn't know anything other than "shed". But Rattus has his own way of making it fun.
    Rattus (While holding a cricket bat): I spy with my little eye... somethin' ending in "Ow!"...
  • Tomboy: Robbie (as if the name doesn't give her away), who was constantly getting into weird hobbies.
  • Trash the Set: The finale sees the Shed and the human's flats demolished. Joe first ordering the demolition of the shed and Robbie and Lenard's flat out of greed then the Ferals take out Joe's flat as payback.
  • Villain Protagonist: The Ferals are not good people. They are not nice people.
  • Wham Episode: In the season two premiere A Change is as good as Hoilday, a series of accidents leads to the destruction of Robbie and Lenard's flat. The flat remains wrecked for the rest of the series.
  • With Friends Like These...: There isn't a scene that goes by without one of the Ferals insulting or hitting at least one of the others.
  • Yuppie Couple: Keith (a koala) and Kylie (a kangaroo), the "Bogans from the Bush", who basically sat around mocking the Ferals and looking down on them for being noxious introduced species.

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