Following the return of Danger Mouse, SuperTed is making a comeback by the BBC Children’s department for 26 episodes. The original series aired on the BBC between 1983 and 1985 before making a comeback in 1989 courtesy of Hanna-Barbera.
So, to celebrate, let’s look at seven things you might not have known about the superhero teddy bear who fought, amongst other things, a rather effeminate skeleton.
1. SuperTed was created to cure the fear of the dark
SuperTed’s creator Mike Young’s son was terrified of the dark, so in order to help him overcome his fears, Young created the character SuperTed who would get magic powers from Mother Nature. In the original books, the teddy bear who becomes SuperTed is also scared of the dark.
2. SuperTed could have been American
When SuperTed rose to popularity, American studio Warner Bros. offered Mike Young £250,000 (just under £1 million in today’s money) to produce a cartoon series based on the character. Fearing Warner would ‘Americanise’ it (which they did in The Further Adventures of SuperTed) and his desire to keep the show Welsh to provide jobs, Young struck a deal with S4C to create the cartoon.
3. Originally aired in Welsh
In its original run in 1982 on S4C, the show was in the Welsh language and translated to English when aired on BBC1 the following year.
4. First British cartoon to air on the Disney Channel
SuperTed was aired in over 50 countries including Africa, Sweden, India and Australia and it was the very first British made show to air on The Disney Channel in America.
5. Texas Pete was friends with the Beatles
Well, the voice actor of Texas Pete, Victor Spinetti was. He had formed a friendship with the Fab Four after featuring in three of their movies, A Hard Day’s Night, Help! and Magic Mystery Tour. George Harrison was quoted as saying, ‘You’ve got to be in all our films … if you’re not in them me Mum won’t come and see them — because she fancies you.’
6. The show originally just had three bad guys
In the original show, SuperTed only had to fight off Texas Pete, Skeleton and Bulk but when the show was revamped by Hanna Barbera in 1989 as The Further Adventures of SuperTed, they added in various other villains including Polka Face, Bubbles the Clown and Sleepless Knight.
7. He was so popular, he had his own line of vitamin supplements
SuperTed’s popularity put him as the face of his own line of vitamin supplements to convince kids to take them. What a hero!