Cult TV

Cult TV Essentials: Here Come the Double Deckers

Here Come the Double Deckers was a 17-part British children’s TV series from 1970-71 revolving around the adventures of seven children whose den was an old red double-decker London bus in an unused junk yard.

Each week saw the gang in a separate adventure including episodes based around a runaway homemade hovercraft, a chocolate factory and invading ‘Martians’ with guns that shot out chocolate candy, a disastrous camping holiday, collecting tin foil for a guide dog, becoming pop moguls with their protégé ‘The Cool Cavalier’ and a haunted stately home.

Some of the cast were unknown, though Melvyn Hayes was an established adult actor, Gillian Bailey was fairly experienced for a child actor and both Brinsley Forde and Michael Audreson had appeared in The Magnificent Six and a Half, a series of Children’s Film Foundation films on which the Double Deckers were based. Melvyn Hayes also wrote the episode “Man’s Best Friend”, co-wrote the episode “Get a Movie On!”, co-wrote the series’ theme song, and acted as a dialogue coach for the series. Bailey is now head of the drama department at Royal Holloway University. Peter Firth has gone on to a prominent acting career, appearing in Equus, The Hunt for Red October, Tess, Pearl Harbor, and Spooks (MI-5). Co-star Brinsley Forde later became the lead singer in Aswad.

The series was originally scheduled for 26 episodes (as well as a second series of 26 additional episodes), but production ceased after 17 had been completed.

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