Paulus the Wood Gnome

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1969 to 1971 on ITV

MITTEL-EUROPEAN GNOMIC adventures of Paulus, who lived in a tree trunk, resembled Popeye in red dungarees, and was menaced by Eucalypta the witch. Assorted examples of moth-eaten taxidermy served duty as his woodland associates. Imported and translated (to say nothing of dubbed with sub-Goon Show voices) from the Dutch, specifically the pen of Jean Dulieu, who not only created and wrote the long-running cartoon strip on which this was based, but made and manipulated all the puppets himself. As a result… Christ, the thing’s hideous. Misshapen fragments of fowl and sightless lumps of Plaster of Paris move about with disconcertingly jerky motion, making the show’s rather routine “bad witch gets foiled by ace chums” plots appear sinister and claustrophobic, scarring many a child’s psyche in ways Bagpuss could never dream of. The theme’s lyrics (sung by the upper registers of a plummy children’s choir) are the easiest part: “Let’s take a holiday, there’s a little wood where we can stay/Paulus, the little wood gnome welcomes you to his home/Crackers and Hoppy are there/Hoo-Roo and the Bear/Snatch, Bristles and Gregory too/They’re waiting all for you/Something’s brewing, that’s quite plain/The witches cauldron’s boiling again/Paulus, you’d better take care/She’s out to get you/She’s up to get you/She’s out to get you, beware!” Indeed.


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12 responses to “Paulus the Wood Gnome”

  1. john burns says:

    Grew up with this gem and loved the music

  2. Neil Stacey says:

    I thought I was the only person in the world to remember this programme. I was begining to think it was all a dream!

  3. Amanda Vardy says:

    People thought I was making this up, at last real people

  4. Jack wilson says:

    Remmember the witches name : Eukalypta!

  5. leeloo says:

    Yippeee am not the only one who thought I was going mad, thought I had dreamed this too.. as well as HR puff n stuff pheww

  6. I just saw a colleague of mine called Paul, and somehow Paulus the Wood Gnome popped into my head ☺

  7. Faye Tsar says:

    I think we all thought we imagined this show. Friends (of the same age) don’t believe me when I recall this show. It was a great age for strange, surreal children’s programmes. Blimey Eukalypta was scary!

  8. borgduck says:

    Never heard of it. But it sure looks like someone was on too much weed, in Hollland!

  9. Paula robinson says:

    I am soooo happy to find this. My nickname with my parents is still “woody” and as a very little girl I thought this was Paula the wood gnome.

  10. Mark Butterfield says:

    This programme used to frighten me as a young boy like no other! When I’ve mentioned it to family& friends no one has ever heard of it!!

  11. LadyPenelope says:

    This show scared the sh..t out of me when I was a small child. As a teenager, my friends and I would menace each other by invoking the name “paulus” with the witches malevolent intonation. Now I enjoy freaking out my 6 year old by showing her clips on you tube.

  12. Jackie says:

    I’m so glad I found out thru this site the proper name of the children’s programme that I used to watch as a kid. My partner could remember Stingray, which I loved and Captain Scarlet (didn”t join the ranks of Joe 90 & Thunderbirds). I also loved Lightning Tree & White Horses (loved the theme music to them). Must be my age, to get so reminiscent!! I still think they were better kid’s programmes than today? (Even though Paulus scared the bejesus out of me!). Oh! I forgot Zelda – but then she’s in Eastenders?

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