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Freewheelers

ABSOLUTE ARCHETYPAL posh-kids-in-peril effort majoring on pointless running about, black-hearted blaggards, cut-glass accents and lots and lots of speedboats. Because Southern TV owned one. Dozens and dozens of episodes made, all basically the same, involving self-titled band of teens “phoned up” by – ha! – MI5/6 whenever they cocked up and needed some kids to do their jobs for them. Shifty shenanigans in the shire counties ensued, initially involving pissed off Nazi called von Gelb (GEOFFREY TOONE) who still thought there was a war on. A deserted railway station usually turned up once a week, as did an appearance from the local historical re-enactment society. “Freewheelers” themselves went through a number of line-ups a la BLUE PETER, baton being handed between, variously, BILL COWAN, CHRIS “NOT THAT ONE” KELLY, ADRIAN WRIGHT, WENDY “WHO” PADBURY and other suspiciously-grown up looking types.

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  1. Gerard Rocks

    September 27, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Use to love this when I was a kid, especially Von Gelb and the opening theme tune (but never liked the way it had TWO themes – they almost always used a different piece to close each episode). It’s a crying shame the earlier and better series have been wiped as, watching the recent dvd release of series 6, I was so disappointed : it was past its best then and, 35 years on, the stilted dialogue and coincidence-riddled plots were a bit of a let down (did I really once love this stuff?!). You’re right about the posh voices and the exclamatory episode titles but not quite right about the actors – Bill Cowan wasn’t an actor he was the character played by Tom Owen (son of Summer Wine’s Bill) in the first 4 series.

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