Hector's House

Hector's House (French La Maison de Toutou) is a French children's television series using glove puppets. It was first broadcast in France on 1ère chaine on 27 October 1966 and ran over seven series and 78 episodes.[1] It was re-voiced in English and broadcast on BBC One on 9 September 1968 and repeated throughout the 1970s.[2] Each episode lasted 5 minutes and it was regularly given the pre-six o'clock time slot that brought children's programmes to a close.[3]

Hector's House
GenrePuppets
Created byGeorge Croses
Country of originFrance
Original languageFrench
No. of series7
No. of episodes78
Production
Running time5 minutes
Production companyOffice de radiodiffusion-télévision française
Release
Original network1ère chaine, BBC One
Original release27 October 1966 (27 October 1966) –
13 November 1970 (13 November 1970)

It was written and performed by Georges Croses with puppeteers Agnès Vannier and Georges Tournaire, using 60 cm tall puppets on a garden set.[4] The English version followed the French script faithfully with minor deviations.

Characters and settingEdit

Affable, but sometimes/always pompous, Hector the dog lives live in a house with a beautiful garden. He is a proud gardener and handyman, never far from his tool shed. The motherly, but mischievous, Zsazsa the cat lives with him. Kiki the frog is a neighbour and constant visitor to the garden through a hole in the garden wall. She claims to be a meteorologist.

The original French characters of Zsazsa and Kiki were the similarly named Zouzou and Kiki, with Hector being the titular Toutou (literally "Doggie").[5]

Hector desires order and tranquillity, and is always thinking up ways to improve himself and his garden. He is willing to assist his two friends in their activities, but often finds them at odds with his own. Kiki and Zsazsa also often play tricks on him. But he always takes this in good humour, and ends each episode breaking the fourth wall to address the camera with his catchphrase: "I'm a great big [whatever he was] old Hector."[5]

Although named after the house, all stories occur in the garden and action within the house is only seen through the open windows.

The humour employed is indebted to the slapstick comedies of Jacques Tati, a French cinema actor of the 1940s and 50s, who often portrayed a man strangely at odds with his surroundings.[6]

CreditsEdit

The programme was broadcast entirely without credits, featuring only a short introductory theme tune, (with birdsong accompaniment) and, in the French broadcasts, a short static frame at the end (with the same bird).[7]

FrenchEdit

Actor Jacques Morel voiced Toutou, Actress Lucie Dolène voiced Zouzou and puppeteer Agnes Vannier was Kiki.[4]

EnglishEdit

Hector was voiced by Paul Bacon. Kiki was voiced by Denise Bryer, who also had roles in Noddy, Terrahawks and Labyrinth. An urban myth circulated for some time that ZsaZsa was voiced by Joanna Lumley, due to her similar accent, but this has been denied by the actress.[8]

MusicEdit

The theme music, of which two versions were aired, was composed by Francis Lai.[4]

Video and DVDEdit

A number of VHS and DVDs have since been released with a selection of episodes across the series in no particular order.

  • VHS 1993 - 60min - Polygram Video "Pocket Money Video"
  • DVD 2001 - 30 Episodes - Contender

EpisodesEdit

The BBC episodes were not shown in the same order as the original French series.[2][1]

Series OneEdit

Episode French Transmission French Title UK Transmission English Title
01 27 October 1966 La visite mystérieuse 9 September 1968 A Mysterious Visit
02 28 October 1966 Bonjour grenouille 10 September 1968 Good Morning Frog
03 29 October 1966 Les chardons 11 September 1968 The Thistle
04 30 October 1966 Le goûter 16 September 1968 The Snack
05 31 October 1966 La météo 12 September 1968 The Weather Forecaster
06 1 November 1966 Le puits 25 September 1968 The Well
07 2 November 1966 Le grand sommeil 23 September 1968 Deep Sleep
08 3 November 1966 La surprise 30 October 1968 The Surprise
09 4 November 1966 Vive l'ordre 5 November 1968 Keep This Garden Tidy
10 5 November 1966 Le jeu de la météo 11 November 1968 The Weather Game
11 6 November 1966 L'entonnoir 12 November 1969 The Funnel
12 7 November 1966 La niche 24 September 1968 The Kennel
13 8 November 1966 Jalousie 10 October 1968 Jealousy

Series TwoEdit

Episode French Transmission French Title UK Transmission English Title
01 5 December 1966 Le collier 26 September 1968 The Lead
02 6 December 1966 Le pyjama 23 October 1968 The Pyjamas
03 7 December 1966 Cache cache 28 October 1968 Playing Tag
04 8 December 1966 La confiture 4 November 1968 Jam Making
05 9 December 1966 La chenille 16 October 1968 The Caterpillar
06 10 December 1966 La pêche 18 September 1968 Fishing
07 11 December 1966 L'accroc 19 September 1968 The Torn Coat
08 12 December 1966 Le tuba 3 October 1968 The Tuba
09 13 December 1966 Le parfum 17 November 1969 The Perfume
10 14 December 1966 La brouille 8 October 1968 The Disagreement
11 15 December 1966 Toutou malade 7 October 1968 Hector is ill
12 16 December 1966 Les bonnes manières 1 October 1968 Good Manners
13 17 December 1966 Fouette cocher 20 November 1968 The Coach

Series ThreeEdit

Episode French Transmission French Title UK Transmission English Title
01 19 March 1967 La sieste 17 September 1968 The Siesta
02 20 March 1967 Le bon gardien 30 September 1968 The Watchdog
03 21 March 1967 La peinture 19 November 1968 Painting
04 22 March 1967 Le cochon 31 October 1968 Pig
05 23 March 1967 Le petit canard 12 November 1968 The Little Duck
06 24 March 1967 La gymnastique 13 November 1968 Exercises
07 25 March 1967 Toutou se concentre 29 October 1968 Hector Thinks Hard
08 26 March 1967 La circulation 13 November 1969 Traffic Regulations
09 27 March 1967 Zouzou s'en va 6 November 1968 Zaza Goes Away
10 28 March 1967 Soleil couchant 7 November 1968 The Setting Sun
11 29 March 1967 Chien méchant 2 October 1968 Naughty Dog
12 30 March 1967 L'arrosage 22 October 1968 The Hosepipe
13 31 March 1967 La musique 9 October 1968 Music

Series FourEdit

Episode French Transmission French Title UK Transmission English Title
01 18 June 1967 Plus vite toujours plus vite 21 November 1968 Faster, Faster
02 19 June 1967 Basket pommes 25 November 1968 The Basket
03 20 June 1967 L'herbier 26 November 1968 The Botanist
04 21 June 1967 Aubade a Kiki 27 November 1968 Wake Up Kiki
05 22 June 1967 La tirelire 28 November 1968 The Piggy Bank
06 23 June 1967 L'epouvantail 2 December 1968 Scarecrow
07 24 June 1967 La photographie 3 December 1968 Photography
08 26 June 1967 Le pique nique 4 December 1968 The Picnic
09 26 June 1967 Le savon 5 December 1968 The Soap
10 28 June 1967 Le secret de toutou 18 November 1969 Hector's Secret
11 29 June 1967 Et pourtant elle roule 19 November 1969 It Works, What's More
12 27 July 1967 On soigne Kiki 14 November 1968 Looking After Kiki

Series FiveEdit

Episode French Transmission French Title UK Transmission English Title
01 11 October 1967 Le joyeux retour 18 November 1968 Happy Returns
02 12 October 1967 Le silence est d'or 24 November 1969 Silence Is Golden
03 13 October 1967 Colin maillard 25 November 1969 Blind Man's Buff
04 14 October 1967 La citrouille 26 November 1969 The Pumpkin
05 15 October 1967 La chasse aux papillons 24 October 1968 Chasing Butterflies
06 16 October 1967 Les boites 27 November 1969 The Boxes
07 17 October 1967 Le piege 1 December 1969 The Trap
08 18 October 1967 Le beau chandail rouge 29 December 1969 The Sweater
09 19 October 1967 La potiche 3 December 1969 The Porcelain Vase
10 21 October 1967 Aïe ma patte 8 December 1969 Ouch My Paw
11 22 October 1967 Les 24 heures du mans 9 December 1969 The Le Mans Race
12 23 October 1967 Les leçons 10 December 1969 Lessons

Series SixEdit

Episode French Transmission French Title UK Transmission English Title
01 2 December 1967 La querelle 11 December 1969 The Quarrel
02 3 December 1967 Un bon remède 2 December 1969 A Good Remedy
03 4 December 1967 La boîte aux lettres 16 December 1969 The Letterbox
04 5 December 1967 Opération survie 17 December 1969 Operation Survival
05 6 December 1967 Chanson de la nuit 18 December 1969 A Song At Night
06 7 December 1967 La cloche 7 January 1970 The Bell
07 8 December 1967 Un valeureux pompier 28 December 1969 Hector The Brave Fireman
08 9 December 1967 Trop tard Toutou 30 December 1969 Hector Is Too Late
09 10 December 1967 Un etrange etranger 8 January 1970 A Strange Stranger
10 11 December 1967 Kiki perche 6 January 1970 Treetop Kiki
11 12 December 1967 Le pense toutou 5 January 1970 Hector Never Forgets
12 13 December 1967 Une merveilleuse invention 1 January 1970 The Marvellous Invention
13 14 December 1967 Trois petits sapins de noel 23 December 1969 The Three Christmas Trees

Series SevenEdit

Episode French Transmission French Title UK Transmission English Title
01 27 August 1970 Bonne route Toutou 20 November 1969 Good Journey
02 13 November 1970 L'oeuvre d'art 4 December 1969 The Work Of Art

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "La maison de Toutou". Ina theque. 21 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Hector's House". 21 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Radio Times 1923-2009". BBC Geonome. 21 August 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "La Maison de Toutou". Planete jeunesse.
  5. ^ a b "Hector's House". TV Tropes. 21 August 2020.
  6. ^ Will, Gompertz (21 March 2020). "Five Hidden Gems: Will Gompertz reviews culture online". BBC News. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Hector's House - Good Morning Frog". Youtube. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Hector's House". TV Heaven. 21 August 2020.