SEASON 1 EPISODES 27 - 52
Hold onto your horses...
EP 27 THE HIDE AND SEEK BADGE
Duggee can't find his book... Turns out to be last place place he left it (same for me and my car keys). Squirrels play and and seek with Duggee. He's a dog with a great sense of smell, so he has an unfair advantage if you ask me. Roly struggles initially but then cracks it by hiding behind a cow. I'm trying to play hide and seek with the youngest but it mainly consists of her just standing in the corner with the face to the wall, Blair Witch style while I count. Needs some work...
EP 28 THE SHEEP BADGE
There's a broken gate and the sheep escape from their field! The Squirrels need to round them up and get them back into their field. They're everywhere - in the lockers, disguised as a rug, up a tree, in the sink. A renegade sheep is stuck up a mountain so the squirrels need to rescue him. Good counting exercise for little ones.
EP 29 THE SPIDER BADGE
Poor Norrie - she's playing with her teddy and she finds a little spider which terrifies her. She tells the squirrels it's as big as a house! They go to look for it, all tooled up (I feel the same when there's a wasp in about). When they do find it, they see it's tiny and there's nothing to worry about. Norrie realises it's safe and offers the spider a place to stay in the dolls house. Good way to teach kids spiders are absolutely fine. Like most things in life, children learn their fears and prejudices from grown ups, so if we can be brave, we'll be the best role models.
EP 30 THE WE LOVE ANIMALS BADGE
Duggee is having a little chill stroking Enid. The Squirrels want to stroke her too but she's a bit non-plussed by it. They want to show how much they love animals by looking to give them all a stroke. They don't have much luck in finding the right type of animals (slugs, bees, poor Hedgley!). Luckily there was the right type of animal under their nose all this time - Duggee loves a good fuss.
EP 31 THE SNOWMAN BADGE
I love how the opening credits can alter depending on the situation (like when Norrie is ill). In this one, it's snowing and the Squirrels make a slightly wonky snowman, which gets ripped by a bunch of snotty entitled penguins (including a pompous blond one called Boris. Hmm...)
They end up in a 'Snow-off', competing with the penguins. It ends up becoming a massive snow slide which they all have fun sliding down. Good times!
EP 32 THE DECORATING BADGE
The clubhouse needs decorating so the Squirrels help. They get Tino the Artistic Mouse involved. As opposed to block colours ("it's not green, it's early spring!"), they start to get creative using leaves, sponges, stencils... it's a bit of a psychedelic mess. You can tell Duggee hates it but he's too polite to say so. Pretty much how DuggeeMum feels when the girls do her hair. Instead, he waits till they're gone and does it his way.... Pretty much what DuggeeMum does after the girls do her hair!
EP 33 THE TIDY UP BADGE
In a series of unrelated events which would make OK Go jealous (watch the video, it's great), the clubhouse gets trashed. Luckily, Duggee gets a state of the art TX900 vacuum cleaner delivered. The Squirrels have to tidy before they can vaccum. There's a lovely moment where Roly keeps trying to tidy away a toy car but it keeps rolling back to him every time he turns round. The vac basically sucks up everything in the club house, but fortunately there's a reverse switch so they can rescue everything, and get it neatly tidied away. We need to get one of these TX900 cleaners!
EP 34 THE CIRCUS BADGE
The circus is in town! You'd be hard pressed to see them though - it's a flea circus... The Squirrels and Duggee are a little disappointed to see it's a tiny circus, but as Yoda would say, "Judge me by my size, do you?". They may be small but they pack a lot of entertainment in. Soon the Squirrels are all involved and loving it.
EP 35 THE EGG BADGE
One of the chickens is waiting for her eggs to hatch (Nice touch with her reading POK! magazine). They eventually do, and the last one to hatch is a chatterbox, it's fair to say. They just don't shut up! This is reminiscent of our youngest at 6 in the morning, just randomly naming objects whilst I'm desperately going "Shhh!".
Anyway, it's a case of mistaken identity where an Emu chick gets confused for a chicken egg. Everything is OK in the end, and the babies get back to their respective mums.
EP 36 THE PUPPY BADGE
Kids are like tornadoes that destroy everything they come into contact with. Including your sanity....
Duggee is looking after his nephew Duggly with the aid of the Squirrels. They come to the realisation that it can be quite difficult to look after kids. There are some days when I feel the same. They get a true taste when Duggly kicks off. Big style. The Squirrels try everything to calm him down and nothing works. They eventually work out the gentle ribbit of a frog will soothe him. We worked out the sound of the shower could calm down the eldest when she used to kick off as a baby, now we have to live with the confounded sound of white noise to get the kids to sleep. DRIVES ME CRAZY.
EP 37 THE CARDBOARD BOX BADGE
Everyone has a random pile of cardboard boxes somewhere that the kids want to get into. When the eldest has to go out to the garage and sees the boxes she gets a gleam in her eye. The Squirrels find Duggee’s stash of boxes and end up playing with them. They make an epic castle to be fair. Their castle gets taken over by the naughty mice (shades of The Holy Grail here). The squirrels manage to infiltrate their way back in by way of Trojan Cheese. What is it with these mice and castles? I've made my thoughts on mice clear previously...
EP 38 THE CATERPILLAR BADGE
The squirrels are picking veg in the garden when Tag spots a little caterpillar. They become the best of friends, like a dog with 12 legs, and it’s really quite sweet. In shades of Eric Carle’s classic that we've read countless times to both kids, the caterpillar eats everything in sight. Tag feeds and feeds and feeds her. Soon she isn’t a little caterpillar anymore, she’s a big fat caterpillar! she drifts off to sleep and builds a cocoon to become a beautiful butterfly. Tag now has a friend who can fly!
EP 39 THE SANDCASTLE BADGE
The Squirrels go to the beach! They have a bit of a play and make a huge sandcastle. This attracts the attention of a certain Mr Crab (and his silent life partner Nigel), who are looking for a new place to live. The Squirrels design them a fantastic place - It’s pretty impressive with windows, steps, shells and a water feature… Grand Sand Designs if you will. It’s bittersweet when you realise that the tide will wash it away - just enjoy it while you can…
EP 40 THE FOOTBALL BADGE
The Squirrels play football! ...only they don't know how. Mr Narrator explains they have to score a goal past Duggee. Betty asks "Why?" and to be honest, it's a reasonable question - 22 people kicking a piece of leather about and getting paid squillions for it... why? (I'm saying this as a bitter Derby County fan) Anyway, various characters across Duggeeland get involved kicking the ball, and eventually someone scores whilst Duggee is distracted by a butterfly. Love how Duggee's top is similar to the England 1966 classic.
EP 41 THE PUPPET SHOW BADGE
This episode is incredible! The Squirrels have already been on adventure with King Tiger, and they're filling everyone in on what happened, which takes place as a puppet show. So you switch from animation to actual puppet characters, with all the characters as different mediums. Betty is a balloon which is highly appropriate to her shape, Roly is felt, Norrie is cardboard... I can't even begin to describe it, you just need to watch it.
EP 42 THE BIRDWATCHING BADGE
The Squirrels go birdwatching, which is a bit like a red rag to a bull for Roly. He just can't keep quiet. Again, reminds me of trying to keep the youngest quiet first thing in the morning to make sure she doesn't wake the rest of the house up. As I type this, I'm convinced our youngest is Roly...
EP 43 THE BIG PARADE BADGE
The Squirrels meet Eugene who's in charge of the big parade. he's a neurotic Woody Allen type who is nervous about leading the parade. He then gets injured so Duggee takes over - the squirrels join in too in front of a roaring crowd. Blink and you'll miss it, but you also see Norrie's mum in the crowd! interestingly, Duggee was already dressed and prepared to lead the parade - did he have anything to do Eugene getting injured? Our innocent Duggee? Really?!
EP 44 THE BE CAREFUL BADGE
Oooh, that naughty monkey!! Everyone is just chilling when Monkey just throws his banana skins everywhere, causing everyone to slip over. He gets his comeuppance when he slips and falls into a big hole. Serves him right. By rights they should just leave him there, but the Squirrels are far more forgiving than I. They avoid all the risks on their way to rescue Monkey (including Diesel the irrationally angry bull), and get him out with the help of Ethel. I hope he's learnt his lesson...
EP 45 THE FIRST AID BADGE
Poor Tag! He trips (again) and skins his knee, so Duggee patches him up. The rest of the Squirrels join in, and end up turning Tag into a massive bandage. Enid sees him as a massive ball to play with and ends up pushing him down a big. Cue a bit of Benny Hill antics in chasing Tag about... I would have thrown up - Zorbing is not for me...
EP 46 THE BUBBLE BADGE
Just like blowing your nose, blowing bubbles isn't something that comes naturally to kids... you have to practice it. As we're finding out with the youngest, there's alot of spit involved. Happy is struggling too, until he hits upon the genius idea of using a hula hoop. He blows a massive bubble and the Squirrels try to keep it intact for as long as possible, avoiding all the hazards in the garden. Eventually they manage to send it into the stratosphere, accompanied by a beautiful speech from Hedgley.
EP 47 THE SUBMARINE BADGE
There are Wes Anderson influences throughout the animation and stories, but this affectionate pastiche to The Life Aquatic (which incidentally is a nod to Jacques Cousteau) made me smile. The Squirrels are off to see Betty's dad in his Submarine. The sea life is as surreal as you would expect, and as you would expect, their visit takes its toll on Betty's dad. A beautiful episode!
EP 48 THE DETECTIVE BADGE
And this is another reason why Hey Duggee is wasted on children. Duggee bakes a pie and it goes missing... The Squirrels go on a mission to find the missing pie, and we get an awesome cop montage, with some classic '80s theme music. Betty pulls off a great Columbo impression ("Just one more thing...") that had me laughing out loud, and my youngest staring at me with bemusement. Anyway, turns out that it was the ants who took the Unidentified Fruity Object, not aliens. Check out Ant HQ - there is an image of a Game Boy on their pie scanning machine...
EP 49 THE SEWING BADGE
The Squirrels are all doing a tasty bit of needlepoint, all making ponchos (how verrry middle class - out of style unless you're either at a festival or halfway up Machu Picchu). They hear a horrific noise and go to investigate. Across hills and mountains they travel, turns out to be a polar bear with a terrible cold. Duggee lends him his poncho to use as a hanky. Rookie mistake - comes back dripping. Moral of the story - always have a pack of Handy Andies with you...
EP 50 THE SURPRISE BADGE
It's Hennie's birthday, but her tennis racket has seen better days. Fortunately Duggee is on the case and has got her a new one (it's huge!). The Squirrels wrap it for her, but because the racket is so big, it needs ALL the paper to cover it. The last piece of wrapping paper seems to travel across the whole of Duggeeland, like a Mexican wave, before coming back to the Squirrels. Hennie is suitably pleased ("Thank you soooo much") with her new toy, she'd better batter her chums now!
EP 51 THE TEDDY BEAR BADGE
This is sweet - the Squirrels have a teddy bear's picnic. All their teddy's match their personalities. They then find a real life bear called Beryl, who is really shy and nervous. They invite her to the teddy bear's picnic but she doesn't have a teddy!! everyone needs a teddy, so the Squirrels kindly make her one. It is love at first sight... There's a few cherished cuddly toys like that in our house that get taken everywhere, so we've had to get spares in case they get lost. Bet your bottom dollar as soon as we do get a spare they lose interest...
EP 52 THE STORY BADGE
The Squirrels are on a mission to do everything - it's a recap over the previous 51 episodes, and understandably, they're tired... Duggee reads them a story about Cookie the dog, but... it's a bit boring. The Squirrels make up their own story containing giant strawberries, robot cars and popcorn, which is far more interesting. The illustrations in this episode are a neat counterpoint to the usual graphics - but looks totally in place. I love how we finish on the last page of the book saying "The End", a perfect place to leave the last episode of the season, just in case there were no more made - but how could that possibly be?!