It just gets crazier and crazier - are you sure this is just for kids?
EP27 THE SPOOKY BADGE
Oh, the audacity!! The sheer... brilliance!! This is an affectionate homage to Scooby Doo, with the gang dressed up as members of Mystery Inc. There is a scary ghost who floats on water and through fences - the gang have to solve the mystery! Turns out to be a sheep in a sheet. This is my favourite episode, needs to be seen to be believed - Zoinks!!
EP28 THE SPACE BADGE
Now this is special... Basically the Solar System for kids. Accompanied by a banging soundtrack, Duggee plots out the planets and takes the Squirrels on a journey through space. The kids learn but it's still a far out episode for adults. Recreationally fun. 'Nuff said.
EP29 THE HARVEST BADGE
The Squirrels help Duggee harvest the crops with a tractor, which breaks. While Duggee is fixing it, the other animals help out with the harvesting, and do it all for him. After the insanity of The Space Badge episode, this is a nice come down...
EP30 THE COLOUR BADGE
Time for painting! The Squirrels only have primary colours, so Duggee shows them how to mix colours, to get orange, purple and a whole smorgasbord of others. They realise all colours have names, and so start to come up with random names for them (fizzysip, bazowie, rubylicious). But to be fair they're no more random than the names they get from Dulux. Sunset blush, anyone?
EP31 THE STICK BADGE
I'm not even going to bother describing this one. If the sight of a raving dog covered in day glow body paint with white gloves doesn't do it for you, I don't know what will.
EP32 THE VOICE BADGE
Duggee finds a wizards costume, complete with magic wand. He's faffing about with it, and unbeknownst to him, he's swapped everyone's voices over. Fortunately he has a magic xylophone (shrug) to help everyone's voices to swap back again. Nice little touch at the end when even the Narrator's voice changes. Hello Dorian!
EP33 THE ISLAND BADGE
The Squirrels go sailing but get stranded on a desert island, thanks to Tag who gets seasick. Nice one Tag. They build a life on the island. Betty writes a diary, and we realise they've only been there for a hour. Turns out they're sitting on the shell of a giant turtle who rescues them. Thanks Captain Frank! Nice touch with the stripes on the clothing - if you look closely the stripes don't move.
EP34 THE SLEEPING BADGE
The Squirrels have a full on day, so they all take a nap. Tag struggles to drift off. Duggee tries to help, discussing the ways other animals sleep. They discuss more unusual creatures like the Senegalese slumber monkey and the ice mole. I Googled these animals as I hadn't heard of them. For good reason, as they don't exist! Gullible me...
EP35 THE BRAVE BANANA BADGE
Duggee is making muffins when a thunderstorm arrives. The lights go out and the poor Squirrels are terrified! Duggee teaches them to be brave - explains he used to find a happy place in his mind. The Squirrels try to find their happy place and ignore the storm - Tag's happy place is with his caterpillar, Enid's is being waited on hand and foot... 3 guesses where Happy's happy place is?!
EP36 THE WATER BADGE
This is one our eldest's favourite episodes, and I've got to say it's incredibly informative. The Squirrels learn all about water, and where it comes from - starting in the sea, evaporating and moving into the clouds to come back as rain to make rivers and reservoirs. Like the Space Badge episode, this is great to look at too.
EP37 THE TRAFFIC BADGE
The Squirrels are off to the tropical lake - but they encounter a traffic jam. Instead of sitting there and complaining, those plucky Squirrels bypass it. They find the cause of the problem - poor GoGo the gecko has spilled her pineapples all over the road! Problem sorted, pineapples picked up, they make it to the lake and have a great time! How rude of all the other animals to sit there and not help?!
EP38 THE DRESSING UP BADGE
It's Enid's birthday, she doesn't like surprises, balloons, or cake. But, she loves dressing up! So the Squirrels have a dressing up party for her. They have a great imaginary quest to rescue Enid from a tall tower. This is another load of references that are way over the kids heads... so far we have Betty dressed as Super Mario, the chickens dressed as The Village People and spider as the Count from Sesame Street. Genius.
EP39 THE GETTING ON BADGE
The Squirrels get involved in a bit of a neighbourly dispute. Mole, Vole, Fox, Worm & Badger all live near each other and wind each other up. Duggee mediates and shows everyone how they can get on. There's alot of sage advice here. On a side note, check out Worm's record collection - he's got King Tiger doing MJ's Off the Wall, a copy of Screamadelica, and Hyena & Tino doing Simon & Garfunkel. Brilliant.
EP40 THE WEDDING BADGE
Now who doesn't love a good wedding! King Tiger is getting married to the enchanting Chew Chew. The only requirement is that the guests must wear a hat and bring fruit. But there's a problem with the bride's dress! The Squirrels save the day again! They use the tablecloth and some fruit to fix her dress and stun King Tiger. Duggee officiates the wedding for them. We end with jelly dancing. What a beautiful day!
EP41 THE GRANDPARENTS BADGE
The Squirrels are doing a bit of show and tell with their grandparents. True to form, Roly's grandad starts a reaction which breaks Norrie's ship in a bottle. The grandparents put their heads together and manage to fix it. Well done everyone! Hello to Colin McFarlane voicing both Betty and Roly's granddad, and the inimitable Lucy Montgomery doubling up too on Tag and Norrie's grandma.
EP42 THE ORGANISING BADGE
Some people are able to keep their inbox organised, work spaces tidy and clothes squared away. I am not one of these people... The Squirrels have to tidy up and it gives an excuse to organise everything. This episode is quite funny as we see what pushes Betty's buttons - she gets a real kick out of sorting everything out into order. It does not go well. I can imagine after a while she may start to do my head in...
EP43 THE LOOKING AFTER BADGE
Phileas Frog is off on a journey around the world. The Squirrels volunteer to look after his potted plant, Pippin for him. The annoying chipmunk postie delivers postcards to the Squirrel telling from Phileas and Flea telling them where they are, and how to look after Pippin throughout the different seasons. Once Pippin does bloom, they realise her scent is actually a stench. Not cool. This episode is an excuse to provide a link to one of the greatest theme tunes of my childhood
EP44 THE COMEDY BADGE
Tag falls over and the Squirrels try to cheer him up. Duggee explains the science of comedy to the Squirrels, but explaining why something is funny doesn't work. The Squirrels discuss what makes them laugh before Duggee trips by accident and falls into a whole load of slapstick pratfalls that causes the Squirrels to crease up. He trips into a black suit reminiscent of Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, where the falls were real and the stunts dangerous, but also very funny.
EP45 THE SINGING BADGE
The Squirrels are on a country stroll, and a getting a bit jaded. Duggee suggests singing to help motivate them along. The problem is, they can't sing! They meet Mrs Weaver the Beaver who shows them how to really sing! She blasts them into next week with a top song. This is a fantastic turn from Anelisa Lamola. I hope Mrs Weaver comes back...
EP46 THE PLAYING BADGE
Naughty Monkey is a bit of a maniac who causes chaos. But when he gets home, he likes to listen to jazz, take a nice bath and chill. However, his cousins turn up at his place and cause carnage. The Squirrels teach them to play calmly indoors against all their urges. His monkey cousins are a tribute to The Monkees, woolly hat and all. I love these niche references - why is this quality TV being wasted on our children?!
EP47 THE PARTY BADGE
Duggee gets a package and the Squirrels think that it's his birthday They throw him a surprise party. Because they can't ask Duggee to help, they have to do it themselves!! Roly is on balloon duty, Norrie and Happy make paper chains, Betty and Tag hand out the invitations. They decorate the cake with things he likes (sprinkles, custard, spaghetti...). Clearly it's not his birthday. These surprises never go wrong, do they...
EP48 THE TOUR GUIDE BADGE
Whilst watering the garden, the Squirrels meet Gerbie the Snake, who wants to see the sights. Conveniently, Duggee has his Tour Guide Badge! Duggee shows Gerbie the sights like the Carrot Museum and Big Fruit Tree, but he's not interested in that - he wants to see how the Squirrels live, and the daily grind. But he's so excited by it all. His enthusiasm makes him a funny but adorable character. Fashinating, Ja!
EP49 THE SAILING BADGE
A ship runs aground while the Squirrels are at the beach. They find a group of penguins aboard, too poorly to sail. The Squirrels volunteer (obvs) and take on the 'mission' for the penguins. They encounter lots of animals but they all run away in panic. The Squirrels realise that the penguins are pirates! They've pillaged everything and the Squirrels make them take it all back as that's what Squirrels do! Well done team!
EP50 THE KEY BADGE
The graphics! I just love the way this show throws curveballs. In today's episode, the bored Squirrels find a key and start a quest. Lo and behold each unlock provides another key. The 3D graphics here are amazing and give everything a video game sheen. And what's at the end of the quest? A load of old toys to keep boredom at bay - a hi-fi way for lo-fi entertainment.
EP51 THE FASHION BADGE
Duggee's clothes are looking a bit threadbare, so The Squirrels look to tidy him up a bit... They each design a different look for him based on what they love. He takes to the catwalk and parades each look. But as ever, once he's amused us all, he goes back to the outfit he knows - solid and dependable, just like a dad.
The Squirrels are based on: Roly - Tom Ford, Norrie - Vivienne Westwood, Betty - Anna Wintour, Tag - Henry Holland, Happy- Jean-Paul Gaultier (I thought Roly was Harry Hill - hence the picture!)
EP52 THE GLASSES BADGE
Like Mole, I wanted to be a stuntman. But like Mole, I wear glasses. I blame the stuntman desire on Colt Seavers, and the glasses on my genes. Mole luckily has Duggee who can help with his glasses. So much so, that Duggee now looks like a real dog!! He can now be a confident stuntmole! Me however, I never got to fulfill my stuntman dream - Mind you, I am scared of heights so not too disappointed...