EP 1 THE BEING QUIET BADGE
Duggee tries to clean out the barn, but finds his Great grandmothers journal. She was a famous explorer, searching for the elusive Snard (how come she talks but Duggee woofs?!). Apparently the Snard does not like noise, you have to be quiet. I have already decided that I am going to try this with the kids. I might send them on a Snard hunt first thing in the morning, when it's too early to get up. Apparently Pineapple bread is the key lure and the Snard goes crazy for it. This animal is insane, and the noise it makes is pretty incredible. I can only imagine the fun that's gone into the editing suite to make this beast.
At the beginning of the episode, the Squirrels were dressed in blue and orange jumpsuits. I haven't yet picked out the relevance of this, but I'm sure this is another reference to the show.
Or maybe I'm just thinking about this too much...
EP 2 THE DUCK BADGE
The youngest nearly lost her marbles at the start of this episode - she loves Duggee, ducks and jumping in muddy puddles (courtesy of the pig on Channel 5). Norrie is dressed in a yellow mac and gets mistaken for a mummy duck… It’s a classic mistaken identity mishap - used to happen all the time with Pepe Le Pew.
Then it flips into a missing person police procedural drama, complete with donuts, coffee and police profiling. The mug shot they build is something slightly sinister that resembles a duck. The mugshot reminds me of the Police 5 with Shaw Taylor. resembles something nothing like the perp (as they say on TV).
Norrie leads the ducklings back to the lake to find their real mum, accompanied by their 80s cop show theme music.
EP 3 THE TOOTH BRUSHING BADGE
It's been less than a week and this is already a classic episode. And again, such a damn good idea...
The Squirrels encounter Alain L'Odeur, a lion with an erudite manner, but horrific breath. The Squirrels manage to encourage Alain to brush his teeth, with the aid of a catchy tune. And guess what - it takes too minutes! You can get the song on Youtube to play whilst getting your kids to brush their teeth. Tried this on our youngest to see if it works, it does but she still insists on doing it herself. Thank god it's just her milk teeth.
EP 4 THE CAMOUFLAGE BADGE
Meet Cosey, the Chameleon. He tries to blend into everything, going from one colour to 10. This puts him on the fritz, and he bottles it (In sporting terms, they call it the yips). Anyway, The Squirrels and Duggee help Cosey regain his confidence and retrain himself in the art of camouflage. The Squirrels get pretty good at it too by the end of the episode. I tried for many years to camouflage myself as someone cool - never worked.
EP 5 THE GET INDOORS BADGE
Love it - Duggee ends up having a house party because the barometer tells him they're going to have all the weather. ALL of it. The Squirrels round everyone up to get into the club house, in a Noah's ark style. Then they party hard. It's like an 80's house frat house party. Then, true enough, ALL the weather turns up. Sun, rain, snow, wind, thunder. ALL of it.
Turns out it was just Henny doing her washing. SMDH.
EP 6 THE DAY OFF BADGE
What If... We saw what Duggee did on his day off without the Squirrels? Well, wonder no more - now we find out!
It's very much the life of a parent when their kids aren't around, which generally consists of life admin - cleaning, washing, snoozing (HA! if only) and being a bit bored without your little bundles of joy around. Gone are the days of daytime drinking or watching whatever films you want. Just continuous tidying...
Then one by one, all the Squirrels turn up for various reasons (forgotten jumpers, toilet stop, knackered parents - Bless Norrie, again shows she's mini Duggee). But like real parents (sometimes), Duggee is please to see his offspring again. BTW loving Duggee's leisurewear - someone please make a sweatshirt like this
This episode makes me ask more questions, like - Is this a weekend? do they go to school? Are they all in the same class? We've met a parent for everyone except Roly - why? Or am I thinking about it too much?
EP 7 THE PEN PAL BADGE
Ah, remember the good old days of pen pals?
Being put in touch with someone in another country who you have nothing in common with except you have to write a letter? I imagine some people may have made lifelong friends from it, but these were the exceptions rather than the rule.
Anyway, this is what happens to the Squirrels in this episode - they all get a pen pal and struggle for common ground. Maybe they appear in later episodes - who knows?
Are pen pals a thing any more? Is this something my kids are expected to do? Even as a kid it felt like a really random practice, that has most likely been superseded by the world wide web, chat rooms, and plenty of other things I worry about my kids being exposed to when they're older.
EP 8 THE BIG DAY OUT BADGE
...Or as I call it "Carry On Up The Buses". Duggee, channeling his best Reg Varney, is taking the Squirrels and their guardians on a day out in Duggeeland. After a number of random and surreal sites (including bagpipe bridge with a Shean Connery impresshion), they end up on a picnic. The Squirrels get their parents and grandparents to relax, and Tag's mum starts flirting with Duggee... I don't know who feels more uncomfortable - me or Duggee.
EP 9 THE TREE BADGE
An important lesson! This is another episode where the eldest learnt something. The Squirrels find out about the life of a tree, from the bottom of the roots all the way up to the tips of the leaves. It shows the benefits for both us and the animals who live in it.
Like the Space and the Water badge, this is a soothing informative episode. Nice.
EP 10 THE CHEESE BADGE
...Or Stranger Things meets Outbreak meets Predator. Everyone starts out just liking yellow cheese. The youngest can't get enough of the stuff. I was the same, and although I can't do soft cheese, I love the strong stuff, especially the blue. It does not last long round here.
We get to see into Duggee's cultured side and visit his cheese collection. Roly plays with The Barkminster Blue (strongest cheese in the world), and triggers a Code Blue outbreak (snigger). As the Squirrels try to find Roly, they are dressed in hazmat suits, with bits of blue floating in the air, reminiscent of the spores from the Upside Down in Stranger Things, complete with dodgy 80's synth. They manage to capture Roly and decontaminate him by playing on his bird obsession. A weird but brilliant episode, again straight over the kids heads.
EP 11 THE RADIO BADGE
The Squirrels are playing inthe treehouse when they stumble across some dusty old broadcasting equipment - turns out Duggee used to be a DJ! We get a flashback to Duggee as a wacky Radio DJ, firmly in the Radio 1 Chris Evans style (I'm loving his take on the AC/DC t shirt). Like all good presenters, they need to take a break, but when Duggee comes back from holiday, he realises his listeners have been hijacked by a pirate station, Cheese Radio (Those pesky mice literally rock up in a pirate ship). As you would expect, their show is full of pranks and bants, and is being lapped up! The Squirrels give broadcasting a go, and before you know it, they're number one in the RAJAR figures. If it were that easy, anyone would be a DJ... altogether now- "Cheesey cheesey cheese cheese!"
EP 12 THE OPPOSITES BADGE
I LOVE this episode. It takes a simple premise and spins it out for 7 minutes - It feels as if the scriptwriters wrote down any possible example of opposites, and then challenged the animators to visualise it (I'm sure alot more storyboarding goes into it than that!!). Everything is reversed which leads to great scenarios. My favourite is the Old Squirrels - Roly looks like his Grandad and Happy looks like a jazz Hepcat with trousers pulled up to his chin. This is a chance to show that anything is possible in Hey Duggee - the only barrier is the imagination.
EP 13 THE BREAKFAST BADGE
Poor Tag - he's hangry! He was so distracted playing with his toys he forgets to eat his breakfast. Duggee offers to make him breakfast and we find out what all the animals in the woodland like to eat. Goes from the simple (pancakes for Happy) to the full international meal for Hatsu the Pottery Poodle. Some old cast favourites pop up to give us their favourite breakfasts (Hello Katarina and Hedgely), but a special shout to John Crab for "Arepas, Nigel, AREPAS!" As an aside, Shakshuka is an oddly satisfying word to say - not used enough as a far as I'm concerned. Just like Bimbimbap. And my own personal favourite breakfast? Almond Croissant... when else can you have marzipan first thing in the morning?!
EP 14 THE FAMILY PHOTO BADGE
As is quite rightly said, your friends can also be your family too - you often spend more time with them than with your actual family, so The Squirrels decide to take a photo together. They all get nicely dressed up for it (spot Duggee's literal kipper tie), but realise that the other animals in the woodland should be in it. So the family grows, and grows, until everyone you can think of from the woodland is in the photo (believe me, I've freeze framed this and can't see anyone missing). Duggee sets the timer and has to make a mad dash through an obstacle course to get into the picture himself. And don't forget Mole! Cracking snap Duggee!
EP 15 THE FUTURE BADGE
Let's go back to the Future!! Duggee tries to explain to the Squirrels what the future is, so by way of easy explanation, takes them there. Check out the future introduction, sounding all 8-bit, and look out for the Star Trek Chicken, and the Frog looking a bit Geordi La Forge. Roly is on Akira's bike (turned into a tandem). Tag's outfit? Marty McFly from Back To The Future 2. In the future, Duggee is a robot, a cross between EVE from WALL-E with the voice from Metal Mickey . It's all a bit intense, with future ball, future gardening and future naps taking it out of the Squirrels. They realise they prefer the here and now and are quite keen to get back for a nice soft cuddly Duggee Hug.
EP 16 THE PHILOSOPHY BADGE
What a high concept for your kids to get their heads around first thing in the morning! To be honest, adults too... Tino is struggling to paint a picture of Duggee - he just can't get it right, and it needs to be, because his philosophy is perfection. Duggee tries to explain what philosophy is - a set of rules we live by, but the rules are in our heads. Big questions are asked! We then run through some of the other folk around the woodland, as to what their philosophies are; The Rabbits are as hippy as you would expect, John Crab's is very ironic, and Naughty Monkey wants to have a good time all the time (the little hedonist). The Squirrel's run through their philosophies, and Roly's is as abstract as you would expect ("Sweet Potato!"). Intelligent TV makes for interesting conversations on the school run!
EP 17 THE SHARING BADGE
Sharing is a hard concept to try and process - especially for a toddler. This is their first lesson that life isn't fair and you can't always get your way. Even adults can have a hissy fit about it!!
Duggee is baking an apple pie, which the Squirrels help with. It looks pretty tasty when it goes into the oven, so naturally they all want to eat it up. Duggee however, has to teach them how to share it equally. It's also a good bit of a maths lesson, showing how to divide and share. So by the time the pie is ready, they know they need to divide it into 6 pieces.
Ironically, whilst I was trying to take a picture of The Sharing Badge for my Instagram page, I was using the youngest's toys - who wouldn't share them with me! Oddly enough, it was only when I brought out the blueberries did she want to share with me...
EP 18 THE HISTORY BADGE
In trying to explain history to the squirrels, Duggee builds a time machine! (Because of course this is the easiest option...)
They take a trip through time, with the express rule of DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING.
They start off as the first creature crawls out of the primordial swamp, and as they make their way through time, they just can't help themselves but interfere... Ancient China, Renaisannce Italy - their fingerprints are all over it. At this point, they start hopping about all over the place... Nice 2001: A Space Odyssey reference with the Monkeys, The Eagle landing on the moon, inventing fire, bringing down the Berlin Wall - this episode rewards on multiple watches. Lovely quick shot where Duggee visits himself and the Squirrels when they were all babies, but the best is where they arrive home and the present is completely messed up - Happy's mum is a tattooed gangster whilst Betty's dad is a loaded Trumpesque yuppie, and they're all completely oblivious to it!!
EP 19 THE ART BADGE
Like the History Badge, this is another episode that rewards multiple viewing - which is handy, because your kids will want to watch this again, and again, and again...
Tino the artistic Mouse and his chums put on an art show. Anyone can enter, but the Squirrels are not sure what type of art they want to create. Duggee helpfully explains the different mediums their art could take, and the various sources of inspiration.
This takes a typical Duggee slant at art across the centuries - Frida Kahlo Chickens, Edvard Much Screaming squirrel, Monkey Warhol, Banksy the Elephant, Damien Hurst Rabbits, Mona Chew Chew... There are just so many to go through I suggest you watch it multiple times. Every time I spot something new. And the winner? Duggee of course - not due to his art, but to the fact that thanks to the messy Squirrels, he IS art. This is like being with my kids when paint, play dough, or cooking is involved - you somehow end up more covered in it than them!
EP 20 THE CRAZY GOLF BADGE
Another episode, another sport!
This time, it's the turn of golf, where the Squirrels take up the game when they learn that if they get a hole in one, they get milkshake!
Each Squirrel designs a course, and they all take turns to get through. I love Tag's course - Mega Unfair. To be honest this is like me playing golf - I can't do it and the whole game is unfair. I need a bigger ball and a bigger club. And a bigger hole too.
There are some beautiful rolling graphics in this episode, especially showing the path to the final hole.
Great vocals by Alexander Armstrong on this, where he does a fantastic softly spoken commentator, not wishing to disturb the golfer as he takes his final putt. Also, special mention to Duggee's masters green jacket. By the looks of it, he's won a few times before!
EP 21 THE MYSTERY BADGE
I think this has very quickly become my favourite episode - Hey Duggee takes on Agatha Christie... The Squirrels are invited to a black and white gala at King Tiger's palace, where the only rule is that you have to dress in monochrome. This is not the type of party that they're used to (where's the bouncy castle? The endless loop of Baby Shark? The Jammy Dodgers?). This is more of a grown up shindig. But wait! King Tiger's ruby goes missing! The Squirrels investigate, whilst some of our favourite characters start acting rather suspiciously (Nigel trying to hide from John Crab - trouble in paradise?). Turns out the ruby was in the trifle, and everyone had alibis. The best bit? King Tiger's saucy eyebrow wiggle when he sees what Chew Chew is wearing ("How naughty!!") Me and the youngest crack up over this bit - both for different reasons...