The Red Hand Gang consists of 5 children and are like a modern Famous 5. The gang is named after the red hand that they leave on walls to mark their territory and show that they have been there. The gang consists of Frankie, JR, Doc, Joanne, Lil Bill and not forgetting Boomer the dog. They have even built their own club house, on some waste land, where they all hang out. Now the Red Hand Gang have an uncanny knack of solving mysteries and battling criminals. I'm surprised that the Police haven't signed them up to help them. Whenever they get to a dead end in one of their investigations, they all regroup and discuss their next plan of action. This usually results in one of them coming up with a bright idea to help with their investigations.
As this is the time before mobile phones, the gang need a way to communicate with each other if separated. So they come up with the ingenious idea of calling the phone booth near their club house. This means one of the gang had to stay behind to co-ordinate their activities. Still money doesn't grow on trees and they need money for the phone. So they came up with the idea of finding glass bottles and exchange them for money, which is divided between the gang.
But they don't always use the money for phone calls, Frankie and Lil Bill bought a toy glider with some of the money. But when Lil Bill was retrieving the glider from a tree, he saw a boy looking out of window with his mouth taped up. He told his brother Frankie, who called told the Police, as this could be the kidnapped boy, called Johnny, that they had heard about.But the kidnappers were one step ahead of them (Marko and Coscar), as they had decided to move to a more secure hideout, an old disused house. The gang followed the kidnappers (Marko & Coscar) to the house and broke into its cellar.
Here they planned to spy on them. But Frankie and JR became curious and snook around the house. They were nearly discovered, so the gang decided it was easier to scare them out of the house. This plan backfired, as they blamed each other for the practical jokes and started arguing. Eventually the kidnappers worked out that it is a gang of kids that had been playing tricks on them, so they followed them back to their club house and locked then inside. Luckily JR had an idea and removed the door hinges to escape
But after their escape, they found that the kidnappers had moved their hideout again. The gang split up trying to find where they had gone to and eventually Frankie spotted Lola (Marko's girlfriend) and followed her back to a disused boat. While Frankie tries to free the kidnapped boy, the others paint a sign on the side of the boat to tell everyone where the kidnappers are.In the meantime, Lola tries to pickup the ransom, but Joanne snatches the money and the police take up the chase. Which is when she leads them straight to the boat and they arrest the criminals.
Frankie (played by Matthew Laborteaux)
He is the leader of the Red Hand Gang and the oldest. He likes to play his 'Sweet Potato' which is a hand held musical instrument that you blow into. He is the older brother of Lil Bill and the first person to believe him when he said that he had seen the kidnapped boy. He tried to do the right thing and tell a police officer, but the kidnappers had already moved on. Frankie followed Marko's girlfriend to the their new hideout (an old house). Here he bumped into a homeless man, whom he asked to borrow some quarters from, so he could phone the gang and tell them the address of the house. As a result of lending him the quarters, Frankie made him an honorary member of the Red Hand Gang (he put a red 'r' on his hand). He had the idea to spook the kidnappers out of the house, but in doing so nearly go caught when using the dump waiter. Luckily he got away by spraying them with shaving soap. This is when the kidnappers decided to move again. Luckily Frankie tracked them down to an old boat, were he climbs aboard to free the kidnapped boy. He cuts Johnny's ropes with his pocket knife and has to swim to shore to safety.
JR (played by J.R. Miller)
He's the tough guy of the gang. He normally puts himself forward for dangerous missions, such as searching the kidnappers house (with Frankie) for the kidnapped boy. They were nearly discovered a few times, especially when they were hiding under the dining table. One of the kidnappers kept standing on his hand trying to press the button situated under the table which called the servants for service. Eventually Frankie pushed the button to stop them being discovered and JR was relieved when he got his hand back. When they were trying to scare the kidnappers, he put pencil shavings in the coffee, swapped the hot and cold taps and swapped the normal room bulb for a heat bulb and put popcorn in the lighting fixture. It went everywhere.
Joanne (played by Jolie Newman)
She is a tomboy who like to wear dungarees. Some of the other gang members don't appreciate her, but she shuts them up when she comes up with the idea of following the girlfriend of one of the kidnappers (Lola) to find their new hideout. She went up a ladder to see if the girlfriend was still in her apartment, but was nearly discovered. But she worked out that she was about to leave, as she putting on her lipstick (very clever thinking).When they were trying to scare the kidnappers, she put a piece of cord across the stairs, put in replacement fuses in the fuse box to turn the power to the TV on and she talked in the furnace with a scary voice. When Lola was waiting to pickup the ransom money, Joanne cycled by and snatched it. But the police didn't expect this to happen so swarmed all over the scene. Eventually, she leads them to the boat where the kidnappers were holed up.
Doc (played by James Bond III)
He is the Brainy one of the gang, who the others come to see if they need advice. He is also the one trusted with the expense account of the gang, which is a bag of quarters that they use to call to the phone box near their club house. Doc also scares very easily, especially when he's told the second kidnappers hideout is haunted by ghosts. He tries to make a run for it, especially when a clothes dummy comes towards them in the basement of the house. JR has to step in and take his place. He says that he gets hives when he gets nervous. He seems to be all doom and gloom and keeps say that 'Frankie is in big trouble', when he's in the kidnappers hideout. But he needs to worry about himself, especially when the kidnappers come into the basement to find them. Doc tries to makes a run for it again and is cornered but he puts a coat over himself and pretends to be another clothes dummy (which amazingly works).Poor doc needs to chill out. I'm surprised he's lasted so long. He went to pieces when the kidnappers trapped the gang in their clubhouse and imagines that they will all turn into cannibals before they can get out and he will miss his music lesson.
Lil Bill (played by Johhny Brogna)
Lil Bill is the younger brother of Frankie and has a nasty habit of not listening to his older brother. It was Lil Bill that spotted the kidnappers and Johnny when he climbed into a tree to get his glider back. Don't give him any spare quarters, as he'll spend it straight away. He has an ice cream habit. When they were trying to scare the kidnappers, he put ginger ale in the shoes of one of the kidnappers.
He's Frankie's dog, who they call a big fur ball. He gets upset when Frankie doesn't come back to the club house to see him. He scared the life out of Frankie and Doc then he pushed a clothing dummy along in the cellar of the kidnappers hideout. He was told to wait outside after that, but Boomer was curious and went back into the house. The trouble is that he made a noise in the cellar, that alerted the kidnappers, but the kidnapped boy (Johnny) made out that he'd made the noise. After that Boomer went further into the house to find Frankie and JR, but then decided that he wanted to spend some time in the room that the kidnappers were in. Luckily they were asleep, but Boomer wouldn't come out. So Frankie and JR had to gradually roll the mat that Boomer was on, so pulling him towards them. They weren't happy with Boomer and they took him back to the other members of the gang, in the cellar.
Marko (played by Anthony Zerbe)
Marko is the brains behind the kidnapping of Johnny. Once he kidnapped Johnny he got his girlfriend, Lola, to ask for the ransom ($200,000). But his didn't bank on the Red Hand Gang getting involved. He started to get suspicious when he heard a noise outside their first hideout (Lola's apartment). When he looked out he spotted a new toy glider in the tree and couldn't understand why the owner hadn't climbed the tree to get it. He then heard Frankie playing outside on his Sweet Potato and decided that it was time to move to a more secure hideout. They moved just in time, as the police had been alerted to the apartment by the gang. Once at the new hideout, he planned their next move, to inform Johnny's parents where to drop the ransom money. But before he could do this, he heard the same tune being played outside as before, and sees a Frankie watching the house. He sends Coscar after him. During the night strange things start happening in the house and he realises that it isn't a ghost making them happen. So tries to catch the gang, but they escape in time. Marko decides that they need to move hideout again, to shake off the kids and get Lola to pickup the money. He starts to get excited thinking about the ransom money. But that doesn't last long when the Red Hand Gang lead the Police to the boat.
Lola (played by Maureen Arthur)
She is the girlfriend of Marko. She doesn't like how Marko treats the kidnapped boy, who she is always kind to. Considering she is trying to keep a low profile, she doesn't succeed very well, as the Red Hand Gang always seem to find her and follow her back to each hideout! Marko not only gets her to phone Johnny's parents to demand the ransom money, but also he gets her to pick it up. Unluckily for her the Police were waiting for her at the pickup point and arrest her.
Johnny (played by Robert Ahlers)
He is a quiet boy, but very intelligent. His parents are very rich, which is why he was kidnapped. Most of the time his hands are tied together with rope, and sometimes his mouth taped up too. He doesn't panic, but instead keeps trying to leave clues, hoping someone might find him. Luckily for him Lil Bill spotted him and alerted the Red Hand Gang. Just when they were going to escape (from the last hideout on the boat), he told Frankie he couldn't swim. Luckily Frankie calmed him down and helped him get to dry land, just before the police swooped on the kidnappers.