Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Have Broom Will Travel - Remembering Winsome Witch!

Winnie was as ugly an old hag as a cartoon witch ought to be, but personality-wise, she was a lot more like a grown-up version of Wendy the Good Little Witch than, say The Old Witch in EC Comics or the one with the Cauldron that Archie Comics had done. She'd putter around her primitive little cottage deep in the woods, using witchly powers to do the household chores, with the magic words "Ippity Pippity — Pow!" (no doubt completely uninfluenced by those of the good fairies in Disney's Cinderella "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo"). Not once did she poison an apple or shove a succulent child into her oven. In fact, such children as she encountered (there was apparently a modern suburb within walking distance) generally called her "Aunt Winnie".

Winnie's voice was done by Jean Vander Pyl, who is best known for Wilma Flintstone Her other roles include Rosie the Robot in The Jetsons, Marje Huddles and Mrs.Finkerton in Inch Eye, Private Eye. There were no other regular characters in Winnie's segment.

Operation Broom Switch Cartoon Picture Prince Of A Pup Cartoon Picture

In its second season, the hour-long, two-star show briefly split into two half-hours. Winnie went with Secret Squirrel. Later that same season, the two merged back together. There were 26 episodes altogether. Like a lot of Hanna-Barbera characters, Winnie got a new lease on life as part of an ensemble show, but it took her until 1990. On September 17 of that year, Wake, Rattle & Roll debuted with two cartoon segments — Monster Tails featured all-new characters (pets of classic movie monsters), but Fender Bender 500 featured Winnie, along with Snagglepuss Peter Pottomus, Ricochet Rabbit and several other '60s relics, in a remake of Wacky Races, Vander Pyl reprised her role as Winnie's voice.

Wake, Rattle & Roll didn't last long, and after it folded, Winsome Witch was gone for good.

The Second Doctor Who - Patrick Troughton

Ben and Poly with The Second Doctor inside the TARDIS.
Ben (Michael Craze) and Polly (Anneke Wills) try to cope with a newly-rejuvenated Doctor (Patrick Troughton), in this rehearsal shot from 'The Power of the Daleks'.
Front cover of the Radio Times for 5-11 November 1966, depicting daleks outside of a space rocket.
Patrick Troughton's debut appearance as the new Doctor Who goes almost unnoticed as the Daleks are the focus for 'Radio Times'. As this was the first time 'Doctor Who' had changed its lead actor, the emphasis for this edition of the magazine is very much business as usual. The half-page feature on page 3 reassures viewers that the serial is directed by the same man who brought the Daleks to the screen in their first adventure and that the metal monsters are, once again, voiced by Peter Hawkins. Patrick Troughton's debut is almost an aside.
Article about the Doctor Who adventure Power of the Daleks.

Radio Times listing for Power of the Daleks.

'Radio Times' Letters Page, 24 November 1966

The 'Radio Times' letters page receives a mixed reception to the new Doctor Who.

'Radio Times' letters page, 24 November, 1966