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This is one of those children's programmes which involved very few people. Created by Woodland Animations (Ivor Wood), the company responsible for Postman Pat, Charlie Chalk and Gran.
Voices ROY KINNEAR AND SHEILA WALKER
Narration ROY KINNEAR
Title song vocals GUY FLETCHER
Sound CLIVE PENDRY
Film Editor MARTIN BOHAN
Writer ERIC CHARLES
Director of Animation DEREK MOGFORD
Series Designer and Director IVOR WOOD
WOODLAND ANIMATIONS LIMITED
Bertha was first shown on BBC1 on 1st April 1985 at 3:55pm (to be specific - got this from Wikipedia!) There were 13 episodes in total each lasting just under 15 minutes - The Great Painting Job, More Speed, Less Work, The Windmills, The Big Order, A Mouse in the Works, The Burglars, The Best Machine Competition, Bertha's Birthday Party, TOM Gets Lost, The Big Sneeze, The Flying Bear, TOM's New Friend, The Tea Nurse
Bertha is a machine which produces anything and everything, so it is set in a factory.
Unfortunately there are only 4 episodes of Bertha on the DVD, and there are no other Bertha DVDs available. The four episodes do include the first one, but otherwise appear to be picked randomly. The DVD lasts 59 minutes.
The picture is not great quality because it hasn't been re-mastered, but this doesn't really bother me as it adds to the authenticity, although young children today night be bothered by that.
The Great Painting Job: 1 April 1985
The first episode, sees Bertha making jigsaw puzzles - Ted puts the picture in one end, and Bertha cuts out the shapes. Roy checks, Nell packs, and Flo stacks! Problems arise as one of the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle is missing in each puzzle. Bertha churns out the missing puzzle pieces as she's been making a picture of her own. So the workers have to try and fit the missing parts back in the jigsaws.
Mr. Willmake and his secretary are getting ready to decorate and have covered the room with sheets, losing the telephone in the process. Mr Sprott is designing a painting machine which ends up causing havoc.
However meanwhile his clever assistant Tracy designs TOM (Talk operated machine), a robot who can do much more than painting. Bertha is given the task to make TOM, and then TOM features in every episode.
The Windmills: 15 April 1985
Bertha is making musical money box windmills (which play the Bertha theme music), and TOM is cleaning. Flo's out shopping. Roy and Nell are eating sandwiches. Roy has an interesting combination of peanut butter and cornflakes.
Roy and Nell put their money in the money box to listen to the music, but can't get their money back as there is no key.
Mr Sprott forgot to include a way to get the money out when he designed it. Or did he? Always remember to read the instructions on the box!
Mouse in the Works: 22 April 1985
There seems to be a problem with the Jack in the Box toys which Bertha is making, as the jacks keep jumping out - but what is causing the problem?
It seems that there is a mouse in the works destroying the boxes, so Mr Sprott is told to design a mousetrap (an elaborate and humane design)! Meanwhile TOM is chasing a rather cute looking knitted mouse!
This episode had me in stitches as the characters dawdle around wondering what to do, and Mr Duncan trying to catch the "wee mousie!" who disappears inside Bertha along with the mop.
The Best Machine Competition: 29 April 1985
Betha is making garden gnomes. Panjit decides that if he had a gnome, he would need a turban, so he asks Bertha to make one (Bertha can do anything) - thus not doing 'real' work.
Mr Duncan is in charge of the factory while the boss is away and has been watching the workers working and recording them - he thinks that everything is "all too slow".
As a result he wants to close down Bertha as he thinks she is too old and too slow. The other workers are devastated and start a protest shouting "Bertha's Best!" He also cuts down tea breaks.
However, when Mr Willmake returns Mr Duncan looks really stupid as he has lost his notes inside Bertha! Of course Bertha is the best machine!
Iso File Information
File Size........:2.74 GB (or 2,814 MB)
Video Codec...: MPEG2
Runtime........:59 Mins approx
Video Bitrate...: 25.000
Audio Bitrate...: 48000Hz 192 kb/s Stereo (2/0) AC3
Frame Size....: 720 x 576 1.333 (4:3)
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