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SuperTed set for a comeback

Classic toon hero SuperTed looks set for a revamp, after rights holders Abbey Home Media and Mike Young Productions team up to develop a new half-hour series based on the 20-year-old characters.

Jointly owned by UK-based Abbey (which has 75%) and Welsh-born but LA-based animator Young (25%), the character will be given a cgi makeover and slightly tweaked to appeal to a younger demographic than the original series.

{Twenty years ago children aged eight or nine were happy to watch a flying teddy bear,{ Abbey's cofounder Anne Miles told C21. {Now they all watch more action-based animation so we're aiming the new series at the 5-6 age group.{

Miles said that Abbey and Young are in the process of developing scripts for a new series, with the aim of securing broadcaster finance at Mipcom this October and MipTV next year.

She estimated that the new series would require {between $300-400k{ per half-hour episode. An initial series of 26 episodes is envisaged.

The toon's revival continues an ongoing nostalgia trip that has so far seen new life breathed into animated classics like Bill & Ben, Andy Pandy, Muffin the Mule, Fireman Sam, Postman Pat, Garfield, The Muppets and Dr Snuggles.

Action toons like Captain Scarlet, Dan Dare, Transformers, Battle of the Planets and Astro Boy have also been resurrected.

The original SuperTed series was produced by Cardiff-based Siriol Productions between 1982-1986, as a series of ten-minuters for Welsh network S4C. Siriol co-founder Young exec produced the show, which launched as part of S4C's debut transmission in 1982.

The toon sold on to over 100 territories, including Disney US – something of a coup at the time. Americans liked the show so much that a further 13 half-hours were coproduced with Hanna-Barbera for syndication in 1989.

Although S4C were involved in the original show, which it continues to distribute internationally, Miles said that as yet no broadcasters or distributors are attached to the proposed remake.

Neither have any voice stars been signed up for the new series: the original starred Derek Griffiths as SuperTed, Jon Pertwee as sidekick Spotty and Roy Kinear as Bulk.

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