Catweazle: Time-Travelling Wizard Warms Our Hearts

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Catweazle is an iconic 1970s kids’ fantasy series featuring a medieval wizard thrust into the modern world. Junior Paranormal Events and their young ambassadors experience the show’s magic for the first time.

Catweazle: Time-Travelling Wizard Warms Our Hearts 1
Geoffrey Bayldon in a scene from Catweazle.

TITLE: Catweazle
CREATOR: Richard Carpenter
CAST: Geoffrey Bayldon, Robin Davies, Charles “Bud” Tingwell, Neil McCarthy
ORIGINAL RELEASE: 15 February 1970–4 April 1971 on ITV
NUMBER OF SERIES: 2
NUMBER OF EPISODES: 26

Catweazle may not be the obvious choice as a review for our Junior Paranormal Events ambassadors, and I have to admit we had not heard of the programme prior to this.

But from the moment that the programme began we realised that it was right up our street – quirky, different, and fun.

Catweazle Backgrounder

Catweazle was an ITV children’s programme that ran from 1970 until 1971.  Catweazle is an eccentric wizard who can cast a spell, jump into a pond, and emerge in the same spot 900 years later.  The programme centres around Catweazle emerging in farmland where he befriends Edward, the farmer’s son.

The Episode

We watched Episode 1 from Series 1 which aired on 15 February 1970 titled ‘The Sun in a Bottle’.

We are greeted by a scruffy looking strange man, with wild hair, being chased through the woods.

Who was this man?  Why was he being chased? 

The chase results in our running man being on top of the castle walls – surely there is no way out from here… But wait – our friend has a companion, a toad.

With a quick spell, he jumps from the castle walls into a murky pond fear not…

This is Catweazle, played by Geoffrey Bayldon. He is a wizard, and he has found a magical escape – phew we got a bit concerned there!

Catweazle resurfaces in the same pond, but he is now in 1970 and in the middle of a farm. 

Much hilarity and gentle humour unfolds as Catweazle encounters Edward who tries to help Catweazle whilst keeping him hidden from others.

We see him react in horror at the sound of the tractor and delight in the discovery of the light switch – the sun in a bottle.

This episode perfectly set the tone for the start of the series and the adventures that would follow within the subsequent episodes.

Our Catweazle Review

Aubrey: I liked seeing the history of where Catweazle lived at the start, then I liked seeing it jump forward in time.  It shows how different the past used to be. I liked that Catweazle was very sweet and quite funny. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like. If Catweazle was made today, I would like to see him go even further back in the past because I enjoy history. 

Finlay: It was a good programme because Catweazle was coming into a modern world, and I liked watching him try to figure out what was what. Catweazle was a bit odd but that is what I liked about his character because it’s good to be different.  If Catweazle was made today, it would be funny trying to see him use the technology that we have now.

How does it compare to today’s spooky viewing?

Catweazle is such an endearing character, you can’t help but warm to him. We became very invested in him, and his adventures, right from the very start and this is what we enjoyed most about the programme. 

It was gentle viewing and that is what can often be neglected within more modern-day programmes for tweens and teenagers.

They are exposed to more adult content because there really isn’t anything paranormal related that is geared towards them.  The window of childhood has become shorter, and this is even more the case when it comes to exposure to social media. 

Catweazle, felt like a comfort blanket and we all enjoyed watching it. 

Our family schedule had been incredibly hectic, we watched the episode on a rare weekend off and it was such a soothing experience.  We genuinely loved it. 

For us adults, Catweazle had an element of Worzel Gummidge to him and that took us back to our childhood memories, there is nothing more comforting that a bit of nostalgia. 

If you find yourself, or your family, coming down with the dreaded winter lurgy, then have a bowl of soup and pop Catweazle on, we promise it will make the world seem a better place.

Stay Spooky!
Gemma, Michael, Finlay, and Aubrey
Junior Paranormal Events

You can now read Electrickety: 10 Catweazle Facts You Didn’t Know!

What do you think of Catweazle? Tell us your memories in the comments section below!

Watch Catweazle Episode

1 COMMENT

  1. Catweazle for me at the time was superb, the doors of my imagination just flew wide open after watching this, and the tune of the show has always been one of my favourite whistling options great stuff.

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