This surreal, madcap and Pythonesque kid’s sitcom blasted onto CBBC in 2003 and grabbed the viewer’s logic and gave it a damn good shake. Anything can happen in Bad Penny, demons escaping from hell to set up small businesses, a corrupt weather man stealing sunshine from work, a furious witch trapped in a portrait for a thousand years harbouring a dire lust for the blood of the Dreadfuls, you name it!
It centres around the Dreadful family. Penny Dreadful is a 13 year old girl who is regarded as the black sheep of the family because she is not a devious crook like her Ma, Pa and brother Dominic. Not only does Penny have to put right their strange crimes, she has to contend with weird and dangerous creatures that emerge from her wardrobe which just happens to be an occasional portal to the other dimensions and times.
It starred Graham fellows (aka John Shuttleworth) as Pa and Anne Foy as Penny Dreadful.
The theme tune was actually The Yip Song, from the album Respect by Robyn Hitchcock.
The Runaway Scarecrow & The Summertime Blues
Penny has to thwart Ma and Pa’s plans to aid a corrupt weatherman who’s stealing sunshine from work, plus hide a foul mouthed runaway scarecrow in the shed.
Demons & Cavemen
When Pa and Dominic accidentally open a gateway to hell the Dreadful family are plagued by hordes of escaping demons trying to set up small businesses. And the Council are chasing the family for not paying the rent and having cavemen in the garden.
A Truly Dreadful Freak Show
Ma’s dreams come true when she opens her own Victorian Freak Show, but can she capture the fabled Bucket-Nut and make him her star attraction? Penny helps a crazy old rat-catcher capture the enormous rat Lord Ironside.
Penny’s problems continue as Ma opens a prison in their house, Pa is stalking the neighbours and Dominic’s caught in the dangerous world of seedy rug dealers.
You Dreadful Dreadfuls
If Penny can prove the existence of rare and vicious snails in the garden she can stop a thousand year old wizard and his baying mob from burning down the house.
The Science Of Inventions & Scams
Ma and Pa open the house as the most haunted in England. Can Penny stop them conning gullible tourists and keep the ghosts of Sir Isaac Newton and Leonardo Da Vinci secret?
Away With The Fairies
There’s tension in the air as angry locals clash with holidaying fairies, but things come to a head when Penny reveals she is in love with the fairy Prince Alvin. Can she save the Dreadful’s house from an elfin siege and keep her true love?
The Fall Of The House Of Dreadful
Pa’s father summons him home to hand over a dire legacy to Penny. A magic umbrella, an evil witch hungry for revenge on the Dreadful family, and a snot-gun toting half mad Uncle don’t help matters.
Taken From The Stars
It’s not everyday a talking dog astronaut crashes through your wardrobe, or your Ma opens up a celebrity rehabilitation clinic in your house – but why do both things happen on the same day to poor Penny?
The Lion, The Twits And The Fraud Probe
When Dominic starts collecting pharaohs he takes out a huge loan with the vicious Barkswest’s Bank. Penny enlists the help of Dreadful hating Leo Bulletin to expose the bank owner – a huge, man eating talking lion who’s interest rates depend on how hungry he is.
The Greatest Living Englishman
The family are split apart when Pa’s first wife turns up after having died fifteen years ago. Is she all that she seems or something much more sinister? The answer lies 100 years in Penny’s own future.
A Home For Heroes
Unable to halt the demolition of the old people’s home, Penny is shocked to see Ma has moved in three of the resident into her new rest home. What’s she up to? Why are the pensioners dressed in ludicrous superhero costumes? And why is Dominic’s tricycle trying to kill him?
The Spoiler Calls
Unable to cope with Ma and Pa’s criminal scams anymore, Penny runs away through the wardrobe only to be stopped by The Spoiler – a mysterious mythical figure who has ruined birthday parties for hundreds of years. It show’s Penny what life would have been like without her.