27 August 2006 | Chip_douglas
I always knew mathematics were bad news
The title to this first "Wonders in Letterland" sequel immediately makes it clear who the real star is: evil T-Bag (Liz Estensen), not little miss goody two shoes Debbie (Jennie Stallwood). However, T-Bag is nothing without her reluctant little slave boy - I'm story, Tee-boy, T-Shirt (John Hasler). So the moment she has regained her powers (thanks to a new tea plant) and set up a new home-base (the T-room) inside an old storybook, she uses her magic to summon the boy (who is called Thomas in the 'real world') back into her fantasy domain. Debbie immediately follows by displaying some unknown magical powers of her own.
While the first series had the girl traveling a board-game in search of different golden letters, this time she has to find the silver numbers of a town clock stolen and hidden by T-Bag in nine different 'stories' that make up the book (why on earth she had to hide them again instead of keeping them with her nobody knows). To simplify matters, the first number can be found in story number one, the second in number two, etc.
The reason why T-Bag stole the numbers off the clock in the first place was so that time would stop and none of the stories ever ended. What a diabolical scheme. Each episode took place in a different 'story' and features a range of vaguely familiar storybook characters played by guest stars. These included familiar faces like M. Leclerc from 'Allo 'Allo (Jack Haig) as a Genie or Carry On regular Ronnie Brody as a Pirate (radio broadcaster, that is). Also, there were comical takes on historical and or literature characters such as Dick Turpin (Dick Gherkin) and Long John Silver (Long John Sylvia). However, unlike the first series, there was more money for weekly guest stars (usually two per episode) so they didn't have to find one actor to play a different part each week (sorry, Jim Norton).
As with the first series (and nearly every T-Bag story that would follow) in the finale (episode 10) the three main characters regrouped at the first location (well they had to bring all the numbers back to the clock) but as they were looking for 12 numbers, they were still 3 short (do the math). Lucky for them the last three were made up out of numbers they already had or could make up/find on the spot. Debborah and T-Bag would face each other for the third and final time one year later, though the main Bag herself would do another two series and two Christmas specials before being replaced by her loopy sister.
7 out of 10