Dogtanian: why wasn’t it part of CITV’s Old Skool Weekend?

Children’s ITV aired ‘The Return of Dogtanian’ in 1991. Photo courtesy of San Sharma via Flickr.

It shouldn’t surprise you that I really enjoyed the CITV Channel’s Old Skool Weekend.

Revisiting the likes of ‘How 2’, ‘Woof!’, ‘Fun House’ and ‘Huxley Pig’ was a lot of fun, while ‘Spatz’ and the 1990s reboot of ‘The Tomorrow People’ were much better than I had remembered.

And, of course, it was interesting to see that Thames Television and Carlton Television’s interpretations of ‘Mike and Angelo’ were completely different.

However, while browsing through the #OldSkoolWeekend hashtag on Twitter, I noticed that there were a number of tweets wondering why the cartoon franchise, Dogtanian, was ignored.

‘Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds’

At first glance, the answer would be because ‘Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds’ was imported by Children’s BBC in 1985.

Also, because they regularly repeated the series during the mid-to-late 1980s, many people would associate ‘Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds’ with the BBC, rather than ITV.

Although it is true that Children’s ITV repeated it from January 1990, neither the BBC nor ITV had any involvement with the production of the programme.

This is because it was produced by B.R.B. Internacional, a Spanish animation studio.

Furthermore, Matt Bowen, a programme scheduler for the CITV Channel, tweeted that the weekend only focused on “core” programmes (i.e. shows that were produced or co-produced by ITV) rather than acquisitions such as ‘Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds’.

‘The Return of Dogtanian’

However, the existence of a sequel, 1991′s ‘The Return of Dogtanian’, complicates this matter.

Thames Television, one of ITV’s former regional franchises, co-produced the 26-part series, along with T.V.E. and B.R.B. Internacional.

This means that it was a “core” Children’s ITV programme and could have been repeated – particularly as ‘Fraggle Rock’ (a TVS co-production) and ‘The Tomorrow People’ (a Thames Television co-production in 1992, and a Central Television co-production in 1994 and 1995) were part of the Old Skool Weekend.

But there were different reasons why some Children’s ITV programmes were not scheduled.

For example, ‘Emu’s All Live Pink Windmill Show’ and ‘ZZZap!’ were omitted due to licensing issues. Also, ‘The Return of Dogtanian’ was excluded because it “didn’t make initial shortlists due to other shows taking priority”.

As you can see, putting together such a schedule was no easy task and being a “fly on the wall” would have been a great experience.

Thank you, the producers of the Old Skool Weekend. You did a grand job.

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