H.R. Pufnstuf

1969 | United States

Short lived but lively musical series based on The Wizard Of Oz and starring Jack Wilde, who had shot to fame as The Artful Dodger in Lionel Bart's Oscar winning film Oliver

In the opening episode, Jimmy (Wilde) and his magic talking flute named Freddie are lured to a fantasy land in a beautiful boat which is then shipwrecked by the nasty sorceress Witchiepoo, who is intent on stealing the instrument. Luckily, the dragon mayor of Living Island, H.R. Pufnstuf, spotted the boy in distress and sent his Rescue Racer team to bring him ashore. Thereafter, Jimmy shared a series of adventures in the company of Judy the Frog, Cling and Clang, Ludicrous Lion and Dr. Blinky. Although Witchiepoo scuppered all of Jimmy's attempts to leave the island, she never got her hands on the flute. 

The non-human characters were represented by life-size puppets and the entire series was made to the most highest of production values. A feature film was released in 1970. 

Published on December 19th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.