Count Duckula is a British animated comedy horror television series created by British studio Cosgrove Hall Films and produced by Thames Television as a spin-off from Danger Mouse, a series in which the Count Duckula character was a recurring villain. Count Duckula aired from September 6, 1988 to February 16, 1993 across four series; in all, 65 episodes were made, each about 22 minutes long.
In 1984 Nickelodeon acquired the US broadcast rights to Danger Mouse, which became a hit for the channel. After a few years, the Nickelodeon management came to Cosgrove Hall wishing to co-produce a new series. After being shown a number of ideas, the then head of Nickelodeon, Geraldine Laybourne, spotted a picture of Count Duckula in Brian Cosgrove‘s office, and said “that’s the one I want”. As the series went into production one of the writers suggested he become a vegetarian, which added an even sillier concept to the series.
The character differs considerably from his predecessor on the Danger Mouse series. In fact, the only similarities, other than the name, is they are both vampire ducks with ambitions in show business with little actual talent. The previous version was an evil villain, willing to blackmail and force his way into stardom (as opposed to the current Count, who merely tries to get in the legitimate way) and was fixated on being a TV star, rather than settle for fame in some other branch of entertainment. He has far greater magical powers and makes much more use of them. He has a thick accent consisting of lisping, stuttering and occasional squawks. Most notably, he was not a vegetarian in the Danger Mouse version. In his very first appearance, he threatened to drink Danger Mouse’s blood, only to be chased away by the sun. The Danger Mouse Duckula was destroyed and fell to ashes, resurrected during the 8th astronomical house of Aquarius.
In a move mirroring Duckula’s adaptation from Danger Mouse, the characters of Gaston and Pierre were reinvented and given a spinoff series as the now-human Victor and Hugo.
Notable Cast & Crew
- Count Duckula: David Jason
- Nanny; Dimitri: Brian Trueman
- Dr. Von Goosewing; Sviatoslav: Jimmy Hibbert
- Various other characters: including Ruby Wax
- Theme song vocalists: Doreen Edwards and Mike Harding
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