Crystal Tipps and Alistair "Crystal’s Christmas Special" (lost Christmas special episode of BBC animated series; 1974)

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Collection of stills from the episode.

Status: Lost

Crystal Tipps and Alistair was a British children's animated series broadcast on the BBC from 1971 to 1974. The series consisted of fifty 5-minute episodes focusing on the bizarre, psychedelic adventures of Crystal Tipps (a purple haired girl) and Alistair (her dog), both of whom remain entirely silent throughout all of the episodes. The series has recieved praise in the years since its release for its abstract and experimental nature, earning comparisons to the Beatles' animated film Yellow Submarine and Terry Gilliam's animations for Monty Python's Flying Circus, with series creator Hilary Hayton claiming that Gilliam would frequently spend time in her studio to see what she was working on.[1]

On top of the fifty traditional episodes of the show that were made, a Christmas special episode was also produced that would serve as the series finale.

Crystal's Christmas Special

"Crystal's Christmas Special" was the 51st and final episode of the show to be released, initially airing on December 25th, 1974. The special had a notably longer running time than the rest of the series, being twenty minutes long while all the other episodes were no longer than five.

The episode involved a sudden snowfall taking place, with Crystal Tipps and Alistair taking advantage of the situation to have fun both indoors and outdoors. But the cold weather soon causes plumbing problems to occur, with the duo travelling to warmer climates to escape the low temperatures, whereupon they discover that Santa Claus has had the same idea.


While all other episodes of Crystal Tipps and Alistair have been made readily available through home media releases and YouTube uploads, "Crystal's Christmas Special" has never seen an official or unofficial release outside of television. The only details available about the episode come from the official website of Double:Take, an independent distributor of children's television programmes. The page on Double:Take's website about the episode promised that an embedded video clip of it would be added later, but this was never done before the website went offline at some point between 2016 and 2021.[2]

Home recording devices were still in their infancy in the UK in 1974, and those that were available were typically very expensive,[3] meaning that the odds of someone having recorded the original broadcast are incredibly slim. However, Crystal Tipps and Alistair reruns were shown frequently on British television well into the 2000s,[4] so it's possible that "Crystal's Christmas Special" may have been rebroadcast and recorded at some point during that stretch of time, but any such recordings (or even any evidence of such) have yet to surface online, leaving the episode lost.

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