Sara and Hoppity (lost children's puppet TV series; 1962-1963)
Sara & Hoppity was a children's puppet television series created by Roberta Leigh, who had previously created The Adventures of Twizzle and Torchy the Battery Boy, both of which were directed by Gerry Anderson. Produced by Roberta Leigh and directed by Arthur Provis, Sara and Hoppity was the first production by Leigh and Arthur Provis after Anderson had gone on to create other puppet series such as Supercar under AP Films. The show was based on a series of children's books by Leigh written in 1960-1961 and was commissioned by Associated-Rediffusion. Certain puppets from the series would later be revamped for use in Provis and Leigh's next series, Space Patrol.
The series revolves around Sara Brown, who lives with her parents, above their Toy Repair Shop, "The Toy Hospital". One day an old man brings in a broken windup toy, called Hoppity, to sell. He found the toy in a goblin ring and is a magic toy. The toy, called "Hoppity", can sing and dance, but it is a "falling over dance" as the toy only has one leg. Her parents want nothing to do with the toy, but Miss Julie who lives up in the attic and makes clothes for all the toys gives Sara the money to buy Hoppity.
The old man accepts sixpence, and Sara washes the dirty toy while her father finds a leg for the toy, but it is a bit shorter than his other leg. When wound up, the toy dances and sings his annoying: "Tiddlee-tum, tiddlee-tee" song which Sara somehow understands and, being very naughty, Hoppity's ideas often lead Sara into trouble. Though she tells them that Hoppity told her to do it, naturally no one believes her.
The show ran for 52 13 minute episodes on ITV, running from February 27th, 1962, to February 26th, 1963, though the series copyright date dates back to 1961. The series was syndicated at least until the early 1970s. Since then, the series' original tapes have disappeared from the archives of Associated-Rediffusion archive. They were most likely destroyed or wiped and used for other programming.
A 16mm print of the pilot episode of the series discovered in the 1990s under the possession of Leigh herself was found along with the 16mm reels of the complete series of Space Patrol. This version would appear to be the pilot produced to sell the series and not the actual first episode seen on television. The copyright given is 1960, not 1961, which is when it was among the first three completed and delivered to Associated-Rediffusion. Comments made by Head of Programme Clearances, Joan Elman regarding the first episode of Sara & Hoppity (among other unflattering comments on the series) also suggest there were other elements in the televised version that are not in the pilot. 
In 2002, a 35mm print of another episode was discovered in the possession of the British Film Institute/National Film Archive. This episode was "Gorgey Georgie Goes Visiting", the 46th episode of the series. Apart from this, a small audio-less bit of footage from the episode "Aunt Mathilda's Hat" along with private sound recordings of the show exist. None of these, however, are available online.
List of Episodes
|No.||Title||Airdate||Prod No.||Current Status|
|N/A||Sara and Hoppity (Pilot Version)||N/A||0||Found/Unavailable|
|1||Sara and Hoppity||2/27/1962||1||Lost|
|2||Hoppity Is Stolen||3/6/1962||2||Lost|
|3||Sara and Hoppity Bake A Cake||3/13/1962||3||Lost|
|4||Sara and Hoppity and the Shaggy Dog||3/20/1962||4||Lost|
|5||Sara's Friend has an Accident||3/27/1962||5||Lost|
|6||Shaggy Is Taught Some Tricks||4/3/1962||6||Lost|
|7||Sara and Hoppity Go Skating||4/10/1962||7||Lost|
|9||Sara and the Broken Toys||4/24/1962||8||Lost|
|10||Shaggy in Trouble||5/1/1962||9||Lost|
|11||A Present for Miss Julie||5/8/1962||10||Lost|
|12||Gorgey Georgie Comes to Stay||5/15/1962||11||Lost|
|13||Aunt Mathilda's New Dress||5/22/1962||13||Lost|
|14||Gorgey Georgie Is Naughty Again||5/29/1962||14||Lost|
|15||Sara and Hoppity Get Lost||6/5/1962||15||Lost|
|17||Sara Does The Spring Cleaning||6/19/1962||17||Lost|
|18||Gorgey Georgie Comes To Tea||6/26/1962||18||Lost|
|19||Sara And The Junk Man||7/3/1962||19||Lost|
|20||Sara and Hoppity Help Mummy||7/10/1962||20||Lost|
|21||Hoppity Does Something Wrong||7/17/1962||21||Lost|
|22||A New Hat For Mummy||7/24/1962||22||Lost|
|23||A New Kite||7/31/1962||23||Lost|
|24||Fun on the Sands||8/7/1962||24||Lost|
|25||A Present for Jimmy||8/14/1962||26||Lost|
|26||Shaggy and the Flowers||8/21/1962||27||Lost|
|27||Sara and Hoppity Clean the Shop||8/28/1962||28||Lost|
|28||Sara And Hoppity Do The Wallpapering||9/4/1962||29||Lost|
|30||Aunt Mathilda's Hat||9/18/1962||32||Lost|
|31||Jimmy Comes To Tea||9/25/1962||33||Lost|
|32||The Goldfish Pond||10/2/1962||35||Lost|
|33||The Coalman Comes To Call||10/9/1962||36||Lost|
|34||Mummy Loses her Ring||10/16/1962||37||Lost|
|35||A Visit to the Seaside||10/23/1962||38||Lost|
|36||Sara Goes To School||10/30/1962||39||Lost|
|37||A Day at the Beach||11/6/1962||40||Lost|
|38||The Lonely Junk Man||11/13/1962||41||Lost|
|39||The Brass Band||11/20/1962||42||Lost|
|40||The Painting Competition||11/27/1962||43||Lost|
|41||A Day in Bed||12/4/1962||44||Lost|
|42||Sara and Father Christmas||12/11/1962||12||Lost|
|43||Father Christmas and the Presents||12/18/1962||47||Lost|
|44||A Birthday Cake for Daddy||1/1/1963||25||Lost|
|46||Sara and Hoppity Quarrel||1/15/1963||45||Lost|
|47||Gorgey Georgie Goes Visiting||1/22/1963||46||Found/Unavailable|
|48||The Fancy Dress Party||1/29/1963||51||Lost|
|49||Sara is Naughty||2/5/1963||34||Lost|
|50||Hoppity and The Jelly||2/12/1963||48||Lost|
|51||The Grandfather Clock||2/19/1963||48||Lost|
|52||The Windy Day||2/26/1963||50||Lost|
- The Wikipedia article on Sara and Hoppity.
- Sara and Hoppity fan website (archived 29-August-2011).
- IMDb page on Sara and Hoppity.
- Sara and Hoppity at jediparadise.co.uk.