Turn On To T-Bag Episode 1: Sparkes

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Episode 1Sparkes
Episode 2Gangsters
Episode 3Yeti
Episode 4Bubble Boy
Episode 5Pyramids
Episode 6Scrimp
Episode 7The Two Musketeers
Episode 8The African Queen
Episode 9Doc Leaf
Episode 10Turn On To T-Bag

UK Air Date05/01/1988, 4.20pm
Repeat Screening10/07/1990, 4.00pm
Copyright YearMCMLXXXVII (1987)
VTR Date10/11/1987
Fremantle Archive Ref37939 (series ref)
Consecutive Episode Number31
IMDB LinkEpisode page

T. Bag (Tallulah Bag)Elizabeth Estensen
T. ShirtJohn Hasler
Holly Anna JonesDiana Barrand
Professor SparkesKen Jones

Make UpJan Marshall
Costume DesignerRaymond Childe
Graphic DesignerAlex Forbes
Stage ManagerBobby Webber
Production AssistantBarbara Mitchell
Written ByLee Pressman
Grant Cathro
DesignerJohn Plant
Executive ProducerCharles Warren
Producer/DirectorLeon Thau

T-Bag has set up her T-Room in the back of an old television set and plans to put everybody under her spell by taking over transmission using her T-Plant set up to some electronics but she needs a booster to get it working. T-Bag tries to get Professor Sparkes to build a booster but he tells T-Shirt he has a jamming device which, powered by nine crystals, will stop T-Bag. T-Bag puts Professor Sparkes under her power to build a booster and she scatters the crystals over the forthcoming programmes. T-Shirt gets Holly-Anna Jones, a TV presenter, to find the crystals.
The High-T Website synopsis

The TV

Holly & T. Shirt

T. Shirt


For more images see the Image Galleries

If you would like to contribute your favourite/funniest etc quotes from this episode please contact me.

The most fiendish plot I've ever hatched

Thomas: Boring, boring, boring, I wonder if this works? Oh this stupid thing. Come on. Always does the trick.
Holly (on TV): I'm Holly-Anna Jones previewing the weeks ahead. We've got a great season of programmes for you here on children's television, starting today with episode one of a brand new science fiction adventure featuring the ever popular Professor Sparkes...
Thomas: Great, Professor Sparkes, my favourite programme.
Holly (on TV): ... that's in just a few minutes, but before that let's take a look at some of the other highlights coming your way in the very near future. First of all there's a great new programme called...
(The TV signal goes off).
Thomas: Oh this stupid thing.
(Thomas adjusts the aerial and recoils backwards, he goes back to the TV as he sees a picture).
Thomas: T-Bag!
T-Bag: Yes, right first time, it's me. Eughh (she changes the black and white TV image into colour), that's better.
Thomas: It, it can't be.
T-Bag: Oh don't start that piffle all over again.
Thomas: Go away.
(Thomas switches the TV off by the mains and unplugs it).
T-Bag: Nice try, but you can't get rid of me that easily. (T-Bag laughs) Pathetic.
Thomas: What do you want? Leave me alone.
T-Bag: Leave you alone, leave you alone!
(Thomas disappears into the TV as Holly comes back on).
Holly (on TV): We do have a great variety of programmes (we see Holly from behind on a big TV screen inside of the TV, T-Bag's new T-Room) so I'm sure you'll agree there's a lot of surprises in store for us all over the next few weeks.
T-Bag: Let's get rid of that nattering child.
T-Shirt: Oh I think I'm going to be sick.
T-Bag: Welcome to the new T-Room T-Shirt.
T-Shirt: Now I know I'm going to be sick.
T-Bag: I knew you'd be cock-a-hoop to see me again you little scallywag.
T-Shirt: Debbie.
T-Bag: Oh, save your breath, there's no Debbie to help you this time.
T-Shirt: You were destroyed, I saw you destroyed.
T-Bag: Was I? Oh that's funny, I don't feel destroyed, oh no, very much alive (thunderclap) and kicking (thunderclap) and ready (thunderclap). Ready to put into action the most fiendish plot I've ever hatched.
T-Shirt: What are you up to?
T-Bag: Step this way T-Shirt and all will be revealed. Ta-dah! Well what do you think?
T-Shirt: It's a T-Plant.
T-Bag: Yes but not just a T-Plant is it?
T-Shirt: Did you put all this junk together?
T-Bag: Junk!
T-Shirt: What do you expect to do with that?
T-Bag: Do, do, I'll tell you what I expect to do.
T-Shirt: Well tell me then.
T-Bag: I'm trying. I'm going to take over every television set in the land. Every child who watches my programme, my High-TV, will fall hopelessly under my power. By harnessing the evil electricity from my deadly T-Plant I'll beam out waves of wickedness into every home.
T-Shirt: You mean you'll be on telly putting everybody under your power. It'll never work.
T-Bag: Oh no, let me give you just a teensy weensy sample of what's in store when I get going. Now let's see what's on at the moment.
(Holly Anna Jones is still on the TV).
Holly (on TV): So plenty of thrills and spills there in Curse of the Yeti...
T-Bag: Eughhh! Holly Anna Jones, smarmy little madam if ever there was one
Holly (on TV):... and that's followed by another... (Holly continues to talk).
T-Shirt: I like her, I think she's great, she's a star.
Holly (on TV):... and this week ... (Holly continues to talk).
T-Bag: Well she won't be twinkling for much longer, watch this.
Holly (on TV): ...and then it's time for our big film, Scoop of the Sahara. Later on we travel back to Victorian London for our classic drama the Night before Christmas and handkerchiefs at the ready for that one but it's not all tears because after that we're off to France for our next swashbuckling adventure serial, Return of the Pimple, which I know I'm certainly looking forward to. Well, well I'm not really looking forward to it, all of those pathetic little programmes usually turn out to be nothing but garbage, I wouldn't waste your time watching them, if you want my advice you'll wait until the great day when her majesty takes to the airwaves and introduces the fantastic, the marvellous, the wonderful High-TV. High-TV, High-TV, High... (Holly continues to chant High-TV, High-TV, High-TV...).
T-Shirt: What have you done to her?
T-Bag: She's under my power now.
T-Shirt: Stop it, that's horrible.
T-Bag: Oh no it's not, it's wonderful. Soon everyone in the land will be singing the praises of High-TV.
(The T-Plant and the connected machinery explodes).
T-Bag: What the? What have you done?
T-Shirt: I never touched it, honest.
T-Bag: Well what's happened?
Holly (on TV): ... High-TV, High-TV, High-T, T, where was I? Oh yes, tea. Well I'm off for a cup of tea while you sit back and enjoy the return to our screens of Professor Sparkes, in Sparks in Space. Enjoy it.
T-Bag: What's the matter with this thing?
T-Shirt: Told you it would never work, didn't I?
T-Bag: What's wrong with it?
T-Shirt: Obvious isn't it?
T-Bag: Is it?
T-Shirt: Yeah, course it is. Your impulse input's too critically low to oscillate your diamodulator.
T-Bag: Get away.
T-Shirt: I'm telling you, the group potential of your resistor is causing a beam current feedback in your tetro-generator.
T-Bag: Really? Oh what are you burbling about? What do you know about it? Shut up!
T-Shirt: Only trying to help.
T-Bag: What I need is somebody who really knows about these things. But who?
T-Shirt: Sparks in Space is on, great.

Added: 04/04/2016

Professor Sparkes calling the universe

Professor Sparkes: Ah, there you are Gilbert, my little furry friend, a little snackette to keep you going. Now you tuck into that while I get back to work (laughs and takes a piece of salad), oh do you mind (laughs)? Right now, let's see. Professor Sparkes calling the universe. Come in anybody out there who's listening, hello... (silence). Hello, are you receiving me? (Music begins to play) Ooh, what am I doing? Come in Planet Z. Are you receiving me Planet Z? Oh, hello, what's this? What are we here? Gilbert, I think it's for you-ooh.

Added: 17/02/2014

A jamming device

T-Shirt: If you make that booster we're all doomed.
Professor Sparkes: Look, calm down, calm down, do not panic. Now even if she had a booster I have got a little something here which will stop her dead in her tracks.
T-Shirt: What is it?
Professor Sparkes: It is a jamming device.
T-Shirt: A what?
Professor Sparkes: A jammer.
T-Shirt: What does it do?
Professor Sparkes: Well, it is very sensitive to bad vibrations, it picks 'em up, roots them out, and it destroys them, zap, just like that.
T-Shirt: How does it do that?
Professor Sparkes: Well you see these nine crystals here, they are not of this Earth.
T-Shirt: Get away.
Professor Sparkes: Oh it is true, they were brought back from our latest space probe. Yes, they have amazing properties, quite remarkable, and very mysterious. Even I have not yet discovered their fullest potential. But I do know that they can jam any nasty transmission. So fear not young man, as long as we've got this, we're alright.
T-Shirt: How does it work then, this jammer?
Professor Sparkes: Well I'll show you.

Added: 17/02/2014

Gullible Old Fool

T-Bag: Youíre having me on.
Professor Sparkes: No, no Iím not having you on.
T-Bag: Trying to make a fool of me.
Professor Sparkes: No, no I assure you look here, you look at this, hold it up, look right into it, now what do you see?
T-Bag: I see a gullible old fool.

T-Shirt enlists the help of Holly

T-Shirt: Oh I had to open my big mouth about hiding the crystals, what do I do now?
Holly: Now coming up shortly on childrenís television an exciting time...
T-Shirt: Holly-Anna Jones, I bet sheíd help. Hey Holly, down here, behind you, oi, Iíve got to talk to you, Holly please.
Holly: O where was I?
T-Shirt: Holly, Iím sorry but this is urgent!
(Holly is transported into the T-Room)
Holly: Iím sure youíd agree there are a lot of goodies coming up...
T-Shirt: Hi Holly, Iím T-Shirt. Sorry to magic you down here.

Woe betide the world

Holly: Oh, it's useless, now what? (T-Bag and T-Shirt appear) T-Shirt, am I glad to see you. Oh hello, I don't think I've met you, have you come to help stop that horrible old T-Bag woman?
T-Shirt: Quiet you, this is that horrible old T-Bag woman. Oh, I mean, that's her Majesty.
T-Bag: He means the game is up my dear, you've been found out.
Holly: T-Shirt.
T-Shirt: It'll be easier if you just do as her Majesty says.
Holly: T-Shirt, she's got you as well.
T-Bag: True, and now Miss Big-head Holly-Anna, it's your turn.
Holly: No.
T-Bag: Yes, (T-Bag's magic doesn't work) what? I don't understand it.
Holly: Nothing happened.
T-Shirt: Something must be protecting her.
(Holly takes the crystal out of her bag).
Holly: This.
T-Bag: Oh, one of those hateful crystals, where did she get it? T-Shirt?
T-Shirt: Sorry.
T-Bag: Curse, curse.
Holly: So I'm on my own eh. Right, well I'll get those crystals, all of them, I'll stop you T-Bag, you just see if I don't.
(Holly leaves).
T-Shirt: Shall I go after her your Majesty?
T-Bag: Let her go, little fool. By the time she finds any of those crystals the booster machine will be built and High TV will be on the air. Nothing will stop me this time. This time I will win and woe betide the world when I do.

Added: 04/04/2015

"T-Shirt's Troublesome Jumper"
After T-Bag hides the crystals in the upcoming programmes and T-Shirt chooses his T-Caddy uniform T-Shirt summons Holly into the T-Room. The view changes between a back view (when he is looking up at the screen) where Holly is on the screen and a front view when Holly is in the T-Room. In the front views he has his T-Caddy uniform on but the back view is him with his normal clothes on, his yellow jumper. This must have been done in several takes but in a different costume.

For more mistakes from other episodes, please see the Nitpicker's Guide

  • Ken Jones, who plays Professor Sparkes, introduced the very first episode of 'Wonders In Letterland' on Children's ITV back in 1985!
  • Gilbert, Professor Spark's Guinea Pig was Lee Pressman's Guinea Pig. Gilbert is credited 'as Himself' on the credits (Gilbert is also credited in episodes 8, 9 and 10).
  • Ken Jones, who played Professor Sparkes, sadly passed away on 13th February 2014, aged 83.

  • When Holly is talking about the TV shows coming up she mentions the night before Christmas (relating to episode six) and the return of the pimple (relating to episode seven).
    (Turn on to T-Bag, Episode 6: Scrimp)
    (Turn on to T-Bag, Episode 7: The Two Musketeers)
  • When T-Bag kidnaps Thomas, she says ĎOh, save your breath, there's no Debbie to help you this timeí, referring to Debbie from the first three series.
    (Wonders in Letterland, Episode 1: Arrival In Letterland)
    (T-Bag Strikes Again, Episode 1: The Town Clock)
    (T-Bag Bounces Back, Episode 1: The Ousting Of Major Happy)
  • Gilbert, Professor Spark's Guinea Pig, appears in four episodes over the series.
    (Turn on to T-Bag, Episode 8: The African Queen)
    (Turn on to T-Bag, Episode 9: Doc Leaf)
    (Turn on to T-Bag, Episode 10: Turn On To T-Bag)
  • The title of this episode mentions the anchor character, Professor Sparkes, only this episode and one in the previous series do this.
    (T-Bag Bounces Back, Episode 1: The Ousting Of Major Happy)
  • Tallulah Bag tries to destroy the crystals with various tools much like Tabatha Bag does during T. Bag and The Pearls of Wisdom.
    (T. Bag and The Pearls of Wisdom, Episode 10: The Pearls Of Wisdom)