Four plasticine dogs have exotic and exciting adventures, firstly for The Man
Who Runs Television, and then just off their own bat to make their lives a
little less dull. All of them are fully aware of their plasticine nature and
seem able to cope with maimings, crushings and other unpleasantness with no ill
Aardman Animations, feeling the need to do something a little different after
their incredible success with Wallace and Gromit, decided to run with an idea
from Richard Golezewski, Golly for short. Of course, Aardman had been going
strong since creating Morph for Tony Hart's art shows, moving on to Creature
Comforts and related Heat Electric ads before hitting the big time. Rex
the Runt was a chance to do something a little more outlandish, and it
certainly created a stir when it premiered in BBC2's Christmas schedules of
1998. Adults whose children tuned in found it wasn't quite the sweet and
innocent kids' show they believed it would be.
The first series began on 21st December 1998 and ran daily through the
Number of Episodes
So far 26 across two series, but more are planned. Each episode lasts about
eight to nine minutes.
The Good Guys
Rex (voiced by Andrew Franks, then Colin Rote for series two), the leader of
the group because no one else wants the job. Can be rather world-weary. Wendy
(Elizabeth Hadley), a go-getter of a dog who isn't overly enthused about living
with a bunch of unhygienic blokes. Bad Bob (Kevin Wrench, now Andy Jeffers),
chubby and with an eyepatch but friendly and not really as bad as his name
suggests. And finally Vince (Steve Box), a toothy, slightly strange dog with a
penchant for Tuesday and jam. Usually converses in single words.
The Bad Guys
No one is really all bad in Rex the Runt, although Dr Dogg, the gang's
medical practitioner who won't do anything for more or less than 10 quid, can
be a little creepy at times.
And Isn't That
Paul Merton voices Dr Dogg. The show has also featured guest turns from
comedians Arthur Smith, Eddie Izzard, Graham Norton, Morwenna Banks, Kathy
Burke, Phill Jupitus and Simon Day among others, such as TV luminaries Jonathan
Ross, Loyd Grossman and Bob Holness.
Bad Bob's food addiction can become a poor plotting point sometimes, as can
Wendy getting all grumpy with the boys. Not really cliché-ridden,
Nothing. In the main the characters are clothes-free. Or so it appears.