The T-Room
Counter: 72

Wonders in Letterland

Episode 8 (Debbie in the Land of O)

First transmitted 23.5.1985




Fife O'Clock is busy in his clock tower keeping the cogs oiled. He notices that the clock doesn't sound too good at all.

In the T-Room, T-Bag is impatiently waiting for teatime so she could have some food. She magics up a huge plate of food consisting of a whole chicken with chips and salad. She goes to start eating, but T-Shirt tells her she can't have it until the clock chimes five. T-Bag blames it all on Fife, because his clock never rings on time any more.

Back in the tower, Fife is becoming impatient with his clock because it refuses to ring. He then resorts to grabbing a mallet and bashing a load of empty cans so it sounds like a flat, non-melodious version of Big Ben.

T-Bag hears this in the T-Room and gets a splitting headache. She decides to forgo tea for a moment and sort out Fife. When she has gone, T-Shirt digs into her tea.

T-Bag appears in the tower and tells fife off for not maintaining his clock properly. Fife tells her that it is too much work for one person to do and that he should have an assistant. Furthermore, since T-Bag is supposed to be in charge of the game, it is her responsibility to find one for him. T-Bag is taken aback, but sees his point of view. She goes back to the T-Room to see what she can arrange.

Back at the T-Room, T-Shirt has finished eating the chicken and there is nothing but bones left. T-Bag is a bit miffed at this.

Debbie arrives in the Land of O. She knocks at the door of the tower. Fife answers, thinking that she is the new assistant. He invites her in and shows her how to look after the clock, and how to use the fake chimes. He then dashes off to oil the main spring and dashes about doing lots of other things. Debbie tells him that he's always rushing around, and then he explains that he likes round things which is why he lives in a clock. He sings a song:


Oh, a doughnut ain't a doughnut if it doughnut have a hole,

A Swiss roll's simply just a swizz if it's got nowhere to roll,

A pancake ain't a pancake if ain't cooked in a pan

And a baked bean ain't a baked bean if it ain't been in a can.


I wash myself all over with circular soap,

And the world looks much better through a telescope,

I love watching aeroplanes looping the loop,

And I love those little round things that you get in your soup.

I love to watch round things rolling along.

The sound of the cymbals and the crash of the gong.


Quoits and rings and disks and things and rolling cotton reels,

Hoops and loops of knotted string and different kinds of wheels,

And when it comes to supper, sliced bananas in the bowl,

But a doughnut ain't a doughnut if it doughnut have a hole!


Oh, a doughnut ain't a doughnut if it doughnut have a hole,

A Swiss roll's simply just a Swizz if it's got nowhere to roll,

A pancake ain't a pancake if ain't cooked in a pan

And a baked bean ain't a baked bean if it ain't been in a can.


He then bashes the cans again. T-Bag's head is throbbing with the noise, and she decides that she must get an assistant for Fife soon. She sends T-Shirt, but Fife turns him away because he already has an assistant.

Back at the T-Room, T-Bag has conjured up another chicken. She is just about to eat it when T-Shirt comes back and startles her. T-Shirt tells her that Fife has already got an assistant and T-Bag guesses who it is.

In the tower, Fife finds Debbie standing idle. He tells her to go and fill an oil can to oil the cogs with. He directs her to the drum, but it has "INK" written on it in big letters. Fife is devastated to hear that he has been clogging up the clock with sticky ink. Debbie explains that if he could read, he wouldn't have had this problem. Debbie asks what can be done, but Fife tells her that nothing can be done unless she can change ink into oil. Debbie decides that she can, and she rearranges the lines of the letters on the drum to spell out "OIL". Fife recognises the word from another drum that he has, and tells Debbie where to find it. She fills the oil drum and fills the oilcan with it. Debbei and Fife then head off to oil the clock.

T-Bag and T-Shirt appear. T-Bag demand that T-Shirt should help her find the next letter. T-Shirt tells her to leave Debbie alone and he also says that he is not going to work for T-Bag anymore. T-Bag is furious. T-Shirt says that he is going to tell Debbie that he is not working for her, so T-Bag takes away his voice. She tells him that if he wants it back, he has to get the gold letters from Debbie. She then goes back to the T-Room. T-Shirt finds Debbie's bag and takes the letters out of it. He hides them in his cap and puts a load of cogs and gears into the bag instead.

Debbie comes in and catches him at it. She grabs her satchel back and demands to know if T-Shirt was trying to steal her letters. He shakes his head. Debbie guesses that T-Bag has taken away his voice. She points out that he has magic powers too, so he should magic it back. T-Shirt tries, but he ends up sounding like a cuckoo, a cow and a fanfare. The clock then starts chiming, and Fife comes in, happy as a lark.

T-Shirt then mimes to them both that he no longer works for T-Bag. Debbie is overjoyed. T-Bag appears and demands that T-Shirt gives her the satchel. He snatches it off Debbie and hands it over. In return, T-Bag gives his voice back and then goes back to the T-Room. Debbie is furious with T-Shirt for grabbing the letters, but T-Shirt gets the gold letters from his cap and gives them to Debbie.

Fife is ecstatic that everyone is so happy. He explains that he is really happy that the clock is running so smoothly and is accurate to the second. He takes out his poacket watch to check the time by it and Debbie notices that the golden O is at one end of the chain. Fife gives it to her.

Back in the T-Room, T-Bag discovers that she has been tricked and starts sobbing into the cushions on her sofa.

Fife asks Debbie if she will be OK carrying the letters without a bag. Debbie admits that she does wish that she still had her satchel. As she talks to Fife, T-Shirt disappears back to the T-Room, and grabs the satchel back from T-Bag, who is too busy sobbing to notice.

Debbie notices that T-Shirt has gone, and just puts it down to him just being unreliable. She sets off to the next land.

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