Title card (1979)
|Voices of||Frank Kelly|
|Country of origin||Ireland|
|Original release||30 September 1967 –|
|Related shows||Fortycoats & Co.|
Wanderly Wagon followed human and puppet characters as they travelled around Ireland visiting interesting locations, rescuing Princesses and generally doing good. The original premise of the show expanded to follow the characters to magical lands of Irish mythology, and into outer space.
The Wagon itself could fly. Using chroma key special effects, the Wagon was shown hovering in midair, landing in various magical lands, and even traveling underwater.
- Rory - originally the lead character. Played by stage actor Bill Golding. Golding left the series in its middle years.
- O'Brien - a bumbler played by Eugene Lambert, who was also the puppeteer and ventriloquist for some of the animal characters. Other voices were provided by puppeteer members of the Lambert family.
- Godmother - a sensible mother-figure played by Nora O'Mahoney.
- Judge - a dog. He was the voice of reason and good sense, a moral conscience to the rest of them (he also starred in television road safety advertisements). To this day, Judge is held in great affection by people who remember him - many of whom can still sing his song, "I Am the Flying Dog"
- Fortycoats - a gruff, bearded character in a costume made of ragged swatches of many different materials, he owned a flying sweetshop. An occasional character who later had an eponymous spin-off show. Originally played by Bill Golding and later by Fran Dempsey.
- Mr Crow - a crow who lived in a cuckoo clock. Crow was a sarcastic fellow with a cutting sense of humour.
- Foxy - a fox who lived in a barrel on the side of the wagon and spoke with an American gangster style accent.
- Four moon mice who lived in the attic.
- Doctor Astro, a recurring villain played by Frank Kelly
- Sneaky Snake, Doctor Astro's sidekick, also voiced by Frank Kelly
- Maeve the Witch, a mischievous witch, whose attempts at villainy always ended in failure
- Squirrels, two squirrels who sounded remarkably like Bosco.
Don Lennox and Jim O'Hare came up with the idea of Wanderly Wagon when Lennox was giving O'Hare a lift home from work. O'Hare was recalling a recent family holiday spent on a horse drawn caravan in County Cork. Lennox became the first producer of Wanderly Wagon and O'Hare designed the wagon, the flying Sweet shop and the show's costumes.
The character of Fortycoats was given his own show, Fortycoats & Co., played by Fran Dempsey. In the show Fortycoats is accompanied by two companions; Sofar Sogood (played by Conal Kearney), a prim goody two shoes character, and Slightly Bonkers (played by Virginia Cole), a naive schoolgirl. They traveled in the Flying Tuck Shop doing good, and battling the evil Whilomena the Whirligig Witch and The Pickarooney.