If you were watching television in the mid to late 1980s, it’s likely you recognise this clever feline! Computer Cat – or ‘CC’ – was a character created by Jennifer Davidson for the children’s program, Hunter, an educational Australian series. Twenty-four episodes of Hunter were made between 1984–85, and the show aired between 1984 and 1992 on the ABC. It was filmed and produced in Hobart by ABC Tasmania.
The program was about Hunter (played by Philip Sabine), a man who investigated, or hunted for information. Dressed like an old-fashioned English detective, he rode a bicycle adorned with a small triangular flag at the end of a pole. Hunter’s companions included Computer Cat (a puppet) and a mouse (a live mouse, named Albert), which often ran around in the brim of his hat. Computer Cat was a significant character, operating a desktop computer and providing essential information to help Hunter solve his mysteries.
Computer Cat was made by the Terrapin Puppet Theatre, which had been founded by Jennifer Davidson in 1981 following the demise of the Tasmanian Puppet Theatre (founded 1970). The Terrapin Puppet Theatre mainly produces shows for children; however, in the late 1990s, the company began to produce adult programs to complement its children’s fare.
Hunter was watched by many Australian school children, often as part of their school curriculum at primary-school level. It was sold internationally and is well remembered by many children who grew up while it was being telecast. The show reveals the importance of ABC Tasmania in conceiving and creating high-quality children’s programs, and shows why it was regarded as one of the ABC’s finest producers of children’s television.
For more information, see: www.abc.net.au/local/videos/2012/05/18/3505711.htm