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Captain Zeppos -- Series One (BBC)

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The Series
Series One
Series One (BBC)
Series Two
Series Three
Kurrel & Co.
The Feature Film

Further Detail
The Cars
Home Video

Museum at the Mill
Zeppos Café
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Copyright Notice:
The television programme Kapitein Zeppos is © VRT. Adventurer makes no attempt to assume or supercede copyright. Copyright remains with the copyright holders.

The entire written content of this website is © Alan Hayes and Patrick Van de Weghe and reproduction is forbidden without express permission.

This website is a non-profit making, academic reference and research work, written and compiled in private study and is classified under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 as "Fair Dealing".

Series One BBC Pages:


Episode Guide


Captain Zeppos -- BBC Transmissions

BBC titlecardCurrently, little is known about the English language soundtrack to the BBC version of Kapitein Zeppos. Other series at the time were re-dubbed, supervised by the BBC's Peggy Miller at De Lane Lea Studios in London. These included the popular BBC strand, Tales from Europe. This series sourced children's fairy tales and traditional stories from European broadcasters, with Miller adding English language soundtracks to make them accessible to British family audiences. For Tales of Europe, the redubbing almost always retained the original language soundtrack, with an English narration over the top of it, explaining the proceedings and translating the dialogue (which could still be heard in the original language beneath the narration). Other imported European serials received a more complete soundtrack recreation (which were recorded in the same way as radio plays, complete with sound effects, etc), such as The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, The Flashing Blade (originally Le Chévalier Tempête, from France) and Belle and Sebastièn (another popular French series). These series featured minimal narration with a cast of actors instead overdubbing the original actors' speech. (These series were not shown under the Tales from Europe banner.)

Kapitein Zeppos -- BBC EnterprisesIt is known that the latter style of over-dub was chosen for Captain Zeppos, with a new soundtrack being made from scratch. A translation was made from the original series, resulting in a voice-over script for the new version. Voice artistes were chosen, probably from the small pool of actors who tended to work on these serials. Short clips of the English version have appeared on the second Kapitein Zeppos DVD set, released in October 2004 in Belgium. These have provided a brief but invaluable insight into the British version. The titlecards from the BBC version are shown on this page, and purists will be pleased to note that it appears that Bert Kaempfert's Living It Up was utilised on the English language version. Frankly, the series wouldn't have been the same without it.

Voice casting of the central characters does not seem to have been a great success, in all honesty. The actor voicing Zeppos is passable, not that close to Senne Rouffaer's original voice, but of a similar age as Rouffaer. Unfortunately, in the case of the voice of Ben Kurrel, the voice artiste chosen sounds both too young and too upper-class English. The voice sticks out like a sore thumb. Quite a pity.

Regardless, the series was enough of a success in Britain to lead to the publication of a translation of Louis de Groof's novel. Sadly, neither De Eglantier or Tweng were made into English editions - more than likely an upshot of the BBC's move to colour at the time the serials would have become available. Series producer, Rik Van den Abbeele was, however, very proud of the fact that the first series was translated into English by the BBC. "The broadcast by the BBC was a tremendous compliment; the BBC is still the nourishing mother of all television," he said when interviewed on the subject recently.

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