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We Are Not Mongrels

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David Thair | 17:55 UK time, Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Danny Peak, one of Mongrels' writers, says...

For the three years I've been involved with this show it has been called We Are Mongrels. Compared to head writer Jon Brown my three years is nothing, and compared to creator Adam Miller, I'm like one of those satsumas you put on a football pitch to illustrate the scale of the solar system. We made a lot of changes over that period, but the name of the show was never one of them.

But. There were two problems with the title We Are Mongrels. The first was a concern that people might confuse it with the BBC Three show We Are Klang. I'm not quite sure how, unless these people haven't got the attention span to get to the end of a three-word sentence, but there you go.

The second problem was that, well, technically none of the characters is actually a mongrel. There's only one dog and she's a pedigree Afghan Hound with the breeding papers to prove it.
So the search was on for a new, non-confusing, genealogically-accurate-but-still-BBC-Three-friendly title. There was a suggestions box in the studio for people to drop ideas into and these were discussed whenever we had a script meeting.

I, Nelson was one. Humans! Everywhere! was another. To the production team, this week's episode was always called Never Been Stroked and for about half an hour we considered making that the title of the whole series, until one of the writers, Danielle Ward, said it sounded like "a makeover show for virgins".

The Garden Gang? Sounds a bit Cbeebies. Undergrowth? A bit embarrassing illnesses. Piers Morgan's Life Stories? Already taken.

Meanwhile, everyone was informally referring to the show as Mongrels. So for several months the question on everyone's lips was: what shall we call Mongrels?

Yeah, looking back, there was possibly a clue in the question there.

Mongrels continues at 10.30pm on Tuesdays, BBC Three.

What name would you have given Mongrels in a last-minute rebrand?


  • Comment number 1.

    This show has been amazing so far and it's the funniest thing on tv at the moment. Looking forward to seeing the rest of this series and hope that there's more afterwards. I honestly can't think of a more appropriate title than Mongrels, it's a good name.

    I'd be interested in knowing how long it takes to actually complete an episode from the ideas stage, to writing and filming. And also are there currently any plans to continue the show into a second series or would that depend on how the show is recieved?

    Keep up the good work the show is hilarious.

  • Comment number 2.

    The best British show on BBC 3 by a country mile. Great work guys, really fresh and yet it's already become a mainstream of my watching habits. The best things about animated shows and live action shows in one, and that's not easy to pull off.

    Although it isn't fair to really compare to a animated show, which does still hold some advantages over anything live action, but where Mongrels really shines is the puppeteers themselves. The realistic movements and mixture of human like and distinctly animal characteristics have paid dividends here I think.

    And this is without mentioning the good writing (maybe a little hit and miss still however) and the excellent voice work.

    Last thing, when you move on to BBC 2 (as I'm expecting) whatever you do don't let them take Vince out of the show. There is something about Vince, maybe it's the fact he actually acts like a wild animal or because his just so funny, but don't let it happen.

  • Comment number 3.

    Far too many positive things to say about episode #4 without looking like a rambling fool. So briefly... Terrific song. Vince is delightfully outrageous. All the characters are so expressive, visually and in voice. Love all the little inserts with rat/squirrel characters.

    Also, I guess the Basil issue had to be dealt with sooner or later. :-D

  • Comment number 4.

    The Springwatch episode seemed oddly reminiscent of "The Scratchy & Sniffy Show" which the BBC has broadcast during the last couple of series of Autumnwatch and Springwatch to boost flagging ratings by actively targetting poodlephiles. SaSS focussed on the celebrity segment of the animal documentary market and showed the practical realities behind the making of Springwatch and Autumnwatch. They interviewed celebrity stags, a dead cat (who was rather more forthcoming than Kate Humble's Badger) discussed luxury winnebagos, protection rackets, recreatioal chemical abuse, ethnic cleansing and in the last series interviewed a member of the BBC Wildlife Unit's crack team of stunt otters. Coincidentally Terry Nutkins was mentioned in that too.

    For the early stuff see see https://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbsn/F14197738?thread=7071940

    The most recent series can be found at https://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbsn/F10211074?thread=7558863


    and https://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbsn/F10211074?thread=7578032

    It might be possible for Guy Fox Mongrels Episode 3) to appear in one if the proected Autumnwatch 2010 S&S shows

  • Comment number 5.

    really great show, keep it up. I was wondering if there is going to be a DVD made, it will be so cool. LOVE NELSON AND MARION!!!!

  • Comment number 6.

    I am loving the series its got so many positive aspects. Although in a twist my favourite character is Carly who loooves to find negative aspects in everything :D

  • Comment number 7.

    Looking forward to tomorrow's episode and am confident it will live up to the quality of the previous ones. Love every aspect of this show, especially Nelson and Vince. Keeping with the question of what title to use: maybe 'Strays' or something with strays in the title, even though Marion is only stray animal in it I suppose.

  • Comment number 8.

    Love Mongrels..
    BBC 3 has got it right!!! If I got Vince, Nelson and Marion as fluffy toys I would! xx

    I must admit I came across it by accident!! I had finished watching something so just typed in 115 on my sky and Mongrels was on (episode 4) and I have never laughed so much in my life!!! I then watched the other episodes on Iplayer then kept on following it every tuesday.

    Now I keep on doing impressions of Marion, Nelson and Vince and if something that reminds me of Mongrels pops up during my day I'll just burst out laughing and get weird looks from people. Like today I was in River Island and Underdog by Kasabian came on the loudspeaker and because it's on Episode 4 (and also it's one of my fave scenes, Vince has the best swagger ever!) I just pissed myself laughing!

    It's strange the only chracter I don't like is Destiny, Though I love Lucy Montgumery doing her voice. It's just that Destiny is really catty, tarty and always is turning Nelson down. Nelson should not be wasting his time fancying her!! He is WAY to good for her!!!!! xxx :)


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