Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Created by Peter Fluck, Roger Law, and Martin Lambie-Nairn, the legendary British comedy series Spitting Image can be described, albeit inadequately, as a puppet show for grown-ups. Using huge rubber puppets and marionettes, all adorned with the grotesquely caricatured faces of international celebrities, the series mercilessly skewered the Rich and Famous of every political and ideological stripe. Singled out for an inordinate amount of satirical persecution were the members of the Royal Family, although the series was just as unsparing in its attacks of Ronald Reagan, Fidel Castro, Mikhail Gorbachev, and other eminently lampoon-able authority figures. Launched as a half-hour program in 1984, the series ultimately expanded to 45 minutes, chalking up 141 episodes. In addition, nine Spitting Image specials aired between 1986 and 1996; alas, the quality of the writing diminished as the program remained on the air, at least so far as its most fervent fans were concerned. Telecast by Central Television, Spitting Image was never formally syndicated to the United States, though tantalizing vignettes of the series popped up on such American news programs as 60 Minutes, spawning a home-grown imitation from the studios of Sid and Marty Krofft titled D.C. Follies.