Wonder Gran

Real Name: Abigail Higgins

Identity/Class: Enhanced Human

Occupation: Crimefighter, Bank Cashier (briefly)

Affiliations: ally of the local police

Enemies: Dracula, Mister Hyde and his gang of criminals

Known Relatives: None known

Aliases: Wonder Woman

Base of Operations: “from Hollywood, California” (according to the announcer)

First Appearance: The Benny Hill Show (March 14th, 1979)

Powers/Abilities: Wonder Gran had greater strength and speed than any other grandma her age. She could lift barbells and throw around full-grown men. She was impervious to harm except in her toes which when stomped required her to lean on a crutch. Her crutch doubled as an assault rifle. She could blow up airplanes with a slingshot and speed around on a jet-powered bicycle. She was able to walk sideways up walls.

History: Wonder Gran was the much loved ally of the local police force who often called upon her when crimes were she would twirl around several times and then disappear into a flash of light, re-emerging as the aging Wonder Gran.

When his philandering wife neglected him, Dr. Jackal of St. Cohen’s Hospital made several attempts to eat at work but was constantly interrupted and distracted by nurses and patients. Finally when to got something to eat, he mixed up the chemicals and pills in his office and transformed into the ruthless but simple-minded Mister Hyde. As Hyde, he launched a crime spree of picking pockets and public scams to steal all he could. The police finally caught him peeping on a young lady changing her clothes, but when they took him to a restraunt on the way to the jail, he reverted back to Dr. Jackal. The police didn't know this and let Dr. Jackal wander off while they looked for Mister Hyde.

Dr. Jackal meanwhile was still starving and drank from his earlier potion again. He reverted to Mister Hyde again and rounded up a gang to help him start robbing banks. The police chief called in Wonder Gran from the Sunny Days Nudist Camp and she arrived in person to get her instructions to find him naked in the gym. Wonder Gran blasted Mister Hyde and his gang with a cannon when they came to rob the bank where she was working. She pursued them to St. Eamon's Golf club where Hyde and his gang harassed and robbed the members. The police came to stop the fracas and Wonder Gran took Mister Hyde home to reform him, but he was a bull in a china shop as he distractingly wrecked and smashed up her modest home. Once he got food into his stomach to counteract the potion, he reverted back to kindly and misunderstood Dr. Jackal. The presence of the normal looking doctor frightened Wonder Gran so badly she rode away on her jet-powered bicycle.

(second sketch) Dracula (Benny Hill) is a henpecked vampire who's thwarted at every turn, whether by Wonder Gran (mercilessly bashing him with her purse) or by his wife, Mrs. Frankenstein (Jenny Westbrook). He has no success whatsoever in his quests to bite the necks of young ladies - one of whom, upon spotting him, offers him her newspaper to read; another of whom throws some powder his way while making herself up, leading him to sneeze (with his false fangs falling into her handbag). He then goes to a girls' college (by which time he has his fangs again), and attaches one end of a rope to a car while grasping the other to climb the building - and ends up injured after the car drives off, pulling him along the way. A woman (Fay Hillier) sees him in distress and strips to her undergarments, using her dress as bandages for both his legs, and a sling for his arm. When he tries to bite her neck, a policeman on the scene (Johnny Vyvyan) signals for Wonder Gran. A chase ensues, leading to the Special Branch (policemen brandishing branches off of trees) and Water Police (policemen using water pistols for weapons) becoming involved. Cornered by Dracula, Wonder Gran (in lieu of a stake) holds up an 8" x 10" head shot of Benny Hill's former straight man, Nicholas Parsons, to repel him. The vampire then runs to behind another would-be victim, addressing the audience, "Just one more bite before I go to bed..." - then, after seeing his pursuers coming for him, "Oh, there goes that lot again!" He is chased all around the grounds as the end credits roll.

Comments: There were only two Wonder Gran sketches on the long-running and highly rated “Benny Hill Show” (1969-1989). Benny’s favourite cast member, Sue Upton, played Wonder Gran while Benny Hill played both Doctor Jackal and Mister Hyde and his usual regular performers played other roles. Sue also has an official website.

See also Super Teach for another Benny Hill inspired superhero.

The "Wonder Gran/Mister Hyde" sketch originated from the January 7, 1981 edition of the show, and can be found on “The Benny Hill Show Video Spotlight” VHS tape distributed by HBO Video (which was also released on DVD as part of HBO Video's now out-of-print "Golden Classics" set), as well as on A&E Video's U.S. (R.1) DVD set "Complete & Unadulterated: The Hill's Angels Years - Set 4: 1978-1981." This same set also contains the 1979 "Wonder Gran/Dracula" installment, which is also on the Network Video U.K. (R.2) DVD set "The Benny Hill Annual: 1979."

Profile by Thor2000. Thanks to William Brown for informing me of most of the DVD and video releases where you can see this character, and providing additional information, including the second sketch synopsis.

CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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