BIG WOLF ON CAMPUS
(YTV, Fox Family
Channel/ABC Family Channel, April 2, 1999-April 27, 2002)
1-2), CinéGroupe (season 3), Saban Entertainment
– Thomas P. “Tommy” DawkinsDanny Smith
– Merton J. DingleRachelle
– Stacey Hanson (season 1)Aimée Castle
– Lauren “Lori” Baxter (season 2-3)
Dawkins (Brandon Quinn) was having a pretty good life. He was a star player on
the Pleasantville High football team, he was well-liked, and the girl of his
dreams--head cheerleader Stacey Hanson (Rachelle Lefevre)--was finally taking
an interest in him. Unfortunately, his life was turned upside-down when a wolf
bit him on a camping trip and turned him into a werewolf. Forming an unlikely
friendship with social outcast and goth Merton Dingle (Danny Smith), who
happened to possess as much knowledge about the macabre as he did movie trivia,
they worked together to try and remove Tommy’s curse (or convince Tommy to turn
him into one) while also dealing with supernatural trouble that found its way
|Tommy's original werewolf look.|Big Wolf
on Campus was essentially an expansion of the concept seen in the 1985 film
Teen Wolf with
a mixture of Buffy the
Vampire Slayer. However, unlike the film, Tommy hid his lycanthropy
from everyone and seemed to possess his abilities when he wasn’t transformed;
including super strength, increased speed and agility, rapid healing and
enhanced senses. Tommy would come to be revealed as an aberration, as most
werewolves succumb to the dark side of their curse that Tommy had somehow managed
to repress (however, that dark side was still there and managed to be brought
out by certain circumstances). Despite protecting the town from various
creatures and entities such as blood bank-robbing vampires, a pack of evil
werewolves, ghosts, a mummy, a cyclops and zombies, most people considered the
werewolf as big or equal a threat. Further, Tommy often found his dates with
Stacey being interrupted by his need to “wolf out”, leading her to think he was
constantly ditching her. Stacey also ended up being targeted by some of those
entities who found her just as appealing as Tommy.
|Tommy finally getting some time alone with Stacey.|Other
characters included Tommy’s family: His father, Bob (Alan Fawcett), the mayor of
Pleasantville and the biggest proponent for taking the werewolf down, his
mother, Sally (Jane Wheeler),
a local reporter, and his brother, Dean (Jack Mosshammer), a couch potato
who never left his chair (although his television knowledge came in handy at
times); Merton’s family, although only his sister, Becky (Natalie Vansier), was ever seen
and was embarrassed to be related to him; Tim (Domenic Di Rosa) and Travis (Rob deLeeuw) Eckert, two
dimwitted bullies that dubbed themselves “TNT” and dedicated themselves to finding
the Pleasantville Werewolf; and Hugo Bostwick (Richard Jutras), the
overzealous security guard of the high school. Tommy and Merton would
frequently meet in Merton’s basement, which he converted to his “lair”
containing all of his accumulated occult items and various screenplays he was
working on. They would also hang out at The Factory, a teen hangout where kids
could dance, bowl and eat.
|Promo shot of Stacey, Tommy and Merton.|Big Wolf
on Campus aired on YTV in Canada and Fox
Family Channel in the United States, debuting on April 2, 1999 and running
for a total of 3 seasons. The show was created by Peter Knight and Christopher Briggs, who after a
successful stint writing for Sweet Valley High and
Breaker High decided
to approach Saban
Entertainment with some show ideas for their impending takeover of The
Family Channel. Due to its similarity to Teen Wolf, Saban actually
contemplated just securing the rights to the film and its characters, but
ultimately settled for the cheaper option of just making their own original
interpretation. To further save money, the production was filmed in Canada, to
take advantage of various incentives Canada offered. It was produced by Telescene,
and then CinéGroupe when the former went
bankrupt. Knight and Briggs served as creative consultants, producers and wrote
several episodes; however, Briggs would depart during the first season over
frustration with the power struggles behind the scenes as they found themselves
constantly being undermined because of their comparative youth and perceived inexperience.
Briggs would return as a consultant and writer for the third season.
|Death comes for us all.|Other writers included Gregory Thompson, Aron Abrams, Dan Kopelman, Michael MacKenzie, Dana Reston, Michael Shipley, Jim Bernstein, Rick Nyholm, Kirk Savell, Jonathan Goldstein, Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie, Jeff Rothpan, David Hamburg, Mitchell Goldsmith, Ari Posner, Rick Parks, Scott Jackson, Sam Wendel, Robert L. Baird, Kelly Senecal, Michael Bornhorst, David Feeney, Brian Gewirtz, Arnold Rudnick, Rich Hosek, Barry Julien, David Wolkove, Sandy Brown, Pang-Ni Landrum, Maggie Bandur, Matthew Salsberg, Michael Benson, Marc Abrams, Beth Seriff, Geoff Tarson, Lars Guignard, Ron Nelson and Louis Pearson. Baird and
Senecal served as story editors for season 2 with Salsberg taking over in
season 3, and Julien as executive story editor. The series’ music was composed
by James Gelfand in season 1
and Simon Carpenter for the remainder. The theme was written and performed by
Smith with arrangement by Robert
Marcel Lepage, which was then rearranged from season 2 onwards by
Carpenter. Most of the series’ episode titles were puns or parodies of film
|Tommy looking dapper in his refined wolf make-up.|Three episodes into the series,
Tommy’s werewolf appearance was changed as Quinn proved to be allergic to the glue
used. He went from having a wolf-like face with scraggly hair and pointy ears
to just having the ears, fangs, and more hair that expanded to his face in
mutton chops leading to an incomplete mustache. This look would come to be
enhanced and refined as the series went on. The special make-up effects were
done by Twins F/X 11 Inc., Erik
Gosselin, Karl Gosselin,
Marie-France Guy, Marti Jutras,
Frédérick Guilbert, Pascal Hérbert and Caroline Aquin. Special effects
were rendered by Big Bang Animation (1997) Inc. for the first two seasons,
Covitec for the third.
|Meet the new girl: Lori.|
Stacey was written out of the show
after the first season as having gone off to college early. This was done
because Knight felt that the character was poorly fleshed out and needed a
reset. This allowed him to add Lori Baxter (Aimée Castle), a transfer from
Pleasantville Catholic school who was kicked out for vandalism when helping
Tommy and Merton deal with a ghost of a football star destroyed a tribute to
him. She became the second person to know about Tommy’s secret, as well as his
on again/off again girlfriend (they often found being together was distracting
from their mission, and while Tommy wanted to stop working together, she wanted
to end the relationship to keep up the fight). As a trained kickboxer, she
often helped him battle the bad guys. Additionally, the characters of Hugo and
Tommy’s parents largely disappeared due to budgetary constraints and wanting to
focus more on the essential characters.
|Corey Haim (top) and Corey Feldman really sucking (blood) in their guest-spots.|While it maintained a “villain of
the week” type format for its entire run, it did have several recurring
villains: Butch (Adam MacDonald), a bully and
escapee from old 1950s educational films; the Evil Werewolf Syndicate, who
wanted to make Tommy one of their own and use him to create more werewolves
(since Tommy was turned by an Alpha and became an Alpha himself); and the
personification of Death (Lawrence
Bayne). Notably, the Coreys guest-starred in two episodes: Corey Haim as a vampiric
version of himself, and Corey Feldman
as Haim’s friend who came to town looking for him and to make Merton’s movie.
|Frank Stein's monster.|Because of declining budgets, power
struggles and issues such as Telescene’s bankruptcy and Saban selling out to Disney, it was a struggle to get each
additional season into production. After 65 episodes, enough to reach
syndication levels, the series came to an end as it just wasn’t making enough money
to justify keeping it going. However, the production was given enough notice to
deliver a proper finale and give their characters a send-off. The series
remained on Fox Family’s successor, ABC Family (now Freeform), until September when it was
removed for Disney’s own programming. To date, only the first season has seen
home release on a VHS box set dubbed in French. Starting in 2020, Canadian
media company Encore+
Media released the
entire series to YouTube.
“Pilot” (4/2/99) – Tommy is attacked by a wolf on a camping
trip and becomes a werewolf.
“The Bookmobile” (4/9/99) – Tommy has his chance to get rid
of his curse, but the arrival of a bookmobile leading to mysterious
disappearances takes precedence.
“Butch Comes to Shove” (4/16/99) – A character from a 1950s
educational film exits into Pleasantville and decides to bring Stacey back with
“Cat Woman” (4/30/99) – A foreign exchange student comes to
the school who gets along with Tommy very
well, much to Stacey’s
“Witch College” (5/7/99) – When a sorority sets their sights
on Stacey, she suddenly becomes a real witch.
“The Pleasantville Strangler” (5/14/99) – Hugo and Merton
accidentally release the spirit of a serial-killer who can possess anyone.
“Stage Fright” (5/21/99) – A crazed cable man comes to town
and punishes those who steal their cable by sending them into the shows they
“That Swamp Thing You Do” (5/28/99) – A teacher who fell
into the swamp 25 years ago returns as a mutated monster searching for his old
“Muffy the Werewolf Slayer” (6/4/99) – A new girl gets
information on the werewolf from Merton while Tommy is dealing with a
“Stalk Like an Egyptian” (6/11/99) – Tommy and Merton
accidentally resurrect a mummy on a field trip who becomes a teenager and wants
to make Stacey his queen…forever.
“Flugelhoff!” (6/18/99) – A lychanthropist arrives in town
claiming he can cure Tommy.
“Invisible Merton” (6/25/99) – Merton’s nemesis comes back
to town, armed with magic that makes Merton invisible.
“The Wolf is Out There” (7/2/99) – While Tommy tries to
battle his wolf cravings and expanding waistline, the mayor ups the battle against
the town werewolf.
“Interview with a Werewolf” (7/9/99) – Merton gets set up on
a date with a woman who sucks the youth right out of him.
“Fangs for the Memories” (7/23/99) – Retrieving the blood
Tommy donated so as not to spread his curse becomes complicated when vampires
raid the blood banks.
“Time and Again” (7/30/99) – Merton is thrilled with his new
watch that can reverse time; unfortunately, each use drains more and more of
his intelligence away.
“Big Bad Wolf” (8/6/99) – Tommy and Merton recite an Indian
chant that brings Tommy’s dark side out.
“Scary Terri” (8/13/99) – Mistaking his friendship for
affection, psychic Terri seeks revenge on Tommy when she finds him with Stacey.
“Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow” (8/20/99) – A new substitute
teacher claims to be the one who turned Tommy and seeks to bring out his bad
“The Exor-Sis” (8/27/99) – Merton’s sister ends up with a
locker that contains an inter-dimensional portal.
“Don’t Fear the Reaper” (9/3/99) – When Tommy saves a man from
the Grim Reaper, the Reaper comes for Tommy.
“Game Over” (9/24/99) – Tommy’s beating a high score on an
arcade game unleashes a villain that seeks to destroy him and Merton.
“Hello Nasty” (3/18/00) – Tommy, Merton and their new friend
Lori must take on the ghost of a football player responsible for the team’s
“Frank Stein” (3/25/00) – A quiz bowl turns Merton into a
target for a strange man who wants his brain.
“Commie Dawkins” (4/1/00) – A Russian man follows Tommy and
Merton through a wormhole and changes the outcome of the Cold War.
“The Girl Who Spied Wolf” (4/8/00) – Lori discovers Tommy’s
identity just as the Evil Werewolf Syndicate tries to force him to join them.
“Apocalypse Soon” (4/15/00) – Tommy and his friends have to
prevent a wrestler’s next potentially world-ending win.
“The Sandman Cometh” (4/22/00) – Tommy and Merton have to
deal with a Sandman who seeks to enslave people through contact with a special
“The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth” (5/6/00) – Tommy and
Merton learn they picked the wrong side in a battle between a teen and a demon.
“Imaginary Fiend” (5/13/00) – Donating his old toys causes
Merton’s imaginary friend to get free.
“101 Damnations” (5/20/00) – Tommy finds a stray puppy that
turns out to be the legendary Cerberus.
“Mind Over Merton” (6/3/00) – After being rejected by a
genius society Merton creates a potion to make him smarter, which unfortunately
helps Tim and Travis figure out who the werewolf is.
“Blame it on the Haim” (6/10/00) – Corey Haim comes to town
to shoot a vampire flick, but is it possible he’s actually a real vampire?
“Pleased to Eat You” (6/17/00) – Becoming Homecoming King
causes Tommy to neglect Merton and allow him to fall into a new crowd that doesn’t
have his best interests at heart.
“The Manchurian Werewolf: Part 1” (7/15/00) – The Evil
Werewolf Syndicate brainwashes Tommy and causes him to bite Lori.
“Manchu: Part Deux” (7/22/00) – Tommy and Merton must
prevent Lori from becoming a werewolf.
“Mr. Roboto” (7/29/00) – A cyborg infiltrates the school and
implants students with mind-control devices.
“Rob: Zombie” (8/5/00) – Lori breaks up with Tommy and
convinces Merton to revive her dead boyfriend.
“Fear and Loathing in Pleasantville” (8/19/00) – A demon
terrorizes the populace to feed on their fear.
“Faltered States” (8/26/00) – Merton becomes a test subject
at a lab to impress a girl, only to end up turned into a caveman.
“Butch is Back” (9/2/00) – Butch emerges from another film
and captures Lori.
“Voodoo Child” (9/8/00) – The new school nurse offers to let
Merton become a voodoo apprentice.
“She Will, She Will Rock You” (9/9/00) – The new transfer
student turns Merton into stone.
“Clip Show: The Kiss of Death” (10/7/00) – Tommy, Merton and
Lori go over all of their good deeds to keep Death from claiming Tommy.
“Stone Free” (10/27/01) – Tommy and Lori must save Merton
from being a stone golem, but the cure may be worse than the disease.
“Everybody Fang Chung Tonight” (11/3/01) – Merton’s radio
show attracts a vampire and her clan who just happen to feed on werewolf blood.
“I Dream of Becky” (11/10/01) – Becky unleashes a genie from
a lamp and gets three wishes, unaware that they come at a price.
“Stormy Weather” (11/17/01) – Tommy and Lori are suspicious
of the first candidate for Merton’s new superhero club.
“Hellection” (11/24/01) – Tommy loses the class president
election to a girl who made a deal with a demon to win.
“Being Tommy Dawkins” (12/1/01) – Trying to escape an
ex-convict leads Merton to a portal that lets him enter Tommy’s body.
“Save the Last Trance” (12/8/01) – Merton’s new girlfriend
ends up being a real witch.
“Anti-Claus is Coming to Town” (12/15/01) – Tommy and his
friends must help keep a Santa impersonator from ruining Christmas.
“N’Sipid” (1/12/02) – Becky is kidnapped by aliens posing as
a boy band.
“Very Pale Rider” (1/19/02) – Merton is put into his
favorite role-playing game.
“Play it Again, Samurai” (1/26/02) – While Tommy does
community service, Merton falls in love with a 900-year-old Japanese princess.
“Dances Without Wolves” (2/2/02) – Tommy finds himself in an
alternate universe where he never became a werewolf, but unfortunately his
rival has and has given in to his dark side.
“Baby on Board” (2/11/02) – An alien encounter leaves Merton
“The Boy Who Tried Wolf” (2/18/02) – Just as a werewolf
comes to town, Tommy accidentally bites Merton turning him into an evil
“The Mertonator” (2/25/02) – A killer cyborg from the future
that resembles Merton is after Tommy.
“What’s Vlud Got to Do With it?” (3/4/02) – A werewolf
princess falls in love with Tommy.
“There’s Something About Lori” (3/11/02) – A factory phantom
believes Lori is his long-dead love.
“Switch Me Baby One More Time” (3/18/02) – Lori ends up
switching bodies with a girl that’s jealous of her.
“What’s the Story, Morning Corey” (3/25/02) – Corey Feldman
comes to town to produce Merton’s script and to meet up with his old friend,
“Thanks” (4/1/02) – Tommy and Merton are interested in the
same girl, unfortunately she’s a supernatural assassin with the kiss of death.
“The Sum of All Fears” (4/8/02) – The stars of the show
count down the fans’ favorite moments.
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