Right when I was growing up, I, along with all the other animal-obsessed kids in North America, got a gem of a show in PBS’s Kratts’ Creatures. On the air in 1996, and rerun to death until 2000, the show followed the Kratt brothers as they explored the world and the critters who lived in it. It was a goldmine of information for kids interested in biology, conservation, and animal behaviour, but my favourite part? Sidekick Allison Baldwin.
You’d think I’d have seen myself most in the adventuring brothers, but Allison, played by actress Shannon Duff, was the main event. She was the one who, researching facts in her treehouse command centre, provided context and warning. In fact, I can trace my love of the “computer whiz who works behind the scenes” character type directly back to Allison. She was great, and got the brothers out of more scrapes than I can count.
Quick, smart, and never sidelined despite her less physical role, Allison could do everything from dispensing wisdom to rocking the hell out of her overalls. If she invited me to hang out in her treehouse, I’d be there in a heartbeat. I’d bring snacks, and we’d spend the evening watching footage of baby turtles. Get to the sea before you get eaten, baby turtles!
Anyway, Allison was the best, and I’ll leave you with an episode all about the Tasmanian devil. Cheers: