Big Wolf on Campus is a TV series created by Peter Knight and Christopher Briggs. In the lighthearted horror/teen drama tradition of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (but on a lower budget), it is about a teenage boy named Thomas "Tommy" P. Dawkins, who was bitten by a werewolf during a camping trip in the woods a week before his senior year. After becoming a werewolf he fights against vampires, cat women, ghosts, zombies, and other supernatural entities to keep his hometown of Pleasantville safe, even though almost everyone in Pleasantville believes that their protector, "The Pleasantville Werewolf", is dangerous.
Tommy Dawkins is a teen werewolf with two friends who know his secret: Merton J. Dingle, a goth with an encyclopedic knowledge of just about every supernatural creature Tommy needs to know about, and Lori Baxter, a kickboxer who first appeared in Season 2 after Stacy Hanson, Tommy's love interest, left to pursue college at the end of season 1.
Many episodes satirize popular films and TV shows, and Merton usually makes the connection, but when asked "what happened" Merton begins to talk about the creator, actors and popularity of the movie, rather than what happened in the movie itself. Tommy finds this habit so annoying that he usually reacts by smacking Merton on the head and asking "In the movie...what happened in the movie?" - In fact, Tommy found this so frustrating that when he had been hypnotized into a mindless drone, he still did this (Ironically, Tommy does the exact same thing in Dancing Without Wolves, when he moves to a parallel world, attempts to tell the Merton in that world about his travel, and uses the Nicolas Cage movie Family Man as an example.). Big Wolf On Campus has numerous pop culture references which are obviously intended for an audience older than the typical kid show. This is shown when Corey Haim guest stars as himself in the episode Blame It on the Haim and Corey Feldman in What's the Story Mourning Corey.
The show ran from 1999 to 2002.
Thomas "Tommy" P. Dawkins
Thomas "Tommy" P. Dawkins
- Played by: Brandon Quinn
, aka "The Pleasantville Werewolf," is a senior in high school and the main character of "Big Wolf on Campus". He was one of the most popular kids in the school, and is the captain of the football team. His mother is the head reporter of Pleasantville news while his father is the Mayor of Pleasantville and he also has his couch potato brother, Dean Dawkins. He has two love interests, Stacy Hanson in the first season and then Lori Baxter in the second. During a camping trip on the night before senior year, he is bitten by a werewolf known as Mr. Dunleavy, whom he meets in "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow". He befriends social outcast Merton Dingle after Merton offers to help him with his lycanthropy. In the first season his "wolfing out" made his relationship with Stacy Hanson difficult because he always had to leave to fight bad guys. In the second season, Stacy left for college early, and his new love interest was Lori Baxter, who finds out about his secret after he has to save her from the Werewolf Syndicate. A recurring theme in the series is how he wants to get rid of his lycanthropy.
Merton J. Dingle
Merton J. Dingle
- Played by: Danny Smith
is Tommy's friend who helps him with his werewolf problem. He is a social outcast and a goth who is often the subject of bullying by everyone, especially to Tim and Travis. Tommy Dawkins and Lori Baxter are his only friends. He has converted his basement into what he calls his "lair" in which him, Tommy and later on, Lori use as their meeting place. He has a younger sister, Becky, with whom he has a rivalry with and she often calls him a freaker and tries to act like he doesn't exist. He is very protective of her however, but this often annoys his sister. He is often the comic relief of the show with his quirky personality and his often cowardly behaviour, but sometimes he has been shown to have courage by risking himself to save Tommy, who is his best friend, such as when he leaped in front of Tommy and was turned to stone by Medusa
instead of Tommy. He wishes that he was a werewolf instead of Tommy, even asking Tommy to pass on his lycanthropy to him in the second episode and even becoming a werewolf temporarily. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things to do with mythology and movies, often giving movie references to everything. He is a budding screen writer and often tries to write screenplays, and even got one sent to Corey Feldman. He has had many love interests throughout the series, with the main one being Lori Baxter in the second and third seasons, sometimes fighting with Tommy over her. He is often loyal to Tommy though a recurring joke in the series is that he would attempt to make deals with enemies, though Tommy ends up defeating them afterwards.
- Played by: Aimée Castle (2000-2002)
is Tommy's friend and sometime sweetheart who debuts in season 2. She transferred from Pleasantville Catholic for vandalizing a tribute to the school's football star which was wrecked during a one on one scrimmage between Tommy and the ghost of that star. She is a kickboxer and often uses her fighting skills to help Tommy beat the bad guys. Both Tommy and Merton like her, but she often picks Tommy over Merton. She is the only other person apart from Merton who knows that Tommy is a werewolf. She becomes a werewolf herself temporarily when she is bitten by Tommy who was under the spell of the Syndicate but was turned back into a human by Merton.
- Played by: Rachelle Lefèvre (1999)
is Tommy's love interest in Season 1. She is the captain of cheerleading and the most popular girl in school, said to have dated seniors since the sixth grade. She has given Tommy many second chances, but most of their dates are often ruined by Tommy wolfing out, which she takes for him just ditching her. She left for college at the end of the first season, because Rachelle Lefèvre (who played Stacey) was doing the same thing.
Tim and Travis Eckert
, aka "T'N'T," are played by Domenic Di Rosa
and Rob deLeeuw
. They are two six year juniors at Tommy's school who are large and unintelligent and often try to capture "The Pleasentville Werewolf," not knowing that they're actually chasing Tommy.
Dean Dawkins, played by Jack Mosshammer, is Tommy's brother. He is two years out of college, unemployed, and still lives with his parents. Dean is almost always found in the Dawkins' TV room, sitting in a recliner and watching TV.
Becky Dingle, played by Nathalie Vansier, is Merton's younger sister who often refers to him as "freaker."
Sally Dawkins, played by Jane Wheeler, is Tommy's mother. She's a local reporter in Pleasantville.
Hugo Bostwick, played by Richard Jutras (1999), is the eccentric security guard at Pleasantville High School.
Mayor Bob Dawkins, played by Alan Fawcett, is Tommy's father. He is the wealthy and influential mayor of Pleasantville.
- When he's left alone with a bad guy, Merton often asks the villain what it's like to be what they are. E.g. "So, you're a soul stealing agent of the dark dominion, what's that like?" or "So, you're a cybernetic creation who turned on his creator, what's that like?" Often their responses are something a "working man" would say about a dead end jobs like "It puts food on the table" or "its a living".
- Merton making a movie reference, then instead of talking about the movie itself, he would talk about either how the film was received or what he felt when he watched it. Afterwards Tommy usually hits him and says "in the movie!" e.g. "This is like the Purple Rose of Cairo, Woody Allen's Oscar nominated tale of longing and betrayal." "Yeah? What happened?" "The academy snubbed him, it's all so political." "What happened in the movie!?". This is the most recognizable gag in the show. Even when Tommy was under a trance he still hits Merton and when they're in a parallel dimension it is Tommy who makes the movie reference.
- Tommy's hero worship of John Elway, having an annual speech on him and also having an autographed rookie card of him.
- Merton trying to make a deal with his enemies when it looks like Tommy has lost.
- Merton saying someone has a rash in order to humiliate him/her, usually Tommy or Becky.
- Originally, Brandon Quinn had more extreme werewolf make-up. However, he had an allergic reaction to the glue and the look had to be altered.
- Danny Smith who plays Merton J. Dingle added a lot of his own catch phrases into the role. He also wrote and produced the show's theme song. During the show, Merton tries writing a song, and actually writes the show's theme (Albeit with one or 2 words changed)
- In France, the show was shown on France 2 from December 1999 to 2005. It now reruns on the free digital terrestrial channel Gulli since November 2005.
- In Quebec, the show is still shown on VRAK.TV.
- In Denmark the show aired on TV2, and later on their sister-channel TV2 Zulu
- In New Zealand the show was aired in the early 2000's on TV2. It has just finished rerunning in its entirety on the same channel, ending with the final episode of Season Two.
- On BBC Kids, the show still airs every Weeknight as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and evenings.
- In Italy, on a digital terrestrial channel
- In Bulgaria all the episodes were aired in the early 2000's on bTV.
- In the Netherlands only episode 2 was aired around 2001 and 2002 on Fox Kids.