Friends in Need
Episode 8
The animals after surviving the fox hunt
Episode Information
Series 1
Episode No. 8
UK Airdate 24 February 1993
Written by Valerie Georgeson
Episode Chronology
Preceded by New Friends, Old Enemies
Succeeded by Whistler's Quarry

Friends in Need is the eighth episode of the first series of The Animals of Farthing Wood. It was originally broadcast in the UK on 24 February 1993.


Fox and Vixen go hunting together. Fox tells Vixen about his friends, but also wishes he didn't have to leave her once he has found them. Vixen tells Fox that she could only stay with a fox who has proved himself and that she'll decide along the way. Soon they meet a Barn Owl who says he had a conversation with Owl and informs them that Badger is still alive and well. Fox and Vixen start to search for the other animals but the scent becomes divided and they split up to look in both directions. Fox quickly realizes he has taken the correct route when he meets the shrike, who tells him about the other animals.

Meanwhile the other animals are climbing a hill to reach a small copse. Mole falls off Badger's back and slips back down the hill, struggling to make his way to the top. Vixen talks to a thrush who is feeding her babies and decides to head back to Fox, but a fox hunt picks up her scent and begins to pursue her. Mole eventually joins the other animals at the top of the hill and they hear the sound of a fox hunt and hope that there are no foxes around.

Fox reaches the bottom of the hill and is seen by the other animals, but he sees that Vixen is in trouble and bravely attempts to divert the hunt's attentions onto himself. However, the hunt splits up and pursues both foxes. Fox leads the hounds up the hill towards the other animals, but Owl and Kestrel attack them and the hunt turns back and heads towards Vixen again. Fox meets the other animals and is dismayed to learn that he has put them in danger and also that Vixen is now in danger again too. Vixen tries to climb the hill and nearly meets her end, but Adder strikes out at the huntmaster's horse, and the hunt is called off. Vixen tells Fox that she would be honored to be his mate, and she joins the Farthing Wood animals on their journey.


  • This episode marks the first appearance of the fox hunt, the last appearance of the shrike, and the only appearance of the Barn Owl and the thrush.
  • On the "From Copse to Quarry" VHS, the scene with the thrush is cut and so is the Butcher Bird's line "Good Hunting."
  • Toad breaks the fourth wall by saying to the audience "if only the rabbits hadn't panicked none of this would ever have happened".


  • At one point when Vixen continues to run away from the hounds, the same background is used, so it looks like a bush turns into Vixen.
  • The larder of the Shrike looks differently to the previous episode.
Series and Episodes
Series 1 (1993) • Series 2 (1994) • Series 3 (1995)
Series 1 episodes (1993)
The Wood in DangerThe Journey BeginsThrough Fire and Through WaterFalse HavenSnare for the UnwaryWho Shall Wear the Crown?New Friends, Old EnemiesFriends in NeedWhistler's QuarryBetween Two EvilsA Deathly CalmPandemoniumSo near and yet so far...
Series 2 episodes (1994)
A Heroes' WelcomeWinterSurvivalNew EnemiesA Joke BackfiresHome Is Where the Heart IsThe Feud BeginsLike Father, Like SonNarrow EscapesShadowsA Time of ReckoningBlood Is Thicker Than WaterReconciliation
Series 3 episodes (1995)
Comings and GoingsOut and AboutWater, WaterThe Missing Fox's FriendTiffs and TempersAdventure for the BirdsThe Long-Tailed VisitorScared Silly by SnakesA Bigger OinkThe Mole GameThe Worst Kind of HurricaneHomeward BoundBully-Bully-Bully