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Fraggle Rock

Posted by Big Boo on April 23rd, 2008

Fraggle RockThe Fraggles were a group of funny little care-free creatures that lived in caves and were generally always ready to party with a song and a dance. The programme was made by Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, and the Fraggles were of course made out of the same sort of spongey looking material that was used for the Muppets themselves, with a bit of fur added in for good measure.

Whilst there were a great many Fraggles, the stories generally revolved around five in particular. Gobo was, for want of a better word, the leader, being a very practical Fraggle, though one with a taste for exploring. Gobo’s best friend was Wembley, a younger more excitable Fraggle who was very indecisive, mainly because he didn’t like to let anybody down. Mokey was a bit of a hippy, female Fraggle, who had a very calming influence. Her friend Red was the exact opposite, and could be described as the closest the Fraggles had to a stuntwoman! Finally there was Boober, who’s biggest interest was doing the laundry, and was guaranteed to always find the down side in everything.

The Fraggles shared their caves with the Doozers, little green characters who were constantly busy building structures. One of the reasons they were kept so busy is because the structures were made out of little crystal rods, which the Fraggles found very tasty and would often break off a length and eat.

Outside the Fraggles caves there were two quite different worlds. One was the world of the Gorgs, massive creatures that treated the Fraggles as pests because the Fraggles would steal their radishes. Radishes were actually the Fraggles primary food source, with Doozer Sticks being more of a sweet snack. There were only three Gorgs, these being the King and Queen of the Universe (as they referred to themselves – given there were only three Gorgs it was a bit of a grandiose title), and their son Junior, who was a bit dimwitted.

The Gorgs garden also contained Marjory, the Trash Heap, who was equal parts agony aunt and answerer of questions to the Fraggles. Whenever a Fraggle had a problem they would seek counsel from the Trash Heap, but they had to brave the Gorgs garden first to get there. When Marjory had dispensed her wisdom, her two snivelling supporters Philo and Gunge would declare the Fraggles audience over with the chant “The Trash Heap has spoken. Nuuurrggh!“.

The other exit from the caves led to our own human world. This was referred to as “Outer Space” by the Fraggles. Interesting the sections shot in “Outer Space” were filmed differently for different countries. In the UK, the Fraggles emerged into a lighthouse occupied by the lighthouse keeper and his dog, Sprocket. Sprocket sometimes saw the Fraggles, but he never managed to attract his owner’s attention in time for him to see them too. The lighthouse keeper was initially played by actor Fulton Mackay, best known for his role as a prison warden in the Ronnie Barker comedy Porridge. When Mackay died, he was replaced first by John Gordon Sinclair, and then by Simon O’Brien. In the US and Germany, the lighthouse keeper was instead an inventor named Doc, and in France the lighthouse was replaced by a bakery.

The Silly Creatures of Outer Space (i.e. us humans) were being investigated by Gobo’s Uncle Travelling Matt, who would wander around various everyday situations getting completely the wrong end of the stick in most cases. This footage was again filmed specifically for each country, and was inserted into the show by representing Gobo reading a postcard from his uncle, which he had to grab out of the waste paper bin in the lighthouse/inventor’s workshop/bakery (delete depending on your country!).

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