1 9 8 3 – 1 9 8 7 (USA)
96 x 30 minute episodes
Think about it for a minute. Four races of major characters (plus a talking trash heap), three separate worlds, a weekly segment filmed differently for each major international market . . .
It would be an understatement to say that Fraggle Rock was the most elaborate puppet show ever created. And to Jim Henson’s eternal credit, somehow he pulled it off.
Fraggles are about 18 inches in height, come in all shapes, colours and ages, and have an endless supply of energy. They like to sing, dance, wear silly hats, eat Doozer sticks and swim. Each episode features five young Fraggle friends – Gobo, Wembley, Red, Mokey and Boober.
They are cute little Muppet-like creatures who live in a subterranean world beneath the house of human inventor Doc and his dog, Sprocket, and sing in squeaky voices while frequently bumping their heads as they make their way through the stone corridors.
Sharing the Fraggle world are the Doozers – tiny green construction workers in hard hats who like an army of ants, are busily building an interconnecting network of crystalline towers constructed primarily of radish dust!
The two species coexist without friction, even when the Fraggles eat Doozer architecture. In fact, the Doozers rely on this. If Fraggles didn’t eat Doozer towers, they would run out of room to build. Doozers are only 6 inches tall (knee-high to a Fraggle) and are methodical, thorough and single-minded in their mission. They often accompany their building with marching songs and various Doozer chants.
The Fraggles known world extends to a neighbouring garden inhabited by three giant Gorgs; Pa (who considers himself king of the Gorgs), Ma (his queen), and Junior (their son and only subject). Gorgs are huge – ten times the size of a Fraggle. Pa claims that at one time their ‘clan’ ruled the whole universe.
The Gorgs do their clumsy best to catch Fraggles when they attempt to get the radishes in the Gorgs’ garden. Junior has been known to occasionally succeed in catching them, but they always manage to escape or be set free.
Also in the Gorgs’ kingdom is Marjorie, an oracle-like talking trash heap, and her two companions and sometime assistants: -a pair of rodent-like creatures called Philo and Gunge. Fraggles always come to Marjory for advice when they have a question. Are you still with me?
Meanwhile, Doc, an elderly inventor (and the only human in the show) lives in Our World (in his workshop) with his inquisitive dog Sprocket (who is a Muppet, pictured below). Also out here somewhere, is Travelling Matt – Gobo’s Uncle, who is busy exploring our world, or ‘Outer Space’ as he calls it.
Outer Space is connected to Fraggle Rock through a hole in the wall at the workshop and this is where Uncle Matt sends the postcards for Gobo. The Travelling Matt segments were tailored to the airing country, all part of Henson’s intention that Fraggle Rock would “show the world how to live in peace”.
Confused? Who said reality is for people who can’t handle drugs?