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Pogles’ Wood/The Pogles

1 9 6 5 – 1 9 6 7 (UK)
6 x 9 minute episodes
26 x 15 minute episodes

A Smallfilms Production about tiny woodland folk who live deep in the middle of a wood . . . A special wood . . . in Pogles’ Wood.

Pogles’ Wood debuted on 7 April 1966 and was shown by the BBC as part of the Watch With Mother series until 1967. The stop-motion animation was the result of a collaboration between Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate, who made many children’s programmes between 1957 and 1987 via their company, Smallfilms – including Ivor the Engine, Noggin the Nog, The Clangers and Bagpuss.

It is arguably the finest self-contained serial Postgate and Firmin ever produced, although it is less well-known than its predecessors. The stories were written and told by Postgate, while Firmin provided the puppets and settings. Postgate was aided by Olwen Griffiths and Steve Woodman, with atmospheric music from Vernon Elliott.

The main characters were Mr Pogle, Mrs Pogle (who is always referred to as “wife” by her husband), a young boy called Pippin and an unidentified woodland creature called Tog who looked like a cross between a rabbit and a squirrel.

Mrs Pogle was a very strong matriarch and ruled her family with an iron fist (sending them to pick blackberries for her etc). In the Pogles’ garden was a magic plant – called ‘Plant’ – which was fond of a drop of bilberry wine and told stories and explained the world to Pippin and Tog.

The original six nine-minute episodes – broadcast as The Pogles – told the story of how the magic plant came to live with Mr and Mrs Pogle and revealed the truth about Pippin’s identity, as the foundling son of the King of the Fairies. The Pogles had to contend with a dark and evil old shape-changing Witch, and the overall tone of the series was sinister and disturbing.

After broadcasting it only once, the BBC declared it “too frightening” for its proposed inclusion in Watch with Mother and asked Oliver Postgate to make all future episodes revolve around more everyday countryside matters.

In the 60s there was a weekly comic called Pippin which contained Pogles’ Wood stories.

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Narrator/Mr Pogle/The Witch/King of the Fairies/Hedgepig/Fairies
Oliver Postgate
Mrs Pogle/Pippin
Olwen Griffiths
Plant/Tog
Steve Woodman

Episodes

The Magic Bean | A Silver Crown | Pogle Go Home! | A Flower For Wishes | The Singing Bird | King of The Fairies || Grains of Wheat | Milk From The Dairy | Honey Bees | Sheep’s Wool | Eggs For Breakfast | Trains | Tog-In-The-Middle | The Secret House | Noisy Engines | Badgers and Beans | Bears in the Wood | Tree Farming | Cake Crumbs | Keep Clear of The Water || Woodwinds | Strong Music | A Little House | Bears In The Wood | Bricks | A Paper Tiger | The Princess and The Jewel | Flowers | Kings and Queens | Clocks | Woodwork | Roundabouts | Umbrellas