Way-Back Wednesday: Remembering Fraggle Rock

Muppet Wikia

Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock first aired in 1983, introducing us to the show’s five main Fraggle characters — Red, Gobo, Mokey, Boober, and Wembley — and a large secondary cast that includes Doc, Uncle Traveling Matt, the Ancients, the Doozers, various Fraggle townspeople, the Cave Fraggles, the Gorgs, and Marjory the talking trash heap.

In the show, Doc and his dog Sprocket have a hole in the wall of their home, where furry, lion-tailed creatures known as Fraggles live (they call it Fraggle Rock). The Rock is also home to the Doozers (smaller than the Fraggles) and the Gorgs (who are giants that think they rule the Rock). The Big Five (Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober, and Red) get guidance from Marjory and learn about each other and their neighbors. Eventually they make friends with the Doozers, the Gorgs, and Doc and Sprocket. Uncle Matt explores Outer Space (what the Fraggles call our world) and sends postcards to Gobo about humans (they call us “Silly Creatures”).

Henson intended to produce Fraggle Rock as an international show, so segments aired in various countries were often edited and dubbed for its intended audience. For example, the UK version set Fraggle Rock near St. Anthony’s Lighthouse, which appeared in exterior shots in that country. But in France, a different Doc was a baker who had inherited his home from an eccentric inventor uncle.

After Fraggle Rock ended its four-year run in 1987, a single season of an animated version aired in the US. Four short runs of comics were produced in 1985, 1988, 2010, and 2011. A feature film has been “in development” since 2005, but no appreciable progress has been made toward a release.

The Fraggles haven’t been totally out of commission, though. In 2012, the Big Five appeared with Ben Folds in the video for his song, “Do It Anyway!” (That’s Chris Hardwick, too.)

And just recently at Dragoncon, Red and Mokey appeared together (along with their human assistants, Karen Prell and Kathryn Mullen).

Do you remember Fraggle Rock? I used to watch it all the time, and of course Red was my favorite. By the time I started school the show was over, but it’s on DVD and Youtube now, so sometimes (don’t tell anyone) I just watch a couple episodes for old time’s sake.

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