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30 July 2014
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The Clangers: Click for more imagesWe visited the tiny blue planet on the day that small Clanger caught a Hoot whilst fishing in the sky. Eventually it was returned to an enormous barrel-organ in the sky. It played them tunes.

See a video clip >>

Kim: "Clangerphobia"

When I started in the Cult office, the joke-du-jour was to chase me around the room with a small, hooting toy Clanger. It nearly made me cry. Why? Because I have Clangerphobia.

I panicked whenever they came on. I'd run behind the scratchy, orange sofa in our living room and scream until my mum turned the telly over. It was the noises that scared me - their hollow hooting even turned up in my recurring Jupiter-in-a-telephone-box Doctor Who nightmare.

I missed out on childhood magic. These charming films are a gentle moral example to everyone, and full of playful ebullience.

They're even better on 'mute'.

James: "About Something Important"

The Clangers is surely the most magical and intriguing children's programme the BBC ever showed. The cheery innocence of the charming knitted aliens is unbelievably endearing, and the whole structure of their universe is both fascinating and comforting.

The surprising feeling watching the show today is that it's About Something Important. Not in the slightly silly but fashionable way of deconstructing all kids tv to be about the Oppresive Capitalist Orthodoxy. No, the Clangers appears to contain lots of short, warm stories about life and the way people (admittedly small, pink knitted people) behave towards the world around them.

Steve: "Scatty Narrative"

This is a classic, apparently. Iíve never seen it, have no memories of it, and watching it for the first time actually scrambled my brain.

What is alarmingly clear is that NASA has no idea about space travel. Never mind multi-million pound space shuttles, just get there by musical cloud. All that time and effort, yet no-one showed them The Clangers.

Postgate and Firmin seem to instinctively know how children's brains work. The scatty narrative fondly reminds me of stories I wrote in primary school note books.

Give me Bagpuss anyday, but it's obvious why so many people love this.

The Clangers images and identity are © Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate.


VIDEO CLIP:Titles - Welcome to the little blue planet

VIDEO CLIP:Rescue - Tiny clanger rides the cloud

VIDEO CLIP:Memories - Messrs. Postgate and Firmin

VIDEO CLIP:Election - The lost episode

VIDEO CLIP:Hooting - The b****y thing's stuck again!

VIDEO CLIP:Master - The Clangers on Doctor Who

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