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21 April 2014
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Clangers: Click for more images Knit your own clanger: The original Clangers were knitted by Peter Firmin's wife, and had skeletons made of meccano, wood and brass ball joints. According to the Smallfilms approved Clangers site, the official knitting pattern is available from: Peter Gregory of G K P Ltd, Springmill House, Baildon, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD17 6AD.

The Missing Episode: In 1974 a special Clangers episode was made for the General Election. The short tale was called Vote for Froglet! and went out on election night on 10th October 1974. It hasnít been broadcast since. See a clip >>

Doctor Who and the Clangers: In a bizarre cult-crossover, the Clangers make a brief appearance in the 1972 story, The Sea Devils. The Doctorís arch-enemy, The Master, watches them on television and approves heartily. See a clip >>

Clangers: Click for more images Conflagration: During filming of The Rock Collector, the departing Earth Module set fire to the Clangers set. It was powered by four fireworks.

Bad language: According to the Smallfilms approved Clangers site, the BBC objected to the language. Despite the fact that they were whistling, they swore like troopers.

Smallfilms, Small Set: The planet of the Clangers was built in Peter Firmin's barn. The surface was made from polystyrene and plaster-of-paris so the Clangers little feet could be nailed to it, to make them stand up. Ouch!

Creation: Oliver Postgate describes creating the Clanger's world in his autobiography, Seeing Things:

In the beginning was the void and the void was dark and without form, being 'eight by five' sheets of battened hardboard painted midnight blue. And on the first day took we a bucket of white emulsion and big floppy brushes and threw white stars thereon, even unto the extremities thereof. And we looked upon it and saw that it was terrible.
And on the second day we painted it out and started again...

Strings Attached: Animating flying objects proved to be a challenge. They were hung from strings, which meant waiting for them to stop swinging before shooting the frame of film.

NASA: A NASA engineer is reputed to have said that the Clangers were 'a valiant attempt to bring a note of realism to the fantasy of the Space Programme'




Links:

Dragon's Friendly Society: Devoted to the sagas of Noggin the Nog and the Pogles, both early Smallfilms productions.

Acme Whistles make Swannee Whistles - which make Clangers make noises!

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

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

VIDEO CLIPS

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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