Friday, 18 September 2009

The Clangers - Pink Mice in Outer Space

The 8th December 2008 was a sad day for British Television and the many people who grew up listening to the warm and relaxing tones of English animator, puppeteer and writer, Oliver Postgate who passed away on that day. Among his many many achievements were creating and narrating such TV Classics as Noggin the Nog, Ivor the Engine and The Clangers.

The Clangers were a family of pink mouse-like creatures who lived on a small grey planet in outer space. They communicated in whistles, and ate green soup supplied by the Soup Dragon. Broadcast by the BBC from 1969-1972, The Clangers was a charming stop motion animated children's television series and was produced by Smallfilms, a company set up by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin.

The evocative music for this iconic British series and all Smallfilms productions was composed and performed by bassoonist, conductor and composer Vernon Elliot who passed away in 1996.

The Clangers
have entered pop culture with plush toys still available in UK high street shops. In the late 1980s and early 1990's a Scottish alternative rock band called The Soup Dragons covered the Rolling Stone's I'm Free. In an old Doctor Who episode "The Sea Devils" there is a curious cameo where The Master is seen watching The Clangers on TV while in prison and believes he has picked up some extra-terrestrial broadcast and claims to understand their curious whistling dialogue! Cuuuute!

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