The Clangers

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Name: The Clangers
Abbreviation(s): Clangers
Creator: Oliver Postgate
Date(s): November 16th 1969 – November 10th 1972, Election episode October 10th 1974, Eclipse special March 19th 2015, New series June 15th 2015-
Medium: TV series, Toys
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
External Links: Clangers at Wikipedia
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The Clangers began as a 1960s British children's science-fiction television series using stop-motion puppetry. The Clangers are a race of pink bipedal knitted creatures who live inside (and on) a small planet orbiting another sun, with its own strange plants and animals. They communicate entirely by whistling, and all of the stories are narrated; in the original series by Oliver Postgate, in the 2015 reboot by Michael Palin for the UK version, William Shatner for the USA. The stories show their everyday lives and events such as the arrival of "moos" (flying cows), visitors from other worlds (possibly Earth), and other problems.

Creatures resembling Clangers were originally seen in an episode of another Postgate series, Noggin the Nog, and this can be considered a canon crossover of sorts. There is another with Doctor Who; In The Sea Devils (1972) The Master watches part of an episode, under the impression he is watching real aliens. It is later made clear that the show is fiction in the Doctor Who universe.

The main characters are

  • Granny Clanger: elderly and fond of knitting.
  • Major Clanger: Father of the main family of clangers, an occasionally irate inventor.
  • Mother Clanger: Mother of Tiny and Small Clanger, usually concerned with domestic matters.
  • Small Clanger: Their son. Adventurous and often responsible for the events of the story.
  • Tiny Clanger: Their daughter. Kind and tries to make friends with all of the visitors to their world.
  • The Soup Dragon: a friendly green (apparently female) creature that lives in soup wells within the Clangers' planet, and serves green soup to the Clangers
  • Baby Soup Dragon: the Soup Dragon's child.

Some other adult Clangers were seen but never named in the original series.

We also see

  • Froglets: small orange aliens with black, stalk-like legs and large eyes.
  • The Iron Chicken: a "bird" made of scrap metal which lives in an orbiting nest made of metallic junk.
  • The Cloud: rains musically, seems to be alive.
  • Music Trees: Two trees which grow musical notes. Tiny Clanger can make them play music by gesturing with a conductor's wand.
  • Glow Buzzers: small glowing creatures that live in the caves and make honey.

Various other creatures are seen in individual episodes.

Clangers live on soup from the Soup Dragon's soup wells, Blue String Pudding, and other delicacies. They are shown to like chocolate in one episode.

All of the Clanger dialogue was whistled, but scripted in English, with phrases such as "Oh sod it, the bloody thing's stuck again" interpreted on a penny whistle. This particular phrase was used in the sound chip for talking toy clangers.

Fan Activity

This article or section needs expansion.

Fan activity has included numerous knitting patterns etc. for making Clangers and other toys, art, fanvids, and a small amount of fanfic.

A Clanger Symposium was held at the 2010 Eastercon, with various speakers presenting their ideas on Clanger biology, sociology, the real nature of the Clanger planet, etc., arguing (for example) that the flag shown in the episode "The Tablecloth," mixing the Stars and Stripes and the Hammer and Sickle, proves that the series is set in Pournelle and Niven's Co-Dominion universe.

Because most people in Britain are to some extent aware of the Clangers, they are often used as examples in relatively serious scientific papers and presentations, simply for the recognition factor; these should not be confused with fan activity, though they often draw from the same well of imagery etc. There are examples of both below.

There are no especially dominant themes in fanfic.

Fanworks

Vids

Fics

Other

Archives & Fannish Links