Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Clangers, The

UK tv series (1969-1973). BBC/Smallfilms. Pr Oliver Postgate. Sets and puppets Peter Firmin. Writer Postgate. Created by Postgate. 27 9min episodes. Colour.

Several generations still whistle and coo in memory of this series, whose episodes were repeated over and over again in the early evening, at a time when both adults and children – not necessarily together – might be watching. The Clangers (knitted puppets) were the curious little inhabitants of a tiny blue moon which was under frequent meteoritic bombardment; the burrows in which they sheltered from the meteors were capped by dustbin-lids, the noise of whose hurried replacement gave the species its name. Among the Clangers' various fantasticated associates was the Soup Dragon.

The Postgate/Firmin team – trading as Smallfilms – for some years more or less cornered the market with this sort of whimsical fare, first made popular in the UK by The Magic Roundabout (1963-1971 France; screened 1965-1977 in the UK). Other Postgate/Firmin collaborations included The Saga of Noggin the Nog (1959-1965), Ivor the Engine (1962-1964, 1976-1977), The Pogles/Pogles' Wood (1966-1967) and Bagpuss (1974), but TC was almost certainly the greatest success. [JG]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.