When the much-loved children’s TV series The Clangers returns to British screens next month, viewers can expect a few changes to the original. But the enhancements in the Michael Palin-narrated series come with the support of one of the people who was around from the very beginning.
Peter Firmin, who with Oliver Postgate created the stop-motion animated programme about the moon-dwelling creatures, said: “Now they can dance, they can fly and they can jump.” He added that the newly developed capabilities of the Clangers were “exciting”.
“Before they couldn’t do that, they were tied to the floor,” said Mr Firmin, who is now an executive producer for the programme.
The Clangers, he said, was inspired by Moon Mouse from The Saga of Noggin the Nog, another series he created with the late Oliver Postgate.
Unlike some other remakes of classics, the new version will not feature CGI, preferring to stay true to its analogue roots. In 2013, Jeremy Banks, CEO of entertainment rights company Coolabi, said: “It’s absolutely vital we retain the charm of the original. You can’t do that with CGI, so we are going to use the original stop-frame motion technique.”
The new series, is written by Postgate’s son Daniel. Of his role as narrator Palin said: “I loved the first series so much. I found it wonderful to watch with my own children. It was calming.”
He thought the original commentary by Postgate was an important part of the series. “These are wonderful series in a wonderfully designed set with great music. For a narrator, what’s not to like?”
The first of 52 episodes of the new series of The Clangers will air on CBeebies on 15 June, more than 40 years after the last episode of the original series aired. The channel’s controller, Kay Benbow, said: “As a family, the Clangers are loving and caring and treat friends and strangers with kindness.”
The creatures will still speak in melodious Clangerese, although the programme will be filmed with a normal script initially. Producer Dan Maddicott will create the Clanger’s voices by using the same intonation with a slide whistle.Reuse content