|Air Date||January 10, 1983|
|Written by||Jerry Juhl|
Doc, an inventor and tinkerer, moves into a new workshop in a seaside town with his faithful dog, Sprocket. Doc doesn't know it, but a magical underground world lies just beyond the wall of his workshop -- Fraggle Rock, populated by free-spirited, fuzzy, three-foot-high creatures called Fraggles; tiny, hard-working Doozers; and gigantic, weak-minded Gorgs.
Traveling Matt Fraggle, a Fraggle explorer, discovers a hole that leads through the wall into Doc's Workshop, which he identifies as "Outer Space -- the final frontier for Fraggledom." When Matt decides to explore Outer Space, he notifies his nephew Gobo that he'll periodically send messages back to Doc's Workshop for Gobo to collect. Gobo watches his Uncle Matt venture into the workshop, where he's chased out of the door by a barking Sprocket. Gobo is terrified at the thought that he'll have to go out into that workshop every few days to get Matt's messages. With the help of the Trash Heap and his friends, however, Gobo manages to summon the bravery to retrieve the first of what will be many postcards from his Uncle Travelling Matt.
- According to Uncle Matt's book on Fraggle Rock, "The center of the universe is, of course, that marvelous land known as Fraggle Rock. It is thus called because it is a Rock and Fraggles live there."
- This episode introduces thirteen main characters: the five main Fraggles, Uncle Matt, Doc, Sprocket, Marjory the Trash Heap, Philo and Gunge, Junior Gorg and the Doozers. All of the major relationships are set up in this episode, which also provides a sense of the interdependence amongst the Fraggles, the Doozers, the Gorgs, Doc and Sprocket, and the Trash Heap.
- While this is the first episode of the series, it was recorded as the tenth. The producers apparently wanted the performers to have a better grip on their characters by the time they recorded their introductory episode (which is not an uncommon tactic for television production). Most of the episodes in the series were shown in the order in which they were recorded, but the first block of episodes (taped between March and August 1982) aired entirely out of order. The first episode produced, "The Thirty-Minute Work Week," was taped in March and aired as the fifth episode. This episode was produced in July.
- Among the items that Doc brings into his workshop is a large pineapple.
- The UK, French, and German versions of the scene in which Doc finds Gobo's mail were shown and compared in the "Down at Fraggle Rock" documentary.
- French version: In this version, Uncle Matt's first venture into Outer Space (in this case France) involves a French hydrant and two tennis players clad in shorts instead of children. Additionally, as would become standard in this version, Croquette is seen reading in his bed; the dog portrayed as more of a bookworm and intellectual than Sprocket, occasionally donning reading glasses.
- Beginnings (HBO Video, 1986)
- Meet the Fraggles! (Jim Henson Video, 1993) -- closing credits cut
- Where It All Began (VHS and DVD) (HIT!, 2004) -- closing credits cut
- Fraggle Rock: Complete First Season (HIT!, 2005)
- Fraggle Rock: Complete Series Collection (HIT!, 2008)
International episode titles
- Denmark: "Begyndelsen"
- Finland: "Tutustutaan"
- French: "Il était une fois" (Once upon a time)
- Germany: "Der Anfang" (The Beginning)
- Japan: "そとの国ってどんなとこ？" (What Kind of Place is the Outside Land?)
- Netherlands: "Het Begin..." (The Beginning)
- Norway: "Slik begynte det" (How it began)
- Poland: "Początek" (Beginning)
- Portugal: "O Início" (The Beginning)
- Spain: "Érase una vez" (One upon a time)
- Sweden: "Så började det" (How it all began) (Video title "Farbror Mack's resa" [Uncle Matt's Journey])
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