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Fraggle Rock (UK)

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Fraggle Rock
A Fraggle Rock co-production
Country UK
First aired January 7, 1984
Last aired
Network ITV
Seasons 7

thumb|300px|right|UK opening sequence for 2-3

Doc UK1

The Captain building a model in 'The Garden Plot'

Captain2

The Doozer ring from 'A Friend In Need'

Fraggle Rock's first produced international co-production was the English UK version, though the French and German versions began airing sooner. The segments within the Muppet world of Fraggle Rock are identical to the American version, however the segments from outer space (i.e. the Doc & Sprocket and Traveling Matt segments) were changed to fit the UK audience.

Fraggle Rock was located on a rock headland or island on a sea coast. There is a lighthouse on the island. The lighthouse was the home of the Captain, a retired sailor and the UK version of the Doc character, played by Fulton MacKay. Sprocket was still his companion, however.

Due to MacKay's death in 1987, the Captain was replaced in the fourth UK season by a younger character known as P.K. (Principal Keeper, the Captain's nephew), played by John Gordon Sinclair and again in the sixth UK season by another character, B.J. (the Captain's son), played by Simon O'Brien.

The episode order and Captain story-lines were different than the original North American version. One particular difference is that the Captain is a little more harsh towards Sprocket than Doc is.

The UK co-production was the only one to take the series through to the end. France and Germany ended before episode 96.

A selection of episodes was released on VHS. A petition to have Fraggle Rock released on DVD was run on the web for many years; until 2004 the only DVD release had been in the UK, a "best of" collection of 12 episodes in a grainy transfer from the VHS release. TVS, the original broadcasters, has passed through several owners since 1992 and of the 96 episodes, only 12 master copies are so far known to still be in existence. HIT Entertainment has tried unsuccessfully to locate the missing episodes, including extensive enquiries with The Jim Henson Company both in the UK and the US. (For a detailed list of UK video and DVD releases, see Fraggle Rock UK Videography.)

When UK television channels wish to broadcast the show, they are forced to use US versions; such was the case with Cartoon Network in 2004.

During March 1985 Uncle Travelling Matt did one month of live presentation for CITV, a UK children's afternoon programming block. A Live-Hand Muppet version of Matt, performed by Dave Goelz, was used for these appearances. Matt would announce all the children's programming, except Fraggle Rock itself. Each Wednesday afternoon just before the show was broadcast, Matt would somehow be distracted and remain unaware his fellow Fraggles were on TV.

Cast

IMG 4441

Fraggle Rock UK Crew Shirt

Assistant: Mike Quinn (season 1-4), Geoff Felix (season 4-5)

Episode Guide

Picture Episode Summary
Fraggleuk
Episode 101: Beginnings A clip from this episode is shown on the "Down at Fraggle Rock" documentary.
MattUK6
Episode 117: Marooned The Captain and Sprocket are snowed in, and Sprocket refuses to let Fluffinella into the lighthouse for shelter. Meanwhile, Uncle Matt encounters the "lair of the long red giants" (double decker buses).
Postcards.i07
Episode 118: The Minstrels Sprocket thinks he has musical talent, but the Captain begs to differ. Uncle Traveling Matt is horrified at the sight of a Scotsman playing a bagpipe, thinking the bagpipe is a monster which the Silly Creature is strangling.
Noimage
Episode 119: The Great Radish Famine Sprocket has fleas, and The Captain gets rid of them using a concoction of stale radishes and kipper oil.
Noimage
Episode 121: Gobo's Discovery The Captain cheers for a fellow voyager returning from his journey on the sea. Uncle Matt's postcard is the same as in the US version.
Matt radishes
Episode 122: Mokey's Funeral Sprocket is upset when the Captain accuses him of eating the bread that he left out for the seagulls. Uncle Matt "gathers" radishes from a produce stand, and is pursued by "Gorgs" (angry Silly Creatures, actually).
Noimage
Episode 213: Red's Club The Captain tries to form a birdwatchers' club, but only Sprocket will join. Uncle Traveling Matt discovers a way to control a species of big yellow creatures: just yell "Taxi!" and they'll stop.
Noimage
Episode 306: Pebble Pox Blues Sprocket catches a cold and is made fun of from PK. In the end, Sprocket recovers, but now PK ends up with the flu. Uncle Matt's postcard is the same as in the US version.
Vlcsnap-85433

Vlcsnap-92094

Vlcsnap-86469
Episode 513: Change of Address The lighthouse is being automated, which means that there is no longer a need for a keeper, so BJ and Sprocket have to leave. BJ takes up a job as caretaker at a castle, which is where he and Sprocket discover the second Fraggle hole.

Openings

This Fraggle Rock co-production opening has a longer opening, mostly involving the shot of the lighthouse. Because of the change in actor, there were three different opening titles produced. The first three series had two different openings with the Captain, while the rest of the show's run had one opening per keeper. There were also two alternate openings, including one with Sprocket alone in the lighthouse, as seen in "Born to Wander" The first half of the opening from the second and third series (ending after the Fraggles' first verse) was included at the end of the Fraggle Rock Season Two DVD Interviews segment titled "Docs And Sprockets".

Credits

UK airdates

Series 1

Christmas Special

Series Two

Series Three

Series Four

Series Five

Series Six

Series Seven

External links

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