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A 1988 article in Channels, a magazine for the television industry, mentioned an international Muppet project: "There are children in the world who have never heard of the Muppets, in China, Africa, India and the Soviet Union, and Henson is excited about reaching audiences in those countries. One project in development, Muppet Voyager, could serve as a vehicle for reaching some of them. It would shoot in a different country every week." Henson wrote the proposal for IBM Europe while in France during the first weekend of March 1986. Character designs for Muppet Voyager were completed by Kirk Thatcher in 1987.
According to the Henson Company archivist:
Jim and his team saw the Muppet Voyagers, led by Commander Horseflash, as an intergalactic documentary film crew, transmitting their findings back home at the end of each show. While they could see a difference between a human and a car, for example, they could not distinguish between different nationalities or races. Their experience and point of view would show that our planet is small and that, “We’re all in this together.” And as noted by the creative team in their pitch to IBM, even the production process would have demonstrated that we “..can work together to create positive international programming. ”
A sketch from the Archives (right) features a concept for a robot character with the following description:
Mirm, like her Mirm and her Mirm before her, is physically attached tot he space-dinghy. Here she sits, directing expeditions and collecting and collating data. Mirm is efficient, energetic, academic, logical to a fault and loves to analyze data more than anything else in the universe. ”