Fraggle Rock, the popular Jim Henson show from the 1980s, is returning during the Age of Corona. The streaming service Apple TV+ is reviving Fraggle Rock as a weekly series to be called Fraggle Rock: Rock On! At a time when other TV shows and movies are forced to go on hiatus, the new “series is filmed on iPhone 11s in the homes of crew members all over the country, which is kind of amazing. This is seriously the kind of cozy-hearted content we desperately need right now,” says AV Club.
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Fraggle Rock: Rock On! will consist of short weekly episodes, roughly three to five minutes long. In this reboot, “the Fraggles have found themselves separated from one another in various parts of their vast underground cave network, and it’s forcing them to come up with creative ways to stay connected—with the help of the Doozers, of course.” Instead of producing the entire series and then broadcasting it a week at a time, this reboot is being produced week by week by members of the Jim Henson Production Company as they shelter in place, working on smart phones that have more computing power than the computers that sent Neil Armstrong to the Moon.
Just as we are separated from each other through pandemic precautions at the moment, staying in touch on-line, so are the Fraggles separated from each other: they “have found themselves separated from one another in various parts of their vast underground cave network, and it’s forcing them to come up with creative ways to stay connected—with the help of the Doozers, of course.”
The original Fraggle Rock was deliberately designed for an international audience, and the “wraparounds” with human characters often varied from one country to another. The version shown on CBC and HBO featured a mad scientist, Doc and his dog Sprocket. This version was dubbed into the necessary languages in the Netherlands, Spain, and eastern Europe. In Great Britain, Fraggle Rock was in a cave under a lighthouse on a small coastal island, and the human who lived above Fraggle Rock unaware of their presence was a lighthousekeeper, again, with a Muppety dog named Sprocket. In the French adaptation Fraggle Rock was beneath a bakery.
The first episode was played for free on Apple TV+. Additional episodes will be broadcast every Tuesday. It’s to be hoped the new show outlasts the quarantine.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.