|“Dance your cares away,
Worries for another day,
Let the music play,
Down at Fraggle Rock!”
Think about it for a minute. Four races of major characters (plus a talking trash heap), three separate worlds, a weekly segment filmed differently for each major international market… It would be an understatement to say that Fraggle Rock was the most elaborate puppet show ever created. And to Jim Henson’s eternal credit, somehow he pulled it off.
The Fraggles were a race of foot-and-a-half tall creatures who lived beneath the house of human inventor Doc and his dog, Sprocket. Also living inside Fraggle Rock were the Doozers, tiny green workers who built elaborate structures that the Fraggles would then eat (all in the natural economy of things. If the Fraggles didn’t eat, the Doozers would run out of room to build.) But the Fraggles needed more than Doozer I-beams to survive—they needed radishes. Unfortunately, the only place to get radishes was in the garden of the Ma, Pa, and Junior Gorg, enormous creatures who would like nothing more than to bash a few Fraggle skulls. And if the Fraggles needed any more motivation, the Gorg’s garden was the only route to Marjorie, the Trash Heap, an all-wise mound of coffee grounds, banana peels, and the like.
Confused yet? There’s more. Each week, Fraggle Gobo ventured up to Doc’s workshop to retrieve a new postcard from Uncle Travelling Matt, a globe-trotting misadventurer. The Travelling Matt segments were tailored to the airing country, all part of Henson’s intention that Fraggle Rock would “show the world how to live in peace".
The five main Fraggles—adventurous Gobo, tender Mokey, indecisive Wembley, pessimistic Boober, and energetic Red—took turns in the spotlight, always learning a valuable lesson but never preaching or condescending. The show was an international hit, lasting six seasons and 96 episodes, and remains a beloved favorite of many.