The Clangers are back: the question is, will Button Moon be next?
Having initially beamed their adventures to Earth in the year Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon, Major, Mother, Small, Tiny and Granny are coming back to the BBC. Yes, classic kids' show The Clangers – the first sci-fi encounter for an entire generation of kids – is being resurrected for CBeebies. The reboot is set to debut in 2015.
The original show, launched at the height of Moonmania in 1969, was the creation of Peter Firmin and the late Oliver Postgate. Firmin is back as executive producer on the new £5 million production, alongside Postgate's son Daniel, who'll be writing storylines and scripts.
“We hope to engage and entertain children of all ages and their families, just as Oliver and I did all those years ago," says Firmin. "The new series will include great story telling with lots of heart. It will also be technically improved. When you watch the original Clangers you have to make allowances for the limitations of the animation techniques when it was made. It was magical for its time, but this is a new Clangers for a new age!”
The Soup Dragon, the Iron Chicken and the Froglets are among the Clangers guest stars returning alongside those pink woolly mouse-type creatures living on that small blue planet. The best news is that – like the original – the new series will be created with stop-motion animation. The puppets will be made by Mackinnon and Saunders, who worked on Tim Burton's Corpse Bride and Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr Fox .
There's no news yet on whether the Clangers will once again speak with their distinctive Swanee whistle voices – with this new series being a co-production with US pre-school network Sprout, perhaps those whistles will come with American accents. Or maybe they'll have a crack at speaking Klingon.
Reacting to the news, Major Clanger said something that sounded really cute, but looked like utter gibberish when written down. The Iron Chicken could not be reached for comment.