The BBC has announced that The Clangers, a much-loved British stop motion series from 1969, will return in 2015. The new 52-episode series will air on CBeebies in Britain and on the preschool channel Sprout in the USA, courtesy of the entertainment rights company Coolabi. The animation will be produced by Factory Transmedia and the puppets produced by Mackinnon and Saunders.
The original series, created by writer/narrator Oliver Postgate and modelmaker Peter Firmin, was noted for its charming hand-crafted aesthetic. The pink, mouse-like Clangers themselves were clearly knitted, and their extraterrestrial surroundings were likewise distinctly home-made. As Oliver Postgate himself joked in the 2005 documentary Animation Nation:
In the beginning was the void, and the void was eight-by-five sheets of hardbord painted midnight blue. On the first day threw we stars upon, even unto the uttermost corners, and we looked upon it and saw that it was terrible and started all over again. Would that the good Lord had had a chance to do the same.
Anybody dreading a CGI revival can sleep soundly: speaking to the Independent, Coolabi CEO Jeremy Banks has confirmed that the new series will be stop motion. Original co-creator Peter Firmin, 84, is resuming his old role as puppet-maker (as well as exec producer), while Daniel Postgate—the son of the late Oliver—will supervise the writing of the series.