Headscratchers: Fraggle Rock
are the five main characters supposed to be?
They act like kids, but they have jobs and live pretty much independently (the uniqueness of their world's economy notwithstanding). No visible parents, but "Uncle
Traveling Matt" would suggest they must have some sort of family system. Do Fraggles even age or "mature" at the same rate as humans?
- Actually, it's pretty curious that they never adressed this sort of thing; Fraggle life-cycles and such. An early concept sketch suggests that they lay eggs and they do look rather birdlike, so maybe they reach their adult size within a year or two and reach actual maturity in another year or two. Meaning Red, Gobo and company are young by human standards.
- There were actually plans of including Fraggle births and life cycles in the show, but the creators changed their minds somewhere around mid-first season and decided not to address the issue at all. So all we get in the actual show is the Storyteller's vague reference to a Fraggle being "hatched" in the first-season episode "The Terrible Tunnel", which is somewhat contradicted in the second season, where it's revealed that most of the Fraggles don't know what an egg is. So either Fraggle eggs are extremely different from normal eggs, or they hatch out of rocks or something.
- They seem like young adults. The question is whether that makes them older, younger or the same age as human young adults, depending on how fast Fraggles age.
The Fraggles, being the land-owning gentry, exploit the Doozers as a source of free public works and agriculture (often both at once, since Fraggles like to eat Doozer-built structures) and selectively breed the Doozers for labor through a horrific eugenics program until the resulting Doozers enjoy nothing but working and are all but incapable of defying the tyrannical rule of their Fraggle masters. In fact, Doozers may actually be descended from lower-class Fraggles.
Hermione Mokey thought the same thing in one episode, which is why she started a movement to stop eating the Doozers' constructions. She didn't realize until later that Doozers have a drive, a pathological need to build. They don't build things for the Fraggles; they build them to build. Their society revolves around work and industry like the Fraggles' revolves around fun and relaxing. With no one eating or destroying their work, they ran out of room to build and, instead of being happy about it, they were planning to leave Fraggle Rock. They're not slaves; they co-exist in a symbiotic relationship with the Fraggles, both of their economies working for the other. They want the Fraggles to eat what they build so they can keep building, essentially "using" the Fraggles to stop their society from falling apart from overexpansion. And Fraggles don't breed them; such effort would go way beyond their laid-back way of life. Nor do they have much of a class system. A common theme, in fact, is that, "Everything is connected," as they say — radishes, Doozers, Fraggles, Gorgs...
- It's just you. The show is attempting to show a working, interconnected ecosystem (as discussed above) and as such, the Doozers are no more slaves to the Fraggles than say, bees are to bears.
- I've always thought of them as being analagous to those termites in Africa that build giant mounds.
- The Doozers actually consider the Fraggles to be the lower life form, and while they acknowledge that they need them around (who else would eat their towers and create room for more buildings?), they generally just ignore them or view them with a patrionising attidude. In fact, Doozer parents frighten their children with the old story of "The Doozer Who Didn't Work," which states that Doozers who refuse to work turn into Fraggles. While all adult Doozers agree that this story isn't true, the concept of turning into a Fraggle is clearly horrifying to them.
- The full list of interdependencies between the three main species, as revealed over several episodes in the first two seasons, is as follows.
- Fraggles need Gorgs to provide the radishes in the first place.
- Fraggles need Doozers to build, because it's hard to go more than a few days when all you've had to eat is food.
- Doozers need Gorgs to provide the radishes in the first place, both as food and building material.
- Doozers need Fraggles to eat the constructions, otherwise they would be forced to abandon their homes and many cherished aspects of Doozer civilization in order to live a nomadic lifestyle away from the Gorgs' reliable radish source. Doozers must build to survive, and only Fraggles allow them to live in permanent settlements where empty underground building space is continually being replenished.
- Gorgs need radishes to make Anti-Vanishing Cream. The radishes need to be watered, so they take water from the well. Of course, the water from the well actually comes from the Fraggle Pond. The water from the Fraggle pond actually comes from the boiler in Doc's workshop, and is only refilled when the Fraggle Pipebangers do their thing. So Gorgs need Fraggles because no Fraggles = no Pipebangers = no well water = no radishes = no cream = no Gorgs and total ecosystem collapse.
- Gorgs need Doozers to keep Fraggles alive as previously mentioned.
- This is our model ecosystem? Everyone's just stealing from Doc and the gorgs, and the doozers are irrelevant. That and we know that just one generation back, mushrooms stood in place of radishes. That definitely just bugs me.
- The Fraggles never stole from Doc, though. The only interaction they had with him (until the end of the series, of course) was when Gobo snuck into the workshop to get his postcards.
- They're stealing his water, then the gorgs steal it from the fraggles, and apparently it flows into a gorg river.. but with the revelation of the last episode, it seems like maybe magic is linking things together just for the heck of it.
- Not really stealing, just the excess water from the boiler, or perhaps a leaky pipe, either way, it seems a subtle contrivance for how the water gets there, but isn't really explained why a pipe running from the boiler into fraggle rock exists, or how.
- Eugenics? Descended from lower-class Fraggles? This is more WMG.
How do the Fraggles know so much about Outer Space?
Considering the vague terminology that Uncle Matt uses in his postcards (like "shiny creatures" for cars) how do Fraggles even have words in their language for things like tigers, bulls, genies, and so forth? They know culture-specific information like human idioms and folk tales, and value diamonds as treasure the way humans do even though they have no concept of money! Where's all this information coming from?
- Translation Convention
- They may know what the words mean, just not whenever they've encountered something that is that word. For example, they know what treasure is, but don't know that humans' "money" is treasure to humans, just that it's metal discs that humans throw in fountains.
- One thing I've noticed is that many, if not most, of these references appear during songs; it seems that when the Fraggles are singing they know the meaning of the words, but when the song stops the knowledge strangely vanishes. (Hence, Gobo can refer to "pink ice-cream" in a song, yet not know what ice cream is in a later episode.) We know from several episodes that music in Fraggle Rock has magical properties, part of which that songs and song lyrics just come to the Fraggles; even if they haven't heard a song before, or if it's completely improvised, they can still all sing along perfectly on the first try. So maybe music in Fraggle Rock functions as some kind of magical pool of knowledge, and the Fraggles learn about things through their spontaneous bursts of song and music. Obviously the technique isn't perfect, since they seem to forget much of what they've learned once the song is over, but it may simply be that they usually don't keep knowledge they don't actually need — given the distinct lack of tigers and ice cream in Fraggle Rock, they wouldn't actually need to know what these things are.
- It makes perfect sense to me that Fraggles are plugged directly into the Akashic record.
Why is Boober always washing socks?
Whenever Boober's laundry job gets referenced, it's always socks that are mentioned. But the Fraggles don't wear
socks; they're always barefoot. Where do these socks come from, and why do they need washed?
- Travelling Matt wears socks, as well as shoes. Okay, he probably doesn't send laundry home, but that does at least imply that some Fraggles wear socks — we just don't see it because most of the time we don't see their feet. Also, the book They Call Me Boober Fraggle mentions that Boober owns a pair of "lucky" socks that he wears when he feels he needs a little extra luck.
- It's not like Boober wouldn't do tedious work just for the sake of it.
- All those socks that vanish out of Silly Creature laundry have to go somewhere.
- I'm guessing he's got to finish washing them before they can put them on again. And he's not a fast worker.
Why does so much get blurred out? If it was legal to show kids playing with barbies or wearing Kermit the Frog masks in 1982, it's legal now. Once they showed kids trick-or-treating and blurred every one of their faces!
- That makes me gladder I no longer record from The Hub as I have got the DVDS.
- Mattel (a rival toy company) makes Barbie dolls, so that may have something to do with it. Also, Kermit is now owned by Disney, so that may also be part of it, and before you mention it, The Hub's contract for Fraggle Rock (which the Henson company owns directly) is likely separate from The Muppets note .
- Traveling Matt stops in a grocery store, and an entire aisle of canned goods is blurred out! Don't tell me Hasbro got into a tussle with Campbell's!
- Okay, is the Hub still even airing this thing? It's not on in the afternoons anymore!
- The show's run on the channel ended in June of '12.
Why does Traveling Matt enter human houses uninvited?
Is it just me or does anyone else find it disturbing that Uncle Traveling Matt actually enters the private houses of "Silly Creatures"? Some of those segments relegated in his postcards have Matt observing Silly Creatures or their possessions RIGHT INSIDE of their own homes. He's seen kids in their bedrooms or families eating in their dining rooms. Seriously, does Fraggle society have no sense of personal space, privacy, or etiquette?
- Nothing odd about that — our species invades other creatures' habitats all the time to study their behavior and learn about them.