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Trivia / Fraggle Rock

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  • Absentee Actor: The only character to appear in every episode is Doc (or his localized equivalent), although he was absent from Fraggle Rock: Rock On! because of Gerry Parkes' death five years prior. (None of the Doozers or Gorgs appeared in the reboot either, although the Doozers are mentioned as the inventors of the Doozer Tubes.) As for the main Fraggle cast:
    • Gobo is missing from such episodes as "The Great Radish Famine", "Believe it or Not", and "Fraggle Wars", the last of which featured none of Jerry Nelson's characters (Gobo's absence was explained by saying he was in the Golden Grotto for the day).
    • Mokey is absent from "All Work and All Play", "Believe It or Not", "The Challenge", and "The Trash Heap Doesn't Live Here Anymore"; she also doesn't appear on the front cover of the second season DVD.
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    • Wembley is absent from "Junior Sells the Farm", "The Battle of the Leaking Roof", and "Red's Blue Dragon".
    • Red is absent from the fewest episodes compared to the other main Fraggles, but she still sits out "The Trash Heap Doesn't Live Here Anymore" and "The Battle of the Leaking Roof".
    • Boober is absent from "Capture the Moon", "All Work and All Play", "Junior Sells the Farm", "Doozer is as Doozer Does", and "The Cavern of Lost Dreams".
    • Wembley and Boober are the only two of the Fraggle Five who appear in "The Trash Heap Doesn't Live Here Anymore," an excuse for some Character Development for both (particularly Wembley) in that they solve the problem without Gobo's help (despite Wembley's first instincts being to seek Gobo's assistance). There's still an Uncle Traveling Matt postcard segment, though the card is recited from memory by Wembley. note 
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    • A real life example: Frank Oz, a veteran of just about every other production of the Muppets' golden age, had no involvement in Fraggle Rock, as he was concentrating on trying to launch his own directorial career with films like Little Shop of Horrors in addition to his work on Sesame Street.
  • Acting for Two: The five principal actors all performed a number of supporting characters in addition to their primary roles. For example:
    • Gobo, Pa Gorg and Marjory the Trash Heap are all played by Jerry Nelson.
    • Wembley and Sprocket are played by Steve Whitmire.
    • Dave Goelz played Uncle Matt and Philo as well as Boober.
    • Cotterpin Doozer was performed by Kathryn Mullen, who also did Mokey.
    • Karen Prell's roles in addition to Red included Wingnut Doozer and Fluffinella the cat.
    • Richard Hunt's most memorable characters were Junior Gorg and Gunge.
  • Adored by the Network:
    • Interestingly enough, when The Hub was first starting up, Fraggle Rock was one of the shows the network was giving a big push in the marketing, probably because it was the most recognizable program on their original schedule. They even had Karen Prell film new footage as Red Fraggle for bumpers between shows (along with John Tartaglia as Gobo, taking over that role from the late Jerry Nelson). Little did they know that My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic was about to steal every Hub show's thunder. The Hub stopped airing Fraggle Rock in June of 2012 (barring a 3-hour marathon on April 21, 2013 to celebrate the show's 30th anniversary). Reruns resumed on a regular basis on June 4, 2013 until the network became Discovery Family in October 2014.
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    • A more complicated case with HBO. At its peak, Fraggle Rock was the highest rated program on the network, outrating even HBO's most popular movies. Yet, as HBO desired to develop more original programming for adults, Fraggle Rock fell victim to the budget axe, resulting in its early cancellation despite its popularity.
    • When TNT began airing the show in reruns after HBO canceled it, they showed it twice a day, as HBO had done at the show's peak of popularity.
  • Author Existence Failure: Many of the creative team involved in the original show have since passed away, including Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl, and several of the principal actors, including Gerard Parkes (Doc in the North American version), Jerry Nelson, and Richard Hunt. Thus, Doc and the Gorgs (Hunt played Junior, and Nelson played Pa) do not appear in Fraggle Rock: Rock On!, the Apple TV Plus spin-off of the show, and Gobo is voiced by a new performer (John Tartaglia). As are Wembley and Mokey, although this is due to the original performers of those characters no longer working with the Muppets.
  • Channel Hop:
    • After HBO canceled the show, reruns aired on TNT from 1988 to 1992, and then on Disney Channel until 1996. In Canada, the show went into Syndication, where it counted as Canadian content due to being a CBC production.
    • The home video rights have bounced between several distributors throughout the years, most notably Disney (under the "Jim Henson Video" label), HIT Entertainment (with 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate handling distribution at different points), Vivendi Entertainment, and most recently Sony, who released the series on Blu-ray for its 35th anniversary.
    • Likewise with the animated series, HIT included the occasional episode on compilation DVDs as bonus features. Lionsgate, Vivendi, and Sony have since released the complete animated series themselves at different points, Lionsgate doing an individual set in 2010, Vivendi including the series as a bonus feature in their release, and Sony doing both a DVD release concurrent with their release, and including all the content (13 episodes and a couple featurettes) as one big bonus feature on the ninth disc of the Blu-ray set.
    • In addition, the series is now available exclusively on Apple TV+.
  • The Character Died with Him:
    • Doc's counterpart "The Captain" in the UK adaptation of the show was only featured in the first two seasons of the show because of Fulton MacKay's unfortunate death. The Captain's nephew P.K. ("Principal Keeper") took over the lighthouse in season 3. After P.K. left, for the final two seasons B.J. ("Bertwhistle Jr") was introduced as the new lighthouse-keeper.
    • For the time being this also applies to Doc himself, as well as all characters played by Jerry Nelson (except Gobo), Richard Hunt, or Jim Henson, as those characters have not been recast following the deaths of their respective performers.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: The character B.J. has often been referred to as the Captain's son, even on this very wiki. In fact, he's the son of Mr. Bertwhistle, the owner of the lighthouse — "B. J." stands for "Bertwhistle Jr."
  • Creator Cameo: Dave Goelz appears as the man seated next to Traveling Matt on the roller coaster in "The Thirty-Minute Work Week", mainly so that Goelz could puppeteer Matt on the coaster.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Marjory the Trash Heap, said to be female (although she apparently switches genders when she is moved), was voiced by a man (Jerry Nelson). So was Storyteller Fraggle (Richard Hunt in her first episode, and Terry Angus subsequently). Terry Angus also played Brio, the only female member of the Minstrels.
  • Development Hell: Dear God, The Movie!
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In Season 1, "The Great Radish Famine," Cotterpin Doozer is first seen as an unnamed baby.
  • Fake Nationality: Tulsa, Oklahoma-born Jerry Nelson affects a Canadian accent as Gobo, and a Russian accent as Marjory the Trash Heap.note 
  • He Also Did:
    • Fulton Mackay, who played the UK owner of Sprocket, was best known for starring in Porridge as Officer Mackay.
    • One of the secondary Muppeteers, Terry Angus (who performed several characters, including Storyteller Fraggle in her second appearance), went on to have his own CBC show, Blizzard Island, in the late 1980s.
    • Bill Prady, who would go on to create The Big Bang Theory, wrote for the short-lived animated version in 1987. He'd previously also written for You Can't Do That on Television.
  • In Memoriam: The show's final episode is in memory of Don Sahlin who died 5 years before the show premiered.
  • International Coproduction: With the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Britain's Television South. While the show was promoted as an HBO original, HBO did not participate in the actual production of the series.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • The original 1985 Japanese dub has never been released on DVD or officially online, reportedly because NHK, the show's Japanese broadcaster, lost the dubbed masters. However, with the resurgence of interest in the show thanks to the 2020 reboot, all 96 episodes were released with Japanese subtitles to Apple TV+ in 2020, followed by a new dub of Season One in February 2021 (with a mostly new voice cast). Meanwhile, all that remains of the '80s dub is the four Season One episodes released to VHS by NHK in that era: "Beginnings," "The Challenge," "Marooned," and "Capture the Moon." All four can be seen on YouTube.
    • Likewise the French-Canadian dub aired on Radio-Canada - in fact, bilingual Canadian DVD releases feature episodes from the localized European French co-production, rather than the Quebec dub. A few French-Canadian clips are available for viewing on YouTube, while only one complete episode from the French-Canadian dub has been uploaded to Vimeo.
    • For the European French co-production (despite being more well-known than the Quebec dubbed version), only 26 episodes (including all but three episodes of season 1, three episodes from season 2, and two from season 3) of the three seasons localized have been released to DVD in France in five individual volumes, and later as one set, erroneously billed as a "complete series". 8 additional episodes from this localization were later released on four DVDs in Canada (alongside previously-released episodes from the aforementioned France DVDs). Another season 1 episode, "The Thirty-Minute Work Week" was released on the third volume of a short-lived VHS collection by Proserpine in 1989, which is now out-of-print and extremely hard to find. For that episode, a brief clip from the French European version can be seen in the "Down at Fraggle Rock: Behind the Scenes" documentary" during the multi-language reel of the song "Workin".
    • The first Latin Spanish dub is also extremely hard to find. Select episodes were given brief official releases on YouTube and iTunes, but were since removed.
  • Missing Episode:
    • The British localization of Fraggle Rock suffered this fate, when the master tapes were junked. An effort led by fan Alex Taylor on the Missing Episodes Forum has confirmed that of the 96 episodes made, 29 still have official copies, 58 only have off-air recordings, eight were recovered from the personal collection of producer Vic Pemberton after his death in 2017, and one ("Gobo's School for Exploring") only partially survives. This, coupled with the rights problems surrounding the Television South catalogue (which has changed hands several times, and the paperwork confirming who owns what has been lost in the shuffle), is why there's never been a DVD release of the UK version. Even when CITV had a day celebrating their anniversary with all the classic Children's ITV shows of the eighties, Fraggle Rock was represented by a US episode.
    • The '80s Japanese dub suffered a similar fate in terms of lost masters. All that's left for watching today are the four VHS-released episodes posted online. Fortunately, Japanese fans now can watch the entire show subtitled on Apple TV, and a new dub is being released.
  • Name's the Same: Mokey shares her name with a loud, psychotic version of Mickey Mouse created by Sr. Pelo.
  • Only So Many Canadian Actors: Some of the people who worked on this show also appeared in other Canadian works. Most notably, Gerard Parkes and Frank Meschkuleit would later work together on The Noddy Shop.
  • Out of Order: The fifth episode of the first season, "The Thirty Minute Work Week", was actually the very first episode to be filmed; it was shot in March 1982. The pilot "Beginnings" was not filmed until June 1982, and was the tenth episode filmed. The reason was simple: Jim Henson wanted the puppeteers to be comfortable with their characters before doing the Origin Story. You can also see that some of the characters look slightly off in "The Thirty Minute Work Week" (most notably Sprocket, the Trash Heap, and to some extent Gobo), because several puppets underwent slight design changes after the episode was filmed.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Ma Gorg was voiced by Myra Fried in the first season, with Cheryl Wagner taking over the role in the second season.
    • The Storyteller Fraggle was performed by Richard Hunt in her first appearance, with Terry Angus taking over the role after that.
    • Murray the minstrel was performed by Steve Whitmire in the first two seasons, but when he returned in the fifth season Gord Robertson took over the role — though the snippet of "Let Me Be Your Song" still features Steve Whitmire's vocals.
    • After Jerry Nelson died, John Tartaglia took on the role of Gobo for all subsequent appearances of the character, starting with The Hub's 30th anniversary marathon in April of 2013, and an appearance at the Museum of the Moving Image the next month.note 
    • With the masters for the original Japanese-dubbed version lost, the 2021 re-release of Season One of Fraggle Rock to Apple TV+ features an all-new voice cast. For example, Gobo, voiced in the original dub by Akira Kamiya, is now played by Takuma Sasaki. For what it's worth, a number of the original voice actors who worked on the first dub in 1985 have since passed away, including Kiyoshi Kawakubo (Doc), Yu Shimaka (Sprocket), Junpei Takiguchi (Traveling Matt), Kazue Takahashi (Trash Heap), and Miyoko Aso (Ma Gorg).
    • The 2021 re-release featured a new Latin Spanish voice cast. It was recorded at Sysdub since the studio that did the first dub, SISSA - Oruga, closed down in 1989.
    • For Fraggle Rock: Rock On, Frankie Cordero replaces Steve Whitmire (who was fired from the Muppets in 2016) as Wembley, and Donna Kimball replaces Kathryn Mullen as Mokey. Boober and Traveling Matt are still voiced by Dave Goelz, but now puppeteered by John Tartaglia.
    • Everyone in the animated version, although Dave Goelz returned as Uncle Traveling Matt for the live-action interstitial segments (shades of the earlier Little Muppet Monsters) and Kathy Mullen, the original Mokey, co-wrote one episode. Accounts about why the original Muppet performers did not work on the animated version - Townsend Coleman, who voiced Gobo in the animated version, claims the original performers had been approached about doing voices and declined, but Karen Prell (original Red) said she was never approached at all and she at least would have been willing to do it if asked.
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • Believe it or not, despite the animated series doing well for NBC, Margaret Loesch said that the show wasn't renewed for a second season because the daughter of the network's head of programming at the time didn't like it, and he decided to can the show in response.
    • HBO's cancellation of the series at 96 episodes (instead of the planned 120) was, according to Jerry Nelson, a cost-cutting move, and had nothing to do with ratings as the show was still very popular. Jim Henson apparently experienced many behind-the-scenes frustrations with the network regarding Fraggle Rock, which he never discussed publicly but which may also have played into the early cancellation.
  • Short Run in Peru: When HBO decided to cancel the series at 96 episodes, the network at Henson's request divided the fourth and final season into two very short seasons, so that it could air over five seasons as Henson had wanted. The DVD release combines them both back into a single season.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The Fraggles were supposed to be called "woozles." This name idea changed when the production team realized the woozles moniker was already used in Winnie-the-Pooh.
    • The working title was Fraggle Hill but was renamed Fraggle Rock, which sounded more dynamic (and less British).
    • When Jerry Nelson auditioned for the show, his preferred character was Boober, but Jim Henson thought Gobo would be a better fit for Nelson.
    • Jim Henson reportedly wanted to give Uncle Traveling Matt his own series, which would have involved the introduction of two new original Fraggles to accompany him on his global journeys. It never panned out.
    • One demo version of the opening theme (according to Phil Balsam, there were several - to say the least) can be seen in bonus footage on the Season One DVD release. Among other differences from the final version, it was slower in tempo and had a bit more of a folk-country feel, the iconic guitar line from the beginning of the final version is missing, and it featured a verse that was cut from the final version and gave each of the Fraggle Five, and even each of the Gorgs, sung solo lines.note 
  • The Wiki Rule: The Muppet Wiki, another Muppet Wiki, another Muppet Wiki, and another Muppet Wiki.


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