The art of Smallfilms.
Smallfilms was the work of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin. No doubt some of you will know these wonderful creations. The Clangers, Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine etc, and all of them became part of the Watch with Mother series.
The book is filled with wonderful photographs of the original puppets and the pictures are fascinating.
My favourite is Pogles Wood. The first series was originally called The Pogles, and only broadcast once due to the BBC’s thoughts that the witch and the storyline rather too scary for children. It was quite dark, filmed in black and white but I remember loving it.
I had a bedside lamp in the shape of a castle when I was small. (In the garden now.) At night I was convinced tiny people came out of it while I slept. The Pogles only confirmed it was true.
Look at these puppets! It could be nostalgia on my part, but after watching the first three episodes last night, after many years, (cough) I still think the films are remarkable. The old black and white stop motion matures the strangeness and delightful story lines. The narrative of The Pogles is odd but brilliant for a child, so natural you wouldn’t stop to think about it when you were young. Like the Teletubbies!
The magic bean was the first episode, and introduced the magic plant that came to stay with Mr and Mrs Pogle, and even though the films were old, I had to keep watching more to find out what happens.
I can’t help looking at the puppets in the Smallfilms book, and feel a deep sense of affection for them. It’s where my love of dark and atmospheric magical story-lines began. I recommend this book for anyone who grew up with these wonderful children’s programmes.
It’s always good to go somewhere you love!