In the Night Garden
|In the Night Garden…|
|Format||Children's television series|
|Created by||Andrew Davenport|
|Developed by||Ragdoll Productions|
|Starring||Holly Denoon, Rebecca Hyland, Nick Chee Ping Kellington, Andy Wareham, Elisa Laghi, Justyn Towler, Isaac Blake|
|Narrated by||Derek Jacobi|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||100|
|Producer(s)||Andrew Davenport and Anne Wood|
|Running time||30 minutes approx.|
|Production company(s)||Ragdoll Productions
|Original channel||CBeebies (UK)
Hub Network and qubo (US)
|Original run||19 March 2007 – 6 March 2010|
In the Night Garden is a BBC children's television series, aimed at children aged from 1 to 7 years old. It is produced by Ragdoll Productions. Andrew Davenport created, wrote, and composed the title theme and incidental music for all 100 episodes. It was produced by Davenport and Anne Wood, the team that also co-created Teletubbies. The programme is narrated by Derek Jacobi. It is filmed mostly in live action, and features a mix of actors in costume, puppetry and computer animation. The characters include Iggle Piggle, Makka Pakka, Upsy Daisy, the Tombliboos, the Pontipines / the Wottingers, the Haahoos, the Ninky Nonk and the Pinky Ponk.
The series was announced in October 2006, and twenty episodes were first broadcast in March 2007. Two series were made, with 100 episodes in all. The BBC confirmed in 2010 that it would not be commissioning another series. The series cost a total of £14.5 million to produce.
The programme's creators have said that it is designed to relax and entertain its intended audience of one to four-year-olds.
The programme features a large cast of colourful characters with unusual names who live in a magical forest scattered with large daisies and brightly coloured pompom flowers. The characters mostly speak short, repetitive phrases and each has their own special song and dance. The garden is a sunny, colourful environment and the music is jaunty and music box-like. Producer Anne Wood said:
|“||We wanted to explore the difference between being asleep and being awake from a child's point of view: the difference between closing your eyes and pretending to be asleep and closing your eyes and sleeping.||”|
Each episode starts with a different child in bed, while the narrator introduces the episode. The scene cuts to Iggle Piggle, in his boat, travelling to the Night Garden. The episodes end with one character receiving a bedtime story, which is generated by the magical gazebo that sits at the centre of the Night Garden. This story is a summary of the plot of the episode. Sometimes the characters all dance together under the Gazebo.
Iggle Piggle does not go to sleep, and his goodbye sequence ("Iggle Piggle's not in bed!" ... "Squeak!" ... "Don't worry, Iggle Piggle! It's time to go") rounds off the programme. The Night Garden retreats into the night sky and Iggle Piggle is seen asleep on his boat as the end credits roll.
In the Night Garden... is intended to help children relax and achieve calming relationships with parents. Wood states: "We became very aware of the anxiety surrounding the care of young children which manifested itself in all kind of directions; but the one big subject that came up again and again was bedtime. It's the classic time for tension between children who want to stay up and parents who want them to go to bed... so this is a programme about calming things down whereas most children's TV is about getting everything up."
Igglepiggle (played by Nick Chee Ping Kellington) is a blue teddy bear-like doll with a bean-shaped head and a sideways red mohawk. He always carries his red blanket and tends to fall flat on his back when surprised. He is the main character of the show. He arrives at the beginning and leaves the Night Garden at the end of each episode in a boat, for which the blanket doubles as a sail. Igglepiggle has a bell in his left foot, a squeaker in his tummy, and a rattle in his left hand. His best friends in the garden are Upsy Daisy and Makka Pakka. He is the only character not to sleep in the Night Garden (with one exception when he fell asleep on Upsy Daisy's special bed), because he needs to find his boat; he sleeps on his boat instead of in a bed. He is the only character to walk on the Stepping Stone Path. He was first featured in the episode "Makka Pakka Washes Faces".
Upsy Daisy (played by Rebecca Hyland) is similar to a rag doll, with a brown complexion, a chime in her tummy, and brightly coloured clothes. She likes skipping through the Garden and blowing kisses to the other characters or to the audience. She often hugs and kisses other characters, particularly Igglepiggle. Her catchphrases are "Upsy Daisy" and the more emphatic "Daisy Doo!", and she also says "Pip pip onk onk!", her way of saying goodbye. Her hair stands on end when excited or surprised, and her skirt inflates to a tutu when she dances or pulls the ripcord on her waist. Upsy Daisy has an orange megaphone on a stand and enjoys singing through it, much to the annoyance of the other characters. She was first featured in the episode "Makka Pakka Washes Faces".
Makka Pakka (played by Cameron O'Donovan) is a creamy-colored, small, round-bodied doll. He has three rounded protuberances on his head to represent stones that he uses to make into piles. He lives in a cave and likes cleaning things, such as his collection of stacking stones, and sometimes the other characters. Makka Pakka often stacks freshly cleaned stones into piles resembling his head and body. He sleeps on a stone bed, often cuddling a stone. He travels around the garden pushing his trolley, the Og-Pog, which carries his sponge, soap, orange trumpet, and a bellows-like apparatus called Uff-Uff which he uses to dry items after cleaning them. His house is approached by a stone-walled ditch, as his home is half buried in the ground. He says his own name and the phrase "Mikka makka moo" when he is happy, as well as the names of the Og-Pog and the Uff-Uff, and other phrases from his song such as "agga pang" (his soap and sponge), "hum dum" (his trumpet), and "ing ang oo". Like Upsy Daisy and the Tombliboos, he also uses a phrase meaning "goodbye", represented in publications as "pip pip onk onk". He was first featured in the episode "Makka Pakka Washes Faces". As Makka Pakka is smaller than the other characters, he is filmed on another identical set (or garden), and where he appears with other characters, two scenes are shot in parallel and he is filmed far away, whilst the other costumed characters are filmed close up.
The Tombliboos – Unn (Andy Wareham), Ooo (Holly Denoon/Isaac Blake), and Eee (Elisa Laghi) – are dressed in costumes with stripes and spots: red and green (Unn), brown and pink (Ooo), and pink and yellow (Eee). Their names reflect phonetically how a young child might count to three, and the Tombliboos always appear in this order by saying their names. They live among the branches of a bush, on a series of platforms connected by stairs and chutes. The Tombliboos enjoy playing the drums and piano, although not with any particular musical prowess, and they also play with large blocks. Their trousers (which fall down unexpectedly) are often seen hanging on the washing line outside their home, and they usually take them down from the line and put them on before going on an adventure. They are sometimes seen brushing their teeth before bed. Tombliboos enjoy kissing each other whilst cuddling and reciting their names. They also have a song about staying together, which consists of them singing "Tombliboo, Tombliboo, Unn, Ooo, Eee!" over and over again. Tombliboo Eee is female and is shorter and smaller than Ooo and Unn. The Tombliboos were first featured in the episode "Makka Pakka Washes Faces".
All the above characters are played by actors in costumes just like the Teletubbies.
The Pontipines (red) and The Wottingers (blue) are two families of ten tiny creatures (a mother and a father, plus four boys and four girls) similar to peg dolls. They live in a semidetached house at the foot of a tree. The Pontipines appear in most episodes, while appearances by the Wottingers are rare. The Pontipines all dress in a very similar fashion to each other, as do the Wottingers. Each family sleeps in one room, their beds next to each other in rows. The Pontipines enter their home by flying down the chimney or going through the front door. They have no feet. The Pontipines enter the Pinky Ponk through a different door from all the other characters, and stay on a separate deck. The Pontipines and the Wottingers are animated using stop motion. They constantly chatter, making high-pitched "mi-mi-mi" sounds and "farting" noises. Mr Pontipine's moustache occasionally flies off his face and settles on Mrs Pontipine. The adult Pontipines and the adult Wottingers wear large hats. Mrs Pontipine carries a pair of binoculars around her door or neck at all times, which she uses to look for her children when they get lost. The Wottingers are similar in design to the Pontipines, though not identical; they can be glimpsed in the general dance sequences, but are not seen going to bed. The Pontipines were first featured in the 1st episode "Makka Pakka Washes Faces" and the Wottingers first appeared in the episode "The Pontipine Children in the Tombliboo Trousers".
The Haahoos are five very large inflatable pillow-like creatures of various shapes and colours with eyes and smiling mouths. They move slowly around the garden making deep springy sounds ("boing, boing"). The Haahoos appear behind the gazebo during general dance sequences, and are also seen going to sleep, closing their eyes and deflating slightly. They come in the shape of a flower, an X, a star, a circle and a figure of 8. They were first featured in the episode "The Tombliboos' Waving Game".
The Tittifers are CGI tropical birds with their own unique songs. There are four small blue Tittifers (Long-tailed Finches), three larger pink ones (Hoopoes), two big green ones (White-cheeked Turacos) and one multicoloured toucan with a huge purple beak. They sing usually between segments, and when they sing together, near the end, it is time to sleep. They were first featured in the episode "Makka Pakka Washes Faces".
The Ninky Nonk is a train of five differently sized and shaped carriages. Its size is paradoxical: exterior shots of the moving Ninky Nonk show a toy-sized train, quite small compared to the main characters and scenery, while interiors and static exterior shots are done on sets or with life-sized models so that the main characters can easily fit inside. When it stops or starts, the seat-belted passengers jerk sharply in their seats. A range of bells and klaxons warn everyone inside. The Ninky Nonk can drive up and down trees and upside-down along branches. Like the other characters, it goes to sleep. The engine is banana-shaped with a green flashing light on top, and is followed by a green spheroidal carriage used by Makka Pakka and the Tombliboos, a tiny house-like carriage used by the Pontipines (and sometimes the Wottingers), a blue rectangular carriage with a flashing light used by Upsy Daisy and Iggle Piggle, and a tall rounded single-seater carriage used by Igglepiggle when travelling alone. It was first featured in the episode "Everybody, All Aboard the Ninky Nonk".
The Pinky Ponk is an airship, speckled with many slowly waving fins and several small propellers that can spin fast, plus a large propeller at the rear that always turns very gently. The characters often use it to travel around the forest, and during their journey are able to drink "Pinky Ponk juice" which is dispensed in "sippi cups". It comes in several different colours. If drunk too much, you can feel ill, as demonstrated by Tombliboo Ooo.  As well as whirrings and clankings, and a sporadic honking sound from the "Ponk light" at the front, the Pinky Ponk makes flatulent noises. Like the Ninky Nonk, the Pinky Ponk is of paradoxical size: exterior shots are chroma keyed model shots showing a model smaller than the main characters, while interior ones shots produced on a set into which they can fit. It has two doors, one for the costumed characters and the other for the tiny characters. One table has three seats (for the Tombliboos), another has two seats (for Igglepiggle and Upsy Daisy), and the third has one seat (for Makka Pakka). The Pontipines take a table with no seats in a small room. Although the Pinky Ponk was about to have another table with no seats for the Wottingers, and another small room with it, but they were cancelled. It also has a habit of crashing into tree trunks, thus sounding the "Ponk Alert" (repeated honking and flashing of the "Ponk Light" and interior lights flashing and making noises.) This is a warning for all the passengers to take their seats and brace. Sometimes, the Pinky Ponk rocks during the "Ponk Alert", causing the passengers and their tables and chairs to slide from one end to the other. It was first featured in the episode "The Tombliboos' Waving Game".
The Ball is a colourful living ball that played with the Night Garden characters. It was first featured in the episode "The Ball".
The Bed is Upsy Daisy's special bed. She moves it around the Night Garden, with its ripcord, around the garden; sometimes she has to catch the Bed, before it runs away. It was first featured in the episode "Makka Pakka's Trumpet Makes a Funny Noise".
The Tiddle is a small, geyser-like fountain. It appears in any place of the Night Garden when someone stomps their feet three times. It disappears when someone stomps one of their feet once. It was featured in the episode "Igglepiggle's Tiddle".
The Trubliphones are a sort of telephone scattered randomly throughout the garden. The characters can use them to communicate with one another. They were first featured in the episode "Upsy Daisy's Big Loud Sing Song".
The Stepping Stone Path is where Igglepiggle lives, for a vacation in the Night Garden. It leads to the Gazebo at the beginning and end of an episode. It was first featured in the episode "Makka Pakka Washes Faces".
The Daisy Patch is where Upsy Daisy lives. It is a field full of daisies. Upsy Daisy is usually the only character that can be seen in the patch. It was first featured in the episode "The Pontipines in Upsy Daisy's Bed".
Makka Pakka's Cave is where he keeps his Og-pog outside it, behind a boulder. The cave was first featured in the episode "Makka Pakka Washes Faces".
The Tombliboo Bush is where the Tombliboos live. It is the largest house in the garden with so many fun things to do such as playing music, playing with blocks and brushing teeth (like the Pinky Ponk and the Ninky Nonk it is bigger on the inside). It was first featured on the outside in "The Tombliboos' Waving Game" and on the inside in the episode "Too Loud Tombliboos!! Nice and Quiet!!"
The Pontipines/Wottingers' House is a small house at the foot of a tree where the Pontipines and Wottingers live. It was first featured in the episode "Makka Pakka Washes Faces".
The Tune Bridge is a musical bridge located near Makka Pakka's cave. Whenever someone walks on the bridge, it plays a musical tune. It was first featured in the episode "Makka Pakka Washes Faces".
The Gazebo is where the characters meet to do a dance at the end of some episodes. It has a picture of all the characters, ((including the Ball,) but with the exception for the Tittifers, one of the Trubliphones, the Tiddle and the Bed,) the Tittifers' Tree, a Daisy, the Tune Bridge, the Tombliboo Bush, the Tombliboo Instruments, Igglepiggle's Blanket, the Tombliboo Bricks and, of course, the Gazebo, itself. It has 2 different pictures of Makka Pakka, one with his Og-Pog, the other with him blowing his trumpet. The first dance was first featured in the episode "The Tombliboos' Waving Game" and it first gave a clue in "Igglepiggle's Blanket in Makka Pakka's Ditch".
The Tittifers' Tree is where the Tittifers sing in a certain section and together and at the end.
Until 1 April 2008, the show aired on the CBeebies channel every day, including weekends, at 6:25 PM in the "Bedtime Hour" slot, in addition to earlier daytime showings on weekdays (like every other show on CBeebies, the same episodes are shown all day). From April until August 2008, In The Night Garden... was removed from its 6:25 PM "Bedtime Hour" slot, which resulted in a petition asking for the programme to be re-instated to its normal slot. One parent petitioner was quoted by The Daily Telegraph commenting that "My four-year-old refused to believe it was bedtime because ITNG hadn't been on and it was daylight outside."
The show returned to the daily "Bedtime Hour" slot at 6:25 PM as of 30 August 2008, and began showing the second series (beginning with "Slow Down Everybody") on 1 September 2008. From December 2008, the show was moved again, this time to 6:00 PM. As of January 2010, it airs at 6.20 PM.
As of February 2008, in Canada, the show airs daily at 5:30 AM on Treehouse TV, Mondays to Fridays at 7:30 PM, and Saturdays at 10:30 AM.
As of March 2011, in Australia, the show airs on ABC2 every day at 6:30 PM.
As of October 2008, in India, the show airs every day on the CBeebies channel, including weekends, at 9 AM, 12 PM and 3 PM.
As of 2008, in Norway, the show airs every weekday on the NRK Super channel, at 5:30 PM.
As of 2009, the show airs on TV2 in Malaysia on weekday mornings at 8:30 AM.
As of 2010, the show airs on Clan in Spain sometime around 8:30 AM on weekdays and around 7:50 AM on weekends.
As of 11 October 2010, In The Night Garden airs on Discovery and Hasbro's children's network The Hub as part of the "HubBub" programming block, the first time the show airs in the United States. The show still aired late Sunday/early Mondays on the same channel as of 2011 or 2012, but as of July 2012, it was replaced by Majors and Minors.
In the Night Garden... DVDs, toys and books have been marketed since 2007.
Several Region 2 DVDs have been released in the UK:
|Who's Here?||Makka Pakka Washes Faces
Tombliboos Waving Game
|Hello IgglePiggle!||IgglePiggle's Blanket in Makka Pakka's Ditch
Jumping for Everybody
|Hello Upsy Daisy!||Quiet Please Tombliboos!! Upsy Daisy Wants to Sing!!
Upsy Daisy Kisses Everything!
|Hello Makka Pakka!||Makka Pakka's Stone Concert
|Hello Tombliboos!||Too Loud Tombliboos!! Nice and Quiet!!
The Tombliboos' Busy Day
|Isn't That a Pip?||The Pontipine Children of the Roof
Looking for Each Other
|Look at That!||IgglePiggle’s Tiddle
Makka Pakka’s Piles of Three
Hide and Seek
|All Together!||Waving from the Ninky Nonk
Playing Hiding with Makka Pakka
|Best Friends||Upsy Daisy’s Tiring Walk
Each DVD features five episodes.
A Boxset, Hello Everybody!, has been released, containing "Hello IgglePiggle!", "Hello Upsy Daisy!", "Hello Makka Pakka!" and "Hello Tombliboos!" Each of these titles have episodes relating to the character on which the DVD is based.
The show's makers, Ragdoll Productions, signed a deal to make the toy producer Hasbro a global partner before the show was first broadcast, and merchandise was first made available in July 2007. The range includes small Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy and Makka Pakka stuffed toys and a small Ninky Nonk train with detachable carriages. Wheeled toy licensee MV Sports & Leisure Limited produced a range of scooters and trikes. Play-doh made some dough that came packaged with an Igglepiggle-shaped cut-out.
In spring 2008, several new toys arrived, including roll-along characters, Talking Cuddly Makka Pakka, Ninky Nonk Pop-up tent and more. Hasbro won the 2008 "Best Licensed Toy or Game range" Licensing Award for their In The Night Garden... range.
In January 2009, a spokesman for the BBC confirmed that they had asked Hasbro to change the skin colour of the Upsy Daisy doll following "a handful of complaints". The doll was originally released with a noticeably lighter complexion than seen in the television series, as it was based on the animated version of Upsy Daisy.
Live theatrical show
In the Night Garden Live! started a UK tour in July 2010. The show takes place in an inflatable, purpose-built show dome. The show premièred in Liverpool, before moving on to London, Glasgow and Birmingham.
Awards and nominations
- BAFTA Children's Awards 2008
- Awarded Best Pre-School Live Action Series
- BAFTA Children's Awards 2009
- Nominated for Best Pre-School Live Action
- Makka Pakka Washes Faces, BBC Programme Guide.
- "In the Night Garden, Series 1, Fall Down Ball (Episode 100 of 100)". BBC. Retrieved 25 January 2011. "Broadcasts Fri 6 Mar 2009 18:00 CBeebies"
- "BBC – CBeebies Grownups – In the Night Garden". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
- Brown, Jonathan; Robinson, Josie (18 April 2007). "In the Night Garden: Bedtime for Teletubbies". The Independent. Retrieved 11 January 2010.
- Lane, Harriet (25 November 2007). "Night Fever". The Observer Magazine (The Guardian). Retrieved 11 January 2010.
- Conlan, Tara (27 September 2010). "BBC puts In the Night Garden to bed". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
- Carter, Meg (18 March 2007). "They come in peace". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 January 2010.
- "In The Night Garden". Press Pack – From tot to toddler to tearaway, CBeebies celebrates its fifth birthday (Press release). BBC – Press Office. 19 March 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2010.
- "Past Winners and Nominees – Children's – Awards – 2007". BAFTA. Retrieved 17 March 20103.
- "Past Winners and Nominees – Children's – Awards – 2008". BAFTA. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- "Past Winners and Nominees – Children's – Awards – 2009". BAFTA. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- In the Night Garden…. Little Library. London: BBC Children's. 2007. ISBN 978-1-4059-0378-3. OCLC 141381673.
- What a Noisy Pinky Ponk!. In the Night Garden…. London: BBC Children's. 2008. ISBN 978-1-4059-0482-7. OCLC 233788419.
- "In the Night Garden – Glossary of Terms". www.inthenightgarden.co.uk. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
- "In the Night Garden – Glossary of Terms". www.inthenightgarden.co.uk. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
- "In the Night Garden – Glossary of Terms". www.inthenightgarden.co.uk. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
- http://www.radiotimes.com – search results 25 February 2008
- Reynolds, Nigel (2 April 2008). "Anger as BBC moves In The Night Garden". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 January 2010.
- Dungan, Ronnie (18 September 2008). "Toy firms scoop Licensing gongs". Toy News. Retrieved 11 January 2010.
- "BBC acts over light-skinned doll". BBC News. 5 January 2009. Retrieved 11 January 2010.
- CBeebies – In the Night Garden at bbc.co.uk
- In the Night Garden for grown-ups at bbc.co.uk
- Official UK website for parents
- BBC CBeebies 5th anniversary press release feature on ITNG
- In the Night Garden books – at penguin.co.uk/inthenightgarden
- Ragdoll – production company
- In the Night Garden... at the Internet Movie Database
- In the Night Garden Live – Live show site