Pogles' Wood

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Pogles' Wood (in its first series it was entitled The Pogles) is an animated British Children's television show produced by Smallfilms between 1965 and 1967, first broadcast by the BBC between 1965 and 1968 (but repeated regularly until the early 1970s).[1]

The original six episode series, The Pogles, was broadcast from July 29th, 1965, within the childrens' magazine programme Clapperboard. The 26-episode sequel, Pogles Wood, was shown as part of the Watch with Mother strand, whose target audience was pre-school children (meaning, in the 1960s, children under 5 years of age): a somewhat younger audience than that for Clapperboard.[2]

The 32 episodes were filmed using stop-frame animation, in Peter Firmin's barn (not in a BBC television studio). All were made in black-and-white. The episodes were narrated by Oliver Postgate, who introduced the story (typically beginning each episode with the show's catchphrase, Now where shall we find the Pogles?) and also voiced several of the characters.

The Pogles were tiny magical beings who lived in a hollow tree in a wood. The four principals were Mr and Mrs Pogle, their adopted son Pippin, and a squirrel-like creature named Tog, who was Pippin's playmate.

Original series - "The Pogles"[edit]

The initial series featuring these characters was entitled The Pogles, and was broadcast by the BBC in 1965. It had only a single showing.[1]

Comprising six episodes, of nine minutes each, it set the scene for the sequel series entitled Pogles Wood. The original series told how the Magic Plant came to live with Mr and Mrs Pogle... and also revealed the truth about Pippin's real identity, as the foundling son of the King of the Fairies (Pippin is seen only as a baby, and Tog does not appear at all).

However, the story centred on a dark and evil old shape-changing Witch, and the overall tone of the series was sinister and disturbing. It was so scary that, after broadcasting it only once, the BBC declared it "too frightening" (for its proposed inclusion in Watch with Mother, which had a very young audience), and asked Oliver Postgate to make all future episodes revolve around more everyday countryside matters.[3]

To reinforce the changes, the title of the show was itself changed; and the original series was never aired again.

Episodes[edit]

  • 1: The Magic Bean            (29 July 1965)
  • 2: A Silver Crown             ( 5 Aug 1965)
  • 3: Pogle Go Home!            (12 Aug 1965)
  • 4: A Flower For Wishes   (19 Aug 1965)
  • 5: The Singing Bird           (26 Aug 1965)
  • 6: King of The Fairies       ( 2 Sep 1965)

Sequel series - "Pogles' Wood"[edit]

The subsequent 26 episodes were broadcast under the revised title Pogles Wood. This was shown as part of the Watch With Mother strand (billed by the BBC as for the very young). In this revised show the episodes were each 15 minutes long, to fit the standard length for editions of Watch With Mother.

The first 13 episodes of the revised show centred on farm and countryside life, viewed through the eyes of Pippin, Tog, and Mr & Mrs Pogle. The second set of 13 programmes had a stronger story element, wherein Pippin and Tog typically find an object and take it back to the storytelling plant, who brings it to life (in a precursor of the later Bagpuss show).

Repeats from Pogles Wood continued until September 1973, when the series was retired, as BBC children's television finally moved fully over to a colour service. The umbrella series, Watch With Mother, continued (though with a change of name): but thereafter broadcast only those of its regular shows which had been made in colour.

Episodes[edit]

Series 1 (April 1966-June 1966):

  • Grains of Wheat
  • Milk From The Dairy
  • Honey Bees
  • Sheep's Wool
  • Eggs For Breakfast
  • Trains
  • Tog-In-The-Middle
  • The Secret House
  • Noisy Engines
  • Badgers and Beans
  • Bears in the Wood
  • Tree Farming
  • Cake Crumbs
  • Keep Clear of The Water

Series 2 (October 1967-January 1968):

  • Woodwinds
  • Strong Music
  • A Little House
  • Bears In The Wood
  • Bricks
  • A Paper Tiger
  • The Princess and The Jewel
  • Flowers
  • Kings and Queens
  • Clocks
  • Woodwork
  • Roundabouts
  • Umbrellas

Comics[edit]

The Adventures of Pippin and Tog was a popular children's hardback based on the television show, published annually each Christmas in the 1970s. It featured comics originally prepublished in the children's magazine Pippin, drawn by Bill Mevin. [4]

DVDs[edit]

All of the episodes of both The Pogles and Pogles' Wood survive,[5][6] and all are available on DVD.[7][8]

Episodes of Pogles Wood, selected by its creators, were initially released on DVD in 2006 by the Dragons' Friendly Society (an organisation founded by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin).[9] Subsequently three further DVDs followed, again released by the Dragons' Friendly Society, including the final collection of 14 episodes, released in November 2015 under the title Pogles' End.

Production staff[edit]

Writer
Puppets and Pictures
Voices
  • Olwen Griffiths – Mrs Pogle and Pippin
  • Steve Woodman – Plant and Tog
  • Oliver Postgate – Pogle, The Witch, King of the Fairies, Hedgepig, Fairies
Music

References[edit]

External links[edit]