The Ghost of Faffner Hall
|The Ghost of Faffner Hall|
|Also known as||Jim Henson's Ghost of Faffner Hall|
|Directed by||Tony Kysh|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Jim Henson|
|Production company(s)||Jim Henson Productions|
Tyne Tees Television
|Distributor||The Jim Henson Company|
|Original network||ITV (UK)|
|Original release||August 16 –|
November 8, 1989
The Ghost of Faffner Hall is a British/American children's television series from Jim Henson Productions and the British ITV company Tyne Tees Television which aired from August 16, 1989 to November 11, 1989 in the UK, and slightly later in the US. The puppets for this show were created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, and the series was recorded at the Tyne Tees Studios in Newcastle upon Tyne and directed by Tony Kysh, then senior director within that company's children's department.
Faffner Hall is a music conservatory that was founded by Fughetta Faffner. When Fughetta Faffner passes away, her ghost lurks in Faffner Hall and it is currently run by her great-great-grandnephew Farkus Faffner who hates music. Now Fughetta must thwart Farkus' plans with the help of Mimi, Riff, and the Wild Impresario. During this time, they meet up with the famous musicians that visit Faffner Hall.
- Fughetta Faffner (performed by Louise Gold) - The main protagonist of the series. She is the founder of Faffner Hall. When she dies, her ghost haunts the halls and ends up having to prevent her great-great-grandnephew Farkus from destroying the halls. Whenever Fughetta hears beautiful music, she ends up solidifying. Fughetta also has the ability to freeze time so that she can fix things in the present.
- Mimi (performed by Karen Prell) - A girl with a Southern accent who is one of the inhabitants of Faffner Hall.
- Riff (performed by Mike Quinn) - A boy who is one of the inhabitants of Faffner Hall. He serves as a second banana to Mimi.
- The Wild Impresario (performed by Richard Hunt) - He is one of the inhabitants of Faffner Hall and the resident piano player.
- Farkus Faffner (performed by Mak Wilson) - The main antagonist of the series who is the current proprietor of Faffner Hall. He is the great-great-grandnephew of Fughetta Faffner who hates music and only cares about money. He has since been making various plans to drive Faffner Hall's inhabitants from Faffner Hall.
- Faffner Hall Composer Busts - They are the busts of Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and George Frideric Handel. When Fughetta Faffner freezes time, she ends up having to consult with them in order to handle a specific situation.
- Great Uncle Fishknife - Fughetta Faffner's uncle who appeared in "Music Brings Us Together" to help Mimi, Riff, and Wild Impresario get Fughetta Faffner intangible after Farkus found a way to trap her in solid form. He is a recycled version of one of the ghosts from the Crystal Gayle episode of The Muppet Show.
Outside of the principal characters, other inhabitants of Faffner Hall are characters from other Jim Henson projects. Some of them include:
- The Alligators from The Muppet Show -
- Baby Band from The Muppet Show -
- Baby Tree Creature from Fraggle Rock -
- The Bears from The Muppet Show -
- Butch the Tiger from The Muppet Show - He appeared as Joseph the Tiger in "The Voice is an Instrument."
- The Chickens from The Muppet Show -
- The Cows from The Muppet Show -
- The Crocodile from The Muppet Show -
- Earl the Dragon from Puppetman -
- The Fazoobs from The Muppet Show -
- Fish Singer from The Muppet Show -
- The Frackles from The Muppet Show -
- Gertha the Dragon from Puppetman -
- The Gills Brothers from The Muppet Show - Their puppets were used for The Gargles in "Delighting in Sounds."
- The Lizards from The Muppet Show -
- Madame Chairbird from Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird -
- Mama Tree Creature from Fraggle Rock -
- Mean Mama from The Muppet Show -
- The Octopi from The Muppet Show -
- Ohreally Bird from The Muppet Show -
- Old Skyball Paint from The Muppet Show -
- The Penguins from The Muppet Show -
- The Pigs from The Muppet Show -
- The Rats from The Muppet Show -
- The Sheep from The Muppet Show -
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original U.S. air date|
|1||"Your Body Is an Instrument"||Tony Kysh||Joceyln Stevenson & Patrick Barlow||September 11, 1989|
Farkus Faffner plans to auction off Faffner Hall's collection of musical instruments. The late Fughetta Faffner, a distant relative of Farkas and the founder of the hall, is horrified when she learns of Farkas' plans. The residents of the hall, including Riff, Mimi, the Wild Impresario and the ghost of Fughetta, attempt to teach Farkas that instruments are worth more than their monetary value.Penguins
|2||"Delighting in Sounds"||Tony Kysh||David Angus & Patrick Barlow||September 19, 1989|
Faffner Hall is holding a "Festival of Sounds", and the Wild Impresario is trying to find a sound to top the bill. He gets a note in the mail from his old girlfriend Zola of his from his days in the Wild Bunch. Zola says in her note that she is coming to see Wild. Meanwhile, Farkus Faffner plans to blow up Faffner Hall where he will blame its residents and claim the insurance money.
|3||"Sound Becomes Music"||Tony Kysh||David Angus & Patrick Barlow||September 25, 1989|
When an infant alien lands in Faffner Hall, Farkus comes up with a plan to become rich while Fughetta and Mimi discover that the alien needs music.
Guest Spot: Riff whistles a riff of his own, then explains where he got it from: a dream he had which includes Mark Knopfler, George Martin, Paddy Moloney and an orchestra of The Frackles playing the tune he whistled as he heard a teakettle. While composing her song, Mimi encounters a wizard named Fish (played by Derek William Dick) to play the melody that she created.Muppet Cameos: Frackles, Chickens, Penguins
|4||"Music Is More Than Technique"||Tony Kysh||David Angus & Patrick Barlow||October 2, 1989|
Mimi informs Riff that the violinist virtuoso Piganini has booked a recording studio in town and plan to ask him to perform at Faffner Hall.
Guest Spot: While hiding in the closet, Piganini encounters a janitor that Piganini claims to resemble Ry Cooder. The janitor gives Piganini the courage to overcome his stage fright and perform at Faffner Hall.Muppet Cameos: Butch the Tiger, Chickens, Frackles, Penguins
|5||"The Voice Is an Instrument"||Tony Kysh||Jocelyn Stevenson & Patrick Barlow||October 9, 1989|
Farkus Faffner enlists a zookeeper as his business partner where he sells Faffner Hall to the zookeeper so that he can turn it into a zoo.
Guest Spot: Back when Faffner Hall was at its peak, Fughetta Faffner recalls when she played a maid in a Spanish opera with Thomas Allen. The Faffner Hall Composer Busts recall to Fughetta about an a capella group they heard on the radio recently called the Electric Phoenix who use their voices as instruments (one of the members even does an imitation of Miss Piggy). Wild Impresario brings up the fact that Marion Montgomery was one of his old friends and was accompanied on the piano by Joseph the Tiger (a recycled version of Butch the Tiger).Muppet Cameos: Alligator, Baby Tree Creature, Bears, Chickens, Fish Singer, Frackles, Gills Brothers, Lizards, Madame Chairbird, Mama Tree Creature, Octopi, Pigs, a Seal, Sheep
|6||"Reacting to Sounds"||Tony Kysh||Jocelyn Stevenson & Patrick Barlow||October 16, 1989|
Fughetta Faffner does her half-century sound check around Faffner Hall where she must make sure that there is one ghost in Faffner Hall according to Page 17 Paragraph 4C of the "Rules of the Dead." Fughetta soon starts to hear the voice of J.J. Ready (who invented the cash register in 1877)
Guest Spots: During Fughetta's sound check, the ghostly sounds that Fughetta, Mimi, and Riff here have been coming from H.K. Gruber and his orchestra and the trumpet of Dizzy Gillespie.Muppet Cameos: Cows, Gills Brothers
|7||"If You Can Play, It's an Instrument"||Tony Kysh||David Angus & Patrick Barlow||October 23, 1989|
Mimi discovers that a guy had broken the obo record by playing the longest note while on a tightrope. The original record holder was Fughetta's cousin Finkel back in 1853. Meanwhile, Farkus Faffner plans to use the instruments as scrap metal.
Guest Spot: In his quest for junk, Farkas asks the Wild Impresario to show him something about music, so Wild shows him a tape with The Scottish Chamber Orchestra that demonstrates the instruments they play. A saxophone salesman (played by Courtney Pine) comes to Faffner Hall.Muppet Cameos: Chickens, Frackles, Mean Mama, Muppet Monster (The female "Your Feet's Too Big" monster from the "Carol Channing" episode of The Muppet Show), Old Skyball Paint, Penguins
|8||"Improvised Music"||Tony Kysh||Jocelyn Stevenson & Patrick Barlow||October 30, 1989|
A TV crew is coming to Faffner Hall for a special on the building; the regular residents hope it makes for good publicity. However, Farkas Faffner has another scheme: he wants to turn the hall into an amusement park!Guest Spot: Gil Evans Orchestra and Ladysmith Black Mambazo appear.
|9||"Notation: The Sign That Gets the Sound"||Tony Kysh||David Angus & Patrick Barlow||November 6, 1989|
TBAGuest Spot: James Taylor performs with the Wild Impresario.
|10||"Discovering New Sounds"||Tony Kysh||David Angus & Patrick Barlow||November 13, 1989|
TBAGuest Spot: Thomas Dolby demonstrates the sounds that you can make with a synthesizer. Patrick Moraz is the other musical guest.
|11||"Music Brings Us Together"||Tony Kysh||Jocelyn Stevenson & Patrick Barlow||November 20, 1989|
Using a talking skull (a recycled version of Yorick the Skull from The Muppet Show), Farkus Faffner traps Fughetta Faffner in her solidified state and traps her as part of his haunted house plot. Mimi, Riff, and Wild Impresario end up summoning Fughetta's Great Uncle Fishknife for help.
Guest Spot: Guest musician Youssou N'Dour shows Fughetta how to communicate with music despite language barriers. Steve Turre plays on seashells with a tourist family of dragons, and Yomo Toro plays his guitar.
Muppet Cameos: Alligator, Baby Band, Baby Tree Creature, Bear, Butch the Tiger, Earl the Dragon, Frackles, Gertha the Dragon, Lizard, Octopus, Ohreally Bird, Penguins, Pigs, Rats, SnakeNote: David Rudman gives an uncredited performance as the dragon son (played by Earl the Dragon) in the segment with Steve Turre.
|12||"The Power of Music"||Tony Kysh||Jocelyn Stevenson & Patrick Barlow||November 27, 1989|
A ghost exterminator named Madame Mumu (a recycled version of the Geri and the Atrics piano player from The Muppet Show) arrives at Faffner Hall where Farkus enlists her to get rid of Fughetta at the time when Farkus has a cold.
Guest Spot: Madame Mumu comes across the room where Los Lobos is performing where Cesar Rosas is finding it hard to adjust to the upbeat mood of the music ever since his girlfriend left him.Muppet Cameos: Birds, Fish Singer, Gills Brothers, Lizard
|13||"Anyone Can Make Music"||Tony Kysh||David Angus & Patrick Barlow||TBA|
TBAGuest Spot: Michala Petri and Robin Williamson appear in this episode.
- Richard Coombs - Ray (ep. 2), Piganini (ep. 4), Zookeeper (ep. 5), Mr. Director (ep. 8), Madame Mumu (ep. 12)
- Louise Gold - Fughetta Faffner
- Richard Hunt - The Wild Impresario
- Phil Knowles
- Angie Passmore - Zola (ep. 2), Tutie (ep. 2)
- Karen Prell - Mimi
- David Rudman - Earl the Dragon (ep. 11)
- Mike Quinn - Riff
- Bob Smeaton -
- Mak Wilson - Farkus Faffner
Special musical guests
- Thomas Allen - Himself
- Ry Cooder - Janitor
- Derek William Dick - Fish the Wizard
- Thomas Dolby - Himself
- Julia Fordham - Herself
- Dizzy Gillespie - Himself
- H.K. Gruber - Himself
- Håkan Hardenberger - Himself
- Gary Karr - Himself
- Mark Knopfler - Himself
- Nigel Kennedy - Himself
- Los Lobos - Themselves
- Paddy Moloney - Himself
- George Martin - Himself
- Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Themselves
- Bobby McFerrin - Himself
- Joni Mitchell - Herself
- Marion Montgomery - Herself
- Patrick Moraz - Himself
- Youssou N'Dour - Himself
- Gil Evans Orchestra - Themselves
- Michala Petri - Herself
- Electric Phoenix - Themselves
- Courtney Pine - Saxophone Salesman
- Como String Quartet - Peter Bucknell, Hung Le, Peter O'Reilly, Glen Nichols and George Vi
- James Taylor - Himself
- Yomo Toro - Himself
- Steve Turre - Himself
- Robin Williamson - Himself
Alan Carter of People magazine lamented the absence of classic Muppets characters but otherwise gave the show a brief but favorable review: "This one sings." 
- Carter, Alan (September 11, 1989). "Picks and Pans Review: Jim Henson's the Ghost of Faffner Hall". People. Retrieved July 2, 2015.