Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Fraggle Rock, Season 3 (1985)

There appears to be some dispute over exactly how many seasons of Fraggle Rock there are, and how many episodes each season contains.  Everyone seems to agree that the first two seasons have 24 episodes apiece, but thereafter opinions diverge.  Although Wikipedia says season three has 21 episodes and Muppet Wiki says it has 22, this DVD box set has 24: presumably because it leaves a further 24 episodes of the show to go in the final "season 4" box set (which both wikis claim is actually a combination of seasons 4 and 5).

Whichever season and episode count you choose to accept, however, this is definitely the third quarter of the show's run, and they've definitely got their basic formula sorted out and chugging along smoothly.  Every episode has the same basic structure:

  • A short vignette of Doc, the man who lives in the house above Fraggle Rock itself, as he and his dog Sprocket confront some challenge in their lives.
  • A Fraggle (or Doozer, or Gorg, or other inhabitant of the Rock) encountering a similar issue.
  • Said Fraggle or Doozer or whatever not handling the situation very effectively.
  • A mid-episode scene of Doc and Sprocket also struggling.
  • The Fraggle Rock creature finding a resolution to their issue.
  • Doc and Sprocket also solving their problem.

Each episode also continues to feature a postcard from Travelling Matt, the Fraggle who is exploring the human world.  These postcards always tie into the theme of the episode in some way, and not infrequently offer some insight into how to resolve the problem.

Despite the fixed structure, however, the show continues to be fresh and interesting in other ways: mostly due to the wacky and fantastical world of the Fraggles giving plenty of opportunities for weird situations and surreal antics.

 Also nifty musical numbers.

If you're looking for solid kid-friendly entertainment, the Jim Henson people know their stuff.

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