Oliver Postgate RIP

I was sad to hear this morning of the death of Oliver Postgate, who, due to the animated films he produced for television in the 1960s, was one of the subliminal influences on my youth.

He is perhaps most famous for Bagpuss and The Clangers but my personal recollection of his best work is of Noggin The Nog, one of whose characters, Nogbad The Bad, provided the nickname for a teacher of French at my school. Its source material, Norse sagas, made it somehow exotic. The sonorous voice-over at the beginning only added to its charm.

His films, made in collaboration with Peter Firmin, were understated, gentle, but also quietly subversive and the animation technique in the early works – Ivor The Engine as well as Noggin – while apparently basic, was expressive.

With The Clangers he entered all our subconsciouses – what a delightful, surreal world that was.

In these days of shoot-em-ups and CGI his work maybe seems anachronistic; but children of all ages everywhere would surely still respond to it.

Oliver Postgate 1925-2008. So it goes.

Postscript on Postgate

Further to my lament on the passing of Oliver Postgate:-

In The Guide part of the Guardian on Saturday Charlie Brooker gave a most eloquent and refined tribute to the man and his collaborator Peter Firmin’s genius for story telling.

Peter Firmin

I was sad to hear of the death of Peter Firmin over the weekend.

Along with Oliver Postgate, who died nigh on ten years ago, he produced some of the most loved children’s animations of the 60s and 70s, including my personal favourite of theirs The Saga of Noggin the Nog though others may prefer The Clangers or Bagpuss or even Ivor the Engine.

Noggin the Nog is best appreciated in black and white I feel.

The Saga of Noggin the Nog. The King:-

Peter Arthur Firmin: 11/12/1928 – 1/7/2018. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 116: Noggin the Nog

One of the enduring memories of my childhood and early adolescence is the animated BBC TV series Noggin the Nog, one of that long list of delightful creations from the team of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin which also included Ivor the Engine (a bit early for me,) The Clangers and Bagpuss (a bit late.)

Noggin the Nog was such a hit with my schoolmates that one of our secondary school teachers was dubbed with the nickname of the show’s baddie, Nogbad the Bad.

Each episode always had an intro narrated against the muted strains of Hall of the Mountain King, “In the lands of the North, where the Black Rocks stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night that is very long the Men of the Northlands sit by their great log fires and they tell a tale,” which then went on into that particular storyline.

Noggin the Nog intro:-

Noggin and the Ice Dragon:-

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