Fraggle Rock 'inspired' by Scotland as hit puppet show returns to screens

Fraggle Rock is returning to screens – but what many fans don’t know is that the hit 80s show was inspired by Scotland.

The original series, created by Jim Henson, ran for 96 episodes from 1984 and featured a cast of puppet creatures including Fraggles, Doozers and Gorgs.

The iconic series, which is making a long awaited to return to Apple TV+ with the reboot Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock, came about after Jim developed a “long-standing love affair” with all things Scottish and wove the country’s rituals into Fraggle.

Son Brian Henson revealed a childhood visit to Scotland when he was younger planted a seed in Jim’s creative mind.

Speaking to Edinburgh Festival TV in 2013, he said: “He had a wonderfully romantic feeling about Scotland – I kind of have it as well.

“The geography and the older culture and the respect for creativity in ­Scotland is really quite wonderful.

“He would sometimes just need to get away from the red carpet and the glitz and glitter and if he could go to Scotland that is where he could recentre himself. He loved Scotland.”

The Captain lived on an island somewhere off the South Coast of England with his dog Sprocket

The Scottish connections with the project don’t end there.

The only human on the original UK show was Scots accented The Captain, who was played by Paisley born actor Fulton Mackay.

He had appeared in Local Hero around about the same time, following a role in popular BBC prison comedy Porridge.

Fulton Mackay (centre) also appeared in Porridge

The Captain was a sailor turned lighthouse keeper, who lived on an island somewhere off the South Coast of England with his dog Sprocket, and who received Uncle Traveling Matt ‘s postcards through a passing mailboat.

When Fulton passed away in 1987, Gregory’s Girl actor John Gordon Sinclair replaced him as the Captain’s nephew P.K..

He was subsequently replaced again by Brookside actor Simon O’Brien as B.J. in the sixth season.

Brian also said there was a special episode dedicated to the haggis and the “absurdity and the seriousness” of the haggis ceremony his dad once watched in a Lothian hotel.

In another episode, entitled The Minstrels, The Captain receives a kilt and sporran though the post passed down from Great Uncle Hamish.

“He even tries to play the bagpipes while Sprocket decided to play Loch Lomond on a Gramophone record,” Brian added.

Many of the much loved characters including Gobo, Red, Moko, Uncle Travelling Matt, Wembley and Boober will reappear on January 21.

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