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Along with the Doozers, the Gorgs and the Silly Creatures of Outer Space, the Fraggles of Fraggle Rock last appeared on TV screens in 1987.

But now, as the show dreamt up by Muppets creator Jim Henson is set to return to screens, one of its stars has revealed how the children’s TV show kept him on his toes.

Simon O’Brien, who portrayed BJ the lighthouse keeper in the final season of the much-loved show, told the BBC on Wednesday that the role was ‘one of the most dangerous jobs’ he has ever had.

He said ‘massive holes’ were created in the floor of the show’s set so puppeteers could control the character’s dog, Sprocket.

It meant that ‘every time you went on stage you took your life in your hands’, the star said, before adding that there was the ‘odd bruised and broken limb’ making the show.

The first episode of the new iteration of Henson’s creation, called Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock, is being released on Apple TV+ on Friday.

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Fraggle Rock star Simon O'Brien (left in character with his puppet dog Sprocket), who played BJ the lighthouse keeper in the show's final season, has revealed the role was 'one of the most dangerous jobs' he has ever had

Fraggle Rock star Simon O'Brien (left in character with his puppet dog Sprocket), who played BJ the lighthouse keeper in the show's final season, has revealed the role was 'one of the most dangerous jobs' he has ever had

The star said 'massive holes' were created in the floor of the show's set so puppeteers could control the character's dog, Sprocket

The star said 'massive holes' were created in the floor of the show's set so puppeteers could control the character's dog, Sprocket

Fraggle Rock star Simon O’Brien (left in character with his puppet dog Sprocket), who played BJ the lighthouse keeper in the show’s final season, has revealed the role was ‘one of the most dangerous jobs’ he has ever had. The star said ‘massive holes’ were created in the floor of the show’s set so puppeteers could control the character’s dog, Sprocket

Fraggle Rock was conceived by the creator of the Muppets, Jim Henson. Above: Henson in 1985 with the show's characters

Fraggle Rock was conceived by the creator of the Muppets, Jim Henson. Above: Henson in 1985 with the show's characters

Fraggle Rock was conceived by the creator of the Muppets, Jim Henson. Above: Henson in 1985 with the show’s characters

Fraggle Rock first aired on British TV screens in 1983.  

Its main characters lived in a system of caves connected to ‘The Land of the Gorgs’ and ‘Outer Space’, where the silly creatures – humans – lived.

The connection between Fraggle Rock and Outer Space was a small hole leading to the living quarters of a lighthouse.

The Fraggles included Gobo, Mokey, Wembley and Boober, with each being controlled by a puppeteer.

There was also an array of other characters, including Aretha the cave creature, the Avalanche Monster, and Brool the Minstrel.

The only human character – the Captain – was first depicted by Fulton Mackay, who had previously portrayed prison officer Mr Mackey in 1970s sitcom Porridge.

With his dog, Sprocket, the Captain lived in a lighthouse which sat near where the Fraggles lived.

When the star passed away in 1987, the character was replaced first by his ‘nephew’, PK, who was portrayed by John Gordon Sinclair.

Fraggle Rock's main characters lived in a system of caves connected to 'The Land of the Gorgs' and 'Outer Space', where the silly creatures – humans – lived. Above: The family of Gorgs, whose garden featured Marjory the Trash Heap. Marjory dispensed wisdom to the Fraggles

Fraggle Rock's main characters lived in a system of caves connected to 'The Land of the Gorgs' and 'Outer Space', where the silly creatures – humans – lived. Above: The family of Gorgs, whose garden featured Marjory the Trash Heap. Marjory dispensed wisdom to the Fraggles

Fraggle Rock’s main characters lived in a system of caves connected to ‘The Land of the Gorgs’ and ‘Outer Space’, where the silly creatures – humans – lived. Above: The family of Gorgs, whose garden featured Marjory the Trash Heap. Marjory dispensed wisdom to the Fraggles 

The Five named Fraggles were Gobo, Mokey, Wembley and Boober, with each being controlled by a puppeteer

The Five named Fraggles were Gobo, Mokey, Wembley and Boober, with each being controlled by a puppeteer

The Five named Fraggles were Gobo, Mokey, Wembley and Boober, with each being controlled by a puppeteer

The role then evolved further when Mr O’Brien’s character BJ, the Captain’s son, appeared for the final season.

In the US version of the show, the Captain’s character was replaced by the inventor Doc, who was depicted by Gerard Parkes.

Speaking of his love for the show, Mr O’Brien told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: ‘Some shows just stick in the heart and Fraggle Rock was certainly one of them. I put that down to the man himself, Jim Henson.

‘Jim had a certain attitude, he loved his puppets. He loved his puppeteers. He treated them like artists, instead of ‘just’ puppeteers.

‘He treated everyone the same when we all worked. We all stayed together, not matter what your role was.

‘And I think if you make something which is joyous to make, then people enjoy watching it and get that joy through the screen somehow, I always believed that.’

The only human character – the Captain – was first depicted by Fulton Mackay (above), who had previously portrayed prison officer Mr Mackey in 1970s sitcom Porridge

The only human character – the Captain – was first depicted by Fulton Mackay (above), who had previously portrayed prison officer Mr Mackey in 1970s sitcom Porridge

In the US version of the show, the Captain's character was replaced by the inventor Doc, who was depicted by Gerard Parkes (above)

In the US version of the show, the Captain's character was replaced by the inventor Doc, who was depicted by Gerard Parkes (above)

The only human character – the Captain – was first depicted by Fulton Mackay (left), who had previously portrayed prison officer Mr Mackey in 1970s sitcom Porridge. In the US version of the show, the Captain’s character was replaced by the inventor Doc, who was depicted by Gerard Parkes (right)

Living within Fraggle Rock with the Fraggles were wthe Doozers, who are small, green and pudgy.  They wore miniature hard hats and their lives were dedicated to working

Living within Fraggle Rock with the Fraggles were wthe Doozers, who are small, green and pudgy.  They wore miniature hard hats and their lives were dedicated to working

Living within Fraggle Rock with the Fraggles were wthe Doozers, who are small, green and pudgy.  They wore miniature hard hats and their lives were dedicated to working

The connection between Fraggle Rock and Outer Space was a small hole leading to the living quarters of a lighthouse. Above: Sprocket the dog with Gobo and Wembley

The connection between Fraggle Rock and Outer Space was a small hole leading to the living quarters of a lighthouse. Above: Sprocket the dog with Gobo and Wembley

The connection between Fraggle Rock and Outer Space was a small hole leading to the living quarters of a lighthouse. Above: Sprocket the dog with Gobo and Wembley

Speaking of his love for the show, Mr O'Brien told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme: 'Some shows just stick in the heart and Fraggle Rock was certainly one of them. I put that down to the man himself, Jim Henson'

Speaking of his love for the show, Mr O'Brien told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme: 'Some shows just stick in the heart and Fraggle Rock was certainly one of them. I put that down to the man himself, Jim Henson'

Speaking of his love for the show, Mr O’Brien told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: ‘Some shows just stick in the heart and Fraggle Rock was certainly one of them. I put that down to the man himself, Jim Henson’

Mr O’Brien, who made his name in TV soap Brookside, jokingly added: ‘I am the only human on the whole of planet earth to meet a Fraggle.

‘In the very last storyline, the Fraggles were being poisoned. There was poison being poured into the ground, into their world and they realised they had to do something drastic and the only way to do that was to enlist help from the lighthouse keeper, BJ, the character I played.

‘So they came up to the surface.’

Fraggle Rock initially returned with a series of short episodes in April 2020.

Fraggle Rock: Rock On! depicted the classic characters once again, with each episode shot on an iPhone 11. The shows were filmed from the homes of the production team.

However, Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock, will instead be a series of full-length episodes.

Well-known stars including Cynthia Erivo, Patti Labelle, Ed Helms, Kenan Thompson are set to appear.

According to a statement by Apple TV, the Fraggles will ‘kick off the new year by embarking on epic, hilarious adventures about the magic that happens when we celebrate and care for our interconnected world.’

A scene from Fraggle Rock's original US trailer. The final season of the creation aired in 1987. It has now been revived after more than 30 years

A scene from Fraggle Rock's original US trailer. The final season of the creation aired in 1987. It has now been revived after more than 30 years

A scene from Fraggle Rock’s original US trailer. The final season of the creation aired in 1987. It has now been revived after more than 30 years

One of the Gorgs is seen in the original show's trailer. The Gorgs were furry creatures headed by husband wife Pa and Ma

One of the Gorgs is seen in the original show's trailer. The Gorgs were furry creatures headed by husband wife Pa and Ma

One of the Gorgs is seen in the original show’s trailer. The Gorgs were furry creatures headed by husband wife Pa and Ma

Unlike the Doozers, the Fraggles spent most of their time enjoying themselves. Above: A scene from the show's original trailer

Unlike the Doozers, the Fraggles spent most of their time enjoying themselves. Above: A scene from the show's original trailer

Unlike the Doozers, the Fraggles spent most of their time enjoying themselves. Above: A scene from the show’s original trailer

On social media, fans were delighted about the show’s return. One said: ‘Forget everything else, Fraggle Rock is making a comeback!’

Another said: ‘I am so glad @AppleTVPlus are bringing back #fragglerock.’

A third added: ‘2022 is saved, there’s a Fraggle Rock reboot coming…’

Dave Goelz, who voiced Boober and other character Uncle Traveling Matt in both the original and new series, told BBC Breakfast on Wednesday: ‘The whole tone of this production was the same as the original.

The first episode of Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock, is set to air on Friday. Well-known stars including Cynthia Erivo, Patti Labelle, Ed Helms, Kenan Thompson are set to appear

The first episode of Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock, is set to air on Friday. Well-known stars including Cynthia Erivo, Patti Labelle, Ed Helms, Kenan Thompson are set to appear

The first episode of Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock, is set to air on Friday. Well-known stars including Cynthia Erivo, Patti Labelle, Ed Helms, Kenan Thompson are set to appear

According to a statement by Apple TV, the Fraggles will 'kick off the new year by embarking on epic, hilarious adventures about the magic that happens when we celebrate and care for our interconnected world'

According to a statement by Apple TV, the Fraggles will 'kick off the new year by embarking on epic, hilarious adventures about the magic that happens when we celebrate and care for our interconnected world'

According to a statement by Apple TV, the Fraggles will ‘kick off the new year by embarking on epic, hilarious adventures about the magic that happens when we celebrate and care for our interconnected world’

‘Everybody had respect for the intent of the show, there was tremendous excitement about this internally. We had a lot of fun working on it.’

Speaking of new actors who have taken on other roles, he added: ‘It’s very exciting. They are so dedicated. These people were kids when the original show came out, and they somehow got the spirit of it. They just do a fantastic job of capturing the characters.’

BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker added on Twitter: ‘Love the fact that #FraggleRock is trending. Everybody… DANCE YOUR CARES AWAY…’

Source: Daily Mail UK

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