Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Cloppa Castle: 1978
Shown on ITV back in 1978 this fantastic little puppet series was excellent and I had no idea that it was over Thirty years old. There you go, that old saying about time flying!
Each episode lasted approximately 10 minutes and there were several dozen episodes made. The very first episode has Queen Ethelbruda's ghost appearing and we are shown Cloppa Castle is a state of ruin. I'm not sure why but seeing this again made me a little sad. The Queen decides to show us what the castle used to be like, full of people and ideas even though they were constantly at war.
Each episode concerned the goings on at a fort called Cloppa Castle. The castle is medieval and owned by the Byegones who are under what seems like a permanent siege from the bad guys called Hasbeenes. The Byegones are ruled by Queen Ethelbruda and King Woebegone, although early on it is clear that Ethelbruda wears the trousers in this relationship. King Woebegone is quite happy just to sit back and relax, leaving the more strategic decisions to his wife. One of his main duties that he very often forgets to do is inspecting the troops each day. Occasionally we see him emerge from "ye old wine cellar" in the castle basement or doing a spot of fishing in the local river. The King and Queen have a son called Prince Idelbone presumably named because he rarely gets out of bed before noon. They also have and a bit of a space cadet for a daughter called Princess Tizzibel.
The actual brains and guts of the castle comes next lead by Royal wizard called Mudlin who spends most of his time in his lab beneath the castle grounds. There is a court jester called Jest A Minit who tries very little to crack jokes and those he does crack are not worth hanging around for. The main brains of the outfit is the Royal inventor called Cue-Ee-Dee (the name of the door of his laboratory). The inventor is often helped by a bright young pageboy called Albright. The Royal security and indeed all castle security is managed by the head soldier called Elbow. He orders the other soldiers around especially Osmosis and Kippo. The Castle is set in a kingdom with other castles as one of the more friendly neighbours is King Cedric the Depleted.
The cause of the conflict is oil. The Byegones were digging for water inside the castle when they accidently struck oil. Cue-Ee-Dee constructed an oil Derrick to extract the oil and as a result of the new found wealth of the Byegones, the Hasbeenes are determined to get it for themselves. The Hasbeenes are the arch enemies of the Byegones and are hell bent upon usurping the throne and laying claim to the oil resources found beneath the castle grounds. Hence they spend most of their time outside the castle thinking up plans to get inside.
(Cue - Ee - Dee)
(Jest a Minit)
The leader of the Hasbeenes is Beosweyne. He is a black bearded warrior, the strongest of his clan. His right hand man is called Hench but the rest of the army are nothing short of a rabble. The rules are simple - all is fair in love and war and the battles commence each day irrespective of time of day or weather. That is until the clock strikes three. Then everything stops for tea for about half an hour before war recommences.