With the newest DOT being all about SPACE, let’s discuss the kookiest space creatures from classic kid’s TV shows. We’ve chosen one from each decade, starting with the 50s, when the Space Age began with the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957.
SPACE CREATURE’S NAME: Colonel Bleep
CREATED BY: Fran Noack and Robert D. Buchanan, animated by Soundac, USA.
Colonel Bleep, a unicycle-riding extraterrestrial, protected Earth with the help of his pals Squeek (a mute cowboy puppet boy) and Scratch (a super-strong caveman). The design of the oddball series was classic Raygun Gothic with painterly googie shapes (boomerangs, trapezoids and atoms) galore.
SPACE CREATURE’S NAME: The Clangers
PLANET: Un-named, but it was small, hollow and blue!
CREATED BY: Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, Smallfilms, UK.
The Clangers were sweet, pink, knitted space creatures, who talked in whistles, ate green soup and wore armour to protect themselves from falling space debris. The show was created in the year humans first landed on the moon.
SPACE CREATURE’S NAME: Bleep
CREATED BY: Hanna-Barbera, USA.
When rock group Josie and the Pussycats were accidentally launched into outer space, they travelled through the galaxy trying in vain to find their way home. Along the way they met robot monsters, space pirates and lots of kooky creatures, including pink-limbed Bleep (so named because he could only say “Bleep”) who became Melody the drummer’s pet and the group’s mascot.
SPACE CREATURE’S NAME: Gilbert
CREATED BY: Phil Cornwell, produced by Tyne Tees Television, UK.
Gilbert, a puppet alien, co-presented Get Fresh, which was set in a spaceship called the Millennium Dustbin. Gilbert produced an endless stream of acerbic gags and green snot. The show featured many cool 80s guests (Housemartins, Public Image Ltd, Bananarama, The B52s and more) and the theme music was written by Mick Jones (The Clash/ Big Audio Dynamite).
SPACE CREATURE’S NAME: Plasmo
CREATED BY: Anthony Lawrence, Australia (Anthony also wrote, directed, co-produced and co-animated the series).
Plasmo was a claymation space-shifting orphan polybop, trying to find his parents. His best pal Parsty wore a special headpiece which allowed her to create a protective forcefield.