The Wombles are back!
Or at least they will be in 2015.
The UK’s Channel 5 has announced that it will be broadcasting 52 eleven-minute CGI-created episodes about everyone’s favourite litter-gathering denizens of Wimbledon Common on their Milkshake channel which is targeted at the pre-schooler set.
While the production techniques will be as modern as they come, Mike Batt, who holds the rights to The Wombles promised the new series will hew close to the spirit of the original stop motion series which were produced for the BBC between 1973-1975:
“It will look more like stop motion but with great fur. We believe that there are audiences of new children who missed The Wombles the first time around and will be thrilled to see the brilliant high quality animation and new musical productions.” (source: cultbox.co.uk)
Created by childrens book author Elizabeth Beresford in the 1960s after her daughter Kate charmingly mispronounced Wimbledon Common as “Wombledon Common”, the characters were based on members of the writer’s own family:
“[She] based each Womble on a different member of her own family. At the head of the Womble hierarchy was the highbrow Great Uncle Bulgaria, inspired by her father-in-law. Other characters included Tobermory (based on her brother, an inventor) and Orinoco (her son) while Madame Cholet Coburg-Womble was inspired by her own mother, who was obsessed by royalty.” (source: telegraph.co.uk)
To say that I am excited by the news would be massively understating it.
I was obsessed by The Wombles all through my childhood, lapping every episode of the show, reading all the books that accompanied it, and even writing about them once in a creative writing exercise at school (in which they were all killed; lord knows what was going on in my mind at the time!).
They were a delightfully close-knit family, who cared about each other and were eco-warriors way before it was even fashionable, and the idea that they will be back on television makes me very happy indeed.