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Toonhound presents...






British TV series

     The Gublin Legends

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The Gublin
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producers: Gordon Murray for the BBC
    animation: stop-motion animation

      episodes: 13 x 5mins



    This quaint little series of legends was spawned from the marvellous mind of
    Gordon Murray, who'd previously brought us those classic shows based in
    Trumptonshire and Rubovia. The Gublins were curious chimp-like creations
    who featured in a series of Tall Stories, narrated to us in a folksy fashion with
    rhyming couplets and a simple acoustic soundtrack. It was all terribly quaint,
    but at the same time, terribly appealing with some very clever wordplay, and
    always with a twist in the tale.

    The Gublin Legends were first broadcast as part of Noel Edmond's
    "Multicoloured Swap Shop" on BBC1, and each was presented to camera
    by Gordon Murray, in person. Alas, however, they came and went in a
    heartbeat, with ne'er a repeat to be seen...

        abdul gublin

         the gublin vicar

"Now this boy desired adventure
And his father was afraid
That for Abdul sandal making
was a very timid trade,
So he sent him on an errand
With a pair of brown, Size 3,
For conveyance to the Caliph
At the Palace C.O.D."

                               - from The Magic Tree

"In the garden, Mr Dilly
With the Vicar and his daughter
entertained the little mermaid
with her tail kept moist in water"

                                - from Mr Dilly's Mermaid

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     BBC Swap Shop Books

     These were published annually by the BBC, to tie in with the hit magazine
     series. And luckily for us, three of them featured our Gublin friends in their
     own little photo story. It should be noted, however, that these stories
     were edited for these appearances, and the models re-staged to enable
     each to be told in the requisite amount of pages...

     Book 2 (1979) - featuring The Prince Frog
     featuring Mr Wiffin, a Coachman, King Alfonso, Princess Tina, and
     a Frog Prince.

     Book 3 (1980) - featuring The Magic Tree
     featuring Abdul, a Caliph, a tree and a whole lot of "Bunzibub".

     Book 4 (1981) - featuring Mr Dilley's Mermaid
     featuring Harry Dilley, a Vicar, a crook called Titus Leach, and
     a mermaid called Lucy Lock.

     Incidentally, the very first "Swap Shop" book featured another of
     Gordon Murray's creations, Skip & Fuffy.

     Dean & Co.

     They published four brand new Gublin photo tales in a series of "Young
     Gublins Picture Storybooks", dating from the same era:

    The Lost Drum
    The Surprise Present
    The Wishing Well

    Grandpa's Mistake


    Those Gublins Legends

     Only 12 of the 13 Gublin Legends that were filmed were ever broadcast,
     and that 13th and final episode is, sadly, untitled. Here are the others:

    The Prince Frog

     The Magic Tree
    Mr Dilley's Mermaid
    Bessie O'the Glen (or the Inversneekie Doonie)
    The Dancing Princess
    Charley's Feather
    The Prudent Prince
    The Emperor's Willow Warbler
    The Honey-Coloured Hat
    The Kendal Candle
    Obadiah and Flo
    The Barber of Cartina


    The Gublins on DVD/VHS

The Legends aren't available on DVD. But one episode
     "Bessie O'the Glen" previously appeared on this video compilation:

   UK DVD Children's Seventies TV Favourites - Vol. 1
                Region 2 VHS / Contender / February 1998

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     Each film contains the following end credits:

      a Gublin film by Gordon Murray
      music by Freddie Phillips

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      On the web

       Double:Take's index page features a little series info,
       three pics and all the necessary contact details for folks
       seeking broadcast rights to the show...

       The Realm of Rubovia
The Gublins are here too, alongside King Rufus
       and friends...

       The Trumptonshire Web  
       More Murray magic here...

      index »    previous »   next »    

© Gordon Murray / F2010