In a Muddle (12.03.10)
If you've browsed the kids section of your local Waterstone's
time over the last few years, there's no doubt you'll
across the funtastic offerings of Paul
Stewart and Chris Riddell.
This popular pairing have so far brought us the bestselling
Edge Chronicles, a series of Far-Flung Adventures, and
on-going High-Stacking of Barnaby Grimes, as well as umpteen
side and solo projects in and around and between. Suffice
to say, they're very busy chaps...
Well, now one of their most popular volumes - Muddle
has been adapted into an animated series by the BBC.
published in 2003, the book is a playful spoof of "Lord
of the Rings"
("Middle Earth, geddit?) and all those elf-stuffed
fantasy quest tales
that have followed in its wake over the years, and it
of daft goings-on between Randalf the Wizard, a lad called
a goth fairy called Veronica Pesticide, Horned Baron Smink,
and his Head Gardener-turned-Manservant Benson, Not-Very-
Big Norbert (who really is quite big) and the evil blue
bear that is - gulp - Dr. Cuddles.
The 26x11mins series has actually made a little bit
of tv history,
because it's the BBC's first ever in-house long-form animation
It's been directed by Tim Harper and Vincent James, with
Phil Chalk producing. The lead writers are Rob Sprackling
John Smith and music for the series was performed by the
Philharmonic Orchestra - which is another first for the channel.
Oh yes, and topping the voice cast is that old animation
David Jason (DangerMouse,
Toad, etc.), who plays
The first episode, "Footwear of Doom", premieres
15th March, at 3.50pm on BBC1, with a repeat on BBC
5.45pm. And subsequent episodes premiere at the same
every day on both channels, for the next couple of weeks.
all there'll be thirteen episodes premiering in this
first run, with
the next thirteen scheduled to air in September.
Kid worked on Muddle Earth, at an earlier stage in its
development, and it's very interesting to learn how
shifted it from a 3D production to a 2D affair, and
to see their
take on the show.
Oh, and Trivia Hounds will note this isn't the first
the BBC have set foot in "Muddle Earth". John
the book for "Jackanory", back in 2006 (here's