“These are Pippin and Tog, they’re the Pogles’ children, so to speak. Pippin was adopted: he’s the prince of the fairies” — Daniel Postgate
"Now — a new race of puppet people. A NEW RACE of puppet people join the "Watch with Mother" series on B.B.C.-1 from Thursday. They are the Pogles — country and woodland folk, old-fashioned "very little" people. Mr. and Mrs. Pogle are peaceful and hard-working people. Mr. Pogle is tall for a Pogle — he stands a foot high in his felt boots ! Although they are troubled by magic occasionally and they have what is undoubtedly a magic bean plant growing in their garden, the Pogles are not quick, mischievous, magic little people like elves and goblins. Their family consists of a small Pogle-like boy, called Pippin and a small animal, called Tog. Tog might appear to be a squirrel, a tufted-eared cat or even a rabbit—but he is none of these. He is a pink and red-striped Tog with big, hoppity legs and a voice like a bath-plug emptying. Oliver Postgate (40), who has produced "Pogle's Wood" for the B.B.C., says there are 13 programmes about the Pogles" — Thanet Times, year unknown.
In The Pogles, Mr and Mrs Pogle were a homely couple living quietly in a tree root until the day Mr Pogle found a magic bean which, when planted, became a huge talking plant fond of bilberry wine. When the baby son of the Fairy King appeared in the branches of the plant it was up to the Pogles to protect him from a beak-nosed old witch.
"The first Pogles was a single one I made intending to do a series, but, quite rightly, the BBC said it was too frightening cos the witch was a proper witch, and they said witches are alright in fairyland and places like that, but not in the back garden" — Oliver Postgate
Intended for the Watch With Mother strand, this original six-part story was rejected as too frightening. It was shown just once - albeit to a wider audience - as part of Clapperboard (BBC, 1965), a showcase of mainly foreign short films, airing in a 5 o'clock slot. Oliver Postgate dropped in to join hosts Gary Watson and squirrel monkey Montmorency on 26/8/1965 to talk about his series.
Watch With Mother broadly instructed young viewers about the world - the Head of Family Programmes, Doreen Stephens, suggested that the Pogles explore and explain their countryside habitat. To facilitate this, Postgate introduced an inquisitive young boy, Pippin (in Postgate's mind the Fairy Prince of the original series), and his furry sprite friend Tog. Pogles' Wood investigated rural customs and discovered where the likes of honey, milk and wool come from.
The series used stop motion figures in a clever blend of techniques; puppets were animated in model studio sets, in real locations or appeared static alongside human actors. A second run of Pogles' Wood ventured outdoors less often, preferring the bean plant to tell stories more easily animated in the studio.
Writer: Oliver Postgate. Puppets and Pictures: Peter Firmin. Voices: Olwen Griffiths – Mrs Pogle and Pippin, Steve Woodman – Plant and Tog, Oliver Postgate – Pogle, The Witch, King of the Fairies, Hedgepig, Fairies. Music: Vernon Elliott, the British bassoonist. A Smallfilms production.
The Pogles episodes: First broadcast in 1965: The Magic Bean, A Silver Crown, Pogle Go Home!, A Flower For Wishes, The Singing Bird & King of The Fairies. Pogles' Wood episodes: Series 1, first broadcast April 1966 – June 1966: Grains of Wheat, Milk From The Dairy, Honey Bees, Sheep's Wool, Eggs For Breakfast, Trains, Pig-In-The-Middle, The Secret House, Noisy Engines, Badgers and Bears, Tree Farming, Cake Crumbs & Keep Clear of The Water. Series 2, first broadcast October 1967 – January 1968: Woodwinds, Strong Music, A Little House, Bears In The Wood, Bricks, A Paper Tiger, The Princess and The Jewel, Flowers, Kings and Queens, Clocks, Woodwork, Roundabouts & Umbrellas.