back to article NASA's greatest clanger

Rights to the celebrated documentary The Clangers are changing hands. Often mistakenly described as “a children’s programme”, the 1970s series revealed for the first time the existence of an advanced knitwear-based lunar civilisation, knowledge of which has been suppressed by governments and space agencies ever since. Not only …


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  1. zedee
    Thumb Up


    El Reg is so wonderfully entertaining on a Friday.

    Pints of Landlord all round!

  2. M

    It's time to ring...


  3. pastamasta

    Clanger invasion of Earth?

    I for one welcome our woollen overlords.

  4. Stu

    The clangers was great.

    Don't let those toffy English fox hunters in on the existence of that hallowed creature, the Soup Dragon. They might find a good excuse for sending in thousands of fox hounds to rip the poor thing to shreds of cotton.

    So named after the popular music band of the 90s. I think.

  5. Christopher Rogers
    Thumb Up

    Blue String Pudding

    Great story. I'm going to get pissed with Tom Fun and Derek. "That'll be alot of fun."

  6. Ed


    Like WTF Reg......?

  7. Michael

    Reading the start of this

    I thought this was going to be about NASA buying the rights to the clangers.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    It's worse than that, Jim

    They've also bagged Bagpuss, and Ivor the Engine.

    As reported in The Grauniad:

    "The Coolabi chief executive, Jeremy Banks, said: "This is an exciting acquisition for Coolabi. Bagpuss is a much-loved classic brand and we look forward to applying our proven brand management skills to its reinvigoration and to successfully introducing it to a new generation of children.

    "In addition, we have secured some other interesting properties which the Coolabi team will begin work on immediately in order to accelerate their development."


  9. Tom Paine

    come clean, NASA

    Why was the secret of Blue String Soup covered up? With a dustbin lid, no less. ISTR an episode where little humans turned up wearing spacesuits. With hilarious consequences, naturally. Things were fabulous in 1973, kids today have no idea. We only had to work three days a week, you know. Worker's paradise, it was...

  10. Ralph B

    Best. URL. Ever.

    Love it.

  11. Anonymous John

    If you can't wait.

  12. Scott Broukell
    Thumb Up

    Quantum mechanics

    You forgot to mention the Clangers knowledge of 'Blue' String Theory.

    The soup caves hid an enourmous machine for colliding soup particles at high speed.

    The facility was called SERN - Soup Everyday Ready Now.

    Mine's the woolen cardigan.

  13. beast666


    The memories... Thanks Reg! Good story :-)

  14. Les
    Thumb Up

    Good URL, too

    Nicely done.

  15. An Unwashed Mass

    RE: [url] weeooo_ooeeeoo_woooeeeooo

    What did you say about my mother? She was a saint!

  16. davefb

    Of course , NASA didn't discover them

    The Vikings first saw the Clangers, or Moon Mice as they were called...

  17. TeeCee Gold badge

    Re: Ummm

    It's very important to have things like this on El Reg. Without them I wouldn't have just put 2 and 2 together and had the ace idea of starting conversations in Clanger, Soup Dragon and Iron Chicken on Still waiting for my home Internet connection after the house move though, so the ideas open to takers. If anyone can actually do Froglet, I'd be impressed too.

    Go on, you know you want to and it'll give our colonial friends a serious WTF? moment......

  18. Jimmy Floyd


    It won't be the fox-hunters that go for the Soup Dragon (though they'd have every right, evil bastard that it is). No, it'll be Mr Spoon and the cast of Button Moon who hide a secret hobby of dressing up in red coats and hacking n'er-do-wells to death with kitchen utensils.

  19. James


    No - other way round. The band was named after the Clangers Soup Dragon !

  20. david

    All I've got to say is...

    wheee-ooo ooowheeee wheeeeeee wheeeeee oooo

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hail to the Clangers!

    Who can resist the Clangers ? At a very early age, this became my first ever unmissable TV show! And I was not alone; my big sister, my little sister, Mum & Dad and Grandma would all flock to the telly to see these delightful little chaps, speaking so eloquently yet only in whistles. The soup dragon was there, and they would all pop in and out of their little dustbin lidded craters on the moon. How NASA missed them, I'll never know .....Yet I am sure Major Clanger would soon sort out thoese pesky NASA guys tearing up the moon in their "dune" buggy!

  22. Gianni Straniero
    Black Helicopters

    Cover up

    Astonishingly, NASA didn't even notice the "anomalies" in their own photography:

  23. pm

    W & G were there first...

    As we all know from the documentary "A Grand Day Out"

  24. Hayden Clark Silver badge

    Did you know the scripts were censored?

    Apparently Major clanger expressed himself too forcefuly, and it had to be toned down.

    The whisting noises aren't just random whistles. They wrote an actual script with words, then whistled it. And like all other Childrens' prog scripts, it had to pass the censor......

  25. Pedantic Twat

    easy explanation for NASA's slip up

    Umm... surely the clangers didn't live on OUR moon -- they were far away in space? Or am I remembering it wrong?

    Cue hundreds of corrective emails from people who can actually go and check.

    Or not.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Tom Paine

    'Things were fabulous in 1973, kids today have no idea. We only had to work three days a week, you know. Worker's paradise, it was...'

    And it's back!

    In 1973, we had an unpopular government, nationalisation, a run on the banks, collapsing house prices, rising unemployment, an economy in the crapper, energy supply problems and to top it all we were busy losing a war with Iceland.

    Now all we need is Jon Pertwee back as the Doctor.

  27. david

    I hadn't notice the URL...

    ...when I wrote my comment

  28. Thomas Baker
    Thumb Up

    I'll take your pint of Landlord...

    ...and raise you a barrel. Here, here I say. Keep up the good work El Reg.

  29. Stu


    I know, thicko. I would have thought the chronological ordering was the giveaway.

    Jeez do I have to put the JOKE ALERT icon on everything I post?

  30. Glenn Booth
    Paris Hilton

    For heaven's sake...

    It wasn't a moon. Not ANY moon.

    Anybody who was paying attention knows full well that the Clangers lived on a small, blue PLANET. Our moon (for those who haven't been paying attention) is not blue, and not a planet. It is in fact cheese coloured, as proven beyond any reasonable doubt by Wallace and Gromit (at least pm seems to be awake).

    9/10 for the story, 0/10 for successful investigative journalism.

    Paris, because we'd all like to see her moon.

    Over and out.


  31. Frumious Bandersnatch

    obviously not our moon

    As the photo shows, the curvature of the horizon is too high.

    Makes you wonder what else NASA isn't telling us.

  32. Stevie

    4 Glenn Booth

    You are assuming the layabout so-called "scientists" who pack our observatories today, and who have realised that it is MUCH harder to do science for yourself than to yawp on endlessly about how your betters did it wrong a hundred years ago, haven't decided to recalssify the Clanger's home world due to it being too small to be a planet. Look at the obvious radius of curvature in that picture. That place is about three miles around the equator or I'm a scotsman.

    Note to "scientists": Where's my bloody personal jetpack? Where's the bloody space station I was promised as a kid? That bunch of overgrown baked bean tins you lot stuffed up there for a King's ransom is a bleeding joke! Either do some science or pay back the sodding grant money you got under false pretenses you lazy gits.

  33. Oldfogey

    @ Censored Scripts.

    The Censors may have seen A script, but not necessarliy the one that Postgate & Firmin worked from.

    Not so long ago Tesco were selling a toy Tiny Clanger with a sound chip in it, when squeezed it whistled in Clanger.

    And what it said was.... "Bugger it - the damn thing's stuck again!"

  34. Colin Brett

    RE: Did you know the scripts were censored?

    Apparently, the first words spoken (whistled) on the Clangers were Major Clanger saying "Oh sod it! The bloody thing's stuck again!" He was trying to open a door.

    There used to be a site (now defunct) which said the episodes were scripted in English but then translated into whistles so they sounded like a real language.

  35. yeah, right.

    more beer

    I can only assume that Mr. Orlowski writes articles that don't include his favourite word "freetard" only when he is well lubricated?

    Given that I otherwise enjoy Mr. Orlowski's writing, and so long as you promise to never, ever again show a picture of his face, I vote that Mr. Orlowski be given a raise to be paid in his favourite tipple (yes, even if he does prefer a shandy) at his local pub, available throughout the week and not just Fridays. Then maybe he'll start writing readable articles again.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    who was the first clanger on terranova ?


    By Ed Posted Friday 24th October 2008 14:27 GMT

    Like WTF Reg......?


    LOL, it's british thing Ed, what i want to know is what was the name of the first clanger on the earth and what did they say when they steped off their spaceship, was it broadcast all over the moon, and did why did they not return for so long!

    i hear the eastern clangers have now got a robotics plan to return to earth and land some automateted robotic dragons to map the earth, but the west the united states of clanger nation dont like that so are now planning to make a north poll terra base soon.

  37. DZ-Jay


    I guess 'tis Friday.


  38. Winkypop Silver badge

    Wombles Vs Clangers

    Who would win?

  39. Anonymous Coward

    so it wasn't a kids programme after all.....

    there was part of me , thinking that I watched a kids programme back when I was 4 years old all those years ago... but no it was stuff that NASA had missed !

    now I can buy into that , after all they faked the moon landings, and had an imaginary rockets that left cape canaveral, and where thus using there billions of US Budget using early CGI in the early 1970s..

    oh bugger I must remember to take the pills the psychiatrist gave me ......he's a very nice man !

  40. Adam Ward
    Thumb Up

    Clangers ... some people are eating them

    I haven't looked at these poor knitware creatures the same since someone pointed out that a Bedfordshire Clanger is a food item. Apparently, in Bedfordshire, they hunt and kill these magnificent aliens.

    A full recipe, with "Pork" as an alternative ingredient in these PC times, can be found here:

    See... they are even proud of their alien hunting ways! Presumably the Soup Dragon was the starter.

    Save the clanger...

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Make that my round

    Keep it up Andrew. Especially if you are annoying people like yeahright who burst into tears when they hear the word "Freetard"

    I'll drink to that.

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