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Jim Henson's "Starboppers"

Discussion in 'Family Worlds' started by Drtooth, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member


    Another lost 80's Henson gem. Sigh... it's a shame that nothing came out of it but one character... CGI backgrounds with puppets? That's exactly something Jim would have loved to play around with. I've never even heard about it until a few weeks ago. I was hoping there'd be some buzz about it here...

    I would LOVE to have seen the other characters concept art. Sigh... I wish Archaia would resurrect this like it did Tales of Sand, though there's clearly not much to go on...
  2. maniacal muppet

    maniacal muppet Well-Known Member

    I'm totally in agreement with you! I would love some Starbopper comics! :)
  3. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Heh, didn't expect Drtooth to have started this thread. maniacal muppet, or Toto, or Audrey II yes, given his FB status update as I've got him on my friends list there.

    And actually, Starboppers isn't so much of a lost gem as you may think. Did a bit of research at Muppet Wiki since I'd never heard of this project. After reading up on the article for this show, I thought it sounded somewhat familiar. And sure enough, it did. Even though Starboppers never made it to air, I think it got repurposed into a segment called Inside the Head that aired as part of the short-lived CityKids (which ran from September 1993 to January 1994). Starboppers consisted of groupings of three puppets labeled as "Captain", "Navigator", and "Stoker" piloting a ship that was meant to be a human body. Well, the puppet cast of Inside the Head consisted of "Captain", "Lieutenant", and "Libido". Though there's very little information, it's what led me to believe that one project got converted into the latter.

    Hope this helps. :batty: :wisdom: :jim:
  4. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I had never knew of this until the Red Book posted info. On that day I checked Muppet Wiki, and there were no pages there yet (there's a page now).

    I wonder if Jim Henson really intended on performing the character in the pitch. This was shortly after Fraggle Rock began and Jim Henson chose not to perform any main characters on that show because he was busy with other projects, and aside from Sesame Street and The Jim Henson Hour (and perhaps to a lesser extent Little Muppet Monsters) Jim Henson never performed any main roles on any television shows since The Muppet Show ended. I wonder if he was just performing that character as a demonstration.
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Ah... though, honestly, as much as I dug City Kids, it almost sounds like this original concept would have been fuller on its own.

    It seems that there was a Crazy Harry type of character in that show heard but not seen. Maybe it was planned too soon during Fraggle Rock. Really seems like if they revisited the concept later, it may jut have been completed... though I have the sneaky suspicion it could have been a cable only show that would've took me 20 years to watch anyway... but I'm LOVING the concept character designs.
  6. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Freudian based concepts? Nice. Yeah JHC was really thinking outside the box back then. Thanks for digging this one up Tooth! Never heard of it. Im surprised this is not from the late 80's, as it seems part of the JHH/Muppet TV era but is from the early 80's.
    Now if only they had some Kafka or Jungian concepts added in, they'd really have had something! Curious how many other 80's era projects they had in the concept stage. I still wish they had made that Scary Scary Monsters property into a cartoon or puppet show.
  7. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    As I said before, they should have saved this for after Fraggle Rock ended. This really seems like it could have been the next great follow up. I really like the character design of that only character they finished... too bad the other doodles and sketches didn't come up yet (or did they?).

    Still, you can't go wrong with a Crazy Harry type character.
  8. BornToWemble

    BornToWemble Active Member

    Oh wow thanks for posting this! I absolutely LOVE the character design...Shame it didn't get to be made the way it was intended. Maybe all the shows we missed out on in this world await us in the afterlife. :jim:
  9. Starchamberfall

    Starchamberfall Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the important post.

    I'm a fan, and no expert, which is why I almost never post up here on the list.

    I hesitate to say it, but Jim's last several years, I avidly awaited everything new that came out: nothing could compare to the thought of something new from him. But I usually was ...disappointed. :eek: With this Starboppers post, and listening to Jim, the pieces fall together for me. I think maybe the real fruit of Jim's ongoing work would have only been seen years down the line: only then would something new have emerged, in a way Fraggle Rock itself was not "new" to me, and onward from there.

    His was a big legacy to "outdo". It is so cool how free he was interiorly to try.

    As I said, just a fan-in-the-street's view.

    Incidentally, what to make of that title "Starboppers". I mean, whoa...
  10. Speed Tracer

    Speed Tracer Well-Known Member

    Is that Richard or Dave talking about the different merchandising possibilities? I love this!

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