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BBC offers chance to tour 'Mongrels' set

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

The BBC is offering viewers the chance to get behind the set of animal puppet sitcom Mongrels.

Limited numbers of tickets are available for tours and previews on 13th, 20th and 27th May. A random draw for the tickets will take place between now and midday on 9th May.

According to the BBC Comedy Blog, those who get tickets will be given the following:

  • A tour of the set at Twickenham Film Studios, London, from the production team.
  • The change to watch series two of Mongrels being filmed.
  • A visit to the puppet room where you can get a photo taken with a character from the show and see some new puppets.
  • Meet the art department and see some of the props used in the show.
  • A sneak preview of series two to see before anyone else.

Comments

Your rating: None

Sounds great! If only I weren't 3800 miles away and working . . .

Your rating: None

To go behind the set of a humanized British version of Family Guy?

No, thanks :|

Your rating: None

Despite the fact that I live 3900 miles away and was working, I decided to go. I've always been fascinated with the creative process and anthropomorphic charaters, and since this was a chance to see something I know I liked while it was actually in production (as opposed to years later) I talked myself into it.

Obviously, I like this show. Mongrels is a fast-paced, gag-filled show filled with cut-aways and pop-culture referenes, true. It is excellent on that level. One look on YouTube at the way each episode seems to have been cut into dozens of clips - all of them funny - proves that. What makes it more than an newer version of ...whatever you think it might be, is the way they treat the characters. Some are pretty much off-the-shelf stereotypes - like Kali, the plotting pigeon. Marion the dimwitted cat is a comedy relief buddy character, and a good one. Destiny the Afghan has a little more depth, and mainly keeps your interest by making you wonder if she's ever going to feel anything for anyone besides herself. Vince, the outwardly violent and profane fox slips very occasionally, and we see how vulnerable he really is. Then there's Nelson.

Behind his metrosexual quirks and mannerism, and his surface funniness, Nelson is a genuinely tragic character. The poor fox is constantly being crushed emotionally by others and by life in general, but he deals with it the best he can. Some of the very best comic characters, like Charlie Chaplin, have had this trait. The writers and performers who makes Nelson who he is have created a very moving character.

Back to the tour - There were apparently only four groups of about ten each over the last month. The small size meant that we were basically taken everywhere and saw almost everyone, from the producer Stephen McCrum and creator/director Adam Miller, to voice talents Dan Tetsel (Marion) and Rufus Jones (Nelson), and all of the puppeteers. Some of them immitate the voice talent really well. Warrick Brownlow-Pike (Marion) does a great Marion voice. When we came onto the Mongrels set to see them filming, Destiny turned around and looked at us and said "Oh, did you arrive here on the short bus too?" Richard Coombs, who's the puppeteer for Destiny, was hilarious. All of them were very nice and tend to stay in character and talk and gesture to everyone - including the director - through the puppets. They definitely love their work. and are amazing to watch.

At one point we crowded into the editing room to see some clips of the new shows. Rufus Jones and Dan Tetsel wanted to see them too and came along. All I can say is, the fears I had that the first season's excellence was a fluke were wrong. The new shows look even better tham last season. I had a great time.

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About the author

The Chained Wolfread storiescontact (login required)

    a journalist and Grey Wolf from England

    I have worked as a journalist formerly for The Furtean Times.