It was announced this week that the side kick of Philips Schofield back in the 80’s and 90’s, yes that’s right, Gordon the Gopher, has released a pilot for a new television show… and he now talks. Yes, you heard that correctly – the puppet that was so famously known for his little squeak and being best pals with Philip (even though he lived in a broom cupboard) now has a voice and if I am honest with you, it’s disappointing.
Puppet based shows have always been either hit or miss, especially when they are aimed more at the adult audience, very many have tried and very little have succeeded. Such shows and characters such as Spitting Image, The Big Breakfast, Jeff Dunham, Bo’ Selecta and Mongrels has all succeeded because of their cutting innuendo humour that they appeal to adult humour. However, there are many that haven’t succeeded and one of the hardest things to do with puppeteering is to bring a notable puppet from children’s television into an adult environment.
The one strong success of crossing over to appeal to both children and adults is The Muppets. They appeal to both adults and children because their humour can be read on many different levels. There have always been children shows such as Muppet Babies, however there have also been adult based entertainment shows too such as their show in the 70’s and the most recent one that is soon to be released called The Muppets which is to be filmed in a documentary based show like The Office.
Now give Gordon his due, it is only a 5 minute pilot so if it does get picked up it may be a lot more developed, however, I didn’t like the fact that the Gopher now talks and all relation to his squeak was completely ignored apart from one line going on it was an act.
It was a 5 minute show about a puppet moaning about life and wanting to be seen as someone not from the broom cupboard and for a character that has been out of the public eye for so long, it is hard to relate. Also there is another problem, the actor they have chosen to voice Gordon – Warwick Davies. A while ago, Warwick was part of a show written by Ricky Gervais and Stephan Merchant called Life Too Short – to me the voice of Warwick made me instantly think of this show as it is a similar type of vibe.
Whether or not you were a fan of Gordon, check out the link below to make your own mind up.