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DVD Review

DVD cover

Terry Pratchett's Truckers
The Complete Series


Starring: Joe McGann, Debra Gillett, Rosalie Williams and John Jardine
Distributor: Fremantle Media
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: PG
Release Date: 07 October 2013

Masklin’s people, the Nomes, are in peril. At one time their population numbered forty, but when the Humans drove a motorway through their land it pushed the wildlife into a much smaller area. The Nomes came under attack from the animals as the food supply decreased. When Mr Mert is killed by a fox, Masklin decides that it is no longer safe for his small band to stay where they are, instead he intends to smuggle them aboard a truck, a truck which takes them to a department store where other Nomes live...

Terry Pratchett’s Truckers (1989 - 13 x 10 min) is a stop motion claymation created by Cosgrove Hall and adapted by Brian Truman, for Thames Television.

The story is a take on The Borrowers. The Nomes are only four inches tall and talk and speak much faster than humans, making them almost impossible to see. The show’s opening is narrated by The Thing, a small black cube which Masklin and his people remain unaware that it is a powerful artificial intelligence. When fully activated it informs them that they had originally come from a different planet fifteen thousand years ago, when their ship crashed.

The nub of the story starts with the second episode when the Nomes arrive at the department store to discover that the store contains a large number of other Nomes, most of whom have no idea that the outside world exist. Over time they have fragmented into contentious tribes, based on the department they live in. Before Masklin can get to grips with his new life, The Thing informs Masklin that the store is going to be destroyed in twenty-one days. Masklin is faced with the impossible task of moving a population of Nomes, who do not believe in the outside, in a lorry they are too small to drive.

Although the animation looks dated, the print is pretty good, it’s soft, but with little evidence of print damage as the show has been digitally restored. The disc comes with no extras; it’s a bit of a shame. The show has a good vocal cast; Masklin is voiced by Joe McGann, aided by Rosalie Williams (Gran'ma Morkie), Debra Gillett (Grimma) and John Jardine (Tom). Edward Kelsey provides the voice of the slightly creepy Thing.

This is one of those shows which will appeal to both adults and children. The children will enjoy the fantasy, but there is also a level of ironic comedy in the story, especially in the religion which the stores Nomes have created as a reflection of their understanding of the department store. The show works well and for the most part is played straight.

As a fairly faithful adaptation of the first book in the series, the pace is slow, but as the episodes are only around ten minutes long, it can be watched in pretty small chunks.


Charles Packer

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