Teletubbies: Original Versus New

Teletubbies

Credit: The Teletubbies

As well as whether they genuinely remember the show or not, everyone has that childhood memory of a series such as Sesame Street or Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood that they remember well enough to have a place in their heart for such a series. One such series is Teletubbies, a psychedelic, originally British television series aimed at younger audiences that teaches them about friendship, sharing, and other necessities of growing up. However, as series from across all generations are being rebooted and revived, Teletubbies has been one of the series selected recently, with a reboot currently available on its revival home of Netflix. Below, we’ve detailed the overall Teletubbies franchise, from its original version that saw worldwide popularity to the newest rendition of the series available exclusively to stream on Netflix.

Tubbytronic Superdome

Credit: The Teletubbies

Original Teletubbies

The United Kingdom Teletubbies series premiered in 1997 on BBC. They only lasted for five seasons, but with 365 episodes, a child could watch a new episode every day of the year and engage with the show in an exciting sense. Although the original Teletubbies episode count varied per season, as season one contained 118 and season two contained a bit more at 126, the following three seasons contained 121 episodes. As most could remember, each episode of Teletubbies started with the infamous baby as the Sun, as it rose over the horizon to awaken the Teletubbies and the viewer. From the Baby Sun, the series would quickly turn towards some phenomenon that attracted the Teletubbies away from their food or whatever else they were doing, and typically left a mess for Noo-Noo, the living vacuum, by doing so. The cast of Teletubbies was pretty unknown outside of their time as the characters on the beloved children’s series, but from that time, they did rise to fame. The original Teletubbies were portrayed by Dave Thompson, John Simmit, Nikky Smedley, and Pui Fan Lee as Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po, respectively. However, in the original series, Tinky Winky was portrayed mainly by Simon Shelton, as after 70 episodes, Dave Thompson was relieved of the role from BBC.

PBS BBC

Credit: The Teletubbies (2015)

Revival Series

As for the revival of Teletubbies, the series revival initially premiered in the United States on Nick Jr. and later became available through Noggin’s app, while the Netflix reboot, which became available in November 2022, featured Titus Burgess as the narrator, as the actor has made a memorable name and face for themselves with the streaming giant. Otherwise, the series was the same for the revival, outside of the addition of the Tiddlytubbies, baby Teletubbies that eventually were given a CGI spinoff. While each Tiddlytubby was voiced entirely by Teresa Gallagher, and unlike the Teletubbies, there are eight Tiddlytubbies; Mi-Mi, Daa Daa, Baa, Ping, RuRu, Nin, Duggle Dee, and Umby Pumby. The actors for the revival series, on both Netflix and its initial return beforehand, featured new actors behind the infamous Teletubbies, portrayed by Jeremiah Krage, Nick Kellington, Rebecca Hyland, and Rachelle Beinart in the roles of Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po, respectively.

The Characters of Teletubbies

Each of the Teletubbies could be noted from its color, size, voice, and antenna on its head, as each one differed quite drastically, with Tinky Winky being purple, Dipsy being green, Laa-Laa being yellow and Po being red, their antenna in the shape of a triangle, a dipstick, a curled shape, and a bubble wand shape, respectively. While the clear headliners of each generation and reboot of Teletubbies have been the toddler-inspired creatures themselves, The Teletubbies and several other characters from the Teletubbies franchise have become well-known household names. The other characters that fulfill the inhabitants of the TeletubbyLand and its surrounding area include Noo-Noo, the Voice Trumpets, The Tubbyphone, rabbits, and the earlier mentioned Sun Baby and The Tiddlytubbies. When the characters would appear to interact with the Teletubbies, should they appear in each episode, varied per episode and on the subject of the episode, as each episode typically focused on a different learning aspect at the preschool level. The original color scheme of Noo-Noo changed to include stripes in the reboot of different colors versus the original solid color, the Sun Baby changed actors, of course, due to the age gap between the series, and the Tubbyphone was also added to the Teletubbies franchise with the reboot series. Overall, no real difference has hit the two Teletubbies series as both have the same main characters and elements. Still, the revival series included more updated elements created for the modern age of preschoolers. The Netflix series may have only added Titus as a narrator. Still, the audience reach of such a monumental children’s series on Netflix means it will remain in homes longer than the original may have.

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