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Fraggle Rock's Finale Probably Made You Cry More Than You Remember

The late, great Jim Henson took part in several notable productions throughout his life and career, from "The Muppet Show" to the clothing line-spawning "Dark Crystal." Of course, no assessment of Henson's legacy is complete without some mention of one of the best of all the Muppet-centric TV shows, "Fraggle Rock," which ran from 1983 to 1987 and was later revived in 2022 via Apple TV+'s "Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock." The series follows a group of small, underground-dwelling creatures known as Fraggles, who live for fun and friendship. Still, their penchant for merriment couldn't prevent the initial series' finale from getting many viewers choked up.

The final "Fraggle Rock" episode, "Change of Address" is an incredibly emotional one. Doc (Gerard Parkes) and his dog, Sprocket (Steve Whitmire, a pivotal name in the history of Kermit the Frog), whose workshop is connected to the Fraggle caves, have finally been made aware of the Fraggles' existence. They befriend Gobo (Jerry Nelson), but there's one problem: they're moving away, cutting their long-overdue friendship with the Fraggles short. Saddened and sulking over the loss of their new friends, Gobo and the rest of the Fraggles come upon a long tunnel full of glittering crystals. At the end is an opening leading to Doc and Sprocket's new workshop. They all reunite to sing a rendition of the show's theme song, sending the program off on a tear-shedding note.

Unfortunately, the return of "Fraggle Rock" only made this finale even more emotional.

Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock only made this finale more emotional in hindsight

Overall, "Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock" is a lovely reimagining of the original series. It walks a fine line between nostalgia and modernity, giving newcomers to the franchise a chance to fall in love with their own versions of these iconic characters. The premise is largely the same, with the Fraggles residing in a hidden cave system connected to "Outer Space," aka the workshop and the entire human world. Both Doc and Sprocket are present, this time excellently portrayed by Lilli Cooper and John Tartaglia, respectively. Sadly, the show's very existence makes the end of the original "Fraggle Rock" all the more emotional.

As a reboot, "Back to the Rock" doesn't explore what happened beyond the "Fraggle Rock" finale. It restores the status quo to the Fraggles having to hide from Doc and Sprocket, with no desire to be trapped in Outer Space. Thus, given the emotionally impactful nature of "Change of Address," one can't help but be reminded of Doc and Sprocket's newfound friendship with the Fraggles when starting "Back to the Rock." What kind of adventures could they have gone on that fans never got to see?  It's worth noting that Gerard Parkes passed away in 2014 at age 90, so seeing such stories come to fruition in live-action has been out of the question for some time. Still, it's sad to think about the untold tales and what could've been.

Thankfully, "Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock" is a home run that any Fraggle fan owes it to themselves to watch. It may not follow up on the original show's emotional finale, but it succeeds greatly in bringing the Fraggles and their world to a new generation.