Here’s a fun claymation caveman sitcom from the nineties. Gogs landed in 1993 and enjoyed cult status, with its heady mix of gross out and slapstick humour.
It was a Welsh TV series about a family of impossibly stupid cavemen (and women).
Living in prehistory, they disastrously navigate their way through life, mainly by trying to avoid dinosaurs, dangerous animals, and family members.
Obviously, the fun point of the sitcom is the caveman setting, but the family is partially modernised.
So, some present era human behaviours are placed on the family—with an overriding lack of intelligence added in for laughs.
A Brief History of Gogs
Discovering the show whilst on holiday in Paris back in 2000, we watched a load of the five minute episodes on a VHS tape.
The above episode particularly hit it off with the Wapojif family. At the four minute mark, there’s a rather amusing crude joke.
In the early 1990s, there was a succession of daft, rather crude shows that became popular. Beavis and Butt-Head was one, Ren & Stimpy another.
Meanwhile, the anarchic sitcom Bottom was taking off on the BBC.
You could barely move for that particularly brand of humour, which suited us right down to the ground. We enjoy all that silly stuff. So, Gogs was another show that arrived at the right time for our young brains.
Gogs was actually the work of multiple studios in Wales. Aaargh! Animation Ltd. appears to be the main culprit behind it.
From our research, Deiniol Morris and Siôn Jones appear to be the show’s creators.
And Gogs aired on Welsh TV for the first time in late 1993. The BBC picked the show up for airing in England in 1996.
There’s not much of a cast, of course, as the characters don’t speak. They largely just grunt, wail, and scream.
Handling most of the voice work was Gillian Elisa, although Josie Lawrence also did quite a lot of screaming (it’s her roaring away on the end credits). Dafydd Emyr handled the male voices.
There were 13 episodes over two series, which we’ve seen one IMDb reviewer hail as, “Claymation for the post-pub generation.” As this show wasn’t for kids. It was for teenagers and adults.
Rewatching some episodes now, it’s good fun. Although doesn’t quite have the fast-paced humour of some of its peers. Its purpose was to be crude, silly fun.
And that, in our humble opinion, is a most noble effort.
Gogwana and The Demise of Gogs
In late 1998, a TV film came about called Gogwana. It’s a big impressive production, along the lines of Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers.
It aired on 25th December, 1998, and we clearly remember watching it on British TV.
But we also remember being a little disappointed with Gogwana. Primarily as it takes the form of a standard movie narrative—equilibrium shattered, equilibrium restored.
Frankly, 30 minutes of non-linear, ridiculous scatology and crude humour would have worked better. In our humble opinion.
However, the short film was well received by critics and won a bunch of award. As, yes, the production values are indeed excellent.
But then that was it for Gogs. Nothing else ever came from the series. The series was pretty unconventional, so no further episodes were ever commissioned in the UK.
This is despite Steven Spielberg (yes, that one) seeing the first episode of Gogs. He liked it so much he asked to see Aaargh! Animation representatives, who apparently flew out to America to see the director.
However, nothing emerged from this meeting. In 2005, Aardman Animations planned a similar project with Spielberg’s DreamWorks.
Monty Python star John Cleese co-wrote a script that turned into 2013’s The Croods.
Then, in 2018, Aardman Animations launched Early Man. It was well received by critics, although we’ve not watched it yet.
Mainly as much of the plot apparently revolves around football, which we don’t have much interest in.
But with The Croods and Early Man you can clearly see the influence that Gogs had on these major, recent productions.
It’s just a bit of a shame the original concept didn’t get further screen time. 1998 was a long way back now, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Ug.