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Blorgons

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Blorgons
BlorgonsInSpace
Planet of Origin: Oraks
Biological Type: Cyborg
Notable Individuals: Blorgon King
First Appearance: The Blorgons
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The Blorgons, with their ubiquitous catchphrase "E-RAD-I-CATE!", have been a favourite recurrent villain of the Inspector since Season 1 and the most popular one among Inspectrum fans. The Blorgons have an annoying tendency to reappear, even though it seems impossible that they escaped the Inspector's justice (to which the Ninth Inspector alluded, just before they returned in the new series, when he claimed they had been "entirely DESTROYED! Every! Single! Last! One! Of! Them! Including all the secret ones that were hiding. They were ALL erased from time itself, they've never existed, and they will never exist ever again! Never, never, never, never, NEVER!!!").

BackgroundEdit

Blorgons-1962

The first appearance of the Blorgons in 1962

The Blorgons have a massive inferiority complex and deal with it by eradicating all beings that they see as superior. Their only significant advantage is that everyone underestimates their capacity for destruction until it is too late.  They were created on the planet Oraks by Hubert a.k.a. Vosrda, a resentful mad scientist from the law-abiding though arrogant native race, the Glorbons.

The Blorgons mainly work alone in their plans of universal conquest, mostly because others regarded them with derision. (One very intentional in-series joke was the naming of their empire "The Commonwealth of Sentients", when they are invariably the only members.) When they have made alliances, they were typically exploited by crafty humans or deceitful aliens such as the Serpentians and the Sergeant, who found them to be useful idiots in furthering their own schemes. Occasionally the Blorgons have employed henchmen, such as the Manbots and the Trolglodytes, though these associations never last.

An attempt was made in the Sixth Inspector episode "The Corporation of the Blorgons" to increase their level of menace by having the Orange Warden give them the ability to swim ("A power-boating license!") and splitting the Commonwealth into three competing factions, one of whom was officially Scary. This faction contributed to the back-stabbing multi-level scheming that made up the following season's "Internal Investigation of the Inspector". However, following the switch to The Seventh Inspector, this was scrapped without on-screen explanation, and the Blorgons were back to their old selves in "Oblivion of the Blorgons" (except for one memorable scene that showed they could still swim).

The Blorgons' iconic space-vessel has been the Blorgon Battlehub since the First Inspector serial "The Blorgon Incursion of Midgar".

AppearanceEdit

BlorgonPortrait

A 2011 Blorgon from "Bedlam of the Blorgons"

Similarities

An image noting the similarities between an old gas pump, a Blorgon, and a tin can.

The Blorgons' outer shells appear similar to large, skinny gas pumps used in the early 20th century and are made out of the alloy Blorgonium (which, in a recurrent plot device, is never quite strong enough to protect them). They also possess built-in lasers, which they use on the slightest provocation. Their hallmark grating voices were achieved not through sophisticated electronic distortion but in fact with the old-fashioned "Swazzle" used by Punch & Judy show performers.

Variations on this basic design would occasionally turn up in their later appearances on the programme. One of the most fondly remembered from the classic series is the Senior Warfare, Opportunities, and Threats ("SWOT") Blorgon from "Oblivion of the Blorgons", which switched the laser with the headpiece and had a tendency to explode when its weapons were engaged. In the new series, the member of the Devotion of Oraks known as "Blorgon Secs" appeared half human due to their failed experiments in "intelligent design" ("Creationism of the Blorgons").

Blorgon-closeup

A 2009 Blorgon from "Return of the Revenge of the Blorgons"

In 2009 came a radical redesign for the Blorgons that made them bigger and meaner-looking and designated them into personality types based on their bright new colours, as part of BTV's toy merchandising campaign. Fans were not pleased with the New Blorgon Collective, however, and referred to them as the "Smarties" or "Mister Men" Blorgons. Desperate not to alienate their audience, the producers did a quick about-face. For their second and final appearance in the hastily produced webisode "Breakdown of the Blorgons", the New Blorgon Collective admitted to an armada of "Classic" Blorgons (who had inexplicably survived their last humiliating defeat at the hands of the Inspector) that they were even more inferior than their previous incarnation before being sucked into a black hole.

DevelopmentEdit

Tony Hancock

Tony Hancock: comic genius, Blorgon father

The genesis of the Blorgon design comes from the British comedian Anthony John "Tony" Hancock, the very popular creator of the Hancock's Half Hour series. Following his departure from the BBC (and an acrimonious split with his regular scriptwriters Ray Galton and Alan Simpson), he was looking at expanding into science fiction. In his proposal to BTV for a series titled "From Plip to Plop", he described a race of beings who, after a nuclear war, were reduced to "living in dustbins and eating radiation". Although the producers rejected the premise as "too fantastic" for a comedy, Inspector Spacetime creator Anthony Bonham Pease loved the concept. And so a British sci-fi icon was born.

TriviaEdit

  • The first story to feature the Blorgons was mistakenly referred to as "The Blogons" in the Radio Times. The misspelling would cause confusion among fans for years.
    • As an in-joke, the programme's writers would reveal that "blogon" (pronounced "BLOW-gon") means "thank you" in the Blorgon language.
  • The Blorgons were immediately a huge hit in the UK. Their often amusing plight inspired sympathy among children, who, as the phrase goes, "came out from behind the settee" (where they had been hiding due to much scarier programmes) to watch the Blorgons. A pop song entitled "Blorgon New Year" was quickly recorded by Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen but failed to climb the 1962 charts.
  • The Blorgons were the villains in the two theatrical movies in the early 1960's: Inspector Spacetime vs. the Blorgons and Blorgons—Extortion Earth 2150. Set in an alternate continuity, these films portray the Blorgons almost frighteningly at times.
  • The blatant copies of the Blorgons that showed up in That Ripoff had a behind-the-scenes connection to Hancock. During his to attempts produce a post-BBC television series, Hancock had a flaming row over material with his scriptwriter, Terry Nation—who, after either resigning or getting sacked, took a job at the BBC in 1963.

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