BLEEP AND BOOSTER
by Jeremy Briggs
The adventures of the robot-like alien Bleep and the human boy Booster were created by Austrian artist William Timym, credited as "Tim", for the BBC children's magazine programme Blue Peter around 1963. In addition to their animated adventures on screen they also appeared in stories, all credited to Tim, in their own annuals and storybooks as well as the annual Blue Peter books where their adventures outlasted their television appearances by many years.
The spiky haired, mischievous Trugs from the planet Truga appear in Adventure On Ziron and Alarm On Freighter 9 in the first annual, as pupils in The Space School Rebellion story in the second annual as well as being in the first Blue Peter book in a story in which they are referred to as Frigs. The gangly, three eyed Rotundans from the planet Rotunda also appear in the same school story in the second annual as well as The Big Freeze in the first annual and The Flying Fortress and A World On Fire in the third annual although they did not feature in any of the Blue Peter books stories. The excellent Pelham Puppets Online website has photos of the four puppets (Bleep, Booster, Trug and Rotundan) as well as the original colour artwork produced by Timym for the Pelham designers to work from. The site also has pictures of the puppet versions of the dog characters Bengo, Wuff, Snuff and Tuff, and Caesar.
(* This is an updated version of of a Bear Alley column originally published in March 2011. A full listing of all Bleep and Booster and other Tim stories in the Blue Peter books can be found on Bear Alley here. Bleep and Booster © Cooper Features/the estate of William Timym; Blue Peter © British Broadcasting Corporation. With thanks to Keith Ansell and Steve Holland for additional information and illustrations.)