The Saga of Noggin the Nog was a gentle animated Viking saga that ran on BBC TV in the late 50s and 60s, with quite a large cult following. It follows the adventures of Noggin, King of the Nogs, and his beautiful queen Nooka, as they rule the Northlands and resist the attempts of Noggin's wicked uncle Nogbad the Bad to steal the throne. The creators later went on to make the even more successful "Bagpuss" and "The Clangers".
The characters in this story do not belong to me, but are being used for amusement only and all rights remain with Peter Firmin, Oliver Postgate, Smallfilms, Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, the writers of the original episodes, and the TV and production companies responsible for the original television shows. ANGEL ©2001 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. The ANGEL trademark is used without express permission from Fox.Chapter One
In the lands of the North, where the black rocks stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night that is very long, the Men of the Northlands sit by their great log fires and they tell a tale.
They tell of Noggin, Prince of the Nogs, and how he journeyed far to the North, to the Lands of the Midnight Sun, to marry Nooka, Princess of the Nooks. They tell of Noggin’s wicked uncle, Nogbad the Bad, and how he schemed to make himself king while Noggin was away, and how he was exiled from the Land of the Nogs forever because of his wickedness. They tell of Graculus, the great green bird.
And they tell of Spike.- - - - -
One evening, as Thor Nogson, the Captain of the Guard, patrolled the shores of the Land of Nog, he spied a huddled figure lying on the beach.
It was a man clad in strange clothes. His coat was black, his tunic was black, his trews were black, and his boots were black; but his hair was white. He was not breathing.
“Oh dear!” said Thor Nogson, and tried to remember how to perform artificial respiration. Just as Thor Nogson was about to call for Graculus, the great green bird, the man sat up.
“Achooo!” he sneezed, and water shot from his nose. He looked around him and appeared puzzled. “Bleeding hell!” he exclaimed, in a fashion exceedingly strange to Thor Nogson. “Where the sodding heck am I?”
“Welcome to the Land of the Nogs, stranger,” Thor Nogson greeted the man courteously.
“The land of the what?” the stranger said with a frown. “You look like a Viking. This some sort of Dark Ages re-enactment gig?”
“Your words are not clear to me,” Thor Nogson answered. “I think I had better take you to our king. Noggin, King of the Nogs, is wise and will understand you.”
“Frigging Senior Partners must have blasted me through some kind of portal,” the stranger said incomprehensibly. “Any other strangers around? Tall bloke with stupid hair that goes straight up? Fit bird in leathers with blue hair? Black geezer with a severe case of bleeding?”
“I have seen no other strangers in the Land of the Nogs today,” Thor Nogson answered him. “The only bird I have seen is Graculus, the Royal bird of the Nogs, and he is back at the palace.”
“Bugger!” said the stranger, and stood up. “Good job the sun’s set or I’d be nothing but a pile of dust. Bollocks, my coat’s soaked in salt water. Gonna stain the leather. So this is the Land of the Nogs? Where can I get a flight to Los Angeles?”
“Ah, you have heard of the flying machine of Olaf the Lofty. I am sure that he would be willing to help you travel home,” said Thor Nogson, “but I know not this ‘Los Angeles’ of which you speak. Is it in the Northlands?”
“America, you berk,” the stranger snapped. Thor Nogson looked blank. “Oh, bollocks,” said the stranger. “Must have gone through some bleeding time portal too. Heard of Vinland?”
“I have,” Thor Nogson told the stranger, “but none of the Nogs have ever travelled so far. Not even Noggin, King of the Nogs.”
The stranger sat back down on the sand and wept.- - - - -
Thor Nogson took the stranger back to the palace. Noggin, King of the Nogs, and Nooka, Queen of the Nogs, and their son Knut, Prince of the Nogs, were just about to have their evening meal.
“Hello, Noggin,” Thor Nogson said. “I’m sorry to disturb your meal, but I have found a stranger washed up on the beach.”
“Hello, stranger,” Noggin greeted the stranger. “I am Noggin, King of the Nogs, and this is Nooka, Queen of the Nogs. Welcome to the Land of the Nogs. You look wet. Come in. Sit in front of our great log fire and dry yourself, and then join us in our meal. What is your name, stranger, and from what land do you hail?”
“Name’s Spike,” the stranger said. “I come from a land far away from the land of the Nogs – bleeding hell, you’ve got me doing it now!”
The Nogs waited politely while their visitor smacked himself on the head.
“Would you like a cup of coffee?” Noggin offered.
“Ta, mate – your maj – that’d be right nice,” Spike replied. “Hang on a mo. Bleeding Vikings here. How come you’ve got coffee?”
“We trade with lands far to the south. Lands of silver sand, and camels, and wicked viziers, and genies,” Noggin explained. “But come, tell us of your adventures and how you came to be cast up on the beach of the Northlands.”
The Nogs listened as Spike told them a tale. He told them of Angel the good vampire, who was bloody stupid and whose hair goes straight up, who took charge of the evil Wolfram and Hart and tried to lead them upon the path of righteousness. He told them of Fred, who was taken over by the God-King Illyria. He told them of Wesley, who had fallen in battle against the evil Circle of the Black Thorn. He told them of Charlie, who fought on although he was bleeding like a sodding stuck pig. And he told them about the dragon.
“Oh, I have a friend who is a dragon,” Noggin commented. “He gave me a gong. If I strike it with gold, and chant ‘Come, dragons. Come, dragons,’ then dragons shall come and help me.”
“Oh, bugger,” Spike said. “Hope this one wasn’t your pal, ‘cos Angel chopped the bleeder’s head off right smart. Was trying to eat us at the time, so it seemed like the right thing to do. Course, that was when things really started getting weird. We were kicking the demon army’s arse good and proper, and then there was this swirling blue circle thing appeared and we all got sucked in. Next thing I knew I was in the sea, and it was daytime, and I had to dive down so I didn’t get sodding dusted. Stayed under water for bloody ages, and eventually I got so cold and tired I flaked out. Came round on the beach with this Thor Nogson geezer standing over me.”
“What do you mean by saying that you had to dive down so that you didn’t get sodding dusted?” asked Nooka.
“Oh, yeah, forgot to mention that,” Spike said. “I’m a vampire too.”
“Oh!” said Nooka.
“Oh dear,” said Thor Nogson, Captain of the Guard.
“But you are a good vampire, aren’t you?” Noggin asked nervously.
“Damn right I am. Saved the bleeding world, didn’t I? Not that I got any reward for it. Bleeding Slayer off playing tart with the sodding Immortal, the Watcher still being a pillock and not trusting us, Cup of Perpetual Torment turning out to be Mountain Dew, Illyria beat my highest score at Crash Bandicoot, only had half a shag since I came back; hasn’t exactly been a bed of sodding roses. Now it looks like I’m stuck in the flaming Dark Ages. Got any blood?”
“We all have blood,” Noggin said nervously. “We’re rather keen on it remaining inside us, I’m afraid.”
“Oh, hell, don’t mean human blood, King. Pig blood. Or cow, or Polar Bear, or Walrus, whatever.”
Noggin sighed in relief. “We have pig’s blood. Our cook uses it to make blood sausages. I could have him bring you some if you like.”
“That’d be right smashing, mate. Your majesty.”
“Oh, call me Noggin,” Noggin the Nog told the good vampire. “We don’t stand on ceremony here.” And he called for the cook, and had a mug of steaming pig’s blood brought for Spike, and the Nogs ate their meal and they listened to the rest of Spike’s tale. After the meal they showed him to a bedchamber, and then Thor Nogson went home, and the King and Queen of the Nogs retired to their beds.- - - - -
The next day Noggin summoned Spike to the audience chamber. The vampire arrived in a rumpled condition, with his clothes dishevelled, and his hair sticking up in spikes.
“I see why you are called Spike,” said Nooka, Queen of the Nogs.
Spike looked down at his crotch, frowned, and said “Huh?”
“Your hair is sticking up like the spikes of a hedgehog,” Nooka told him.
“Ah. Sorry, your Queenship, but got to remember, vampire here. For me this is bedtime. Ain’t had time to comb my locks.”
“Sorry,” said Noggin, King of the Nogs. “I forgot.”
“Oh, don’t worry about it,” said Spike. “So, King, wotcha want to see me about?”
“I have thought about how to return you to your own land,” Noggin told him, “and I think you need to see Olaf the Lofty, the Court Inventor. Perhaps he can come up with some strange device that will help you.”
“Hope so,” said Spike.
“Thor Nogson will take you to Olaf’s workshop,” said Noggin.
“Uhh, big snag with that plan, chief,” Spike pointed out. “Daytime. Got serious combustion in sunlight issues here.”
Noggin put his hand to his mouth. “Oh dear. I am forgetting rather a lot, aren’t I? I’m afraid we don’t have many dealings with vampires here in the Northlands. I shall send for Olaf to come here instead.”
At that moment Graculus, the great green bird, flew into the audience chamber and landed in front of Noggin, King of the Nogs. “Noggin!” he croaked. “I have dire news. I have seen one of the Nogs lying dead at the edge of the forest, drained of blood, two holes in his neck. I fear that there may be a vampire among us.”