- The Octonauts
Kwazii, Barnacles and Peso
Genre Children Created by Vicki Wong
Michael C. Murphy
Written by Stephanie Simpson (head writer)
Directed by Darragh O'Connell Creative director(s) Stephen Robinson Voices of Simon Greenall
Dee Bradley Baker
Theme music composer Darren Hendley Country of origin United Kingdom Language(s) English No. of series 1 No. of episodes 51 (List of episodes) Production Executive producer(s) Kurt Mueller
Jackie Edwards (CBeebies)
Producer(s) Adam Idelson
Running time 50 x 11 minutes
1 x 23 minutes
Production company(s) Chorion
Brown Bag Films
Broadcast Original channel Cbeebies (BBC) Original run 16 September 2010– present
The Octonauts is a Children's TV Series, produced by Silvergate Media for Cbeebies and animated by Brown Bag Films. The TV series was based on the children's books written by Vicki Wong and Michael Murphy of Meomi Design Inc.
The Octonauts follows an underwater exploring crew made up of stylized anthropomorphic animals, a team of eight adventurers who live in an undersea base, the Octopod, from where they go on undersea adventures with the help of a fleet of aquatic vehicles.
The subject matter is reminiscent of a blend of Star Trek and Jacques Cousteau. Although science fiction as regards its technology, the exotic creatures and locations that the crew encounter are real marine animals in their natural habitats.
The original books were first published in the USA by Immedium in 2006, and were republished in the UK by Harper Collins in 2009.
Four titles by Meomi have been published
- The Octonauts and the Only Lonely Monster, about an Architeuthis (Giant Squid),
- The Octonauts and the Sea of Shade, about a world where everyone's shadows have gone missing,
- The Octonauts and the Frown Fish, about a glum-looking catfish, and
- The Octonauts & the Great Ghost Reef, about a dying coral reef.
The books have been well-received, with reviewers on Amazon giving them an average 4.6 out of 5 stars rating. Reviewers (who typically bought the books for children aged 2–5 after seeing the TV series) said they were very well liked, however some thought the stories "quite weird" compared to the TV series, with several doubting whether the animals depicted in the books were real. Some also found the language a bit difficult for 4 year olds, and the changed named of one character (Dashi/Sauci) caused confusion.
In 2010 The Octonauts was adapted into a 51 episode television series. Using CGI animation, it was co-produced by Chorion and Brown Bag Films for CBeebies (a BBC television channel for the 7-and-under range) where it first aired on 4 October 2010. It has since been shown by the French TF1, Spanish (for Brazil and Latin America Discovery Kids, Irish (RTE 2) and Australian ABC channels. The Octonauts will have its US premiere on the Disney Channel in January 2012.
The TV show is episodic, with each ten minute episode seeing them encountering an unusual but real sea creature as they explore strange underwater worlds. Often they must discover a vital biological or behavioural fact about that creature to rescue it or themselves from danger. The stories usually feature three main characters: Captain Barnacles, Kwazii and Peso, with the other five Octonauts acting in supporting roles.
In the TV series they use five sea-creature inspired underwater vehicles called GUP-A to GUP-E, and a pedal driven GUP-F, driven by Captain Barnacles and Kwazii, which appears in Episode 10 of Series 1 ("The Speedy Sailfish").
The Opening Theme Tune finishes with the chant "Explore! - Rescue! - Protect!" and this informs the narrative of all the episodes.
The TV series was well received when shown on CBeebies in the UK. According to the authors' website it was the No.1 pre-school age show in the UK, and the only pre-school show to be ranked in the top ten by older audiences (aged 4–15). It has been rated 8.2 out of 10 on IMDb.
TV spin-off books
A series of shorter books based on individual episodes from the TV series is being published by Simon and Schuster. These titles can be distinguished by the "As seen on TV" moniker on the covers and are not written or illustrated by Meomi. The books have the same titles as the episodes they are based on.
Rank Name Species Voice cast Unique Features and Character Traits Captain Barnacles Polar Bear Simon Greenall (speaking voice)
Ross Breen (singing voice)
Good leader, confident, always has a plan. Very strong. Grew up in icy waters. Lieutenant Kwazii (Kwazii Kitten in the books) Cat Rob Rackstraw Headstrong, fearless, excitable. An ex-pirate. Often recalls pirate folklore of mythical creatures, which are usually based in fact. Enjoys scaring Peso. Favourite phrase : "shiver me whiskers". Medic Peso Penguin Paul Panting Nervous, loyal. Favourite phrases : "flappety flippers", "you need a bandage". Oceanographer and Founder Professor Inkling Dumbo Octopus (Grimpoteuthis) Keith Wickham Knowledgeable, old, sometimes forgetful. Has a large on-board library. Favourite phrase : "oh my". Scientist (Marine biologist) Shellington (Dr) Sea otter Keith Wickham Scottish. Knowledgeable about sea creatures and their characteristics, geeky, a poor driver. The only character that can understand the vegimals. Favourite phrase : "jumping jellyfish". Engineer Tweak Rabbit Jo Wyatt American. Technical genius, expert at customization. Has a bedroom off the launch bay. Favourite phrase : "faster than you can say munch a bunch o' crunchy carrots". Information technology Officer and Photographer Dashi (Sauci in the books) Dog (Dachshund) Teresa Gallagher Australian. Electronics and computer expert. So obsessed with photography she can be oblivious to danger. Ship's Cook and Gardener Tunip the Vegimal Half animal, half vegetable Dee Bradley Baker Faints at anything surprising or shocking.
Note: Recent UK editions of the books have changed the name of Sauci to Dashi to match the TV series.
The octonauts themselves and many of the creatures they meet often speak English with distinctive accents, often from regions of the UK. These include:
- American (Southern States) - Tweak.
- American (New York) - The crab and urchin in "Octonauts, the Crab and Urchin", the decorator crab in "Octonauts and the Decorator Crab".
- American - the sailfish in "Octonauts and the Speedy Sailfish", the torpedo ray in "Octonauts and the Electric Torpedo Rays".
- Australian - Dashi, Sandy the Sea Turtle in "Octonauts and the Giant Whirlpool" and other episodes.
- French - the remipedes in "Octonauts and the Remipedes".
- Spanish - the vampire squid in "Octonauts and the Vampire Squid", the dwarf lantern shark in "Octonauts and the Dwarf Lanternshark".
- Russian - the narwhal "Boris" in "Octonauts and the Narwhal".
- Scottish - Shellington.
- Welsh - the cuttlefish in "Octonauts and the Crafty Cuttlefish", the lost sea star ('Twinkle') in "Octonauts and the Lost Sea Star".
- Scouse - the injured eel in "Octonauts and the Eel Ordeal", the walruses in "Octonauts and the Walrus Chief".
- Cockney - one group of the aggregate anemones in "Octonauts and the Enemy Anemones", the brittle stars in the "Octonauts and the Lost Sea Star".
- Brummie - the sea snail in "Octonauts, the Crab and Urchin"
- Geordie - the flying fish in "Octonauts and the Flying Fish".
- RP - the giant squid in "Octonauts and the Giant Squid".
- Yorkshire - the blobfish in "Octonauts and the Blobfish Brothers".
- West Country - the anglerfish in "Octonauts and the Dwarf Lanternshark".
The Octopod is their mobile home base and the biggest vehicle. Built to look like a giant octopus.
The GUP-A is propeller-powered and Captain Barnacles' favorite. Built to look like a monkfish.
Kwazii's favorite, the GUP-B is a turbo sub so is the fastest of all GUPs. Built to look like a tiger shark.
The strong GUP-C has a towline and is powerful enough to tow an elephant seal. Built to look like a blue whale.
Multi-purpose GUP-D has two claws, two drills and six legs. Built to look like a manta ray (or a crab when legged).
The GUP-E is an ambulance GUP and colored green. A tank behind can be filled with water for creatures with gills. Built to look like a guppy.
The GUP-F is a pedal-powered metal framed vehicle first seen in episode 10, "Octonauts and the Speedy Sailfish" used to round up the runaway GUPs A-E.
# Title Original air date Notes 1 Octonauts and the Whale Shark 4 October 2010 When Dashi is swallowed by a whale shark, the Octonauts venture inside it to rescue her. 2 Octonauts and the Undersea Storm 5 October 2010 Kwazii's Gup-B crashes whilst trying to outrun a storm. When the GUP-C's tow-rope snaps whilst rescuing him, some reef lobsters Kwazii had helped reach shelter lend a hand. 3 Octonauts, the Crab and Urchin 6 October 2010 A carrier crab and the urchin it keeps on top of its shell as a defence against predators have a falling out. 4 Octonauts and the Walrus Chief 7 October 2010 A walrus mistakes Peso's medical kit for a clam and takes it home. Walruses don't like other animals near their colonies, so Captain Barnacles, Kwazii and Peso disguise themselves as a fellow walrus to sneak into the dangerous colony and retrieve the medipack. 5 Octonauts and the Flying Fish 8 October 2010 A school of flying fish accidentally make off with Professor Inkling's rare book. 6 Octonauts and the Giant Squid 11 October 2010 The Octonauts set out to find and photograph Inkling's long lost cousin. 7 Octonauts and the Orcas 12 October 2010 An enormous Orca whale is stranded on a beach. 8 Octonauts and the Great Algae Escape 13 October 2010 The crew must catch a runaway Octopod after it is hijacked by a group of crustaceans who are trying to flee an area of seabed being polluted by a broken pipeline. 9 Octonauts and the Remipedes 14 October 2010 Shellington goes undersea cave diving without realising the risks and gets lost, as do his rescuers when their guide line snaps and their torches fail. Luckily the resident blind Remipedes can find their way out using their sense of smell. 10 Octonauts and the Speedy Sailfish 15 October 2010 Barnacles and Kwazii use some speedy Sailfish to round up all the Gups. 11 Octonauts and the Blobfish Brothers 18 October 2010 The Octonauts must evacuate some slow moving, gelatinous Blobfish before an undersea volcano erupts. 12 Octonauts and the Monster Map 19 October 2010 Kwazii has a pirate map showing the location of a sunken treasure ship which allegedly harburs a Kraken-like sea monster (but which turns out to be an octopus which can change colour to camouflage itself). 13 Octonauts and the Lost Sea Star 20 October 2010 Searching for the home of a lost luminous Sea Star, the Octonauts crash-land in the Midnight Zone, having met Brittle stars and a Sunflower starfish on the way down. 14 Octonauts and the Albino Humpback Whale 21 October 2010 The Octonauts think they've seen a ghost but it turns out to be an albino Humpback Whale which is moaning from the pain of some nasty sunburn. 15 Octonauts and the Giant Kelp Forest 22 October 2010 Kwazii's favorite sub, the Gup B, goes missing. 16 Octonauts and the Enemy Anemones 25 October 2010 The Octonauts land on an island for a picnic but must first help some crabs trapped between two warring groups of aggregate anemones. Meanwhile back on the Octopod, a hoard of out of control puddings are attacking! 17 Octonauts and the Narwhal 26 October 2010 Cruising underwater to Captain Barnacles' homeland, the North Pole, the Octopod gets trapped in the Arctic sea ice. But one of Barnacles' friends, a Narwhal, helps them to break through the ice with its long tusk. 18 Octonauts and the Midnight Zone 27 October 2010 The Octonauts explore the deepest part of the ocean where no daylight ever reaches and find some hydrothermal vents where vent fish, limpets and tube worms live. 19 Octonauts and the Snapping Shrimp 28 October 2010 A little shrimp with a big claw makes such a loud noise that it literally stuns the Octonauts. A video of it made by Dashi reveals that the sound and accompanying shock wave are caused by the shrimp makng a cavitation bubble with its claw. 20 Octonauts and the Snot Sea Cucumber 29 October 2010 A slim creature gets loose on the Octopod, so to let it breathe, they flood the ship! 21 Octonauts and the Giant Whirlpool 1 November 2010 The Octonauts race against time to rescue Tweak's pal, a Leatherback sea turtle when it is swept away from the Australian coast where it is about to lay its eggs. 22 Octonauts and the Hermit Crabs 2 November 2010 Peso and Tweak help to remove a stuck Hermit Crab from its shell. 23 Octonauts and the Mixed Up Whales 3 November 2010 The Octonauts clean and repair their ship, the Octopod, but discover that creaking noises from the Octopod are confusing two Blue Whales who are looking for each other. 24 Octonauts and the Kelp Forest Rescue 4 November 2010 Peso's little brother Pinto accompanies him on a mission to rescue Dashi and Shellington. 25 Octonauts and the Decorator Crab 5 November 2010 The Octonauts stake out a thief, who turns out to be a decorator crab. 26 Octonauts and the Beluga Whales 6 December 2010 The Octonauts lead a pod of stranded Beluga Whales to safety. 27 Octonauts and the Hungry Pilot Fish 7 December 2010 The octonauts are chased by a whitetip shark only to discover all it really needed was a pilot fish to clean its teeth, and it just so happens that they have just met a lonely pilot fish that is literally hungry for action! 28 Octonauts and the Vampire Squid 8 December 2010 On a solo training dive to the Midnight Zone, Peso encounters a hurt vampire squid. Scared by the sudden arrival of Kwazii and Captain Barnacles it sprays them with sticky bioluminescent mucus and flees, but in the end Peso is able to help it. 29 Octonauts and the Seahorse Tale 9 December 2010 After a storm, the Octonauts help a female seahorse search for her missing mate. She tells them to their surprise that the missing male seahorse is about to give birth! 30 Octonauts and the Giant Jelly 10 December 2010 The Octonauts must rescue Peso when he gets trapped inside a giant Comb Jelly. 31 Octonauts and the Cookiecutter Sharks 13 December 2010 A trio of pesky Cookiecutter Sharks make holes in the Octonauts' equipment. 32 Octonauts and the Oarfish 14 December 2010 Dashi catches a glimpse of an elusive creature that appears to be a giant sea serpent and manages to photograph its tail. 33 Octonauts and the Combtooth Blenny 15 December 2010 Kwazii crashes the GUP-B, leaving him and Peso marooned on a desert island inhabited by a fish that can walk. Their SOS message to the Octonauts is relayed in increasingly garbled form via the Blenney, a squid, and an Angler fish. 34 Octonauts and the Jellyfish Bloom 16 December 2010 Trapped by sea nettle jellyfish whilst observing garden eels in GUP-E, Shellington gets rescued with the aid of GUP-D's tunnelling gear—but not before Captain Barnacles has been stung. Luckily Peso knows that vinegar cures jellyfish stings. 35 Octonauts and the Baby Dolphin 17 December 2010 A young dolphin follows Kwazii home. 36 Octonauts and the Scary Spookfish 24 January 2011 Peso gets jammed in an ocean trench in GUP-E and is surprised by a strange deep sea fish with a transparent head: a Spookfish called Boo, whose ability to see vertically comes in handy as GUP-C winches GUP-E back up the narrow trench. 37 Octonauts and the Arctic Orcas 25 January 2011 Captain Barnacles and Peso get lost in the icy Arctic sea. 38 Octonauts and the Slime Eels 26 January 2011 In the North Atlantic, Kwazii searches the sunken shipwreck of his pirate grandfather, Calico Jack, for his gold spyglass. It's guarded by blind hagfish (slime eels), but their slime unexpectedly helps him when he gets stuck. Kwazii ends up leaving the spyglass because it's now the home of sea creatures. 39 Octonauts and the Enormous Elephant Seal 27 January 2011 An enormous Elephant Seal overstays his welcome in the Octopod. 40 Octonauts and the Sardine School 28 January 2011 The Octonauts must work together as a team to help a lost sardine find her school. 41 Octonauts and the Dolphin Reef Rescue 31 January 2011 Peso and co. try to cure bleached dead areas on a coral reef by transplanting healthy coral, but a pod of playful dolphins make mischief for them until they realise that helping can be fun too. 42 Octonauts and the Eel Ordeal 1 February 2011 The Octonauts help a young migrating eel on her difficult journey. 43 Octonauts and the Marine Iguanas 2 February 2011 The team are preparing for a feast of red seaweed on the Galapagos Islands but a trio of salt-sneezing Marine Iguanas raid the Octopod and eat it all. 44 Octonauts and the Dwarf Lanternshark 3 February 2011 The Octonauts must help a tiny, injured Dwarf Lanternshark, but have to find him first. 45 Octonauts and the Pirate Parrotfish 4 February 2011 When the Octonauts go on a pirate treasure hunt, Kwazii meets a Parrotfish. 46 Octonauts and the Electric Torpedo Rays 7 February 2011 Some electric torpedo rays give the Octopod a jump-start when its batteries go flat. 47 Octonauts and the Crafty Cuttlefish 8 February 2011 Captain Barnacles' compass has been taken by a crafty, shape shifting Cuttlefish. 48 Octonauts and the Lost Lemon Shark 9 February 2011 The Octonauts look after a Lemon Shark who's hurt his nose and can't find his way home. 49 Octonauts and the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a 10 February 2011 The Octopod's waterworks become flooded with frightened Humuhumu fish. 50 Octonauts and the Giant Spider Crab 11 February 2011 The octonauts help a 100 year old spider crab which has got its leg trapped in a giant clam whilst en route to its own 100th birthday party.
# Title Original air date Notes 51 Octonauts and the Great Penguin Race 13 December 2010 Peso is going home to Antarctica to watch an annual penguin triathalon, the Iron Clam Competition, but learns to his dismay that his little brother Pinto has entered him in it!
In addition to each regular episode, there is a corresponding one minute musical poem-like "creature report" sequence recapping the facts learned about the sea creature that the Octonauts encountered.
- ^ Amazon book reviews: Only Lonely Monster reviews, Sea of Shade reviews, Frown Fish reviews, Great Ghost Reef reviews (Summary based on 39 book reviews as of 12 April 2011)
- ^ interview with executive producer Kurt Mueller BBC Press Office
- ^ Meomi Octonauts website
- ^ The Octonauts at the Internet Movie Database
- ^ Amazon customer review
- ^ MsBookworm book review on Amazon.com.
- ^ Cbeebies broadcast schedules
- ^ Symbiotic relationships on the Reef
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