Cyberchase


Cyberchase
Cyberchase
Kids on logo2.PNG
Format Animated television series
Created by WNET
Directed by Larry Jacobs
Jason Groh
Starring Gilbert Gottfried as Digit
Christopher Lloyd as Hacker
Voices of Novie Edwards
Jacqueline Pillon
Annick Obonsawin
Len Carlson
Phil Williams
Robert Tinkler
Linda Ballantyne
Richard Binsley
Country of origin United States
Canada
No. of episodes 94 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Nelvana (Season 1-5)
Curious Pictures
Flying Minds
Title Entertainment Inc. (Season 6-8)
Thirteen WNET New York
Broadcast
Original channel PBS
Original run January 21, 2002 – July 23, 2010

Cyberchase is an American educational television series for children age 6-12,[1] that teaches children discrete mathematics. The show airs on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and PBS Kids GO! in the United States. Seasons one through five were produced by Thirteen/WNET New York and Nelvana. As of season six Cyberchase is produced by Thirteen in association with Title Entertainment, Inc. and WNET.ORG. [2]

Contents

Plot

The show stars three Earth children — Matt, Jackie and Inez — and Digit, a "cyboid" (a bird-like cyborg). The three kids and Digit use their math and problem solving skills to stop the evil deeds of the Hacker, a villain who breaks into Motherboard and MotherBoard's networks, and his two cyborg henchmen, Buzz and Delete.

The series takes place in Cyberspace, the electronic medium of computer networks, in which online communication takes place, with planet-like bodies called "Cybersites." Each cybersite is inhabited by "Cyborgs" the virtual inhabitants of Cyberspace. Some are based on real-world places, such as ancient Egypt and the American Old West, or fantasy worlds such as mythological Greece. The guardian of all Cyberspace is Motherboard; her repairman is Dr. Marbles.[2]

Characters

Educational Philosophy

Cyberchase tries to show kids that math is everywhere and everyone can be good at it. The series encourages viewers to see, think, and do mathematics in their world. The show and supporting activities have been designed to support math education and reflect the curriculum standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.[3] The show’s philosophy is to foster enthusiasm for math, to model mathematic reasoning, to help children improve their problem-solving skills and to inspire all children to approach math with confidence and a "can-do" attitude.[4]

Episodes

Season 1

In the pilot, "Lost My Marbles", Hacker infects Motherboard with a computer virus. At a library on Earth, while looking at a computer, Matt, Jackie, and Inez (who accidentally let Hacker unleash the virus by touching the computer map at the same time) are sucked through a inter dimensional portal into Cyberspace. In their first adventure, they go to an island to rescue Dr. Marbles. In subsequent adventures, they return to Cyberspace to thwart Hacker's evil plans, which vary from ruining Motherboard to trying to take over a Cybersite.

Throughout the season, the Cybersquad searched for a new encryptor chip for Motherboard. In episode 109, Buzz and Delete nearly retrieved the encryptor chip, but lost it in a dust storm, much to Hacker's discomfort.

Season 2

This season is a continuation of the same basic plot of season one. However, the focus on the search for the Encryptor Chip is shown less as the season deals more with a new scenario; each episode involving Hacker seeking to take over a cybersite or all of Cyberspace, or plot a nefarious scheme in which he is wreaking chaos and havoc somewhere. In addition, a continued appearance of Wicked, a witch from the cybersite Happily-Ever-After occurred, revealing her strong feeling towards Hacker, while Hacker only used her abilities as a witch to further his own evil tactics as seen in episode #211, although he did show mutual feelings towards her in episode #203, but once again, he became self-centered and cared less about her. In a way, the occurrences of Episode #211 are the only of Wicked's evenings where she is successful with her affections. The character of Sam Vander Rom (Al Roker) is introduced in 204 and 208 and Erica Ram is introduced in 211, where she hosts Cyberscoop along side him.

Season 3

In the third season, the kids met Slider, a rebel-style skateboarder who lives in the cybersite Radopolis. He first appears in the episode The Borg of the Ring where he retrieved the Totally Rad Ring of Radopolis from Hacker. Once again and then a third time Hacker tries to take control of Radopolis, first by almost winning a competition, the by putting everyone except Digit, Slider, and the Cybersquad asleep so he fails. The kids are told his father, Coop, had abandoned him. Coop was on a distant cyber-planet, but the kids didn't know that yet.

The most dramatic event in the season occurred in a two part miniseries called The Snelfu Snafu. While Slider was searching for his father, he stumbled across the location of the elusive encryptor chip. When he alerted the cybersquad, they soon discovered it was in the hands of an auctioneer. The kids eventually earned enough snelfus (the cyberspace term for dollars) to win it, but they discovered the chip was infected to drain Motherboard (which might be the reason that this one is orange and yellow, rather than dark pink and chrome as the old one had been), replacing her with Hacker. The kids were then placed in the dungeon at the new Hacker Control Central; when they escaped, they searched for the encryptor chip (because Motherboard was trapped in it). Upon finding it, they also rescued Dr. Marbles. However, when they attempted to put the chip in the circuits, the hardware rejected it because Hacker has corrupted it. Dr. Marbles was forced to reboot Motherboard destroying the chip in the process. Also, Hacker rejects Wicked, setting the stage for some of the future episodes.

Season 4

In season four, Hacker attempts another scheme at bring chaos to Cyberspace. He steals the Electric Eel of Aquari-yum as a power source, and the Pedestal of Penguia as a relay for the power-flow, and combines these items with other gizmos and gadgets to form the Transformitron, a device with the capability of transforming anyone into anything. After taking the NIC (Network Interface Card) from Slider's dad Coop and kidnapping Slider, the device was complete. However, the CyberSquad was able to thwart Hacker's plans again by dismantling the device so it could not be used again and allowing the effects of the Transformatron to wear off.

Season 5

During this season, they had a special two hour program called Cyberchase: My Big Idea! This program dealt entirely around the theme of inventions. Four back to back episodes (episodes #502-#505) were shown, each dealing with a different topic about inventions. The program was hosted by Bianca and Harry from Cyberchase For Real! and in between episodes, they talked about inventions that were made by kids, and showed clips of kids who had made inventions of their own. This was also the first series without the late actor Len Carlson voicing Buzz. The episode "EcoHaven Ooze" is dedicated to him.

Season 6

Season 6 begins with episode "Digit's B-Day Surprise" and the kids have an idea to celebrate: a surprise party, but they pretend to forget all about his b-day (the day he was "booted" up). A disappointed Digit then runs into Hacker, who wants to reprogram him to gain access to Motherboard. Meanwhile the kids have a chocolate Digit sculpture, and they need to cross the desert in order to get it to the party. Soon, they discover that dressing it with a wet cloth can get it there without melting it. This is the first season to be animated in Adobe Flash.

Season 7

Season 7 started with "Weather Watchers". It was launched April 21, 2009. There were 4 episodes about it. In the first two episodes, "For Real" segments included Janice Huff, a meteorologist with New York's WNBC-TV who played "Stormy Gale" in episodes 701–702. This also included Episode 601.

Season 8

Season 8 premiered on June 25, 2010, with the Summer Challenge. Episode 804 introduced Ledge, the newest villain of Cyberspace. Ledge was originally a fan of Hacker and was to get himself a place on Hacker's side to help take over Cyberspace. He tries to do so by making a machine that can turn everyone in Sensible Flats into 'Hackerized' versions of themselves. Though this seems to impress Hacker initially, the machine eventually gets unplugged by Inez, resulting an angry Hacker to cast Ledge away for his failure. This results with Ledge becoming Hacker's most dangerous rival. Aside from Ledge's failure, Hacker doesn't like Ledge because he heavily insults him and the possible fact that Ledge is less arrogant but more intelligent than Hacker, even though he is equally evil. The Cybersquad also doesn't like Ledge because of his deception that led almost all of them into danger in Sensible Flats he had caused by pretending to help them, as he thinks more wisely of his plans. It was then in episode #805, that Hacker and the Cybersquad were forced to work together to stop Ledge from stealing one of Hacker's previous inventions that can be used to help Motherboard, though the invention end up being destroyed. [5]

As of Monday September 6, 2010, some PBS member stations such as WMHT-TV in Albany, New York will no longer air the show because it will be streaming online through the PBS KIDS GO! website.

DVD releases

Between 2002 and 2005, five Cyberchase DVDs were released, with 3 episodes each, but on the VHS, people can only get 2 of the 3 episodes.

Codename Icky

Features the following episodes:

  • 116 Codename Icky
  • 203 Harriet Hippo & the Mean Green
  • 112 Of All The Luck

Totally Rad !

Features the following episodes:

  • 202 Totally Rad!
  • 302 The Borg of the Ring
  • 123 Fortress of Attitude

Starlight Night

Features the following episodes:

  • 312 Starlight Night
  • 104 Snow Day to Be Exact
  • 213 A Time To Cook

The Snelfu Snafu

Features the following episodes:

  • 309 The Snelfu Snafu Part 1
  • 310 The Snelfu Snafu Part 2
  • 211 The Wedding Scammer

EcoHaven CSE Features the following episodes:

  • 301 EcoHaven CSE
  • 408 A Crinkle in Time
  • 305 The Creech Who Would be Crowned

"For Real"

Each Cyberchase episode is followed by "Cyberchase For Real," a live-action educational supplement linking concepts learned in the show to real life experiences. The actors Bianca (Bianca DeGroat) and Harry (Matthew A. Wilson) are in their thirties, but amusingly act in a manner similar to the age of the target audience. "For Real" is produced by WNET on location in and around New York City after production is completed on the animated segments. These "For Real" segments are broadcast exclusively on PBS in the United States where the program runs longer and fill the time gap where there might be breaks for commercials . Some "For Real" segments can also be viewed online.[2]

Cybersites

There are several cybersites shown throughout the seasons. Each one has its own unique qualities which are dealt with through the elementary mathematics concept within the show, but also through various cultural references or even historical references.

Museum tour

A touring museum exhibition, Cyberchase—The Chase is On! is based on the television series. It was developed by the Children's Museum of Houston where it was on view from September 28, 2006, through May 13, 2010. The exhibition is currently touring children's museums and science museums across the United States.[6]

Cultural references

  • Several episodes of Cyberchase are a spoof of Harry Potter called Shari Spotter. The head wizard Professor Stumblesnore is a spoof of Professor Dumbledore, and the wizard school that Sharri goes to is called Frogsnorts, a spoof of Hogwarts.
  • The 19th century mathematician and early computer programmer, Lady Ada Lovelace, is a character in the Valentine's Day episode "Hugs and Witches." She is voiced by Saturday Night Live founding cast member Jane Curtin.
  • "Chewcroca," a dinosaur, is a reference to Chewbacca, a hairy creature from Star Wars.
  • The episode, "The Wedding Scammer" parodies The Today Show weddings and features the voice of The Today Show's weatherman Al Roker.
  • The episode "The Borg of the Ring" is a spoof off the popular book and movie series, The Lord of the Rings.
  • Science Fiction television shows are often the subject of parody here. Various objects and/or devices are notably similar to things seen in the Star Trek television franchise. The kid named "Slider," is probably a nod to the Sliders series.
  • The episode "A World Without Zero" parodies various celebrities.
  • The appearance and animation style of Cyberchase is notably similar to the animated comedy show Futurama.
  • Delete finds a rabbit and says he will hug him forever and call him George which is a reference to Of Mice & Men.

Critical response

The series has had a generally positive response.

The show was given a review on the site common sense media. It was advised for ages 5 and up, and was given a score of 4/5 stars. They commented that parents need to know that "the adventures aren't scary, violent, or sexually inappropriate. Rather, they require fortitude and brain power." Proposed discussion points sprouting from the series include "Can your child take the skills learned in each episode and figure out how to apply it to everyday life?" The show was given a rating of 3/5 smiley faces under the "The Godd Stuff" section.[7]

Carey Bryson of About.com gave the show a rating of 4/5 stars. The series is described by the site as that "one [mathematical] concept is taught in each episode, and the kids model problem-solving skills as they formulate a plan for using the mathematical tool and then carry out their plan in order to overcome the challenge." The review added that "educationally, Cyberchase delivers...The simple mathematical idea[s are] usually explained well and woven throughout the story in a fun and interesting way...Children can easily learn from the example in the cartoon story, and...the Cyberchase For Real segment that follows each episode." Citing an example from the series using codes, Bryson explained how the show could be used to expand upon the curriculum, "Not only did she learn about codes, but she also got in a ton of spelling practice." [8]

Tasha Silver at Lance & Eskimo gave the series a positive review. She said: "the biggest exciting feature of Cyberchase is its stylish, modern, pseudo-sci-fi atmosphere. The series is set in a place with the ever-original name of 'Cyberspace... a place where time and space are one... a place where the lines between reality and imagination no longer exist... a place where anyone can go and anything can happen.'". She added that "easily the best part of Cyberchase, however, is its theme song. Seriously! It has a funky beat. It puts the finishing touch on making the program all in all an intellectually and spiritually fortifying experience." [9]

The episode Spellbound was given a rating of 5.5 on the site TV.com. The series as a whole was given a rating of 7.9 (Good) based on 158 votes.[10]

A review of an iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch application named Cyberchase Math Match (in which the player "tap[s] the tiles to match up CYBERCHASE math problems with their solutions") was given a rating of 3/5 stars and advised for ages 8 and up. It was given a rating of 5/5 for ease of play "gameplay is so intuitive that they aren't necessary... [and] difficulty increases slightly as you keep playing more rounds." It was also given a rating of 5/5 for educational value "The game tests your memory like a traditional memory game, but half of the tiles have a math problem or an answer to match up. The four basic arithmetic operators are included." The review concluded by explaining that what parents need to know is "Cyberchase Math Match is an educational game which gives kids a chance to practice and learn basic arithmetic while testing their memory." [11][12]

Three reviews found at Epinions.com gave the show an average "overall rating" of 4.5 stars, and an average "program quality" rating of 4/5 bars.[13]

Cancellation

  • On Independence Day, July 4, 2011, [PBSKIDS GO!] announced that Cyberchase had been cancelled due to lack of idea and money.
  • However, on [Facebook] someone asked: "I'm hearing rumors around the internet that Cyberchase got cancelled. Is that true? I really hope not, I was looking forward to seeing how things would turn out now that there is Ledge to worry about!"
  • Cyberchase answered: " We're not in production on new episodes right now, but there's plenty of other fun in the works, including a brand new website coming this fall. Stay tuned!"
  • Cyberchase posted : Hey Cyberfans!

Thank you so much for your love and support!

If you aren't already, please follow us on Twitter: @Cyberchase

At the moment, we are not producing new episodes.

However, we are busily preparing for the Cyberchase website relaunch! Coming soon, so stay tuned! :)

Funders

External links

Official sites

Wikis

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • List of Cyberchase episodes — The Main Article is Cyberchase. Cyberchase is a math cartoon on PBS Kids GO! Cyberchase features the Cybersquad who use math and problem solving skills in a quest to save Cyberspace from the evil villain named The Hacker. Jackie, Matt, Inez, and… …   Wikipedia

  • List of CyberChase episodes — This is a list of episodes of the PBS Kids GO! series Cyberchase .eason 1 :2002There are 26 episodes in this season.Note: Harry Wilson played by Matt Wilson and Bianca Degroat as herself play at the end of every episode called Cyberchase For Real …   Wikipedia

  • List of Cyberchase characters — This is a list of characters that have appeared on the PBS Kids GO! series Cyberchase. Contents 1 Major Protagonists 1.1 Jackie 1.2 Matt 1.3 Inez …   Wikipedia

  • List of CyberChase characters — This is a list of characters that have appeared on the PBS Kids GO! series Cyberchase .Major ProtagonistsMotherboardMotherboard (voiced by Kristina Nicoll) is the benevolent ruler of Cyberspace and lives in the cybersite Control Central. Her… …   Wikipedia

  • List of cybersites — This is a list of Cybersites from the PBS Kids GO! series Cyberchase. A cybersite is a fictional region of cyberspace in which CyberChase is set.AAquari yumThis cybersite made its first appearance during season one in episode #116. It later… …   Wikipedia

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  • Digit — may refer to: Digit (anatomy), one of several most distal parts of a limb fingers, thumbs, and toes on hands and feet Numerical digit, as used in mathematics or computer science Hexadecimal, representing a four bit number Dit or digit, synonym of …   Wikipedia

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