Fireman Sam


Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam
Format Children's/Stop-motion/CGI/comedy
Created by Dave Gingell
Dave Jones
Rob Lee
Written by Nia Ceidiog
Rob Lee
Voices of John Sparkes
Joanna Ruiz
Sarah Hadland (2005)
Steven Kynman
David Carling
Su Douglas
Tegwen Tucker (2008-present)
Narrated by John Alderton (1987-1994)
Gareth Lewis (Welsh)
Country of origin Wales
United Kingdom
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 93
Production
Producer(s) Ian Frampton
John Walker
Running time 10 minutes (series)
20 minutes (1 christmas special)
Production company(s) Hibbert Ralph Entertainment, Siriol Productions, Bumper Films, S4C, (1985-1994) Hit Entertainment (2003-present))
Broadcast
Original channel S4C (in Welsh)
BBC1
CBBC (1987-2002)
CBeebies (2003-2007)
Channel Five (UK TV channel) (2008-present)
Cartoonito (2008-present) (United Kingdom)
Original run 26 December 1985 (Wales on S4C)-present – 7 November 1987 (United Kingdom on BBC)-present
File:Screen image 396104.jpg
Fireman Sam at the Forest.

Fireman Sam (Welsh: Sam Tân) is a Welsh animated children's television series about a fireman called Sam, his fellow firefighters, and other townspeople in the Welsh town of Pontypandy (a portmanteau of two real towns, Pontypridd and Tonypandy, which are situated approximately 5 miles apart in the South Wales valleys). The original idea for the show came from two ex-firemen from Kent. They took their idea to artist/writer Rob Lee who developed the concept for them. The finished concept was then presented to S4C who saw the potential in the series and commissioned it.

Fireman Sam first appeared in his native Welsh language on S4C in 1985 and later in English throughout the United Kingdom on BBC1 in 1987. The series finished in 1994 but remains popular well over a decade after the last episode was aired. The series was also shown dubbed in Gaelic in Scotland, where it was known as Sam Smalaidh. The series has been sold to over 40 countries, from Australia to Norway and is used across the UK to promote fire safety.

In 1996, a stage production was turned into a feature, Fireman Sam In Action and released on BBC Video.

Fireman Sam has recently been adapted into a Live musical theatre show, which will begin touring the UK in June 2011.[1]

The new series airs on The Fluffy Club and Cartoonito (Sky 619).[1]

The show was broadcast in English and Welsh at the same time, but on two different channels – in English on the BBC, in Welsh on S4C. The show's Welsh title is "Sam Tân", which just literally means "Sam Fire". The theme tune (excluding the lyrics) and characters are the same.[2]

The show's production companies were Bumper Films and Siriol Productions (2002–), and its distributors were British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Sianel 4 Cymru (S4C).[3]

In 2009, Fireman Sam teamed up with over 100 animated characters, such as Big Chris (from Roary the Racing Car), Bagpuss, Postman Pat, Peppa Pig, Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps, Ben 10, and SpongeBob SquarePants for a Children In Need single. The single was put together by Peter Kay.[4]

In 1988, the series was nominated for a BAFTA TV Award for Best Short Animated Film. The potential recipients were Ian Frampton and John Walker.[5]

Contents

Development

The original idea for Fireman Sam came about from two ex-firemen from Kent, UK – Dave Gingell and Dave Jones. They approached Mike Young, creator of Superted in Barry, Wales and asked them to futhur develop their concept. The idea was then brought to S4C's Director of Animation, Chris Grace, who saw potential in the idea and commissioned the series. Grace had previously commissioned Superted, which had achieved success in the UK and worldwide. The characters and storylines were created by Rob Lee, an illustrator from Cardiff, and the program was produced using stop-motion. It could take up to 4 days to produce 1 minute of this form of puppet animation. Fireman Sam has to this day been translated into over 25 different languages including Mandarin.[6] on CBeebies

English-language version of series one to four

The series originally comprised 32 ten-minute episodes and a 20-minute Christmas special. The narration and character voices were done by John Alderton.

Sam is the protagonist in the show, and interacts with both colleagues at the fire station and local townspeople. He is seen as somewhat of a hero in the village. Being so small, and with so little activity, it sees its fair share of fires, in which Sam and his team can easily handle.

In the original television series produced by Bumper Films between 1985 and 1996, the firefighters had yellow and black uniforms, whereas in the new CGI television series produced by HIT Entertainment and Hibbert Ralph, the firefighters had yellow and blue uniforms.

Characters

Firefighters

  • Fireman Sammuel "Sam" Peyton-Jones is referred to as the "hero next door", Charlie's older brother and Bronwyn's brother-in-law. He is the archetypal fireman, who remains composed in an emergency and unfailingly offers assistance to all those in need. Sam is single, but maintains a close relationship with his nephew, James, and niece, Sarah. He lives at 3 Vale Road next to Trevor Evans. Sam spends his spare time in his "inventing shed", in which he makes devices ranging from a potato picker made from old bicycle parts to a machine capable of replacing the town band. On occasion his inventive streak can undermine his emphasis on fire safety. His catchphrase is "Great fires of London!"
  • Fireman Elvis Cridlington provides a stark contrast to Sam in both competency and demeanour. His catchphrase is "Great balls of fire!" (2008–present season). Elvis holds aspirations of being a rock star, and his mind is often up in the clouds, dreaming of such an idea, something of which usually gets him into trouble from Steele. He is also notorious for being a bad cook. He is named for the Elvis Presley hairstyle he wears.
  • Station Officer Basil Steele is the chief of Pontypandy Fire Station. As a former army officer, he insists upon a high standard of both hygiene and efficiency in the station. His catchphrase in the old series was "Now who needs the fire service?" but in the new series it is "Action stations men!", which fell out of use in the CGI series. Basil may be married to Doris, a character who does not appear but whom Basil mentions in "Telly Trouble" and "Barn Fire" (Series 1). His first name, however, is changed to "Norris" in the feature length "Great Fire of Pontypandy".
  • Firefighter Penny Morris is the only female member of the Pontypandy fire brigade. In the original series, she only visited occasionally (hailing from Newtown fire station), although in the new series, she seems to work at Pontypandy full time. Penny doubles as a mechanic. Her ideas are often unconventional and at odds with her male colleagues, but she usually turns out to have been right. Penny is often known to go on adventures with the town's children – James and Sarah, Norman Price and Mandy Flood. A relationship between her & Elvis has been hinted more the once.
  • Auxiliary Fireman Trevor Evans is a West Indian auxiliary fireman with the brigade. His other job is the town's bus driver. He is known for his fondness of cricket, his awkward manner and general bad luck streak, but nonetheless exhibits a great devotion to the welfare of others (especially Dilys). In the 2005 and 2008 seasons, Trevor is no longer an auxiliary firefighter but is still the bus driver, and the spark between him and Dilys still holds strong.

Townspeople

  • Dilys Price runs the town grocery store. She is a well known gossip, and has great affection for Trevor, the bus driver (something of which poor Trevor is too shy to act upon). Dilys is the mother of town mischief-maker Norman Price, but is frequently blind to her son's troublesome ways. She dotes on her only child, or "Mummy's Little Treasure" as she sometimes calls him.
  • Bella Lasagne is the absent-minded town cafe owner, hailing from Italy. She is not in the 2008 season, although her cafe is still visible. Bella appears to be based on the real Welsh Italians who ran cafes known as "Bracchis" in South Wales Valleys.
  • Helen Flood, Caribbean born nurse and mother of Mandy Flood. (2005 season)
  • Mike Flood, accident-prone handyman husband of Helen and father of Mandy. He becomes a reserve fireman in the 2008 series. (2005 season)
  • Tom Thomas, a mountain rescue worker who hails from Australia. Tom is most often seen flying to the rescue in his helicopter or driving his SUV. He is one of few characters who does not have a Welsh accent. (2005 season).
  • Charlie "Charles" Jones, a fisherman, husband of Bronwyn, Sam's brother, father of Sarah and James. He is also accident-prone, especially in "Poorly Penny" when he caused every single emergency except one. He also becomes a reserve fireman. (2008 season).
  • Bronwyn McShell-Jones, runs the fish and chip shop/cafe, wife of Charlie, mother of Sarah and James, sister-in-law of Sam. (2008 season).
  • Mr. Price – Dilys' brother, Norman's uncle, Derek's father.

Price Family

Dilys Price
 
Mr Price
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Norman Price

Jones Family (2008 season)

Charlie Jones
 
Brownyn McShell Jones
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
James Jones
 
Sarah Jones
 
 

Children

  • Sarah and James Jones are the relatively well-behaved five-year-old daughter and son twins of Charlie, niece and nephew of Fireman Sam. They are often more sensible in an emergency than Norman. When they grow up they want to be firefighters like their uncle Sam. They started acting more like stereotypical twins in the 2008 (i.e. insulting each other, having argument and sometimes being the cause of an emergency, but it is made clear they still care for each other).
  • Norman Stanley Price is a seven-year-old boy with a love of practical jokes and skateboarding. Unfortunately, Norman regularly fails to set appropriate limits on his own behaviour, and has been known to cause mischief and sometimes causes havoc at the fire station, and for many of Pontypandy's residents. He has shown interest in becoming a firefighter himself one day. In the 2008 series, his intelligence went down. In the same series, he received a palette-swap cousin, Derek (see below).
  • Mandy Flood, Norman's best friend. She is sort of a bridge between naughty Norman and the well behaved Sarah and James. She received a radical redesign for the 2008 series. (2005 season)
  • Derek Price, Norman's cousin, Mr. Price's son. He is a palette-swap of Norman, minus the glasses & with an English accent. While he seems to be well behaved, he is actually a great joker. His only appearance to date is the 2008 Series episodes "Double Trouble" & "Derek's Grotto", as well as the movies "Great Fire Of Pontypandy" (2008 Series) & "Lifeboat Rescue". (2011 Series)

Vehicles

  • Jupiter is a bright red fire engine driven by Fireman Sam and based on a 1974 Bedford TK(Registration J 999) (1987 to 1994 season), and also based on a 1990 Bedford 6x4 (2005 to 2008 season). It is always taken to rescues.
  • Venus is a rescue tender driven by Penny Morris based on a 1982 Range Rover(Registration V 666).
  • Nurse Flood's car is driven by Nurse Helen Flood. (2005 to 2008 season)
  • Mike Flood's truck is driven by Mike Flood based on a Dodge Astro (2008 season)
  • Wallaby One is a helicopter flown by Tom Thomas and based on a 1980 Bell 222. (2005 to 2008 season)
  • Rescue Jeep is also driven and owned by Tom Thomas and based on a 1976 Range Rover 4x4. (2005 to 2008 season)
  • The Bus is driven by Trevor Evans and based on a 1975 Ford Transit(Registration BWS 493T) Dormobile.
  • Neptune is driven by Penny, and is a rigid inflatable lifeboat powerful enough to tow a fishing trawler & sailing boat. (2008 season)
  • Charlie's boat is a fishing trawler that belongs to Charlie Jones. (2008 season)

Animals

  • Rosa is Bella's temperamental cat.
  • Dusty is a stray dog, usually found hanging around the fire station. (2005 season only)
  • Woolly is a lamb who Norman Price adopts after they were rescued from a mountainside. Rather bouncy and playful. (2005 to 2008 season)
  • Lion is Bronwyn's pet cat who seems to have replaced Rosa. (2008 season)
  • Radar The fire station's own fire dog, a dalmatian. He is very fond of Mandy. (2008 season)
  • Nipper The dog of Bronwyn's sister (who has yet to appear on-screen). (2008 season)
  • Lambykins Woolly's little lamb. (2008 season)
  • Gerud Nipper's twin brother. (2010 season)
  • Skip Lion's twin brother. (2011 season)

Trivia

Wooly is a lamb in the 2003 season but a proper sheep in the 2008 season.

Other

  • Bentley the Robot is one of Fireman Sam's inventions that appears in the episode of the name. At one point, Norman Price swaps his control cassette for a video game cassette, discarding the former and causing Bentley to act out the game while grabbing and throwing objects within reach; one such object is a can of paraffin which rolls into the fire station and starts leaking. Eventually, the flow reaches Penny Morris, who is busy welding a locker; as she finishes, sparks from her blow torch ignite the paraffin. Meanwhile, Sarah and James find Bentley's genuine control cassette and give it to Fireman Sam, who reactivates Bentley and orders him to go inside to save Penny, who has passed out from the heat. Sarah and James receive certificates for their actions and Bentley receives a medal, who is so pleased that he malfunctions, his head spinning around while repeating the line "Delighted, I'm sure".

And Also appears in Fireman Sam in Action.

Places

Fireman Sam's residence

Sam lives in a two-story house with several windows, a red door and the small bell at outside. It is at 3 Vale Road and contains seldom seen rooms:

  • Hall: The hall has a big shelf, a very large hanger, and a big mirror on the wall. The walls are yellow. There are also the stairs, which connect the ground floor with first floor.
  • Dining room: This room has a big table with several chairs, a shelf with photos and a phone, and the big clock.
  • Kitchen: The small kitchen has a very big refrigerator, several shelves and a modern oven. There is also the big table with several chairs.
  • Bathroom: The bathroom contains a big washing machine, a small shelf, a vane, a toilet, and a big mirror in the wall.
  • Sam's Bedroom: Sam has a large bedroom of his own. The walls are white. Sam's bed lies underneath the window. Next to the bed, there are several shelves. The first shelf contains a black and white photograph, and a large red alarm clock with two blue lighters on the bells, which light when it rings. On the second shelf there is a big night lamp. The last shelf holds Sam's civilian clothes. The wood-framed bed is covered by white sheets and two pillows, and has an orange-red blanket with squares on it and white edging. Sam's room is seen during the introductory sequence of the show (1987-1996 season).

Dilys' shop "N.W Price"

Dilys Price runs the local grocery and general store, N.W Price (although in the 2008 series called Cut Price Supermarket), with its stocks of canned goods, outdoor displays of fruits and vegetables, and various treats and snacks. The shop contains seldom-seen rooms:

  • Dilys's bedroom: Dilys's room contains a shelf with a big mirror and photo, a shelf an electrical alarm clock and night lamp, a shelf with Dilys' clothes, and the wood-framed bed with pillows and a yellow blanket with white edging.
  • Norman's room: Norman's room has several shelves, toys, computer and a wood-framed bed with pillows. The bed also has an orange-pink blanket with white edging.

Bella's café

Bella's restaurant contains a large pizza oven, which is the source of at least one fire due to inadequate chimney sweeping (a birds' nest falls into the oven from the chimney and catches fire on the day the oven is installed). Bella's restaurant serves mostly Italian food, along with pastries and desserts. Bella's café was only seen in the 1987-1996 season and the 2003-2005 season. Bella's café and Bella herself were abandoned a year after the 2003-2005 season.

Whole Fish Cafe

Bronwyn and Charlie's fish and chip shop cafe, which is the source of at least one fire due to Sarah placing her wet coat over an electric fire. The cafe also has a basement, where was seen thrice in the 2008 season, once when it was flooded, when the heater broke, and another time when Mike Flood fell down with a freezer.

Fire station

Sam, Trevor (only in the classic series), Penny, Station Officer Steele, and Elvis (who also does the cooking) work in the fire station. It contains the following rooms:

  • Main room: This room contains the big oven and gas range, a table with several chairs, TV and a shelf with firefighters' clothes. On the wall there is the fire bell.
  • Steele's office: Officer Steele has a big office. It contains several shelves, a big table with papers and a phone on it, a chair, and a small table with a teleprinter. On the wall is the fire bell. In the 2008 season, a picture of the whole crew with Jupiter (really a promotional shot for the 2003 season) is visible.
  • The Garage: This is where Jupiter & Venus are parked between missions. There is a turntable for Jupiter to avoid complex backup manoeuvers.

The Floods' residence

Mandy, Helen and Mike Flood live in a two-story house. It contains seldom seen rooms:

  • Kitchen: Seen most often, has a toaster, old radio and a couple of chairs next to the counter, where the Floods have breakfast.
  • Living Room: Seen at least once, when Mike Flood injures his hand, and Radar rescues him. Also when Norman price set light to the cutains on halloween.
  • Workshop: This is where Mike Flood does much of his work.


Mountain Rescue

This is where Tom Thomas works, it has a radio, and stairs that go to a 2nd floor balcony, where Tom can see PontyPandy Mountain from. It has the helicopter on the attached landing zone, and SUV parked outside.

Boat House

The home of Neptune, on the quayside. (2008 season)

Bingles Department Store

This is seen in the episode Home From Rome(1994 season) and according to an announcement on the shop's loudspeaker, is located in Cardiff. Bella and Rosa end up getting stuck in the lift and have to be rescued by Fireman Sam, Elvis and Station Officer Steele. A mock floor directory can be seen in the lift and on the walls and it indicates that the store has 4 levels in total. It also has a basement level which is used as a storage area(Rosa runs off and is found here surrounded by cat food). Additionally the Fire Exit signs read IREF EIXT(Fire Exit in Welsh)

Commercial availability

The entire classic series was released on DVD in April 2007. Prior to that, only two other DVDs were available: Action Stations, containing what are believed to be some of the better episodes, and Snow Business, containing the Christmas special (which was noticeably absent in the classic series boxed set) and two other episodes: "Safe with Sam", which emphasizes fire safety and which has not been shown by the BBC since November 1990, and "Rich and Famous". A further DVD of original episodes was available from the newspaper The Sunday Mirror in 2006, but only contained two episodes. The majority of the 2005 season has been released in several DVD's.

Most of the original episodes have been made available on VHS previously (in the United Kingdom by BBC Video in 1988-2001 and in the United States and Canada by Family Home Entertainment), but apart from a VHS version of Action Stations, these are all now out of print. And it was available on DVD by Hit Entertainment in the United Kingdom since 2004. Here is a list of the UK releases.

VHS video title Year of release Episodes
Fireman Sam – The Hero Next Door (BBCV 4101) 1987 The Kite, Flat Tyre, Trevor's Training, Norman's Tricky Day
Fireman Sam 2 – Lost Cat (BBCV 4137) 1988 Lost Cat, Telly Trouble, Camping, Barn Fire
Fireman Sam 3 – Sam's Day Off (BBCV 4197) 1988 Sam's Day Off, Treasure Hunt, Thief in Pontypandy, Chemistry Set
Fireman Sam 4 – Snow Business (BBCV 4268) 1989 Snow Business, The Great Inventor, The Wishing Well
Fireman Sam 5 – Norman's Pitfall (BBCV 4428) 1990 Norman's Pitfall, Dilys' Forgetful Day, Lost Ring, A Spot Of Bother.
Fireman Sam 6 – All in a Good Cause (BBCV 4470) 1991 All In A Good Cause, Brass Band, Lost In The Fog, Bentley The Robot
The Very Best of Fireman Sam (BBCV 4870) 1992 Chemistry Set, Flat Tyre, Dilys' Forgetful Day, Camping, Norman's Tricky Day, Treasure Hunt, Halloween
The Very Best of Fireman Sam 2 (BBCV 5278) 1994 The Kite, Lost Cat, Barnfire, Sam's Day Off, The Wishing Well, Lost Ring, Bentley the Robot
Fireman Sam – Treasure Hunt (BBCV 5464) 1994 Treasure Hunt, Thief in Pontypandy, Trevor's Training, Sam's Day Off, Kite, Chemistry Set
Fireman Sam – Norman's Tricky Day (BBCV 5465) 1994 Norman's Tricky Day, The Wishing Well, Flat Tyre, The Great Inventor, Snow Business
Fireman Sam – Spot of Bother (BBCV 5466) 1994 Dilys' Forgetful Day, Spot of Bother, Telly Trouble, Lost Ring, Norman's Pitfall, Lost Cat
Fireman Sam – Bentley the Robot (BBCV 5467) 1994 Bentley the Robot, Barnfire, Lost in the Fog, All in a Good Cause, Camping, Brass Band
The New Adventures of Fireman Sam (BBCV 5404) 1994 Deep Trouble for Sam, Quarry Rescue, Rich and Famous, Home from Rome
The New Adventures of Fireman Sam – Disaster for Dinner (BBCV 5625) 1995 Disaster for Dinner, Steele Under Par, Trevor's Bus Boot Sale, What Goes Up
Fireman Sam – 2 on 1 (BBCV 5787) 1996 Contains the episodes from "The Hero Next Door" and "Lost Cat", as shown above: Kite, Flat Tyre, Trevor's Training, Norman's Tricky Day, Lost Cat, Telly Trouble, Camping, Barn Fire
Fireman Sam In Action (BBCV 5807) 1996 Video of the film, Fireman Sam In Action
Fireman Sam – Fireman Sam's Bumper Video (BBCV 6225) 1997 All in a Good Cause, Norman's Pitfall, The Great Inventor, What Goes Up, Deep Trouble for Sam, Thief in Pontypandy, Rich and Famous
Fireman Sam – 2 on 1 – Tales from Pontypandy (BBCV 6354) 1998 Contains the episodes from "Sam's Day Off" and "Snow Business", as shown above: Sam's Day Off, Chemistry Set, Thief in Pontypandy, Treasure Hunt, Snow Business, The Great Inventor, The Wishing Well
Fireman Sam's Big Video (BBCV 6771) 1999 Quarry Rescue, Home from Rome, Steele Under Par, Trevor's Bus Boot Sale, Brass Band, Lost Ring
Fireman Sam's Bumper Video (BBCV 6917) 2000 Telly Trouble, Dilys' Forgetful Day, Disaster for Dinner, Deep Trouble for Sam, Lost in the Fog, Bentley the Robot, Trevor's Training
Fireman Sam – Biggest Video Ever (BBCV 7135) 2001 The Kite, Norman's Tricky Day, Barnfire, Norman's Pitfall, Spot of Bother, Lost in the Fog, All in a Good Cause, Rich and Famous, What Goes Up

2003–2005 series

Between 2003 and 2005, a new "Fireman Sam" series was produced by Siriol Productions (now known as Calon TV), comprising twenty-six episodes, each ten minutes in length. These episodes used more modern techniques of stop-motion animation including mouths that move with the dialogue. The new series features all the original characters, but also adds some new faces, such as Tom Thomas, the Australian pilot of rescue helicopter Wallaby One. The series premiered on 1 November 2004 and was also known as "Sam, o pyrosvestis" in Greece (the transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title).[7] The aspect ratio was 1.85 : 1.[8]

Unlike the original series, in which all of the characters were voiced by one person, the new series employed three principal voice artists; however, original voice-actor John Alderton was not one of them. In the new series, the voice of Sam and other male characters was provided by comedian John Sparkes. The other voice artists were Joanna Ruiz and Sarah Hadland.

2008–2009 series

In 2008, a new computer-generated series was produced by Hibbert Ralph Entertainment, creators of Tractor Tom and Spider.

Pontypandy is now a seaside town instead of a village set deep in the hills as in the early series. Another change in this series is that the twins' parents appear for the first time; their new-age mother, Bronwyn, and fisherman father Charlie, Sam's brother, who run a cafe/fish-and-chip shop – The Whole Fish Cafe.

Many characters also had aspects of their personalities made more apparent. Norman Price is far more mischievous and inconsiderate than in the 2004 series, where his pranks were often planned out and his accidents were due to badly planned ideas rather than outrageous schemes. For example, in the episode Pontypandy Extreme, Norman gets trapped down a wishing well after attempting to climb down in order to retrieve the coins that have been thrown down there. Additionally, in the episode "Floating Cart", Norman constructs an unsafe Go-Kart without proper breaks and ends up falling into the quay.

Other examples are Station Officer Steele's strictness and maturity and Elvis's decrease in general competence. For example, in one episode where a first aid training exercise is taking place, Elvis is told off by Steele for dancing with the dummy that is being used.

Other changes include the removal of Bella, although her cafe can still be seen opposite Dilys' shop, now a 7-Eleven-esque convenience store called the "Cut Price Supermarket". It seems the Whole Fish Cafe and Bronwyn and Charlie have replaced them. Penny also now has another string to her bow, as she is a trained lifeguard and the driver of Neptune (the town's lifeboat). Also Rosa and Dusty have been replaced by Lion and Radar.

To follow up the series, the show saw its first feature length episode, The Great Fire of Pontypandy, released straight to DVD and shown in select cinemas during 2010. It was also released on the UK iTunes Store on 6 April 2010.

Screenshots:

File:Firemansampantypandythu.jpg The 2009 series was written by Matthew Kane and Jack Anders.

Theme tune

The series had a theme tune composed by Ben Heneghan and Ian Lawson. The lyrics were written by Robin Lyons, and sung by Maldwyn Pope. A full-length version was also released on BBC Records.

The verse of the song alternates between notes a fifth apart – the intention being to suggest the sound of a fire engine siren.

The same composers wrote a new arrangement of the theme tune for the 2005 remake, although this time in straight quavers rather than the 'swung' twelve-eight of the original theme. Robin Lyons also updated the lyrics. This version was sung by Cameron Stewart, singer and lead guitarist with the Cardiff-based band Session.[9]

The theme song from the 2003 version was re-used for the CGI Series, albeit shortened.

Ben Heneghan and Ian Lawson also wrote a number of other Fireman Sam-related songs that were released on a cassette by BBC Records. These songs were later used in the touring stage show.

Fireman Sam on DVD

2003

The DVDs do not contain a large amount of characters. In the episode Norman's Invisible Friend, there is no sign of Owyn. Norman just made him up.

Episode Description Fire Emergency DVD Name Notes
Fun Run The kids were having a fun run. Norman kept chnging the signs. The winner got a piece of Bella's chocolate cake. There were three winners - Sarah, Mandy and James. The runner-up was Norman. He got a plate of Elvis' cupcakes. Search party to the woodcutter's shed. Fun Run First appearance of Sam, Elvis, Norman, Sarah, Tom, Mandy, Steele, Bella, James, Dilys, Nurse Flood and Woolly.
Trouble & Squeak Norman got a mouse called Squeaky. He named it The Great Squeakendo. He and Mandy made a maze for Squeaky called The Maze of Mystery. He took 25 rolls of toilet paper and Rosa chased Squeaky in Bella Lasangue's café. Rosa and Squeaky were chased up the chimney. Tried with the new bean picker. Fun Run First appearance of Mike, Rosa and Trevor and the only appearance of Squeaky.
Carnival Of Junk Mandy was ill, so she didn't go to the carnival in Jamaica. When the emergancy was solved, the carnival was taken to Wales, in Pontypandy. First was Jupiter, then it was Venus, then Tom's rescue van and last but not least, Mike's carnival truck. James is stuck under a boiler. Fun Run Everybody is seen in the episode.
Birthday Surprise Today was Sam's birthday. Sam was having a party. The

Episode list

Series 1 (Welsh: 1985), (English: 1987)

Title of Episode English broadcast date Welsh broadcast date Summary about the episode
The Kite 17 November 1987 26 December 1985 Strong winds bring telegraph poles down and take Sarah and James' kite high up, but a little higher than they intended.
Barn Fire 19 November 1987 2 January 1986 On a very hot day, Sarah and James are picking potatoes for Bella. Sam wonders if he can help, but first he has to deal with a barn fire at Pandy Lane Farm.
Trevor's Training 24 November 1987 9 January 1986 It's routine drill for Trevor on his first day in the fire service, until a message comes over the radio.
Flat Tyre 26 November 1987 16 January 1986 After going to a boot-sale, Trevor's tyre goes flat and invades Pontypandy causing loads of delays, luckily Sam comes to the rescue.
Camping 1 December 1987 23 January 1986 What have a frog and an oily rag got to do with camping? Sam, Sarah, and James soon find out.
Norman's Tricky Day 3 December 1987 30 January 1986 Norman is up to his old tricks as usual, but this time he plays one too many.
Lost Cat 8 December 1987 15 December 1987 Saturdays are busy enough for Bella, without having to deal with chip pan fires and lost cats.
Telly Trouble 10 December 1987 22 December 1987 TV stardom comes to Station Officer Steele and everyone in Pontypandy is tuning in.

Series 2 (1988)

Title of Episode English broadcast date Summary about the episode
Treasure Hunt 1 September 1988 Sam introduces Sarah and James to his new metal detector, and they get hooked on looking for treasure. Unfortunately, they manage to burst a water pipe in the park while searching for Bella's keys. Meanwhile, Norman's game of "Knights of the Round Table" backfires when his saucepan helmet gets stuck on his head. Overall, it's a busy day for Fireman Sam and the crew.
Sam's Day Off 8 September 1988 Sam's popcorn machine is just the ticket for the cinemas, until it suffers from a touch of flumbustication.
Thief in Pontypandy 15 September 1988 Sam's mislaid his watch, Bella's necklace has disappeared, and Dilys' earrings have gone missing. Can Fireman Sam solve the mystery?
Chemistry Set 22 September 1988 Norman's dream of making the pongiest stink bomb in the world backfires when Dilys walks into the laboratory.
The Wishing Well 29 September 1988 Trevor organises a search party when Norman doesn't come back from picking strawberries.
The Great Inventor 6 October 1988 Sam is all set to win the Best Inventor in Wales competition, until Norman plays around with one of his inventions.

Specials (Welsh and English: 1988)

Title of Episode English broadcast date Welsh broadcast date Summary about the episode
Safe with Sam 19 December 1988 9 February 1988 There is a fireworks display being held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of Pontypandy's fire station. But there are many valuable lessons to be learned about safety.
Snow Business 22 December 1988 14 December 1988 All Christmas preparations stop when the crew are called out to rescue Sarah and James who are trapped on ice.

Series 3 (Both Welsh and English: 1990)

Title of Episode English broadcast date Welsh broadcast date Summary about the episode
Dilys' Forgetful Day 15 October 1990 3 May 1990 When Dilys falls off the ladder and loses her memory, Norman's got a lot of explaining to do.
Spot of Bother 22 October 1990 10 May 1990 Norman's double bluff backfires when chicken pox hits Pontypandy.
Halloween 29 October 1990 17 May 1990 It's Halloween in Pontypandy and Penny is in for a nasty shock.
Norman's Pitfall 5 November 1990 24 May 1990 Not far from an old disused mineshaft, Norman is fishing for chocolate cream éclairs.
Lost Ring 12 November 1990 31 May 1990 Bella is very happy about the diamond ring she inherited, until it goes missing.
All in a Good Cause 19 November 1990 7 June 1990 Sam is dumbstruck when all the charity money they've raised for a good cause goes missing.
Brass Band 26 November 1990 14 June 1990 Only practice makes perfect when it comes to playing music, but the fire station band needs something quicker than that.
Lost in the Fog 3 December 1990 21 June 1990 Penny becomes anxious when Sarah and James don't arrive for tea.
Bentley the Robot 10 December 1990 28 June 1990 Sam's latest invention is almost superhuman, until it meets Norman Price.

Series 4 (Both Welsh and English: 1994)

Title of Episode English broadcast date Welsh broadcast date Summary about the episode
Home from Rome 21 October 1994 Welsh: 2 May 1994 Rosa stows away in Bella's shopping trolley, when she goes to Bingles' Department Store. But disaster strikes when a lift gets stuck, and it's up to the Pontypandy fire service to rescue Bella and her cat.
Rich and Famous 27 October 1994 Welsh: 9 May 1994 Dilys wishes she were rich and famous, so she goes off to do some treasure hunting in the attic. But Dilys gets more than she bargained for when she knocks over a candle, setting the roof on fire...
Quarry Rescue 1 November 1994 10 May 1994 While Bella is making pizzas for Trevor to deliver, James falls into an old quarry. Then Trevor gets his finger stuck in the brake fluid chamber.
Deep Trouble for Sam 3 November 1994 20 May 1994 Sam has been sent to weed Penny's cottage garden. Why has Penny been called out to help?
Trevor's Bus Boot Sale 8 November 1994 30 May 1994 Trevor is holding a 'Bus Boot Sale', but then gets trapped at the old dump while suffering from some fumes. After he rescues him, Norman then gets a surprise from Trevor.
What Goes Up 10 November 1994 6 June 1994 Trevor gets stuck in a hot air balloon and soon it's Fireman Sam to the rescue.
Steele Under Par 15 November 1994 13 June 1994 When Steele is given a letter of retirement, he decides to go golfing. But then his present gets in trouble in Trevor's shed which catches fire.
Disaster for Dinner 17 November 1994 20 June 1994 A fire drill practice is being held at Bella's Cafe, but first there's trouble at 3 Vale Road when Sam's latest invention catches fire.

Series 5 (W: 2003) (2005)

  1. Danger Falling Sheep (4 April 2005)- When Norman tries to conquer Pontypandy Mountain, he finds himself stranded on a ledge with a fallen lamb.
  2. The Big Freeze (5 April 2005)- Norman raises everyone's temperature with the bed he builds for his pet lamb Woolly.
  3. Twist of Fate (6 April 2005)- Station Officer Steele takes Norman and Mandy Flood pot-holing, but he soon ends up in a tight spot.
  4. A Real Live Wire (7 April 2005)- Mandy thinks a squirrel will be a good pet, but its taste for electrical cables causes a fire.
  5. Bug Eyed Boy from Venus (8 April 2005)- When Trevor Evans tells the children that there's no such thing as little green men from outer space, Norman is determined to prove him wrong.
  6. Bath Time for Dusty (11 April 2005)- Scruffy dog Dusty is chosen to be the fire station mascot, but first he must have a bath. Dusty is not keen on the idea, though.
  7. Neighbourhood Watchout (12 April 2005)- Mandy, Sarah, and James decide to start a junior neighbourhood watch scheme, but get rather carried away.
  8. Twitchers in Trouble (13 April 2005)- Trevor is looking forward to his date with Dilys and decides to take her birdwatching. However, a fire at Trevor's birdwatching hide ensures that the date is hotter than planned.
  9. Carnival of Junk (14 April 2005)- A rubbish tip proves to be a trap for the unwary James, but then the recycled rubbish becomes the centrepiece in a Caribbean-style carnival.
  10. Mummy's Little Pumpkin (15 April 2005)- Halloween is scarier than normal after Norman leaves his pumpkin lantern unattended.
  11. Joaker Soaker (18 April 2005)- To everyone's horror, Norman has a new toy – a "Joker Soaker" water pistol.
  12. Fit for Nothing (19 April 2005)- The Fire-fighters are training hard to appear in the Wales Fittest Fire-fighters calendar. It's a competition to see who is the fittest.
  13. Deep Water (20 April 2005)- Mandy and Norman get into deep water when they go hunting for treasure.
  14. Beast of Pontypandy (21 April 2005)- A black beast has appeared in Pontypandy and Woolly has disappeared...
  15. Pizza Palaver (22 April 2005)- Bella is as sick as a parrot when a bird's nest falls down the chimney and into her new oven.
  16. Fun Run (25 April 2005)- Today in Pontypandy, a fun run has been organised for charity. Unfortunately Norman's cheating ways put James and the other competitors in danger.
  17. Trouble and Squeak (26 April 2005)- Norman has taken the school mouse home to look after. Unsurprisingly, it escapes and causes havoc when both Rosa and the mouse end up stuck in Bella's chimney.
  18. King of the Jungle (27 April 2005)- The Tarzanesque jungle cry of Norman Price raises the alarm when the twins get caught in a blazing haystack.
  19. Norman's Invisible Friend (28 April 2005)- Norman invents a fictitious friend to get double helpings of everything.
  20. High Jinx (29 April 2005)- Norman uses a power kite to help his with his deliveries.
  21. The Case of the Liquorice Shoelaces (3 May 2005)- Someone has been stealing shoelaces from Dilys's shop and the prime suspect is Norman Price. Surprisingly he isn't to blame and he sets out to prove his innocence.
  22. Fiery Finale (4 May 2005)- There's a talent show in Pontypandy and Norman Price is searching for an act. But whatever he tries, compere Trevor Evans "pours cold water" on it. Finally, when Norman tries to play Elvis's electric guitar, he is asked to leave the stage. Norman's eyes alight on a comic featuring 'Lasso Kid' and he decides to delight the crowd with his roping skills. However, Norman's rope tricks soon lead to a fire.
  23. Birthday Surprise (5 May 2005)- It is Sam's birthday and everyone is preparing for a surprise party for him and Norman has to keep him away until it is time.
  24. Firefighter of Tomorrow (6 May 2005)- Norman wants to be a fireman when he grows up but he can't wait that long.
  25. Fields of Fire (9 May 2005)- Norman and Mandy discover that smoke gets in your eyes when Dusty disturbs a campfire.
  26. Let It Snow (26 December 2005)- The roads to Pontypandy are blocked with snow. When the villagers face a Christmas without a tree, one brave soul Norman Price decides to try to get one. Fireman Sam ends up having to rescue him.

Series 6 (2008)

  1. Paper Plane Down
  2. Hot and Cold Running Sniffer Dog
  3. Hearts on Fire
  4. Perilous Path
  5. New Hero Next Door
  6. Santa Overboard
  7. Best Foot Forward
  8. Baa Baa Baby
  9. Mother's Helper
  10. Cat Magic
  11. Seeing Red
  12. Going Out with a Bang
  13. The Wrong Smell
  14. No Nurse Like You
  15. Dinosaur Hunt
  16. The One that Got Away
  17. Floating Cart
  18. Sticky Situation
  19. Cry Wolf
  20. Sheep on the Road
  21. Mam's Day
  22. Alarm on the Beach
  23. Hot Air
  24. Towering Inferno
  25. Danger by the Double
  26. When Fools Rush In
  27. Blow Me Down
  28. Pontypandy Extreme
  29. Elvis Sings the Blues
  30. Fireworks for Mandy
  31. Heap of Trouble
  32. Stuck in the Muck
  33. Sausages Versus Shrimps
  34. Flood's Flood
  35. Stranded
  36. Off Duty Sam
  37. Sheepdog Trials
  38. Norman's Ghost
  39. Poorly Penny
  40. Pirates of Pontypandy
  41. The Pontypandy Pioneers
  42. Twitching the Night Away
  43. Double Trouble
  44. Sailor Steele
  45. Fireman James
  46. Dilys' Big Surprise
  47. Day at the Seaside
  48. Model Plane
  49. Three Legged Race
  50. Norman's Ark
  51. Open Day
  52. Mike's Rocket
  53. Danger with Boyce See Down
  54. Sam's Big Job
  55. Elvis' Sea Rescue
  56. Bronwyn Gets Stuck
  57. Dangerous Storm
  58. Elvis and the Razorbill Surprise
  59. Mandy's Stage Surprise
  60. Penny's Birthday
  61. Charlie Paints the Boat
  62. Mike Moves the Washing Machine
  63. Penny's Fashion Show
  64. Norman Goes Fishing
  65. Sports Day

When Boyce goes to the forest, he fears there's major trouble.

Season 7 & 8

HIT Entertainment started that 2 more CGI seasons of "Fireman Sam" will be made. Soon to be shown in 2012.

Movies

  1. Fireman Sam: The Great Fire of Pontypandy: Fireman Sam is awarded for rescuing Charlie from the edge of the lighthouse cliff, making Elvis feel left out. Meanwhile, James, Sarah, Norman, Dilys Price & Derek are on the way to the forest with Trevor. Back at the Fire Station, Sam and Penny Morris rescue Mike flood from drowning in the harbour sea. Back at the forest, Norman decides to cook sausages that he brought earlier to the forest (ignoring the warnings that the forest is too dry to start fires) and sets fire to old wood using a sharp wood pin. Dilys finds them but fails to notice the fire. Meanwhile, Mike forgets the phone & the hammer, and locks himself in the lighthouse after he mends the door. Meanwhile Helen and Mandy are trying to find the campsite when Helen steps into the mantrap Trevor set up minutes earlier. Luckily, she is later rescued by Elvis and Radar. The campsite group smell smoke and leave the campsite to get out of the forest. The fire reaches the campsite setting it on fire. Elvis and Radar find the group and follow the siren, getting out of the forest before the fire engulfs the whole place. Elvis pushes Sam out of the way of a falling burning branch. The vehicles drive to the harbour. Luckily, the rain puts out the fire. Then Radar finds the sausages from Norman's bag. A shocked Dilys and Trevor scold Norman for setting the forest on fire. At the end of the movie, Elvis is awarded for saving Sam and the group. Derek blames Norman for bringing sausages and setting the forest on fire and they have an argument. The town has a huge party. THE END.

Broadcasting

Originally, the original series (Series 1 to 4) aired on the BBC's weekly children's slot Children's BBC. When production was put on hold for many years, the series continued to be repeated on the same slot and later on dedicated pre-school digital channel Cbeebies, which later aired the fifth series.

As of 2008, the rights to broadcast Fireman Sam (Series 1 to 5) was sold to Milkshake!, the children's slot on Channel 5. Since 2009, Series 6 has regularly aired on Mini CITV (as part of ITV Breakfast, which was previously GMTV).

In Australia Fireman Sam was a massive success in the country when the show first premiered on ABC1 in 1989 as it aired on every weekday in the 1990s, even when the show was put on hold.

In the USA, the show airs at 8:00 AM PST on PBS Kids Sprout. Currently, only Series 6 is broadcast, although Series 5 was broadcast. In Norway it is known as Brannmann Sam. It is also translated into Danish as Brandmand Sam. In Finland it is known as Palomies Sami which means Firefighter Sami.

Broadcasters are Jim Jam and C5.

Critical response

The ABC website said of the series, "All the characters blend together into an appealing mixture of fun and entertainment for children everywhere."[10]

At IMDb, the 2004 version of Fireman Sam was given an overall rating of 6.7/10, based on 22 votes, 2 user reviews and 3 critic reviews.[11]

At IMDb, the 1987–1991 version of Fireman Sam was given an overall rating of 7.1/10 based on 89 votes and 4 user reviews.

The Entertainment Store Group described the show as, "The ultimate rescue show for preschoolers [that] has been on-air for over 16 years and can be seen in over 80 countries worldwide in 31 different languages. Particularly strong with boys aged two to six years, Fireman Sam promotes responsibility, respect for others and a can-do attitude." They added that "Entertainment Store Group is proud to represent Fireman Sam exclusively in Australia!"[12]

Fireman Sam: The Great Fire of Pontypandy was given a critical analysis on the website Raising Children Network. The film was rated G, and was advised for children aged 5 and up. The genre was children's animated adventure, the length was 63 minutes and the release date was 28/10/2010. It commented on the prevalent themes, namely "the threat of fire; accidents and rescues". The review continued by stating some of the scenes which could potentially scare or disturb children under 5, such as when "Mike falls off the roof of a house into the harbour, and struggles to stay afloat". The review concluded by stating some discussion points for parents with their children: "The main messages from this movie are about helping people in need and pulling together as a community. The movie also looks at the bad things that happen when you do the wrong thing. Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include selflessness, and care and concern for others. This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as stealing, lighting fires, and ignoring safety instructions."[13][14]

Fireman Sam (2004) was given an analysis at commonsensemedia. It was advised for ages 3 and up, and was given a rating of 4/5 stars. The show was given a "The Good Stuff" rating of 3/5, which the site stating, "Sam shows how to stay calm in a crisis. He also relies on his team to help him solve problems." Under the section entitled "violence & scariness", the site comments that "Some of the fires and other crises that Sam faces may frighten the youngest viewers, but everyone is always safe in the end." The site explains that parents need to know that "Young viewers will be delighted by the stop-motion animation (which creates soft visuals), the colorful backdrops of the charming Welsh village, and the funny dialogue. Sensitive viewers may need a parent nearby to help them understand that all of the characters are safe in the end." On a potential language barrier, the site comments, "The distinctly Welsh characters, community, accents, and expressions may pose some minor comprehension problems for kids on this side of the pond, but overall it's good exposure to another part of the world."[15]

FIREMAN SAM: Cat Magic was given a negative review at website Trick or Treat Tales, "Cat Magic, from the last season, sees the stop-motion replaced with generic, poorly-executed CGI animation, and the series loses all interest (the stop-motion was the main draw of the series in the first place). The new voice work is particularly grating, as well. And worst of all: this story has zero to do with Halloween or trick-or-treat...You can skip Trick or Treat Tales."[16]

The 1987 set Fireman Sam To the Rescue! (released on DVD on 1 July 2008 by HIT Entertainment) was given a review at DVDTOWN.com, summarised with "If you have a toddler or preschooler who likes Bob the Builder, there's a chance this one will also be a hit. Though there are less vehicles, there are more children, and the plots are just as rescue-based." The DVD was assessed on 4 qualities: Video (7), Audio (7), Extras (1) and Film value (7).[17]

References

  1. ^ a b "Fireman Sam News". http://www.firemansamonline.com/uk/Parents/News_and_Products/index.asp. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Trivia for "Fireman Sam" (1987)". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0329829/trivia. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Company credits for "Fireman Sam" (1987)". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0329829/companycredits. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Kay "proud" of Children In Need song". http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/news/a188020/kay-proud-of-children-in-need-song.html. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "Awards for "Fireman Sam" (1987)". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0329829/awards. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "About Sam". http://www.firemansamonline.com/uk/Parents/About_Sam/index.asp. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "Release dates for "Fireman Sam" (2004)". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0377179/releaseinfo. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Technical specifications for "Fireman Sam" (2004)". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0377179/technical. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  9. ^ "On track to indie fame". Penarth Times. 16 June 2005. http://archive.penarthtimes.co.uk/2005/6/16/381.html. Retrieved 19 December 2006. 
  10. ^ "Fireman Sam at ABC". http://www.abc.net.au/abckids/shows/prog64.htm. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  11. ^ "Fireman Sam at IMDb". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0377179/. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  12. ^ "Fireman Sam at Entertainment Store Group". http://www.entertainmentstore.com.au/children-entertainment/childrens-characters/fireman-sam. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  13. ^ "Fireman Sam: The Great Fire of Pontypandy at Raising Children Network". http://raisingchildren.net.au/movies/fireman_sam_the_great_fire_of_pontypandy_movie.html?context=485. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  14. ^ "Fireman Sam: The Great Fire of Pontypandy at Hoyts". http://www.hoyts.com.au/Movies/details/Fireman_Sam.aspx. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "Fireman Sam at commonsensemedia". http://www.commonsensemedia.org/tv-reviews/Fireman-Sam.html. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  16. ^ "Trick or Treat Tales (Barney, Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina, and MORE)". http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/38334/trick-or-treat-tales-barney-thomas-friends-bob-the-builder-angelina-ballerina-and-more/. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  17. ^ "Fireman Sam To the Rescue! [TV show (DVD)"]. http://www.dvdtown.com/reviews/fireman-sam-tv-show/6135. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 

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