The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police

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The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police
The Adventures of Sam & Max Freelance Police.jpg
The title screen for The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police
Created by Steve Purcell
Voices of Harvey Atkin
Robert Tinkler
Tracey Moore
Country of origin United States
Canada
No. of episodes 24
Production
Executive producer(s) Patrick Loubert
Michael Hirsh
Clive A. Smith
Robert Ross
Gwenn Saunders Eckel
Producer(s) Nelvana Limited
Running time 10–12 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Fox Kids (USA)
YTV (Canada)
Original run October 4, 1997 (1997-10-04) – April 25, 1998 (1998-04-25)

The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police, Sam & Max: Freelance Police!!! or just simply Sam & Max, is an American animated television series starring Sam & Max, a duo of private investigators composed of Sam, an anthropomorphic dog, and Max, a lagomorph or "hyperkinetic rabbity-thing." The show was created by Steve Purcell, also creator of the original comic book series. The series first aired in October 1997 on Fox Kids in the United States and YTV in Canada, producing 24 episodes and winning the 1998 Gemini Award for "Best Animated Series" before it was canceled in April 1998.[1] With the exception of the first and last episodes, which each had a running time of about 20 minutes, each episode was approximately 10 minutes in length, and were usually aired in pairs.

Premise[edit]

The series revolves around the freelance police accepting missions from the mysterious Commissioner, whom they have never seen. The assignments usually lead them into far-off and exotic locales such as the Moon, Mount Olympus, the center of the Earth or the mutant inhabited waters of Bohunk Lagoon. In between these assignments, the pair also manage to squeeze in fridge-spelunking, time-travelling, Bigfoot-hunting and numerous other escapades. There were also holiday themed episodes, such as visiting a prison on Christmas and delivering an artificial heart on Valentine's Day.

Characters[edit]

  • Sam: A 6-foot anthropomorphic canine detective dressed in noir-styled suit and hat. Voiced by Harvey Atkin.
  • Max: An easily excitable 3-foot "hyperkinetic rabbity thing." Voiced by Robert Tinkler.
  • The Commissioner: Sam and Max's mysterious agent and only known link to any form of official government body. Voiced by Dan Hennessey.
  • Darla "The Geek" Gugenheek: The detectives' personal teenage scientist and laboratory technician, housed in the pair's very own "Sub-Basement of Solitude." She often provides the duo with new gadgets and inventions to aid them on their missions. She is the only main character who doesn't also appear in the comics. Voiced by Tracey Moore.

Episode list[edit]

# Title Director(s) Writer(s) Original Airdate(s) Code
01 "The Thing That Wouldn't Stop It" Steve Whitehouse J. D. Smith October 4, 1997 (1997-10-04)
A strange monster living inside The Geek's fridge is attacking people. Sam & Max must find a way to stop it!
02A "The Second Show Ever" Steve Whitehouse J. D. Smith October 11, 1997 (1997-10-11)
Sam & Max show up at a school's Career Day and take the class to space, where they meet an alien who is plotting to destroy the Earth. They try to stop him and look good for the kids.
02B "Max's Big Day" Steve Whitehouse J. D. Smith October 11, 1997 (1997-10-11)
Sam & Max are dropped on an island and the New Guinea Pigs think Max is their 'chosen one'. But Max must say goodbye to Sam... can he really do it?
03A "Bad Day on the Moon" Steve Whitehouse Steve Purcell October 18, 1997 (1997-10-18)
Taken from the comic, Sam and Max travel to the moon to help rat people handle their roach problem.
03B "They Came from Down There" Steve Whitehouse Hugh Duffy October 25, 1997 (1997-10-25)
The population of a town has now become a mass of fish-like zombies, thanks to Mack Salmon's plan of Sea Chimp food products.
04A "The Friend for Life" Steve Whitehouse Steve Purcell November 1, 1997 (1997-11-01)
Lorne, The Friend for Life, accidentally lets 'The Mad Thespian' get away. So, Lorne takes him hostage to try to force Sam & Max to hang out with him at his twisted fun house.
04B "Dysfunction of the Gods" Steve Whitehouse Marty Isenberg & Robert N. Skir October 18, 1997 (1997-10-18)
Zeus & Hera are angry and fighting, and if the Freelance Police don't help them rekindle their love for each other, Sam & Max will age rapidly.
05A "Big Trouble at the Earth's Core" Steve Whitehouse Bob Ardiel October 25, 1997 (1997-10-25)
Sam & Max go to the center of the Earth to stop the mole-men from blowing up the Earth by lowering the core temperature - and help them find dates!
05B "A Glitch in Time" Steve Whitehouse Dale Schott November 1, 1997 (1997-11-01)
Max obtains a time traveling watch which he and Sam use to alter their own history (back when they were children), causing Sam to have never become a member of the Freelance Police.
06A "That Darn Gator" Steve Whitehouse Jamie Tatham November 8, 1997 (1997-11-08)
Sam & Max try and raise a baby alligator in their deranged life style.
06B "We Drop at Dawn" Steve Whitehouse Hugh Duffy December 20, 1997 (1997-12-20)
Sam & Max drop into the jungle (Central Park) to look for the Commissioner's keys.
07A "Christmas Bloody Christmas" Steve Whitehouse Steve Purcell December 20, 1997 (1997-12-20)
Sam & Max spend Christmas with Sam's grandma at her maximum security prison on Blood Island. But the criminals attempt a jailbreak and the Freelance Police must round them up.
07B "It's Dangly Deever Time" Steve Whitehouse Steve Purcell, Marty Isenberg & Robert N. Skir February 6, 1998 (1998-02-06)
After their TV goes out, they try to watch a show on the Geek's antique TV and bring a Howdy Doody-like character to life. But while they are gone, Dangly Deever's evil twin attempts to take over the city.
08A "Aaiiieee Robot" Steve Whitehouse Marty Isenberg & Robert N. Skir February 27, 1998 (1998-02-27)
After stopping a meteor from hitting Earth with the Mega Max 3000 robot, it sits and rusts away. So, they send it to Japan, where it battles a giant baby.
08B "The Glazed McGuffin Affair" Steve Whitehouse Bob Ardiel February 13, 1998 (1998-02-13)
Sam & Max try to get Kent Standit, who has banned the Freelance Police's favorite snack 'Glazed McGuffins', to change his mind, by forcing him to at least try one.
09A "The Tell Tale Tail" Steve Whitehouse Tim Burns February 20, 1998 (1998-02-20)
A Sam & Max version of Frankenstein. (Max's tail is severed in an accident, and they reanimate it while the doctor also creates a monster! (the tail, that is))
09B "The Trouble with Gary" Steve Whitehouse Tracy Berna February 20, 1998 (1998-02-20)
Sam & Max help babysit the child who changes things with his mind, who helps the Freelance Police with stopping crime and learns how to have fun (Sam & Max style).
10A "Tonight We Love" Steve Whitehouse Hugh Duffy February 13, 1998 (1998-02-13)
Sam & Max must deliver an artificial heart to the President on Valentine's Day; but the DeSoto is stolen by a loving couple.
10B "The Invaders" Steve Whitehouse Marty Isenberg & Robert N. Skir February 27, 1998 (1998-02-27)
Two tiny aliens are constantly trying to eliminate Sam & Max (and no matter what they do, the Freelance Police can not stop the Invaders)
11A "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" Steve Whitehouse Hugh Duffy February 6, 1998 (1998-02-06)
Sam & Max must play 007 to stop T.R.U.S.S. leader 'Larvo' and her fast-food minions from releasing an obnoxious tourist virus.
11B "Little Bigfoot" Steve Whitehouse Steve Purcell April 4, 1998 (1998-04-04)
The Freelance Police save a kid sasquatch from being a bus boy and try to send it into the wild with its own kind.
12A "Fools Die on Friday" Steve Whitehouse Jamie Tatham April 4, 1998 (1998-04-04)
Sam & Max attempt to foil a blimp hijacking aimed to crash into The Statue of Liberty, only to find the demented terrorist is Lorne, the Friend for Life.
12B "Sam & Max vs. the Uglions" Steve Whitehouse Tim Burns & J. D. Smith April 11, 1998 (1998-04-11)
Aliens open a new restaurant, "The Frying Saucer", that serves people (no really, it's people!). Sam & Max must stop the aliens before the US government start a nuclear holocaust to try to stop the aliens.
13 "The Final Episode" Steve Whitehouse J. D. Smith April 25, 1998 (1998-04-25)
A group of villains from past episodes, led by Mack Salmon try to kill Sam & Max by strapping them to a bomb and dropping them into a volcano. They attempt to get free and subdue the bad guys, all while reliving flashbacks of their early life.
-- "Vice Squad" November 8, 1997 (1997-11-08)
Short episode featuring Sam & Max showing what fun it is to put junk in your dad's vice.
-- "Our Bewildering Universe! 'Chock Full O Guts'" ?
Short episode, starring Sam & Max describing the human body, featuring the Pancreas!
-- "Artsy Craftsy Bit Of Time-Wasting Nonsense" ?
Short episode featuring Sam & Max showing how to make a Max paper bag puppet. The script and images are from the comics and have been reprinted several times since its original publication.

Production notes[edit]

  • Nelvana's website lists the series as having a total of 13 episodes, pairing all 10 minute episodes together but leaving the two extended episodes (the first and last) as standalone, reflecting how the series was intended to air.
  • The plot and villain in Episode 1, "The Thing That Wouldn't Stop It," loosely parody John Carpenter's The Thing. There are also numerous references to the film Aliens, with one of the refrigerator repairmen being captured and cocooned (and asking to be killed for some reason until Sam offers to save him instead) and another repairman being named Hudson who shares his name and constantly becomes hysterical like the Aliens character. The episode also references the Red Dwarf episode "DNA."
  • Episode 2, "The Second Show Ever," features an introduction which parodies the beginning of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey with a loud, drawn out, orchestral shriek introducing a large, black pillar surrounded by a group of inquisitive primates. Furthermore, Sam appears dressed in Fred Flintstone's trademark black-spotted orange furs and green necktie. The rest of the episode is a loose parody of The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling.
  • Episode 4, "Bad Day on the Moon," is a fairly faithful adaptation of the original Sam & Max comic of the same name.
  • Episode 9, "A Glitch in Time," parodies the time travel-themed Ray Bradbury short story "A Sound of Thunder."
  • Episode 11, "We Drop at Dawn," has a theme reminiscent of Apocalypse Now, including a character impersonating Marlon Brando who consistently refers to the duo as Sam and Dave.
  • Episode 14, "Aaiiieee Robot," refers to Isaac Asimov's famous I, Robot collection of short stories.
  • Episode 16, "The Tell Tale Tail," is a Sam & Max version of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
  • Episode 17, "The Trouble with Gary," is a goofy interpretation of "It's a Good Life."
  • Episode 20,"Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang," is a parody of James Bond-style movies, complete with tropical island lair, evil minions, and tuxedos. The phrase "kiss kiss, bang bang" originates from an Italian journalist who referred to James Bond as "Mr. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang."
  • Episode 21, "Little Bigfoot," features a reference to the 1991 film Hook and also LucasArts' 1993 adventure game Sam & Max Hit the Road, wherein the pair have managed to dislodge a solitary bolt from a road-side attraction causing the large reptilian structure to fall forward, capturing the two safely in between its jaws. This episode was written by Steve Purcell.

Commercial availability[edit]

VHS[edit]

Selected episodes from the series had been released in three separate compilations on VHS by Sullivan Entertainment. The episodes included in the VHS compilations are as follows:

The Y Files All Creatures Great and Small Come Fly With Me
  • "Sam & Max vs. the Uglions"
  • "The Invaders"
  • "They Came From Down There"
  • "The Trouble with Gary"
  • "The Thing That Wouldn't Stop It"
  • "The Second Show Ever"
  • "The Tell Tale Tail"
  • "Big Trouble at the Earth's Core"
  • "That Darn Gator"
  • "Little Bigfoot"
  • "Max's Big Day"
  • "Dysfunction of the Gods"
  • "We Drop at Dawn"
  • "Bad Day on the Moon"
  • "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang"
  • "Aaiiieee Robot"

DVD[edit]

On March 11, 2008, the complete series was released by Shout! Factory. Features include original case art by Steve Purcell, three 'educational' shorts, an interview with Purcell, a short featurette about Telltale Games, an art gallery, an "Original Series Bible", a flash-based cartoon titled 'Our Bewildering Universe' and a playable demo of Ice Station Santa. A sticker of the Sam & Max title card was also included.

Web release[edit]

GameTap announced on October 11, 2006 that they would be releasing one episode from the series each week on GameTap TV, as a promotion for Telltale Games' Sam & Max: Season One.[2] Their schedule includes a release of every episode, appearing out of order. Up until mid-July 2008 all episodes (except "Fools Die on Friday", possibly due to the September 11 terrorist attacks) were available to watch online at GameTap for free until the GameTap TV section was closed down as part of a site redesign.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 13th Geminis "Best Animated Program or Series" results. Canada's Awards Database, Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Retrieved on 2006-05-26.
  2. ^ Hagerup, Eivind (2006-10-11). "Sam & Max animated series heading for GameTap". Adventure Gamers. Retrieved 2006-10-15. 
  3. ^ http://www.gametap.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=21371

External links[edit]