Time Squad

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Time Squad
Time Squad Logo.jpg
From left to right, Buck Tuddrussel, Otto Osworth, and Larry 3000
Genre Science fiction
Comedy
Format Animated series
Created by Dave Wasson
Written by Dave Wasson
Carlos Ramos
Michael Karnow
Directed by Dave Wasson
Larry Leichliter (co-director, 7 episodes)
Voices of Pamela Adlon
Rob Paulsen
Mark Hamill
Composer(s) Michael Tavera
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Dave Wasson
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Cartoon Network Studios
Broadcast
Original channel Cartoon Network
Original run June 8, 2001 (2001-06-08) – November 26, 2003 (2003-11-26)

Time Squad is an American animated television series created by Dave Wasson, following the adventures of a trio of hapless "time cops", who travel back in time attempting to correct the course of history. The series ran on Cartoon Network from June 8, 2001, to November 26, 2003, airing 26 episodes in total. Wasson described the series as "a C-average student's approach to history."[1]

Plot[edit]

The show is set in the year 100,000,000 AD, on a satellite which orbits Earth. This future Earth is never visited directly, though it is referred in dialogue as a peaceful utopia where there are no longer any problems to solve. All nations of the world have merged into one, and, according to Tuddrussel, there are "no wars, no pollution, and bacon is good for your heart".

Despite this cheerful vision of the future, the space station on which the characters live and from which they travel to the past is remarkably dystopic. It features a shooting range, a terrarium, and a prison for repeat offenders, but it is dank, outdated (for the time) and unclean. Mostly this seems to be down to Officer Buck Tuddrussel, a scruffy and immature perennial bachelor, who nevertheless happens to be the station's most senior officer. There were also several accidents aboard the Time Squad Space Station; most notable of which is the terrarium being broken after Tuddrussel plays golf and breaks the glass shell of the station. This action seems to have no consequences in future episodes.

The only other official member of Buck's unit is Larry 3000, a translator robot and former diplomat who was rendered more or less obsolete when all of the world's nations merged. Buck's mindless machismo clashes with Larry's effete sensibilities, and the two bicker terribly. Added to this the fact that neither of them has any great knowledge of history, they made a rather poor team together.

However, when they encounter Otto Osworth, a 10-year-old orphan who happens to be a history genius from the 21st century, he is quickly recruited and added to the team. Otto is shown to be the only one on the team with any enthusiasm or competence for the job. The problem is, neither of the other two are particularly willing to listen to his advice, and he must often resort to trickery to make sure the mission is completed.

Premise[edit]

The Time Squad organization is set up to ensure that history is maintained and the future protected. According to Larry 3000 in the episode "Napoleon the Conquered", "time is like a rope", and, as it is woven at one end, ages and gradually unravels and frays at the other. In the context of the show, this often means that historical figures have made different, sometimes anachronistic, choices in life (see free will), and as such will not be able to fulfill the role that history says they fulfilled. An early example of this shows Eli Whitney failing to invent the cotton gin, instead creating a horde of flesh-eating robots (stemming from a desire to create something beneficial to mankind, and a failure to realize that flesh-eating robots would not in fact fulfill that).[2] According to creator Dave Wasson, "We started by basically knowing what a guy did in history, then found the most outlandish way he could go wrong."[3]

Characters[edit]

  • Otto Osworth (voiced by Pamela Adlon): Otto is a 10-year-old boy. He is freed from his orphanage by Larry and Buck when they miscalculated a mission to 2001. He was more than willing to leave the orphanage and became an unofficial member of the team. Although Otto has an enormous memory of history in nearly every field, deep down he is still a child, and easily gets along with Tuddrussel's immature, childlike attitude. In truth, he is the only member of the team to actually enjoy the history aspect of his job. Otto is the conscience of the group. He's always wanting to do the right thing and becomes quickly angered by Tuddrussel and Larry's selfishness and will not put up with the crazy and absurd antics of historical figures. He often finds himself to be the only one capable of handling the mission, sometimes solving the problem with psychological methods. Other times he has to resort to trickery and pranks. Though a self-proclaimed book worm, and shown as being a weak child, Otto can enjoy activities such as fishing and playing baseball.
  • Beauregard "Buck" Tuddrussel (voiced by Rob Paulsen): A burly time cop in the peak of physical condition, Buck is less like a father to Otto and more like a carefree uncle. His obsessions are guns and beating people up, although he has a generally nice disposition. Tuddrussel is a total fanatic when it comes to justice, which is why he had a "Maximum Security" prison installed on the station for people in history who refused to set history right. He takes every opportunity on a mission to shout out his catchphrases: "IT'S GO TIME!" and "GET SOME!" He frequently bickers with Larry, whose gentlemanly behavior and seriousness often clash with Tuddrussel's immature machismo.
Tuddrussel's facemask and goggles seem to be permanently stuck to his head (his goggles resemble those of the X-Men's Cyclops), as it is the only part of his uniform he has never removed. He takes immense pride in his Southern heritage, most of his history knowledge centered around events such as the Alamo and Western characters such as Billy the Kid. His intellect seems to fluctuate depending on the situation, as he has expressed scientific knowledge from time to time. According to Dr. Freud, Tuddrussel suffers from an over-active super ego, which causes him to force his will on those around him, which in turn causes Larry to resent him. For a man whose job involves the stability of time, Tuddrussel has shown an ironic disinterest and ignorance to the historical events he maintains.
  • Lawrence "Larry" 3000 (voiced by Mark Hamill): Originally designed as a diplomat, Larry was put into Time Squad service when the world's nations all joined together in the year one million, an event which turned out to be the worst thing to ever happen to him, second only to being saddled in Tuddrussel's unit. He is the only one capable of operating the time-traveling technology and most of the technology aboard the space station. Larry is also often shown to be grumpy and pessimistic, but it is not uncommon for him to show enthusiasm and joy. According to Dr. Freud Larry suffers from acute self-doubt, which makes him passive aggressive and manipulative in nature. He is an expert chef, although Otto is the only one who seems to appreciate his rare delicacies, as Buck just wants a cheese burger. He is also skilled at needlepoint, computers, and household chores, though he gets little to no appreciation from Tuddrussel. Although Larry expresses deep disdain for Tuddrussel, deep down he does value his friendship[citation needed]. David Wasson, the series creator, admits that Larry is a parody of C-3PO from the Star Wars series of films (which happened to feature Mark Hamill, Larry's voice, as Luke Skywalker).[4]

Other Time Squad units[edit]

  • Sheila Sternwell (voiced by Jennifer Martin): Sheila is a capable and effective lieutenant in the Time Squad ranks. She has a no-nonsense attitude for her job and ultimately has the best example of what a Time Squad unit should be. Her personality can be best described as intelligent, logical and serious, but quite fair in the long run. As she is rather soft on Tuddrussel even though he is often the cause of bigger historical inaccuracies. She also takes notice of Otto with approval and never says anything about him in her report, for both Tuddrussel and Otto's sake. In her first appearance it is revealed she was married to Tuddrussel at one point. But after thinking about what she had done and realizing it would never work out because they were in two different worlds of their own, she got a divorce, which Tuddrussel seems to both regret and appreciate.
  • XJ5 (voiced by Daran Norris): XJ5 is Sheila's robotic partner. As Sheila is the exact opposite of Tuddrussel, XJ5 is Larry's opposite. He is cool, calm and collected, and rarely complains about his job. He is also much more technologically advanced, not to mention capable, than Larry and enjoys rubbing it in his face. When Sheila displayed interest in Tuddrussel, he became concerned.
  • J. T. Laser (voiced by Jim Wise): J.T. Laser is one of Time Squad's best agents, and was voted most likely to become Time Squad commissioner by his graduating class. Idolized by Tuddrussel, who tries to deny the fact that J.T. was in fact a jerk who would always pull pranks and obviously try to get him hurt and/or possibly killed since the days of when they were at the academy for training.
  • Lance 9,000,000,000,000 (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson): J. T. Laser's robotic partner. Lance is just like J.T.; Cool, suave, and over all a selfish jerk. Also like J.T., he is idolized by a "Nerd" too, Larry. Lance is considered a robot of advanced and sophisticated technology, and he certainly knows it.

Cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Additional voices[edit]

Reception[edit]

Steven Linan of the Los Angeles Times compared the series to Jay Ward's Sherman and Mister Peabody shorts from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. He called Time Squad "mediocre" and "briskly paced but rarely funny."[5]

Award nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2001 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement in a Primetime or Late Night Animated Television Production[6] Cartoon Network Studios Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Production Design in an Animated Television Production[6] Tim Biskup Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production[6] Pamela Adlon
as Otto Osworth for "Eli Whitney's Flesh Eating Mistake"
Nominated
2002 Outstanding Character Design in an Animated Television Production[7] Alex Kirwan
for "The Clownfather"
Nominated
Outstanding Production Design in an Animated Television Production[7] Dave Wasson
for "Keepin' It Real With Sitting Bull"
Nominated

Promotions[edit]

Cartoon Network and Subway partnered to release five Time Squad-themed toys in Subway Kids Paks. The promotion lasted from September 30 to November 17, 2002.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bernstein, Paula (February 21, 2001). "Cartoon Net Gives Go to 4 New Shows". Variety (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  2. ^ "Eli Whitney's Flesh-Eating Mistake". Time Squad. Season 1. Episode 1. June 8, 2001. Cartoon Network.
  3. ^ Keveney, Bill (June 8, 2001). Life. "'Time Squad' Aims to Rewrite History". USA Today. p. 15E. 
  4. ^ Macmillan, Alissa (June 8, 2001). "'Time Squad' Reanimates Some Big Names". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on June 12, 2012. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  5. ^ Linan, Steven (June 8, 2001). "'Time Squad' Mixes History, Humor". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  6. ^ a b c "29th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2001)". AnnieAwards.org. ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  7. ^ a b "30th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2002)". AnnieAwards.org. ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  8. ^ "Subway and Cartoon Network Partner". QSR Magazine (Journalistic). September 3, 2002. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 

External links[edit]