Tutenstein

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Tutenstein
Tutenstein logo.png
Format Animated series
Created by Jay Stephens
Directed by Bob Richardson
Norton Virgien
Rob LaDuca
Starring Jeannie Elias
Maryke Hendrikse
David Lodge
Crystal Scales
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 39 + 1 film
Production
Executive producer(s) William T. Bauman
Paul Cummins
Jessica Hanlon
Bruce D. Johnson
Running time 18-22 minutes per episode
Production company(s) Porchlight Entertainment
Discovery Kids Original Productions
Broadcast
Original channel Discovery Kids
Original run November 1, 2003 (2003-11-01) – October 11, 2008 (2008-10-11)

Tutenstein is an animated television series, produced by Porchlight Entertainment for Discovery Kids based on the comic by Jay Stephens which was published in Oni Press' JetCat Clubhouse. It also aired on Jetix in Europe and Maxi TV in Turkey. It began broadcasting on November 1, 2003. The half-hour series features young mummy Tutankhansetamun (based on real-life Tutankhamun and usually called "Tutenstein" as in the title) who is awakened about 3,000 years after his accidental death and now must face that his kingdom is gone. The name is a portmanteau of Tutankhamun and Frankenstein. On October 11, 2008 a TV movie entitled Tutenstein: Clash of the Pharaohs aired on Discovery Kids.

The production company, PorchLight Entertainment, which is based in Los Angeles, California, has won Emmys for the first and second seasons of the series. Irish TV production company Telegael, which is based in An Spidéal, Co Galway, also won an Emmy Award for the second season.

The Hub aired the show until December 31, 2011 after the closure of Discovery Kids.

List of Tutenstein characters[edit]

Tut Ankh An Set Amun ("Tutenstein")[edit]

A very impulsive but kind hearted young mummy. Once he lived a lazy but, sadly, very short life. Tut died because he selflessly saved his old friend Nepkaa from being smashed by rocks from a temple that was collapsing, so himself was crushed to death. He couldn't remember that at the first place, but he found out at the Movie "Clash of the Pharaohs". Well, it's just like Tut said: "Being Pharaoh can be hazardous to your health". Tutenstein died at the age of 10, reawakened about three thousand years later by Cleo, so his age in the current time is 3,010 years. His nickname, Tutenstein, is a play on words on Frankenstein, often shortened to Tut. He often has trouble with many gods or ancient scripts, for example getting punished by Isis for cheating at the game of Senet. His only friends are Luxor and Cleo. When he's not doing something he shouldn't, Tut spends most of his free time in his sarcophagus because he must hide all day, which is really boring for him. He is the owner of the Scepter of Was and he often likes to play Senet with Cleo. And he is addicted to sweets, especially ice cream, or 'creamed ice' like he says it. The museum where he lives is believed to be located in Brooklyn, New York City or even Manhattan, because of the way the landscape looked when the ground shook in the episode when the Crown of Geb was stolen and Geb shook the ground with his laugh.

Interestingly, despite the god Set's antagonism toward Tut, the Pharaoh's name references him. Tut was first voiced by Jeannie Elias, followed by Maryke Hendrikse then finally, by Donna Cherry.

Cleo Carter[edit]

A 12 year old African American girl who wants to become an egyptologist, because her father, who died in an expedition, was also one. After chasing her cat, Luxor, she accidentally brought Tut back to life. She tends to argue with Tut, complaining about his impulsiveness and outspokenness, but she always does it in a very rude and unceremonious way. She is often forced to help Tut set things right, although she actually don't feel like it. She would prefer Tut to stay nice and quiet in his sarcophagus all day, because she is afriad someone would find out about him being a living mummy. Most of time it's very obvious that she don't really wants to spend time with him, she rather goes skateboarding or hanging out with her friend Natasha. Typically, she tries to stop Tutenstein doing the wrong thing but because of her impudence and incomplete explanations, he pays no attention to it. She always has her pocket computer, letting her gain instant access to facts about Egypt. Her first name references the female pharaoh, Cleopatra, while her last name references Howard Carter, who discovered Tutankhamun's tomb. It is often implied that she might be a descendant of the real Cleopatra. Cleo looks like her mom, but she misses her dad very much. Her favorite color is pink.

Cleo Carter is voiced by Eriana Erion.

Luxor[edit]

Cleo's pet cat. Once was just an ordinary cat, but when Tut was brought back to life, he was compelled to be ever loyal to his new "master" and has gained the ability to talk. Luxor is often the voice of reason for Tut. He can be gullible at times. Like in episode Cleo's Catastrophe, the goddess Bastet is so angry at how Luxor is treated by Tut that she took him away to live with her in cat paradise. When Cleo and Tut came rescue him they told Bastet just how much that they love and care for Luxor. But in the end it was Luxor who decides to return home with Cleo and Tut. The goddess Bastet is pleased to know just how much he truly love them. He is voiced by David Lodge.

Walter Jacobs[edit]

Referred to as "Jacobs" by the professor, Walter is the security guard at the museum. He often is the one to notice strange things around the museum, only to be laughed at by others. He is often seen at his desk eating or listening to the radio. Walter has a brother named George who's a security guard at the mall and who appears to be smarter at this job, but is just as bad at it. In the movie Clash of the Paraohs it is shown that Walter's ancestor was even dummer than he was. In the episode Walter the Brain, Tut is tired of Walter's slowness and casts a spell to make him smart which results in Walter getting into trouble with one of the gods. As a result, Tut has to make Walter slow again. It is also made known that Tut considers Walter to be stupid.

Professor Horace Behdety[edit]

The haughty professor who works at the museum. He Tends to boss around Walter and always tries to gain more publicity (primarily for himself before the museum). A running gag in the series was that people kept misspelling his name to things such as "Bedwetty". Professor Behdety seems to think that Walter's crazy and needs professional help, but on the other hand he has occasionally see strange things too. The professor also has a low tolerance for Walter and once tried to fire him. As said by the professor in one episode it is clear that he thinks that Walter is stupid, but when he sees a smart Walter he changes his mind about and then he considers him to be a smarty pants. He also underpays his staff, and makes Walter do hard and unrequired tasks, He often relies on Cleo because she works for free. In the episode Walter The Brain, it is revealed that Tut thinks that he is grouchy and arrogant. In the movie Clash Of the Pharaohs, Tut believes that the professor's ancestor is so much better him because he really knows how to gravel. The Professor's name is a parody of the falcon god Horus, who was also called Behdety.

The Professor is voiced by Lex Lang.

Dr. Roxanne Vanderwheele[edit]

The Professor's colleague, an extremely bright young scholar and thoroughly modern archaeologist. Dr. Vanderwheele has devoted her life to researching the history and culture of ancient Egypt. In contrast to the Professor, she is open-minded and up-to-date on all technology related to the modern methods of archaeology, and she is also a mentor to Cleo. She also really seems fond of the Tut-Ankh-An-Set-Amun exhibit. Dr. Vanderwheele loves Luxor, and Cleo's nickname for her is "Dr. V". In the episode There's Something About Natasha, Tut mentions that he thinks she's lovely and addmits that she's not a bad looker.

Natasha[edit]

Natasha is Cleo's best friend. She doesn't really know much about Tut, but has seen him a few times, remaining oblivious to his being an actual mummy. Tut became infatuated with her and wanted to make her his queen, so he placed her under a love spell. The Boy King decided to remove it when he realized that the two really had nothing in common. Natasha has no recollection of this. Natasha also has the bad habit of lying, which often leads to her own undoing. Natasha has a little brother. Cleo's nickname for Natasha is "Nat". Natasha has a crush on Kyle. In the episode "The Truth Hurt's", she is portrayed as a liar and somehow gains Cleo's trust again. Natasha seems to be one of the main friends in the picture, though Cleo has two other girl friends.

Kyle[edit]

Kyle is another one of Cleo's friends and has a crush on Natasha. Like Natasha, Kyle is oblivious to Tut being a mummy, even after actually seeing him. He does however consider Tut to be a loser. He always wants to prove his 'coolness', and he's not the smartest.

Jake[edit]

Jake is one of Cleo's friends and her secret crush. She always wants to impress him with her skateboarding skills. Like Cleo's other friends, Jake knows virtually nothing about Tut, though he has seen him once. He is not very bright and doesn't talk much.

Set[edit]

The Egyptian god of chaos, destruction, and disorder, and the main antagonist of the series. For thousands of years, Set has been condemned to the darkest pit of the Egyptian underworld. The reason for this is for his assault on his brother, Osiris. He dismembered Osiris and scattered his body parts across the world. Although Osiris was brought back together by his wife Isis, Osiris' son, Horus, confronted Set and exiled him to the pits of the Underworld. But when Tut was brought back from the dead, Set saw his chance to gain the ultimate symbol of power, the Scepter of Was. He dispatched three of his demonic servants (Khesef, Sekhem, and Hemhety) to retrieve it and was almost released. But with the help of Cleo and Luxor, Tut sent Set and his demonic minions back to the underworld. From that day on, Set has tried multiple attempts to gain the Scepter and not only escape his imprisonment, but to conquer both the human world and avenge himself on the other Egyptian gods. But no matter what he does, Tut always seems to thwart him (though sometimes it's Cleo). Since he is unable to enter the "overworld", Set usually dispatches the demons and monsters at his command to do his dirty work. And as the series went on, Set also became obsessed with trying to destroy Tut as well as obtaining the scepter (to achieve this goal, he even tried to get rid of Cleo). In the first 2 seasons, Set occasionally dispatched his 3 main minions: Khesef and Sekhem, a pair of Jackel-headed demons; and Hemhety, a large zombie-like demon. But in the 3rd season, Set has dispatched a variety of other demons, most of which seem to be mindless brutes, willing to serve their master in sincere devotion. However, in 3 episodes, it was revealed that Set had at least three minions who were competent at what they did; Pa-Hemu, Denwen and Telal. It is also inclined in the episode "Into the Past", that there might be some humans under Set's control as well. Set is always spying on Tut and everyone else in the over world. Set believes that ruling the world is his destiny and that his rightful place is ruler of the world. Set is voiced by David Lodge.

The Demons of the Underworld[edit]

The demons of the underworld often play a large role in the show. Sometimes Tut and Cleo go to the underworld and are menaced by them. But other times, the demons come to them and attack them in the human world. There seems to be all sorts of demonic creatures in the Egyptian underworld. Most of which are at the command of Set and are often after the Scepter of Was for their master. However, two baboon demons named "Maka" and "Hedj-Wer" are at the command of Thoth the god of wisdom, and they seem benevolent. But two giant demons in the underworld, Wenamoo and Nahahair, both seem to be neutral, stupid and dumb, but they are violent.

The Egyptian Gods[edit]

The almighty gods of ancient Egypt are often overseers of all the events of the immortal world and the underworld. Many of the ancient Egyptian gods have appeared in the series, either being disappointed in Tut's actions and punishing him for them or being summoned to assist him in his problems, be they minor or major. Osiris, the god of the dead, seems to be the leader of the Egyptian Gods. While Horus, the god of the sky, is their champion. Unlike Set, the other gods do not need to wait for a portal to be opened to enter the human world. All they require, is to either be summoned by Tut or anyone else, or if they simply wish to teleport themselves or someone from the Underworld to the Overworld and vice versa. They are Osiris, Isis, Ra, Horus, Anubis, Bastet, Thoth, Maat, Nut, Geb and many others.

Iris Carter[edit]

Cleo's mother is a construction engineer and a loving parent. She isn't aware of Cleo's friendship with Tutenstein, or that Luxor can talk. She has seen Tut once, but only knew him as the person Cleo told her he was, which is a student from the school play in costume. She also doesn't seem to know what happened to her husband. Her name, Iris, is similar to Isis and fits with the name reference of her daughter Cleo, named after Cleopatra who called herself the "Daughter of Isis".

Cleo's Father[edit]

A well experienced Egyptologist and Cleo's loving father. He disappeared a while before the show began and has remained gone without any real answers. Though his disappearance is hinted to have something to do with the "Mirror of Isis", in which it is possible that he is trapped in the mirror when the mirror showed him lost in an unknown area (possibly a labyrinth in the mirror). He was very interested in Egyptology and passed that knowledge down to his daughter, Cleo, who became interested in Ancient Egypt as well.

Thomas[edit]

Thomas is Cleo's 5 year old cousin. Thomas is very impressionable. When he first met Tut, he started to dress like him and wanted to hang out with him, which eventually led to Thomas getting sent to Underworld right into Set's hands. Thanks to Tut he made it out alive. Thomas has a pet hamster named Sponge Cake.

Nutka[edit]

Nutka is Tut's best friend from ancient times. The two of them loved pulling pranks on people, especially their friend Kapta. After Tut was mummified, Nutka kept scamming people and lost more friends. When he died, his punishment was to spend eternity as a ghost without a soul and to never be allowed into the Afterlife. When Tut cheated Isis, the goddess of wisdom, in a game of Senet, she sent Nutka to show Tut visions on his past, present, and future (a la A Christmas Carol). To help save his future, Tut played Isis in a rematch of Senet. When he lost, it turned out the real test was to see if he would cheat; since he didn't, he was safe from Nutka's fate. For helping Tut mend his ways, Nutka was freed as well and was granted entrance into the Afterlife.

Nutka is voiced by Jason Marsden

Katie[edit]

Katie is Cleo's childhood enemy and briefly became a rival for Jake's attention. Ever since they were both little kids, Katie has gone after every boy Cleo has ever liked. When she turned her sights to Jake, Cleo had Tut do what he could to help win Jake's affection. But the problem is, Tut went a bit too far, first by making Cleo irresistible to all boys, then by trying to remedy that situation, turning her into a griffin. When Cleo started acting more vicious, Jake became more worried about her and went back for her. Katie, on the other hand, was all for running for her life; she even offered up Jake to Cleo as a snack and ran away. She hasn't been seen since. She is voiced by Kate Higgins.

Hassan El Zabkar[edit]

El Zabkar is an old Egyptian American man who summoned Ammut. He thought that Tut was a curse (and this greatly angered the boy king) but soon realised that he was wrong after Tut saved him from Ammut. He then ran off believing there was no curse after all . El Zabkar later appears in "Friends" at the Mall buying a new Fez from the hat shop. El Zabkar is voiced by John Hurt in his American accent.

Ammut[edit]

Ammut is one of the evil Gods of the underworld. She was summoned by El Zabkar to eat Tut's heart, although she then turned on El Zabkar so she could eat his heart. However, Tut risked his heart to save El Zabkar and passed the test. Ammut looks like a mixture of a big cat, a crocodile and a hippo.

Historical accuracy[edit]

Many of the gods portrayed in the series resemble their historical portrayals and all the Egyptian myths mentioned in the show are genuine.[citation needed] The Scepter of Was being portrayed as an all-purpose magic wand is fictional, though the Was itself is a genuine Egyptian symbol. Unlike Tutankhamun, who died at the age of 18, this Tut (Tutahnkensetamun) died when he was 10. On the other hand, Tutenstein is drawn with a cleft lip, just like the real Tutankhamun. The ancient game senet did exist, but as no precise rules for the game have been preserved, the rules as shown in the series are not accurate.[1] Egyptologist Dr. Kasia Szpakowska served as a consultant to the series.

Episodes[edit]

Broadcast history[edit]

US

Europe

Australia

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Piccione, P. A. (1980), 'In search of the meaning of Senet', Archaeology, 33, 55-58.

External links[edit]