Carmen Sandiego (TV series)
This article is about the 2019 TV series. For the 1991-1996 series, see Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? (TV show).
|Based on||Carmen Sandiego|
|Theme music composer||Jared Lee Gosselin|
|Opening theme||"Carmen Sandiego"|
performed by Raquel Castro
|Country of origin|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||9|
|Running time||24–33 minutes|
|Original release||January 18, 2019 –|
Carmen Sandiego is a Netflix animated action-adventure series with educational elements, based on the media franchise of the same name created by Broderbund. The series is produced by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt with DHX Media serving as the production company, and contains a "serialized look at Carmen’s backstory that is told from her perspective". Serving as an origin story for the fictional thieving villain of the same name, it is the fourth Carmen Sandiego television show after the PBS game shows World and Time, and the Fox animated series Earth; it is also the first Carmen Sandiego show since the end of Earth in 1999.
The first season was released on January 18, 2019. In February 2019, it was announced that the series had been renewed for a second season.
"Carmen is a modern day Robin Hood traveling the globe and stealing from V.I.L.E. (Villain's International League of Evil) and giving back to its victims. Carmen is publicly perceived as a criminal by most law enforcement agencies – correction, make that a master criminal due to the sheer scale and theatricality of her heists. We will follow her escapades and get to determine not only where but who in the world is Carmen Sandiego?"
- Gina Rodriguez as Carmen Sandiego, the eponymous heroine seeking to dissolve V.I.L.E. and donate their stolen funds to humanitarian causes. This Carmen is notably different than previous incarnations, who were leaders of V.I.L.E. and lady thieves. She takes her name from the tag in her hat, since her code name, "Black Sheep", was the only name she previously knew.
- Finn Wolfhard as Player, a white-hat hacker from Niagara Falls, Ontario who helps Carmen plan her heists.
- Abby Trott as Ivy, a Bostonian girl helping Carmen with her younger brother Zack. She joins Carmen after helping on the heist of a Donut shop which was a V.I.L.E. front.
- Michael Hawley as Zack, a Bostonian boy helping Carmen with his older sister Ivy. He joins Carmen after helping on the heist of a Donut shop which was a V.I.L.E. front.
- Rafael Petardi as Chase Devineaux, French Interpol Agent turned A.C.M.E. Detective
- Petardi also voiced Boat Captain
- Charlet Chung as Julia Argent, British Interpol Agent turned A.C.M.E. Detective
- Chung also voiced Shopkeeper
- Dawnn Lewis as Chief, Head of A.C.M.E. - the Agency to Classify & Monitor Evildoers. She is inspired by the Chief from the PBS game shows, played by Lynne Thigpen.
- Liam O'Brien as Professor Gunnar Maelstrom, a member of the head faculty at V.I.L.E. teaching psychological manipulation.
- O'Brien also voiced Vlad, Boris, Art Forger, Driver
- Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as Coach Brunt, Carmen's "mama bear" when she was growing up, and a member of the head faculty at V.I.L.E. teaching combat and physical training.
- Paul Nakauchi as Shadow-san, a master thief and swordsman, and a member of the head faculty at V.I.L.E. teaching stealth.
- Sharon Muthu as Dr. Saira Bellum, one of V.I.L.E.'s head faculty and master inventor teaching technology and science.
- Muthu also voiced nameless A.C.M.E. Agent, Agent Zari, Dr. Jeanine Dennam
- Toks Olagundoye as Countess Cleo, one of V.I.L.E.'s head faculty teaching culture and class.
- Olagundoye also voiced News Announcer
- Michael Goldsmith as Graham, AKA Gray (Crackle), Carmen’s former best friend and older brother figure at V.I.L.E.
- Kari Wahlgren as Sheena (Tigress)
- Wahlgren also voiced Auctioneer, Female Tourist
- Andrew Pifko as Antonio (El Topo)
- Pifko also voiced Miro
- Bernardo De Paula as Jean Paul (Le Chevre)
- De Paula also voiced Archaeologist, Auctioneer, Computer
- Rita Moreno as Cookie Booker, V.I.L.E.'s book keeper and financier. Rita Moreno was the voice of Carmen Sandiego in the 1994 animated series.
- Carla Tassara as Pilar Marquez, an Ecuadorian Archaeologist.
- Troy Baker as Dash Haber, Countess Cleo's personal assistant
- Kimiko Glenn as Paper Star, a psychopathic master of origami weapons and a V.I.L.E. agent
On April 14, 2017, Hollywood insider information site The Tracking Board reported that they had exclusively learned of an animated Carmen Sandiego project at Netflix, that Gina Rodriguez as the voice of the titular character. The site reported that the 20-episode series would aim to be "as educational as it is entertaining", in keeping with the style of the franchise. It was later confirmed that the series will be called Carmen Sandiego. Rodriguez confirmed the story via her Twitter feed the following day in response to a Hypable story, which compared the news to that of a Kate McKinnon-led revival of The Magic School Bus. Carmen Sandiego was set to appeal to a wider audience (ages 6–11), plus the parents of those kids and fans of the original series. On April 18 and 19, the news began to be published by reputable news sites, where it was confirmed that Netflix had rebooted the franchise on TV by ordering twenty 22-minute episodes of Carmen Sandiego, which would premiere in 2019 and with Gina Rodriguez in the starring role. Rotoscopers noted that this was "more than most Netflix Originals receive". The Hollywood Reporter noted that Rita Moreno, who voiced Carmen in the FOX animated series Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?, had recently guest-starred on Rodriguez's show Jane the Virgin. The new series was described as having "thrilling adventure and intrigue", while offering an "intimate look into Carmen's past" and what inspired her career choices, essentially answering the question "Who in the world [is] Carmen Sandiego?" while simultaneously following her on her thieving escapades.
Caroline Fraser, Head of HMH Productions, is the Executive Producer of the series. Duane Capizzi, known for Transformers Prime and the Batman, is the showrunner and Co-Executive Producer. Kevin Dart serves as visual designer. It is a production by DHX Media, providing animation, and Chromosphere, providing the design work. DHX Media is the current owner of the library of DIC Entertainment, the animation studio which produced the Earth animated series. The series is produced by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, who own the rights to the franchise after their corporate predecessor Riverdeep acquired the property in 2002. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the series followed in the wake of Bill Nye Saves the World and Julie's Greenroom. Finn Wolfhard is signed on to lend his voice to the character Player, who is described as Carmen's chief accomplice and friend. Another character called "Player" was featured in Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?, but this character was a fourth wall-breaking live action boy who bookended the show and interacted with Carmen, implied to be the player of a video game featuring her. E Online reported that the new series would be called, simply, "Carmen Sandiego".
Rodriguez, who had first learned about the series through the PBS gameshow Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, asserted that the new Carmen Sandiego origin series was "tight", "well written", "really, really good", and "unbelievable". She mentioned that Netflix was a home for great programming and that the show had partnered with talented illustrators. She added that despite being entertaining, the show would still provide geographic and historical education.
Andy Yeatman, Netflix director of global kids content, noted “We think there’s a huge benefit of having a program that parents remember fondly and grew up with. We are giving them the opportunity to introduce it to their kids and spark a conversation", noting that while the service pitched reboots of many '80s and '90s shows, Carmen Sandiego was one that "made sense" and "really stood out". They responded to the fact that this is not a show that is perennially rebooted, as the last Carmen Sandiego series ended 20 years before this new series would premiere, and that there are interesting ways to retell the story.
In March 2018, Netflix also ordered a live-action film of Carmen Sandiego, once again with Rodriguez as the titular character.
On February 15, 2019, it was announced that Netflix had renewed the series for a second season.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||"Becoming Carmen Sandiego" (Part 1)||Jos Humphrey and Kenny Park||Duane Capizzi||January 18, 2019|
|In the present, Carmen Sandiego robs the Poitiers estate of Countess Cleo, a V.I.L.E. Academy professor, and is pursued by French Interpol Inspector Chase Devineaux and his junior partner Julia Argent. Fleeing the scene, Carmen is found by her old classmate Graham, a V.I.L.E. Agent codenamed "Crackle" - as she lured him to a train knowing there was a tracker in the item she stole. In the past, Carmen, a mischievous orphan, grows up on V.I.L.E. Isle and enrolls in V.I.L.E. Academy, a school for thieves, the academy’s underage person to do so. Given the code name Black Sheep, she makes fast friends and enemies. When pickpocketing a phone from a staff member, she is called by a white hat hacker called "Player" who hacked into the V.I.L.E. network, and the two build a covert friendship. When Black Sheep takes her final exams, she fails a test with Professor Shadow-san, and cannot graduate.|
|2||"Becoming Carmen Sandiego" (Part 2)||Jos Humphrey and Kenny Park||Duane Capizzi||January 18, 2019|
|Seeing her friends going on their first mission, Carmen crashes the graduates' caper, touching down at an archaeological dig site. There, Carmen meets with the dig leader and develops an appreciation for history and culture, but the camp soon comes under attack by the graduates. She saves the lives of the workers, but is captured and returned to V.I.L.E. Isle; but learning the truth about V.I.L.E. sets her on a new path: stealing from them to dissolve the organization. Getting her phone back, she calls Player and steals a hard-drive with all of V.I.L.E.'s funding for the next year. In the present, she recounts her origin to Crackle, who she defeats and leaves for Inspector Devineaux. Meanwhile, Agent Argent finds the diamond she thought Carmen was stealing, while Carmen instead took back lost trinkets from her childhood.|
|3||"The Sticky Rice Caper"||Kenny Park||May Chan||January 18, 2019|
|Escaping on the River Seine, a pair of unidentified agents pursue Carmen, but she escapes with the help of her partners: Boston siblings Zack and Ivy. Player navigates Carmen, Zack and Ivy to a secret lab in Java, Indonesia, where V.I.L.E. is developing a fungus designed to destroy the country's rice supply, to shill in a market for their V.I.L.E. Brand rice. Meanwhile, before Devineaux and Argent can interview Crackle, the 'Cleaners' pick him up and take him back to V.I.L.E. Isle and erase all evidence he was there. V.I.L.E. also orders Tigress, another of Carmen's old classmates, to intercept her. Carmen's team track the supply truck carrying the bioweapon to a festival, planning to covertly disperse the fungus in fireworks, but Carmen and company succeed in stopping Tigress and destroy the fungus. After the festival, Crackle is brought before Professor Bellum for a debriefing, and she plugs a device on his head. The next day, the two unknown agents from Paris, get a call from their Chief to begin "Plan B".|
|4||"The Fishy Doubloon Caper"||Jos Humphrey||Becky Tinker||January 18, 2019|
|While exploring a shipwreck off the coast of Ecuador, Carmen stumbles upon hidden treasure, but her old classmate "El Topo" battles her underwater while his partner "Le Chevre" confronts Zack and Ivy. The chase continues to the mainland after a tuna swallows an old coin; Chevre and Topo pursue the coin, believing if Carmen is after it then it must be worth a fortune. Carmen meets with Dr. Pilar Marquez, who tells Carmen of the 1830 Ecuadorian dabloon's historical value, prompting Carmen to find it and return it to the doctor. Reaching a fish market in Quito, Carmen faints from altitude sickness, but Pilar finds and treats her. After Zack and Ivy find the right fish, a fight with Topo and Chevre allows Carmen a chance to reclaim the coin without their knowing. Carmen gives the coin to Pilar, and the two part ways as friends, as Carmen must intercept another V.I.L.E. target in the Rijksmuseum. Meanwhile, after Devineaux and Argent part ways after a long day, two agents kidnap Devineaux to have a holographic conference call with the Chief of A.C.M.E. to have him join. But during their call, Argent finds them and is recruited as well.|
|5||"The Duke of Vermeer Caper"||Kenny Park||Greg Enstrom||January 18, 2019|
|In Amsterdam, Carmen goes undercover to stop Countess Cleo, the mastermind who's been replacing priceless paintings with amazingly accurate forgeries. To do this, she steals the last Vermeer painting on the list, and sets up a meeting. But at the hotel room awaiting their contact, Zack mistakenly opens the door to Countess Cleo's assistant Dash Haber, giving them only 24 hours to turn the bumbling Bostonian boy into a convincing Duke. Elsewhere, Devineaux and Argent search for "The Dutchess", unaware that she is Carmen's alias to infiltrate Cleo's gathering. After preparing Zack and following from a safe reach, Carmen finds Devineaux following them, and eludes him again. As Zack meets the Countess, Carmen infiltrates her manor to switch the stolen painting collection with blanks, but is running out of time. When dinner ends and dessert is being handed out, Cleo surprises everyone with Caviar, and Zack hates fish which causes a moment of suspicion for Cleo, until Devineaux arrives to warn them that Carmen Sandiego is on the property; coincidentally allowing Carmen the extended time needed to steal all the paintings. Cleo is surprised to hear this until she sees a red cloak woman motor-skiing away, but still finds her collection gone. Devineaux catches up with "Carmen", but it's Ivy pretending to be a tourist in a red cloak angry at Devineaux's recklessness following her, while Zack and Carmen escape with the paintings. The next day, A.C.M.E. finds the manor destroyed and no trace remaining, as well as all Vermeer paintings returned. In Sydney, Crackle gets off a bus in front of the Sydney Opera House.|
|6||"The Opera in the Outback Caper"||Jos Humphrey||Becky Tinker||January 18, 2019|
|Heading to Australia on a lead, Carmen visits the Sydney Opera House for during a coincidentally named showing of "Carmen". Crackle's there too, but he doesn't recognize Carmen and is identified by his real name Graham, confusing Carmen as to what V.I.L.E. could have done to him. Carmen finds and tangles with V.I.L.E. operative Le Chevre in the catwalk, but instead of finishing her, he deploys a low-frequency device and leaves. Analyzing the data from Carmen's comms, Player finds a hypnotic suggestion by Dr. Saira Bellum, intended for Jeanine Dennam, a rocket scientist working at Helio-Gem, at the opera; Carmen realizes she too was affected. Outside the opera, Carmen meets with Graham again, and he asks her to a date hoping she'll make it. Reaching the outback in the morning with their guide, Miro, they tour around Uluru, the sacred rock of his people. Player calls Carmen, and deduces V.I.L.E.'s plan: launch a defective rocket to rain debris over the outback, to force Helio-Gem to shutdown, and allowing V.I.L.E. to take over government contracts. heading to the launch station, Zack and Ivy work to keep Dennam in check, while Carmen works to keep the rocket grounded. Elsewhere, El Topo hacks into the station's audio system playing the trigger music; as Zack and Ivy restrain Dennam, Carmen is affected and starts the launch sequence, giving the team only 3 minutes. Player alerts Zack and Ivy, as they handle Topo and Chevre respectively, and with the two villains driven away, Carmen returns to normal and stops the rocket in time. That night, Carmen goes to the café to meet Graham, but decides that he'll be happier and safer without 'Carmen Sandiego' in his life. On V.I.L.E. Isle, Professor Maelstrom assigns the next agent to fight Carmen Sandiego.|
|7||"The Chasing Paper Caper"||Kenny Park||Greg Enstrom||January 18, 2019|
|Professor Gunnar Maelstrom schemes for V.I.L.E. to steal all 17 pages of the Magna Carta from a Mumbai museum, with the skill of origami expert Paper Star. However, Shadowsan argues against it, viewing Paper Star as unpredictable, but is outvoted on the matter. In Mumbai, Carmen predicts Maelstrom's plan, and encounters Paper Star: her former classmate from her remedial year. Carmen fights her defensively, but is restrained and unable to stop Paper Star from taking the Magna Carta. The next morning, Devineaux and Argent follow clues from the museum and learn of Paper Star, but are unsure of her relationship to Carmen. When Le Chevre meets Paper Star at the rendezvous, she cuts his hands to make him confess the next drop location, seeing him as an easy mark for capture. Player finds Paper Star on surveillance and tracks her to a train, where Devineaux and Argent are also traveling on; Carmen cuffs Devineaux to a seat and swipes his A.C.M.E. ID Card. Carmen then meets Argent at her table for a short talk before leaving, but Argent realizes that she met her target and looks for Devineaux. Carmen and Paper Star clash once again in another train car, but Carmen gets the upper hand by leading the fight to the roof where the wind counters her origami stars and Carmen gets back the Magna Carta. When Argent finds Devineaux, Carmen covertly leaves the Magna Carta for Argent to find. When asking Player to hack Devineaux's A.C.M.E. keycard, she can't find it realizing Paper Star got a hold of it during their fight. On V.I.L.E. Isle, Paper Star submits the A.C.M.E. keycard as a consolation prize.|
|8||"The Lucky Cat Caper"||Jos Humphrey||May Chan||January 18, 2019|
|In foggy San Francisco, Carmen attends an elegant charity auction, and after buying a car from Zack's favorite film series, learns Mime Bomb stole a rare stamp worth $10 million, and follows his trail to Chinatown. When Mime Bomb calls in to report, Shadowsan sends in Tigress, but Coach Brunt believes something will go wrong and sends the Cleaners as unseen backup. A vote is called, but Bellum is too busy trying to hack the A.C.M.E. card, so she votes "yes" to get it out of her way. But when Mime Bomb spots Carmen observing him, he leaves the Lucky Cat statue he had in a shop. Yet, while Carmen and Tigress fight over it, Mime Bomb slips the stamp into Devineaux's coat as the Agent interrogates him, then releases him. Later on at Fisherman's Wharf, Tigress gets the stamp by covertly cutting through Devineaux's coat, leading Carmen, and by extent Devineaux, to a chase to the Golden Gate Bridge. Devineaux crashes the car into the river, while the Cleaners rendezvous to get Tigress, but Carmen manages to swipe the stamp from her and escape with Tigress' phone to call V.I.L.E. and gloat. As Coach Brunt mocks Shadowsan's decision, Dr. Bellum announces she at least found out the owner of the A.C.M.E. ID Card: Chase Devineaux.|
|9||"The French Connection Caper"||Kenny Park||Duane Capizzi||January 18, 2019|
|Upon learning Devineaux is the card owner, the V.I.L.E. faculty review his profile and recent events, concluding that wherever Carmen Sandiego went, Devineaux was there: Cleo's residence in Poitiers, Crackle after Carmen defeated him, and the stolen Vermeer art auction. They all conclude Carmen isn't working alone, theorizing Devineaux is a partner, so Shadowsan elects himself to go interrogate Devineaux, but on his way, Brunt elects to accompany him, and majority vote allows it. In Poitiers, Chief berates Devineaux for his losing or destruction of A.C.M.E. property, while she commends Argent for retrieving the Magna Carta. After the meeting, Devineaux argues with Argent that Carmen Sandiego is her "silent partner", but Argent believes Carmen is doing some covert good returning stolen works. Irritated, she asks if he bothered to consider V.I.L.E. a factor, but he doesn't think V.I.L.E. exists since A.C.M.E. has yet to prove so; he believes Carmen Sandiego is the only guilty party. Upon returning home, the Cleaners capture Devineaux, leaving a message on the Dark Web for Carmen which Player relays to her. Finding Devineaux in Poitiers, they find Brunt and Shadowsan using a mind probe on him, so Zack & Ivy distract the two. But when Zack is found by Brunt, she races to return to where Devineaux is held. Carmen rescues Devineaux, who triggers the comm-pen to call the Chief before passing out, and finally encounters Carmen; who shatters the pen. Argent is alerted by the Chief to Devineaux's location, and has backup on the way. Before Carmen can free Devineaux, Brunt returns and overwhelms Carmen with superior physical strength. As Brunt bear hugs Carmen to death, Shadowsan returns and stuns Brunt unconscious, then proceeding to help Carmen to a safe location, while the authorities arrive to help Devineaux. But Brunt wakes up before capture, and becomes suspicious when Shadowsan is nowhere to be found. Elsewhere, Shadowsan reveals he was the one who found Carmen as a baby in Argentina those nearly 20 years ago, and intentionally failed her, knowing she would reject evil. The day she escaped, he was trying to join her, but she got away before that could happen, so he kept the Cleaners from finding her. When informing Player, Shadowsan vanishes and leaves behind another V.I.L.E. data hard-drive for more capers. In the city, Argent reports to Chief that Devineaux's condition is unknown until tests are ran. The Chief, going off the few seconds she had with Carmen, believes she took his keycard to lure Devineaux into a trap, and did the mind probe on him and deems her a threat. Carmen then talks with Player about their next move.|
The announcement saw a positive response by the media, who appreciated the throwback, and a return for the Carmen Sandiego franchise to the small screen. TVShowsOnDVD wrote "It's awesome to see this franchise return to television". The Rolling Stone thought the TV series' origin story subject matter offers what was once one of "golden age of television's favorite thematic trappings". Commenting "children of the 90's rejoice", Maxim suggested that Netflix enlist the talents of World game show theme song performers Rockapella to provide music for the show. ScreenRant noted that "those who still hold fond memories of the property" would be intrigued as to what type of shape the new series will take; adding that it has a "storied legacy" to live up to and will likely take some inspiration from Earth. Dark Horizons expressed sadness that the show was two years away. WXIA-TV's Michael King said the news "has the Internet buzzing wildly". Toonzone wondered if the new show would maintain the established backstory of the red fedora-wearing villain, which in mid-to-late ‘90s canon involved Carmen Sandiego beginning as an A.C.M.E. agent before finding the work too easy so wanting to outsmart her former colleagues. Gizmodo thought the new series would "bring the character's trademark blend of edutainment to new audiences". Mashable said "fans demanding the series NOW". Pedestrian thought the trend toward series such as this was a sign that producers were aiming to " trap people in a downwards vortex of nostalgia ". Fortune suggested that the new show offered Netflix "huge merchandizing potential", and that the company could follow in the footsteps of Disney by creating a merchandising arm to support its shows. Rom-Game saw this as a sign that Netflix was "indirectly interested in gaming heritage". MiscRave mentioned how much potential the franchise with its interactive edutainment in a compelling package it previously had. NerdHQ noted that the new series offered an opportunity to resuscitate the "once-dormant" and "dying" franchise.
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