Fireman Sam

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Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam logo.svg
Logo of Fireman Sam
Genre Stop-motion (1987–2005)
CGI (2008–present)
Created by Dave Gingell
Dave Jones
Rob Lee
Written by Nia Ceidiog
Rob Lee
Voices of Steven Kynman
John Sparkes
Joanna Ruiz
Sarah Hadland
David Carling
Su Douglas
Tegwen Tucker
Narrated by John Alderton (1987–1994)
Music by Ben Heneghan
Ian Lawson
Country of origin Wales, United Kingdom
No. of series 10
No. of episodes 178 (state from 2016) (list of episodes)
Production
Producer(s) Ian Frampton
John Walker
Editor(s) Richard Bradley
William J. Oswald
Jane Murrell
Running time 10 minutes (series)
20 minutes (Christmas special episode)
Production company(s) Bumper Films (1987–1994)
HIT Entertainment (2003–present) (Mattel)
Xing Xing Management Group
Release
Original network CBBC (1987–2002)
CBeebies (2002–2008)
Channel 5 (2008–present)
Sprout (2005–2014)
Picture format 4:3 576i (1987–1996)
16:9 576i (2003–present)
Audio format
  • Stereo
  • 5.1 Surround Sound
Original release 17 November 1987 – present
Website

Fireman Sam is an animated comedy children's television series about a fireman called Sam, his fellow firefighters, and other residents in the fictional Welsh rural village of Pontypandy (a portmanteau of two real towns, Pontypridd and Tonypandy, which are situated approximately 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) apart in the South Wales valleys). The original idea for the show came from two ex-firemen from Kent, who took their idea to artist and writer Rob Lee who developed the concept, and the show was later commissioned and broadcast by the Welsh language channel S4C, in Welsh.

Fireman Sam first appeared as "Sam Tân" (Fireman Sam in Welsh), on S4C in 1987, and later that year on BBC1. The original series finished in 1994, and a new series that expanded the character cast commenced in 2003. The series was also shown in Gaelic in Scotland. The series was sold to over 40 countries and has been used across the United Kingdom to promote fire safety.

Development[edit]

The original idea came about from two ex-firemen from Kent – Dave Gingell and David Jones. They approached Mike Young, creator of SuperTed in Barry, Wales, and asked them to further 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 across the United Kingdom 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.[1]

In the original series, all the character voices were performed by John Alderton. The later series used several actors' voices.

History of the series[edit]

Original series[edit]

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 fellow villagers. He is seen as somewhat of a hero in the village. Despite being so small, and with so little activity, the village sees its fair share of fires, which Sam and his team can easily handle. The vehicles at the fire station include a four-wheeled Bedford TK fire engine called Jupiter, a six-wheeled 1982 Range Rover Rescue Tender named Venus, and Trevor's bus, a 1985 Ford Transit Dormobile. Sam's colleagues are Elvis Cridlington, Station Officer Basil Steele (renamed Norris Steele in the new series) and later Penny Morris (who hailed from Newtown with the firetender). The villagers are bus driver/auxiliary firefighter Trevor Evans, Italian café owner Bella Lasagne, Norman Price, Norman's mother Dilys Price, and the twins Sarah and James Jones. The objects include Bentley the Robot, M.O.P., and Mechanical Master Chef.

The original series aired on BBC One, CBBC and CBeebies since 1987, most commonly airing on CBeebies on a daily basis with repeats showing until 2008. In the original series produced by Bumper Films from 1987 to 1994, 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.[clarification needed]

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.[2]

2003 series[edit]

In 2003, 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. This series featured all the original characters, but also introduced some new faces, such as Tom Thomas, the Australian pilot of the rescue helicopter Wallaby One and the Mountain Rescue 4×4 Jeep, an unnamed photographer/news reporter, and the Flood family; consisting of Mike the plumber, his wife Helen the nurse, and their daughter Mandy. The updated Jupiter has six wheels, loosely based on a Bedford 6×4[citation needed], and Venus is loosely based on a heavily modified 4x4 Mini Cooper. The characters in this series were voiced by John Sparkes, Joanna Ruiz and Sarah Hadland. The series premiered on CBeebies in 2003 and repeats were shown until 2008.

The show's production companies were Hit Entertainment and Siriol Productions (2003–present), and its distributors were the BBC and S4C.[3]

2008–present series[edit]

The series was revamped in 2008 which saw the show convert to CGI. Pontypandy is now a seaside fishing village instead of a village set deep in the hills as in the early series, though most of the locations have retained their appearances. 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 café/fish-and-chip shop called 'Whole Fish Café'. The series is produced by Hibbert Ralph Animation in association with HIT Entertainment.

Jupiter was updated again, now loosely based on a Volvo FL6 truck. A yellow stripe as well as a grille were added to the front of the truck . Minor changes were made to Venus which included a water nozzle added to the top of its roof. Trevor's bus was updated to a more modern look with angled headlights. New vehicles introduced included Mike Flood's Van in the sixth season onwards, as well as Mercury, Saturn, Pontypandy Flyer, and Bessie which were introduced from the eighth season onwards.

The outfits were updated throughout the series (except for Norman Price). This included an update to the firefighter's outfits which added reflective stripes and extra badges to their coats. Dilys Price received a large makeover which saw her getting makeup, glasses, black hair, a necklace and an updated outfit. The rest of the characters also received minor updates to their clothing.

Many characters also had aspects of their personalities made more apparent. Norman Price is far more mischievous and inconsiderate than in the 2005 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 from the bottom. 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. At the same time, Steele is not afraid to unleash the child within him, showing an interest in kite flying and paper planes. He also occasionally causes emergencies himself, and always seems to gasp when an emergency comes in. Also Station Officer Steele's name has changed to Station Officer Norris Steele

Other changes include the removal of Bella, although her café can still be seen opposite Dilys' shop, now a 7-Eleven-esque convenience store called the "Cut Price Supermarket". It seems the Whole Fish Café and Bronwyn and Charlie have replaced them. Bella made her first appearance in CGI in the tenth season, where the reason behind her absence was revealed as her moving to Newtown. Penny also now has another string to her bow, as she is a trained lifeguard and the driver of Neptune (the village's lifeboat). Also Rosa and Dusty have been replaced by Lion, Nipper, and Radar.

Since 2012, additional characters were introduced: a firefighter named Chief Fire Officer Boyce, one animal called Norris the Guinea Pig, five new villagers named Derek Price, Moose Roberts, Gareth Griffiths, Lily, and Mrs Chen, and two new objects were the ukulele named Marjorie, AKA Marjorie Stays With Me, and a thermal heating tracking device named Saturn.

In 2014, other characters were introduced: a lifeguard named Ben Hooper, a mechanic named Joe Sparkes with his wife Lizzie Sparkes, and their daughter Hannah Sparkes. Also, new vehicles were introduced: a jet ski named Juno and a fire boat named Titan. Also in "Ultimate Heroes" or "Heroes of the Storm" There is Ellie Phillips and Arnold McKinley, new firefighter members. There is Hydrus (later Catfish or Wildcat) the 6-wheeled vehicle boat, and an unnamed Mobile Command Unit too.

The characters in this series were voiced by Steven Kynman, Tegwen Tucker, David Carling, and Su Douglas. Also in 2012, John Hasler, Ifan Huw Dafydd and Nigel Whitmey joined the cast. Alex Lowe and Jo Wyatt joined the cast in 2014.

CBeebies last aired Fireman Sam in early 2008, before Turner Broadcasting and Channel 5 started airing it from mid-2008.

Cast[edit]

  • John Alderton as Sam Jones (1st time), Elvis Cridlington (1st time), Station Officer Steele (1st time), Trevor Evans (1st time), Dilys Price (1st time), Bella Lasagne (1st time), Sarah Jones (1st time), James Jones (1st time), Norman Price (1st time), Rosa Lasagne (1st time), Narrator (1st time), M.O.P., Rusty Jones, Penny Morris (1st time), Bentley Jones, Chief Fire Officer Boyce (1st time)
  • Victor Spinetti as Narrator (2nd time)
  • Sarah Hadland as Penny Morris (2nd time), Bella Lasagne (2nd time), Helen Flood (1st time), Mandy Flood (1st time), Rosa Lasagne (2nd time)
  • Joanna Ruiz as Sarah Jones (2nd time), James Jones (2nd time)
  • John Sparkes as Sam Jones (2nd time), Elvis Cridlington (2nd time), Station Officer Steele (2nd time), Dilys Price (2nd time), Norman Price (2nd time), Trevor Evans (2nd time), Tom Thomas (1st time), Mike Flood (1st time), Woolly Sheep (1st time), Dusty Dog
  • Steven Kynman as Sam Jones (3rd time), Elvis Cridlington (3rd time), Norman Price (3rd time), James Jones (3rd time), Derek Price, Charlie Jones, Radar Dog, Nipper Jones, Lion Jones, Jerry Lee Cridlington
  • David Carling as Station Officer Steele (3rd Time), Chief Fire Officer Boyce (2nd time), Trevor Evans (3rd time), Tom Thomas (2nd time), Mike Flood (2nd time)
  • Su Douglas as Dilys Price (3rd time), Helen Flood (2nd time), Mandy Flood (2nd time), Lily Chen
  • Tegwen Tucker as Sarah Jones (3rd time), Penny Morris (3rd time), Bronwyn Jones, Mrs. Chen, Lambykins Sheep
  • John Hasler as James Jones (4th time), Arnold McKinley
  • Ifan Huw Dafydd as Gareth Griffiths-Jones
  • Nigel Whitmey as Moose Roberts, Norris Guinea Pig
  • Alex Lowe as Ben Hooper, Joe Sparkes
  • Jo Wyatt as Lizzie Sparkes, Hannah Sparkes
  • Harriet Kershaw as Ellie Phillips, Bella Lasagne (3rd time)
  • David Tennant as Buck Douglas
  • Maria Darling as Venus, Dynamite, Ice, Presto, Speeder, Drifter, Shovel, Amy

Characters[edit]

  • Arnold McKinley is the new fireman introduced in the latest feature-length special "Heroes of the Storm". It is him who gave the name "Hydrus" to the new rescue vehicle introduced at the end of this special. He attended the Newtown Fire Academy and was one of the best in his batch.
  • Bella Lasagne is the absent-minded village café owner, hailing from Italy and has since moved to Newtown, making various visits. Bella appears to be based on the real Welsh Italians who ran cafés known as "Bracchis" in South Wales Valleys.
  • Ben Hooper is the new coastguard who operates the ocean rescue center.
  • Bentley Jones was Fireman Sam's superhuman invention. He appears in Bentley the Robot and Fireman Sam in Action.
  • Bronwyn Jones (née Griffiths) is a Pontypandy citizen who runs the Wholefish Café and is the mother of Sarah and James. She is the wife of Charlie and the sister-in-law of Fireman Sam.
  • Buck Douglas is an alien-hunter and television presenter who will be introduced in the Fireman Sam special, Alien Alert.
  • Charlie Jones is a fisherman, Bronwyn's husband, Fireman Sam's brother and father of Sarah and James. He is running his fishing boat.
  • Chief Fire Officer Boyce hails from Newtown and visits Pontypandy.
  • Derek Price is Norman's cousin, Mr & Mrs Price's son.
  • Dilys Price runs the village shop. She is a well known gossip, and has great affection for Trevor, the bus driver (something which poor Trevor is too shy to act upon). Dilys is the mother of mischief-maker Norman Price, but is frequently blind to her son's troublesome ways. She dotes on her only child, or "Mummy's Little Darling" or My Little Treasure as she sometimes calls him. In the original series, Dilys is shown to be more snobbish than in the later series. She also appears to use malapropisms in her speech (for example, "historical" instead of "hysterical", "I'm suffering from smoke installation (inhalation)", and "I'm a very reprehensible (responsible) person, me"). She tells her son Norman to turn off the "eccentric" (electric) blanket given to Norman by his Nan. Dilys is also known to be self-centered; when she and Bella think they are going to be abducted by aliens, Bella says, "It's-a coming straight for us!", to which Dilys replies, "Stands to reason, if they want intelligent lifeforms," while looking disapprovingly at Bella.
  • Dusty is a stray flea-ridden dog that soon becomes the fire station's mascot.
  • Ellie Phillips is the new female firefighter introduced in the latest feature-length special "Heroes of the Storm". She attended the Newtown Fire Academy and was one of the best in the batch.
  • Elvis Cridlington who is named after the King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley for his Pompadour hairstyle and his admiration of Rock n roll provides a stark contrast to Sam in both competency and demeanour. His catchphrase is, "Great balls of fire."
  • Fireman Samuel 'Sam' Jones is referred to as the "hero next door", Charlie's older brother and Bronwyn's brother-in-law. He is the brave archetypal fireman and protector, 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 niece, Sarah and nephew, James. 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 band. On occasion his inventive streak can undermine his emphasis on fire safety. His catchphrase is "Great fires of London." and "Action stations everybody."
  • Gareth Griffiths is the father of Bronwyn, maternal grandfather of Sarah and James and Charlie's father-in-Law.
  • Hannah Sparkes is an eleven-year-old girl and Joe and Lizzie's daughter. She is the only child in Pontypandy to use a wheelchair.
  • Helen Flood is the nurse, mother of Mandy Flood, and wife of Mike Flood.
  • James & Sarah Jones are the relatively well-behaved six-year-old twins of Charlie and Bronwyn, 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 naughty twins in the 2008 series (i.e. insulting each other, having arguments, and sometimes being the cause of an emergency, but it is made clear they still care for each other). Sarah's catchphrase from 2012 is "I have/What a totally brilliant idea!" while James' is "Here I go."
  • Jerry Lee Cridlington is a new firefighter and Elvis' cousin. He made his debut in Castles in the Air as a replacement while Penny Morris was away for the day and whilst he was at the fire station he got Station Officer Steele confused as he thought Elvis was in two places at once. He resembles Elvis, though he has blond hair and according to Elvis, he is the better cook of the two.
  • Joe Sparkes is the village's mechanic and father of Hannah Sparkes.
  • Lamikins is a lamb that is Woolly's child. Norman also tries to look after Lamikins.
  • Lily Chen is the three-year-old daughter of Mrs Chen and youngest child on the show.
  • Lion is Bronwyn's striped, ginger cat.
  • Lizzie Sparkes is Joe's wife, Hannah's mum and the vet.
  • M.O.P. Jones is a robotic bin when to have Sam's plan he was to do to stop people to vehicles in the episode 'The Great Inventor'.
  • Mandy Flood is a seven-year-old girl and daughter to Helen and Mike Flood. Her behaviour is that of a bridge between naughty Norman and well-behaved Sarah & James.
  • Mike Flood is a handyman, husband of Helen, and father of Mandy Flood.
  • Moose Roberts is a famous mountain climber who hails from Canada and works at the Mountain Activity Centre.
  • Mrs Chen is the mother of Lily and the rather rude and bossy schoolteacher.
  • Norman 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 residents. He has shown interest in becoming a firefighter himself one day.
  • Nipper is Gareth's brown dog.
  • Norris is James and Sarah's guinea pig.
  • Penny Morris was the only female member of the Pontypandy fire brigade until 2016. In the original series, she only visited occasionally (hailing from Newtown fire station), and in the new series, she works at Pontypandy fire station 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's children – Sarah and James, Norman Price and Mandy Flood. A relationship between her and Elvis has been hinted more than once. It is also hinted that Penny is a vegetarian. Her catchphrase is: "Action stations at last" and "Stand by everybody".
  • Radar is a fire station Dalmatian dog.
  • Rosa is Bella's pet cat that often goes missing.
  • Station Officer Norris Steele, previously Station Officer Basil Steele in the original series 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 fire station. His catchphrase in the original 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.
  • Tom Thomas is a helicopter pilot who hails from Australia. He helps with certain emergencies if the firefighters need his assistance.
  • Trevor Evans is a West Indian former auxiliary fireman with the Pontypandy brigade. His job is as the village's bus driver. He is known for his fondness for cricket, his fear of heights, 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.
  • Woolly is a sheep that Norman tries to look after.
  • WP was the call sign of fire control during the first four seasons of Fireman Sam. It is monitored by a woman whom has never been seen in the series and relays emergencies to the Pontypandy fire fighter whilst they are out on call.

Transportation[edit]

  • Ambulance/Doctor's car is the only medical vehicle in Pontypandy. The ambulance is a small car and has only ever been driven by Nurse Flood. It bears a resemblance to a Smart car.
  • Bessie is the old fire engine which runs on rails. It was used when Station Officer Steele was a young fireman. It is driven by Station Officer Steele, Fireman Sam and Firefighter Penny Morris.
  • Bus is the only road vehicle which is public transport and is driven by Trevor Evans.
  • Cloud Scraper 2 is a balloon mentioned by Mandy Flood and Joe Sparkes.
  • Cloud Scraper is a hot air balloon created by Joe Sparkes, it appeared in the Series 9 episode Up, Up And Away.
  • Fishing Boat is a boat owned by Charlie Jones who is a fisherman and it is used for his work.
  • Hydrus, built and previously owned by Moose is the amphibious rescue vehicle that can be used on land and on water but not the sea, it is driven by Fireman Sam. It is the sixth fire vehicle in the show.
  • Jupiter is a special aerial platform combined fire engine (originally a traditional fire engine). Fireman Sam and Elvis mainly drive it, and occasionally, the other firefighters will drive it too.
  • Juno is a rescue jet ski driven by Fireman Sam.
  • Mercury is the third vehicle which is used for fire emergencies. It is a quad-bike mainly driven by Fireman Sam, however Steele and Elvis have since driven it.
  • Mobile Command Unit was introduced in the feature-length special movie, Heroes of the Storm.
  • Mountain Rescue 4x4 is a Jeep based at the mountain rescue centre. It is used in occasional mountain emergencies and is driven by Tom Thomas, Fireman Sam and Firefighter Penny Morris.
  • Neptune is the rescue boat driven by Firewoman Penny Morris and Fireman Sam and was the original boat in the series until series 9.
  • Phoenix is the newest vehicle at the station, it is a multi-purpose 4x4 with an extending crane for animal rescue uses. It is mainly driven by Ellie or Penny.
  • Pontypandy Flyer is a railway steam train driven and owned by Gareth Griffiths. It goes from Pontypandy Station to the mountain activity centre owned by Canadian hiker Moose Roberts.
  • Saturn is the heat GPS tracker drone.
  • Skiff is a rowing or sailing boat that makes appearances in Fireman Sam.
  • Titan is the main fire boat manned by Ben Hooper, the lifeguard alongside Firefighter Penny Morris. It has two water cannons.
  • Van is a three-seated van driven and used for Mike Floods' job as a handyman.
  • Venus is Pontypandy's second fire vehicle and is a rescue tender mainly driven by Firefighter Penny Morris and occasionally by Fireman Sam and the other firefighters.
  • Wallaby One is the rescue helicopter manned by Tom Thomas and occasionally Fireman Sam. It is stationed at the Mountain Rescue Centre where Tom Thomas works. It has a double harness which is used by Fireman Sam.

Locations[edit]

  • Café was the Italian café ran by Bella Lasagne. Bella's café was based on the real-life 'Bracchis' run by Welsh Italians. It is still seen in the CGI series but as a coffee shop.
  • Coast Road is the main road that takes you from Pontypandy to neighbouring places Pontypandy Mountain and Newtown. The coast road was a common scene when travelling to emergencies in Series 5.
  • Cut Price Supermarket is the village shop in Pontypandy and is run by Dilys Price. It sells almost everything and is has a 7-Eleven/gas store look. It has a second level which is like a house and Norman lives up on the second level. In Series 1–5 it was called N.W Price.
  • Disused Coal Mineshaft is a disused mineshaft that was out of coal from.
  • Disused Gold Mine is a disused mine at the end of the Pontypandy Mountain Railway there are many underground caves which are prone to flooding.
  • Disused Quarry, appeared in Quarry Rescue.
  • Field, Bella's Field (also known as the Potato Patch) appears in Barn Fire. Bella owns a field somewhere in the Pontypandy countryside, this is where she grows potates for her cafe presumably other vegetables are grown here too.
  • Garage is Joe's Sparkes place of work in the town of Pontypandy. It was introduced in Season 9.
  • House is Fireman Sam's house was loacted right beside the Fire Station till the new one was built and it had to be removed and the house where the flood family lives at it is located right outside of Pontypandy and the sheep field is near by.
  • Mountain Activity Centre is owned and run by Moose Roberts. It is situated at the base of Pontypandy Mountain. The interior of the Centre was first seen in The Pontypandyness Monster and again in Heroes of the Storm.
  • Mountain Rescue Centre is owned by Tom Thomas. The Centre is situated in the valley near the Pontypandy mountain range. It is a small, log building surrounded by railings. It has a balcony with a wind sock and helipad for Wallaby 1, the Mountain Rescue helicopter. It has a satellite dish on the roof and a small tree out the back. This is the place of work for Tom Thomas and also the place he lives.
  • Newtown is a neighbouring town to Pontypandy.
  • Ocean Rescue Centre is a boathouse at the quay where Neptune the lifeboat is parked. In the 2014 Series it is upgraded and Juno and Titan are added.
  • Pontypandy is the Welsh village where the Fireman Sam television series is set. Newtown is the neighbouring town.
  • Pontypandy Fire Station is the fire station which has been rebuilt twice. Originally, it had 1 vehicle bay for Jupiter, and Venus parked outside. For the 2005 series, there was still only 1 vehicle bay, but had been revamped so Venus had a room at the back of the station. In the CGI series, there were two stations overall, one from 2008–14 and one from Heroes of the Storm onwards. In the third station, there were two vehicle bays (one for Jupiter and one for Venus). Finally, in the last station, there are 4 vehicle bays (one for Jupiter, one for Venus, one for Phoenix and a large one for Mercury and Hydrus). in the original series the fire station consisted of; Jupiter's garage, kitchen and Steele's office, for the 2005 series, same setup but with a gym, for the 2008 series the station was completely revamped, making the entire bottom floor with Steele's office and the garage and upstairs the kitchen. The station now has a sitting room, briefing room, control room, kitchen and dining room and there are two poles.
  • Pontypandy Island is a small isle a fair bit off from the mainland.
  • Pontypandy Mountain is the highest point in Pontypandy. It first appeared in the Series 5 episode Danger Falling Sheep. Situated at the base of the mountain is the Mountain Activity Centre.
  • Pontypandy Park is introduced in Season 1.
  • Pontypandy Picnic Area is located near Pontypand Mountain in the countryside between Newtown and Pontypandy.
  • Pontypandy Ruins are on a cliff along the Pontypandy coast.
  • Pontypandy Train Line is a train line that runs up to Pontypadny Mountain where the Mountain Activity Center is and the Old Mines where Penny took the kids in Heroes of the Storm.
  • Pontypandy Veterinary Clinic was introduced in the Series 10 episode, Runaway Horse. It is run by Lizzie Sparkes.
  • Wholefish Café is a cafe that is run by Charlie and Bronwyn Jones. It appeared in the CGI series of Fireman Sam.

Main theme song[edit]

The series had a main theme song composed by Ben Heneghan and Ian Lawson. The lyrics were written by Robin Lyons, and sung by Mal Pope. A full-length version was also released on BBC Records, which was the same as the TV series version, albeit without the slap bass which was heavily featured. 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 2003 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 guitarist with the Cardiff-based function band Session,[4] and also the originals outfit Calling Madison. It was shortened for the 2008 CGI series.

Episodes[edit]

Spin-offs[edit]

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

In 2009, Fireman Sam appeared with other animated children's television characters in a Children In Need single. The single was put together by Peter Kay.[5]

The show saw its first feature-length movie, The Great Fire of Pontypandy, released to DVD and iTunes in 2010, and was shown in select cinemas.

Fireman Sam was adapted into a live musical theatre show, which began touring the UK in June 2011.[6]

In 2014, Amazon Prime released Fireman Sam using American voices instead of British voices for children in the US. However, Tom Thomas and Moose Roberts has their regular UK voices instead of dubbing them with a US voice actor.

In 2015, the show's second feature-length movie "Heroes of the Storm" (also known as "Ultimate Heroes" in the USA) was due to be released September 2015; however, it was released for US audiences in December 2014.[citation needed].

Critical response[edit]

The ABC website said of the series, "All the characters blend together into an appealing mixture of fun and entertainment for children everywhere."[5]

Common Sense Media recommended the 2004 series for ages 3 and up, praising it for showing how to "stay calm in a crisis" and rely on a team to solve problems. The American website found that the "distinctly Welsh characters, community, accents, and expressions may pose some minor comprehension problems for kids on this side of the pond", but considered it a useful example of life in another part of the world.[6]

Controversy[edit]

A page from the Quran appear in Fireman Sam

In July 2016 it emerged that a Series 9, Episode 7 shows Elvis slipping on a piece of paper and falling into a pile of papers causing them to fly everywhere. One of the flying pages that briefly came into view was later identified as a page from the Quran "Surah Mulk (67), verses 13-26".[7] The production company Mattel apologised for this accident, removed the episode from broadcast and ceased work with the Chinese animation company responsible for the error. Mattel stated "Someone from production company thought they were just putting in random text.[7] We have no reason to believe it was done maliciously."[7] The BBC received more than 1,000 complaints and forwarded them to Channel 5 as the BBC has not aired Fireman Sam since 2008.[7] In the aftermath it was revealed many newspapers misrepresented the facts by stating that Elvis trod on the Kuran when in fact on closer inspection the paper he stepped on was blank.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Sam". Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Awards for "Fireman Sam" (1987)". Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Company credits for "Fireman Sam" (1987)". Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "The Ultimate Wedding and Function Band". SessionUK. 2013. Retrieved 2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  5. ^ "Fireman Sam at ABC". Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "Fireman Sam at commonsensemedia". Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d Evans, Patrick (27 July 2016). "Fireman Sam episode pulled amid Quran row". BBC. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 

External links[edit]