Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone

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Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone
Genre Animation
Created by Martin Powell, Vivien Schrager-Powell
Developed by Dave Edwards
Directed by Don Lusk
Paul Sommers
Aniamation Directors:
Robert Alvarez
Creative director(s) Ray Patterson
Voices of George Lemore
Elizabeth Harnois
Janice Kawaye
Whitby Hertford
Joan Gerber
Kenneth Mars
Hamilton Camp
Rob Paulsen
Scott Menville
Frank Welker
Clive Revill
Theme music composer Michael Tavera
Country of origin United States
United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13
Production
Executive producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Martin Powell
Vivien Schrager-Powell
Paul Sabella
Producer(s) Davis Doi
Running time 21 mins
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
Sleepy Kids Communications PLC
Distributor Great American Broadcasting (original)
NBCUniversal Television Distribution (currently)
Release
Original network BBC
The Children's Channel (UK)
Syndication (US)
Original release September 1 – November 24, 1990

Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone is a British-American animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera in conjunction with Sleepy Kids PLC and is known outside the US as Potsworth & Co.. In the United Kingdom (which is reflected in the theme song's lyrics in the British broadcast), the BBC felt that the suggestion of children being awake after midnight was inappropriate, thus the name was changed.

History[edit]

The series revolves around Potsworth, an English Springer Spaniel, based upon a real-life springer spaniel called Potsworth, bought from the Battersea Dogs Home by Martin and Vivien Schrager-Powell. The couple were somewhat disheartened with some of the children's programmes being made at the time, commenting that "Six-year-olds just aren't content to be fobbed off with 'Mr Wizard go pouf and nasty man go away'. Stories these days have to be believable, contain some logical process". In 1987, Martin started writing stories about Potsworth who lives in a city in America and four young children: Carter, Keiko, Rosie, and Nick. The couple took the idea to Hanna-Barbera and suggested a 50-50 deal to turn the stories into a television series.[1]

First appearing on The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera on the 1st September 1990, Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone lasted only 13 episodes. It was watched by 8.5 million in the US while 5.1 million watched the series on CBBC in Britain, making it the "second most popular children's show on British television after Neighbours".[1]

The "real" Potsworth became something of a celebrity when he featured extensively in the British media as part of the promotion campaign for the cartoon series when it first aired in the UK in 1990/91 television season. A comic strip based on the show featured in the merged Beezer and Topper and, when that comic closed, the Dandy.

The series' setting, "Dream Zone", was first used on "Back to Next Saturday", the NBC Saturday Morning preview special for the 1985 season.

Premise[edit]

The series tells of four children and Potsworth the dog who live in the same neighborhood. When they go to sleep at night they turn up in the Dream Zone where, as the Midnight Patrol, they are appointed by the Grand Dozer to protect it from nightmares and other threats and are given their missions by the Snooze Patrol. Their main enemy is the Nightmare Prince.

Whilst they are in the Dream Zone, the five have special powers. Keiko has a flying skateboard; Carter can draw anything and then have it come to life; Nick is super-strong and is able to fly; his stuffed toy Murphy comes to life; whilst his cynical sister Rosie tags along. Potsworth himself acquires the power of speech which enables him to complain about the way he is treated in the real world, and make wry comments about the kids and their own attitudes and relationships. The cartoon Potsworth had a very "English" accent, even in the American version of the programmes, reflecting his real-life counterpart's British origins.

Computer game[edit]

An officially licensed computer game of the series, using its British title of Potsworth and Co, was released in 1992 by Hi-Tec Software for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and Atari ST.

In this scrolling platform game, the player took on the role of one of the characters in each themed level and had to collect various items and then reach the exit.

Characters[edit]

Midnight Patrol[edit]

The 5 Midnight Patrol members are the main stars of the show. Each one has his/her individual abilities.

  • Potsworth (Age 10): A sarcastic dog who usually has a stern voice when he enters the Dream Zone.
  • Nick (Age 6): A little boy who is a flying superhero when he's in the Dream Zone and is sometimes referred to as "Super Nick". He is assisted by his stuffed toy dinosaur Murphy.
  • Rosie (Age 8): Nick's big sister. An annoying brat who gives the group a very hard time (in ways similar to Lucy van Pelt in the Peanuts comics by Charles M. Schulz, Margaret Wade in the Dennis the Menace comics by Hank Ketcham, Zoe in H-B's Fantastic Max or Angelica Pickles in Nickelodeon's Rugrats), though she still helps out in dangerous situations. She calls Nick by his full name "Nicholas" whenever she yells at him, which is quite often.
  • Keiko (Age 9): An Asian-American girl who rides a flying skateboard. She is energetic and very optimistic and likes to be seen as the leader of the group.
  • Carter (Age 10): An African-American boy who is an expert artist. In the Dream Zone his magic paintbrush can bring many things to life. He is Potsworth's owner.

Other Dream Zone characters[edit]

The Dream Zone has a number of inhabitants, the principals of which include:

  • The Grand Dozer: King of the Dream Zone, he spends his time half-asleep on top of a pile of mattresses. He has to stay this way because if he were to be fully awake the Dream Zone will come to an end. He gives advice but in the form of riddles which can be a bit of a frustration.
  • The Chief: A large but friendly woman who heads the local police and assigns the Midnight Patrol with their missions.
  • Sebastian: The Grand Dozer's head butler. He is always anxious that his King is safe and asleep. A running gag of the series is that, whenever Sebastian claims the Grand Dozer is in a certain mood, the Grand Dozer would be shown sleeping, prompting Sebastian to state the Grand Dozer would be in that mood if he were awake.
  • The Greystone Giant: Lives in a cave filled with various objects which he supplies for people's dreams. Because there are so many dreamers he is always at work and never stops grumbling about it, though deep down he loves his job.

Antagonists[edit]

  • The Nightmare Prince: The villain of the series. The Nightmare Prince is always coming up with ways of disrupting the Grand Dozer's sleep or other nasty schemes in order to allow nightmares to take over from dreams. He is the Midnight Patrol's main enemy, though he is such a bungling idiot that his plans can fail due to his own incompetence.
  • The Nightmare Prince's Mother: This unseen character is always phoning up to tell her son to get on with destroying happy dreams, and reproving him when things go wrong. The fact that the Prince has a large-sized telephone (as opposed to a mobile phone) literally up his sleeve means that she calls him almost all the time. (Her constant yapping through the phone is reminiscent of the General from Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines).

Other villains[edit]

  • The Nosey Bird: A villain that talks creeky like Peter Lorre and only appears in Santanapped and The Nightmirror where he promises the Nightmare Prince not to tell anyone his secret. The Nightmare Prince was actually hoping he'd gossip.
  • Count Bubba Bonebreaker: This villain was once in charge of nightmares when the Nightmare Prince's Mother demoted him to janitor.

Episode guide[edit]

# Title Original air date Episode Plot
1 Night of the BedBugs 1 September 1990 The Nightmare Prince accidentally unleashes a horde of creatures called BedBugs and needs the Midnight Patrol's help to get rid of them.
2 The Dozer Walks Among Us 8 September 1990

When he sleepwalks, the Grand Dozer goes around the Dream Zone causing unintentional chaos and destruction. Thus, he has to be locked up once in a while in order to prevent this — that is until the Nightmare Prince lets him loose.

3 King Potsworth 15 September 1990 Potsworth becomes the somewhat reluctant king of a kingdom of dogs, under threat by a giant, devastating cat.
4 The Nightmirror 22 September 1990 The Nightmare Prince steals the Nightmirror which he uses to create evil twins of the Midnight Patrol who wreak havoc in the Dream Zone.
5 When Bubba Rules 29 September 1990 Exasperated by her son's constant failures to destroy the Dream Zone, the Nightmare Prince's mother has him replaced by the monstrous Count Bubba Bonebreaker. Before long, the Midnight Patrol decide that the Prince was not such a bad thing after all.
6 Nick's Super Switch 6 October 1990 Super Nick switches abilities with the powers of Wonder Kid after he has read many of his Wonder Kid comic books.
7 Dozer Quest 13 October 1990 The Grand Dozer is not sleeping and if he stays awake the Dream Zone will end. The Midnight Patrol have to go to all lengths to get him back to sleep. Carter has an idea, but then he can't sleep either.
8 Rosie's Extra Sweet Day 20 October 1990 After a conversation with a talking tree, Rosie gets turned into the nicest girl in the Dream Zone.
9 I Was a Teenage Babysitter 27 October 1990 Rosie must take care of the Greystone Giant's little son Rocky.
10 The Wishing Whale 3 November 1990 The Midnight Patrol (minus Keiko) meet the Wishing Whale who grants them their fondest wishes. But then the wishes get somewhat out of hand.
11 Santa-Napped 10 November 1990 The Nightmare Prince captures Santa Claus, and the Midnight Patrol must rescue him to save Christmas.
12 Save the Cave 17 November 1990 The Greystone Giant is too far behind in his dream supplies, so the Midnight Patrol help him keep up with the dream orders.
13 Rosie's Fuss Attack 24 November 1990 Rosie changes form every time she complains, so the Midnight Patrol must find a special cure for her.

Cast[edit]

Ratings (CBBC Channel)[edit]

Monday 6th May 2002- 20,000 (9th most watched on CBBC that week)

[2]

Home Media release[edit]

In 1991, Hanna-Barbera Home Video released a single VHS cassette of the series in the United States entitled Potsworth and the Midnight Patrol containing four episodes which are "Save the Cave", "The Wishing Whale", "King Potsworth", and "The Nightmirror". As of June 16, 2016, plans for a DVD release in the U.S. have yet to be announced.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "UK: Making it Tough for Tots - SLEEPY KIDS.". Management Today. 1992-06-01. Retrieved 2012-09-15. 
  2. ^ http://www.barb.co.uk

External links[edit]