Odd Squad (TV series)

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Odd Squad
A yellow badge shape with a starburst coming from its center, emblazoned with the words "Odd Squad"
Odd Squad logo
Genre Educational,[1] Comedy[2]
Created by Tim McKeon
Adam Peltzman
Written by Tim McKeon
Directed by Various
Creative director(s) Jim Foundic[citation needed]
Starring
Composer(s) Paul Buckley
Country of origin Canada
United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 71 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) J.J. Johnson
Tim McKeon
Blair Powers
Paul Siefken
Producer(s) Matthew J.R. Bishop
Georgina Lopez
Production location(s) Toronto, Ontario
Editor(s) Jennifer Essex-Chew
Courtney Goldman
Christopher Minns
Laura Bower
Running time 10-12 minutes; two episodes paired for a half-hour program
Production company(s) Fred Rogers Productions
Sinking Ship Entertainment
Distributor PBS
Release
Original network TVO (Canada)
Ici Radio-Canada Télé (Canada)
PBS Kids (U.S.)
Picture format 720p (HDTV)
Audio format 5.1 Surround
Original release November 26, 2014 (2014-11-26) – present
External links
Odd Squad on PBS Kids site

Odd Squad is a Canadian/American children's live action educational television series that premiered on TVOKids in Canada and PBS Kids in the United States on November 26, 2014. The series was created by Tim McKeon and Adam Peltzman and is co-produced by Fred Rogers Productions and Sinking Ship Entertainment in association with TVOKids and Ici Radio-Canada Télé. The series features child actors (whose characters are the employees of the "Odd Squad") who use indirect reasoning and basic math to solve and investigate strange happenings in their town. The series is a general satire of the police procedural and spy fiction genres and uses humor to teach the audience basic math skills and math-related topics. In the UK, the series airs on CBBC.[3] In Latin America, it airs on Discovery Kids. Season 3 of the series has been announced.[4]

Description[edit]

The series follows the exploits of Odd Squad, an organization run entirely by children, that solves peculiar problems using math skills. In particular, it typically features two employees of the organization's investigation division that work in precinct 13579 of the organization—Agents Olive (Dalila Bela) and Otto (Filip Geljo) in the 1st season, and Olympia (Anna Cathcart) and Otis (Issac Kragten) in the second season. Selected episodes feature other types of employees of the fictional organization, like security officers, so-called "tube operators", and scientists. The names of the employees, with one exception, always start with the letter O.

Agents are typically assigned cases by their boss, Ms. O (Millie Davis), and travel via a system of interconnected tubes to get to their destinations. They deduce the solution to the problem or how to detain the perpetrator by using basic mathematical principles that are typically the focus of the episode. Often, they cannot solve the problem at the scene and must go back to their precinct's headquarters or to the "Mathroom" (T.J. McGibbon), a sentient space that communicates through large paper fortune tellers and can unfold them to display information to help the agents see connections and better solve their case. Along with math, agents also use "gadgets" designed by the scientists; in the first season, Agent Oscar (Sean Michael Kyer) heads the lab, gaining an assistant, Agent Oona (Olivia Presti), in early season two who eventually takes over the lab. The characters also have to deal with a variety of recurring villains who often put a mathematical spin on their plots.

The seal of the Odd Squad headquarters depicts a jackalope carrying a shield in front of it (bearing an image of the seal—an instance of the Droste effect) and bananas at each side of it.

Characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Agent Olive (Dalila Bela, season 1): Referred to as a longtime employee of the Odd Squad, Olive began season 1 of the series adapting to working with and training her new partner, Otto. Olive is usually calm, brisk, and serious. She has a morbid fear of pies, which she acquired after saving her organization's building from a pie-related disaster instigated by her previous partner, a very gifted agent named Todd who was fired from the organization for misconduct and went on to pursue villainy. In the season 1 finale, Olive departs the series along with her partner, Otto, to run a different Odd Squad precinct as Ms. O.
  • Agent Otto (Filip Geljo, season 1): Olive's partner, and in the first episode the newest employee of the organization. In contrast to his partner's more serious demeanor and personality, he is a more lenient, laid-back employee. Despite his lack of experience with his job, Otto frequently uncovers the facts needed to solve the case at hand, even doing so in the absence of his more experienced partner, proving his worth as an agent. In the season 1 finale, Otto departs the series to run another Odd Squad office as Mr. O with his partner, Olive.
  • Ms. O/Oprah (Millie Davis, seasons 1–): "Ms. O" is the title of any female head of an Odd Squad division, but in-show, the title most often refers to the head of the division featured on the show. Ms. O is a very strict boss. She has the tendency to yell (a habit seen less frequently as the series progresses) and is often seen sipping a juice box. Despite appearing younger than most of the agents, Ms. O has worked for Odd Squad for several decades; her actual age remains a mystery. In-show, it is revealed that her actual name is "Oprah".
  • Agent Oscar (Sean Michael Kyer, seasons 1–2): Oscar was the precinct's head scientist, in charge of the precinct's laboratory. Other employees go to him for technical solutions to their problems. Oscar is depicted as being very intelligent and having a quirky and goofy personality. He departed from the series in the Season 2 episode "Oscar Strikes Back", where he became the president of the organization's science division after the former president was dismissed for misconduct.
  • Agent Olympia (Anna Cathcart, season 2): A new agent, introduced in the first episode of season 2, who joins the series to fill in the opening left by the departure of Olive in the season 1 finale. She was given early graduation from the organization's training Academy because Ms. O wanted her in the equivalent of Otto's position. She is depicted as being very social and outgoing, and having a generally happy and carefree personality.
  • Agent Otis (Isaac Kragten, season 2): A new agent, introduced at the start of season 2, who joins to fill the opening left by the departure of Otto in the season 1 finale. Unlike his partner, he has a more serious and socially-reserved personality. There are no records of him attending the organization's "Academy", but he is depicted as being the more seasoned member of the new team. Possibly as part of his more socially-reserved demeanor, he has several unusual dislikes; initially he had a dislike of chewing gum, and once he refused a pizza party offered to him as a reward for his productivity, claiming to not like the ingredients of a pizza.
  • Agent Oona (Olivia Presti, season 2): The precinct's head scientist who is in charge of the laboratory, taking the role from Oscar after his departure from the series in the Season 2 episode "Oscar Strikes Back". Like her predecessor, she is depicted as having a quirky personality.

Recurring[edit]

Odd Squad employees[edit]

  • Dr. O (Peyton Kennedy, seasons 1–2, and Kaden Stephen, season 2): The precinct's resident medical employee, who assists in helping the others with medical-related problems. She is known for her eccentric behavior and frequently says things that make no sense, whilst frequently reminding the agents "I'm a doctor!" in a manner reminiscent of Star Trek's Dr. McCoy. It is revealed in-show that she was once a worker in the Odd Squad gift shop, but became a doctor when the gift shop was shut down so the space could be used for a laboratory. After the original Dr. O leaves to work as a doctor in space, she is ultimately replaced with a new male doctor who previously worked in another department.
  • Agent Obfusco (Jaeden J. Noel, season 1): An Odd Squad agent and cross-cultural expert who speaks in obscure riddles. He is difficult for the other agents to understand, and has a generally extremely peculiar and eccentric demeanor, which leads the other employees to try and avoid working with him. He has a sister named Obfuscolina who is even more eccentric than he is, to the point where he cannot understand anything she says and considers himself "normal" when compared to her.
  • Agent Ocean (Elijah Sandiford, season 2): The precinct's director of the 'Creature Room', which houses many bizarre "creatures" and plants. Ocean has a laid-back and easy-going personality and he is friendly to the other agents. He specializes in animals/creature knowledge that Odd Squad agents may need to know.
  • Agent Octavia (Julia Lalonde, season 1): Agent Oz's partner. It was noted in an episode that she is one of the precinct's best employees. She is usually looking for her partner because he is invisible.
  • Oksana (Madeleine Barbeau, seasons 1–): The precinct's resident cook, in charge of providing the employees with food. In the show it is mentioned that she has to prepare all the meals by herself. She has a deadpan and sarcastic personality.
  • Agent Olaf (Eshaan Buadwal, seasons 1–): Agent Oren's partner. Olaf is happy-go-lucky and jovial in nature but tends to be very simple-minded. Despite this, he has shown to have moments of intelligence, often to the shock and amazement of his fellow agents. He shares Oren's penchant for laziness. He dreams of becoming a dentist and fears not becoming one. He has an unusual obsession with potatoes. Later on in the series it is revealed that he is a werewolf.
  • Agent Orchid (Michela Luci, seasons 1–): One of the younger agents. She tends to be extremely stubborn.
  • Agent Oren (Brendan Heard, seasons 1–): Agent Olaf's partner. Oren is depicted as snarky and arrogant. Oren and his partner have an ongoing rivalry with Olive and Otto. Unlike their industrious rivals, Oren likes to weasel his way out of work whenever possible. He likes to brag and considers himself the precinct's best employee. Oren has an unusual fear of pancakes and dreams of becoming an Odd Squad director and running his own precinct.
  • Agent Owen (Christian Distefano, seasons 1–): The head of the precinct's Security department (the department in charge of defending against intruders, checking the precinct's assigned city/town for "oddness", and making sure the more dangerous "creatures" do not escape their containment).
  • Agent Orson (Nashton Avila, Nathan Avila. seasons 1-): one of the baby agents. Seen answering the phone in a public service announcement; an excellent driver (Undercover Olive - season 1); Perpetual winner of the Agent of the Month Award, until Otis discovered him masquerading as the records clerk Opa (Taylor Thorn), and his twin disguised as Ms O; Was a cry baby when he lost the award.
  • Agent Ozlyn (Arista Arhin, season 2): Worker in the Security Department.
  • Agent Olly (Sasha Steiner, season 2): A former doctor who now assists Oksana with maintaining the building's breakroom and cafeteria.

Others[edit]

  • Delivery Debbie (Ashley Botting): A female pizzeria owner who has appeared in numerous episodes and played a key part in the series movie, Odd Squad: The Movie (2016). Her arch rival is Delivery Doug who specializes in the sale of egg-salad sandwiches.[5]
  • Polly Graph (Ava Preston): A girl who runs a stand selling hot chocolate or lemonade, depending on the season, outside her house. Employees of the local 'Odd Squad' precinct frequently patronize her stand. She is very fond of graphs and seemingly always has just the right visual representation to deal with the situation at hand. While she is not an agent, she offers data of all sorts to employees who visit her stand. Ms. O has asked her to come in to assist on cases and internal business within the organization on occasion.
  • Soundcheck (Lucas Meeuse, Matthew Armet, Thomas Alderson, Stephan Dickson): A fictitious and satirical boy band made up of Tony D., Danny T., Ringo, and Johnny J., and is well liked by all the precinct employees with the exception of Agent Olive, who later admits to liking them in Odd Squad: The Movie (2016). Songs by the group include Take Away Four, The Force of Gravity and Up, Down, Left, Right. Sound Check as a group appears on the album Odd Squad: Stop the Music.
  • Rivka (Meghan Allen): The caretaker for the unseen Baby Genius. Agents meet with them in a dark alley, and have to give gifts that amuse Baby Genius, to get their help.

Villains[edit]

  • Fladam[6][7] (Martin Roach, seasons 1–): A villain with glasses capable of transforming anything into a two-dimensional form.
  • Noisemaker (David Tompa, seasons 1–): A villain who wants to fill the world with odd noises. He wears a variety of instruments all over his body that make sounds whenever he moves.
  • Odd Todd (Joshua Kilimnik, seasons 1–): Previously an employee of the organization, Todd was fired for misconduct and began to pursue villainy, taking the name of 'Odd Todd'. A recurring villain in the first season, he was outsmarted by Agent Otto and renounced villainy for other interests. In the second season, he has taken up gardening and has been seen providing assistance to the precinct's employees; he briefly returns as a villain in an alternate timeline in "World Turned Odd". Early in the first season before Todd was introduced, a running gag was in place where characters would comment about Otto being "so much better than Olive's last partner"; upon Otto's asking about who was her last partner, they would change the subject. Another running gag in place was that the number 43—his badge number—was hidden in various places for viewers to find.
  • Puppetmaster (Stacey McGunnigle, season 1): A villainess who not only turns people into Muppet-based puppets, but also plays with sock puppets she presumably makes. She has long hair styled in an updo.
  • Shapeshifter (Laura Landauer, seasons 1–): A villain who can transform anything or anyone, including herself, into a different object or person (Examples: In one episode she transforms a briefcase into a pie; in the same episode she also took the form of another character) but the resulting object or person weighs the same as the object/person they were before. A younger version of Shapeshifter is seen in the movie produced to accompany the series, "Odd Squad: The Movie" (2016).
  • Tiny Dancer (Danielle Benton, seasons 1–): A villain that makes inanimate objects dance on command.

Episode list[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipients Result
2015 Banff World Media Festival Best Show - Pre-School Category Sinking Ship Entertainment Won
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Children’s Series Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Outstanding Writing in a Children’s or Pre-School Children’s Series Tim McKeon, Alexandra Fox, Rachel Lewis, Adam Peltzman, Mark DeAngelis Nominated
Outstanding Single Camera Editing Jennifer Essex-Chew, Courtney Goldman, Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing – Live Action P. Jason MacNeil, James Robinson, Earl Torno, Bill Turchinetz, John D. Smith, Dave Yonson, Virginia Storey, Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Outstanding Directing in a Children’s or Pre-School Children’s Series J.J. Johnson Sinking Ship Entertainment Won
Outstanding Hairstyling Patricia Cuthbert Won
Kidscreen Kids: Best Non-Animated or Mixed Series Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Parents' Choice Award Parents' Choice Gold Honor Sinking Ship Entertainment Won
Youth Media Alliance Award of Excellence, Best Convergent Website Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Award of Excellence for Best Television Program, All Genres, Ages 6–8 Category Sinking Ship Entertainment Won
2016 Canadian Screen Awardss Best Direction in a Children's or Youth Program or Series Craig Wallace, Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Best Writing in a Children's or Youth Program or Series Tim McKeon, Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Best Picture Editing in a Variety or Sketch Comedy Program or Series Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Series Delila Bela Nominated
Best Pre-School Program or Series Sinking Ship Entertainment Won
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Children's Series Paul Siefken, J.J. Johnson, Tim McKeon, Blair Powers, Adam Peltzman, Emily Helfgot, Matthew J.R. Bishop, Mark De Angelis, Georgina Lopez, Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Interactive Media – Enhancement to Daytime Series Blair Powers, Paul Siefken, Gavin Friesen, Ronald Ruslim, Dave Peth, Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Outstanding Stunt Coordination Regan Moore Nominated
Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series or Pre-School Series - Oscar Sean Michael Kyer Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing - Live Action John Douglas Smith, P. Jason MacNeil, Bill Turchinetz, Dave Yonson, Virginia Storey Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Outstanding Writing in a Children's or Pre-School Children’s Series Tim McKeon, Charles Johnston, Mark De Angelis Won
Outstanding Directing in a Children's or Pre-School Children's Series J.J. Johnson, Stephen Reynolds, Brian K. Roberts, Stefan Scaini, Craig David Wallace, Sinking Ship Entertainment Won
Outstanding Costume Design Christine Toye, Sinking Ship Entertainment Won
Outstanding Hairstyling Patricia Cuthbert Won
Parents' Choice Award Parents’ Choice Gold Honor Sinking Ship Entertainment Won
2017 Canadian Screen Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Limited Series Millie Davis Nominated
Best Direction in a Children's or Youth Program or Series J.J. Johnson Nominated
Best Direction in a Children's or Youth Program or Series Stefan Scaini Nominated
Best Original Music Score for a Program Paul Buckley Nominated
Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program Sean Michael Kyer Nominated
Best TV Movie or Limited Series Odd Squad: The Movie Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Best Writing in a Children's or Youth Series Tim McKeon, Adam Peltzman, Mark DeAngelis Nominated
Best Children's or Youth Fiction Program or Series Sinking Ship Entertainment Won
Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Children's or Family Viewing Series J.J. Johnson, Tim McKeon, Blair Powers, Paul Siefken, Matthew J.R. Bishop, Georgina Lopez, Stephen J. Turnbull Nominated
Outstanding Interactive - Enhancement to Daytime Program or Series Ellen Doherty, Tim McKeon, Adam Peltzman, Blair Powers, Gavin Friesen, Ronald Ruslim, Stephen J. Turnbull, Dave Peth, Anna Cathcart Nominated
Outstanding Writing in a Children's or Pre-School Children’s Series Tim McKeon, Amy Benham, Charles Johnston, Adam Peltzman, Mark De Angelis, Robby Hoffman Nominated
Outstanding Directing in a Children's or Pre-School Children's Series J.J. Johnson, Stephen Reynolds, Stefan Scaini, Warren P. Sonoda Nominated
Outstanding Single Camera Editing Jennifer Essex-Chew, Courtney Goldman, Christopher Minns Nominated
Outstanding Perfomer Issak Kragten Won
Outstanding Costume Design Christine Toye Won
Outstanding Hairstyling Liz Roelands Won
Outstanding Make-up Jenna Servatius Won
Kidscreen Best Non-Animated or Mixed Series - KIDS PROGRAMING Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Parents' Choice Award Parents’ Choice Gold Honor Sinking Ship Entertainment Won
Youth Media Alliance Best Program, Live Action, Ages 6–9 Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
2018 Canadian Screen Awards Best Children’s or Youth Fiction Program or Series Sinking Ship Entertainment Won
Best Direction, Children’s or Youth J.J. Johnson Nominated
Best Writing, Children’s or Youth Tim McKeon, Adam Peltzman Won
Best Performance, Children’s or Youth Anna Cathcart Nominated
Best Cross-Platform Project Odd Squad 1.5 Won
Kidscreen Best Non-Animated or Mixed Series - KIDS PROGRAMING Sinking Ship Entertainment Won
Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Children’s or Family Viewing Series J.J. Johnson, Tim McKeon, Blair Powers, Paul Siefken, Ellen Doherty, Matthew J.R. Bishop, Adam Peltzman, Mark De Angelis, Stephen J. Turnbull, Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Outstanding Writing in a Children’s, Preschool Children’s, Family Viewing Tim McKeon, Adam Peltzman, Mark De Angelis, Robby Hoffman Nominated
Outstanding Directing in a Children’s, Preschool Children’s or Family Viewing Program J.J. Johnson, Stephen Reynolds, Warren P. Sonoda, Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Outstanding Art Direction/Set Decoration/Scenic Design Ron Stefaniuk, Diana Magnus, Amanda Vernuccio, Danielle Dobbyn, Jennifer Bryson, Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Outstanding Lighting Direction George Lajtai, C.S.C, Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing Igor Bezuglov, Andrew McDonnell, John Bradshaw, Sean Karp, Sinking Ship Entertainment Nominated
Outstanding Costume Design/Styling Christine Toye Nominated
Outstanding Hairstyling Liz Roelands Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hinckley, David (2014-11-23). "PBS unveils 'Odd Squad,' its latest educational kids' show". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2017-01-30. 
  2. ^ "Odd Squad TV Review". Common Sense Media. Retrieved 2017-01-30. Genre: Comedy 
  3. ^ "Odd Squad - CBBC". BBC. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  4. ^ "Odd Squad Season 3". Sinking Ship Entertainment. Retrieved 2018-03-05. 
  5. ^ "Ashley Botting". The Second City. Retrieved 2017-07-21. 
  6. ^ "Odd Squad . Episodes . PBS Kids Programs - PBS Parents - PBS". PBS Parents. Retrieved 2017-06-18. Flatastrophe - Olive and Otto must stop Fladam, a villain with a vendetta against cubes. 
  7. ^ "Undercover Olive". Odd Squad. Season 1. Episode 31. 2015-08-02. Event occurs at 25:31. TVO Kids. Retrieved 2017-06-18. Fladam: Martin Roach 

External links[edit]