Once Upon a Time... Man
|Once Upon a Time… Man|
|Created by||Albert Barillé|
|Voices of||Roger Carel
|Narrated by||Roger Carel|
|Country of origin||France, Japan|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Running time||26 minutes|
|Picture format||SECAM (576i)|
|Followed by||Once Upon a Time... Space (1982)|
Il était une fois… l'homme (English: Once Upon a Time… Man) is a French animated TV series from 1978 directed by Albert Barillé. It is the first in the Once Upon a Time... franchise. The series explains world history in a format designed for children. The action focuses around one group. The same familiar characters appear in all episodes as they deal with the problems of their time.
The series' opening and ending title sequences famously used Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor as the main title theme music. Shortening the piece to only 2 minutes in length, the introduction uses the very beginning, which jumps into the start of the middle section and finally the dramatic ending to coincide with the destruction of Earth at the end of the intro.
A DVD box set of all the episodes of the series has been produced by the French production company Procidis, and distributed locally by various distributors. The DVD series was produced in French, English (not sold in UK or US), Finnish, German, Dutch, Hebrew, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish. In 2011, an English language, Region 1 DVD box set is available in Canada and the United States. This set is produced and distributed by Imavision.
The episodes of Once Upon a Time… Man typically would follow one family, which most typically used the same set of archetypes that would be reused for the scenario. These same characters would later be used in the later additions to the Once Upon a Time... series, with some changes.
- Maestro (Roger Carel) - The wise old man. He usually serves as the head of the tribe, as a religious priest, as an advisor to the king, or as an inventor. Maestro's hair is white and so long that it completely covers his body, and only his facial features, arms, and feet are ever visible; he is also distinguished by two hairs on the top of his head that look like antennae. Maestro often keeps objects in his beard and is sometimes seen fiddling around in it to find the one he wishes to present. He also serves as a mentor to the children of the series.
- Peter / Pierre Carel (Roger Carel) - Another protagonist of the series, with brown hair, presented as an ordinary but likeable man. He is always married to Pierrette and is good friends with Jumbo. He is sometimes referred to as Pierrot. In some of the episodes set in the medieval era, Peter has blonde hair and is named Bert, but his personality and relationships are the same.
- Jumbo / Le Gros (Yves Barsacq) - The strong young man with red curly hair, Jumbo is tall, somewhat clumsy, and very muscular. He prefers to solve problems with his fists, and his best friend Peter often needs to indicate for him not to attack.
- Pierrette (Annie Balestra) - A kind blonde woman, typically married to Peter.
- The Pest / Le Teigneux (Claude Bertrand) - A strong bully and one of two common recurring villains in the series (the other being the Dwarf). He is the major rival opposing Peter and Jumbo, and is either working against them or arguing with them.
- The Dwarf / Le Nabot (Patrick Préjean) - The mastermind behind the Pest, the Dwarf is short and has red hair with three spikes pointing upward. He is often the only one who supports the Pest in his actions, and is often shown as a swindler.
- The Clock - A rectangular box with eyes and hands, typically coloured red, the Clock most commonly simply shows the year that the events on-screen are occurring. Occasionally, the Clock does intervene in the series in a minor role, typically to either have some emotional response like surprise or sadness to an event on-screen, or else to correct Maestro in-series when he has ideas too advanced for his historical time period.
Although historical figures would typically appear as themselves, occasionally one of the archetypes would be used, like Maestro as Leonardo da Vinci.
- And Earth was created…, first broadcast on 1979-03-23—On the evolution of life before Man to Stone Age.
- Neanderthal Man, first broadcast on 1979-03-30 -On the time of Paleolithic culture to Ice Age.
- Cro-Magnon Man, first broadcast on 1979-04-06
- The Fertile Valleys, first broadcast on 1979-04-13—On the rise of agriculture, as well as ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Babylon, and Israel.
- The First Empires, first broadcast on 1979-04-20—On the empires of Babylon, Assyria, Persia, and others from about BC 2000 to BC 323.
- The Age of Pericles, first broadcast on 1979-04-27- On the Ancient Greece.
- The Pax Romana, first broadcast on 1979-05-11—Actually on the time of Julius Caesar, before the Pax Romana commenced. In the last part of this episode, the birth and life of Jesus Christ.
- The Conquest of Islam, first broadcast on 1979-05-18- On the Byzantine Empire, the reign of Justinian I, and the spread of Islam between 7th and 8th centuries.
- The Carolingians, first broadcast on 1979-05-25
- The Age of Vikings, first broadcast on 1978-04 as pilot, rebroadcast in series on 1979-06-01
- The Cathedral Builders, first broadcast on 1979-06-08—On the Middle Ages in the time of the Crusades.
- The Travels of Marco Polo, first broadcast on 1979-06-15
- The Hundred Years' War, first broadcast on 1979-06-22
- The Quattrocento, first broadcast on 1981-09-05- On the time of Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo.
- The Golden Age of Spain, first broadcast on 1981-09-12
- Elizabethan England, first broadcast on 1981-09-19—Mostly on the voyages of Sir Francis Drake.
- The Golden Age of the Low Countries, first broadcast on 1981-09-26
- The Great Reign of Louis XIV, first broadcast on 1981-10-01
- Peter the Great and his Times, first broadcast on 1981-10-08
- The Age of Reason, first broadcast on 1981-10-16
- America, first broadcast on 1981-10-22—On the New World between 1492 and the American Civil War.
- The French Revolution, first broadcast on 1981-10-29
- The Awakening of the People, first broadcast on 1981-11-05—On the mid-nineteenth century and the development of railroad.
- The Belle Époque, first broadcast on 1981-11-12—On the latter decade of the nineteenth century, the development of automobile and the twentieth century up to World War One.
- The Crazy Years, first broadcast on 1981-11-19—On the development of aviation, Roaring Twenties, Great Depression, and World War Two.
- Once Upon a Time… the Earth (and tomorrow?), first broadcast on 1981-11-26—On the post-war world up to the series' production in 1978, with speculation on the future to 2150.
The series Once Upon a Time… Man and its sequel series were dubbed into many languages.
|Austria||ORF||Es war einmal… der Mensch|
|Belgium||RTBF ***, BRT ***||RTBF: Il était une fois l' Homme
BRT Er was eens.. De Mens
|Canada||CBC Television, Télévision de Radio-Canada ***, Access TV Alberta ***, TVOntario||Once Upon a Time… Man
Il était une fois... l'Homme
|Chile||TVN||Érase una vez... el hombre|
|Czech Republic||Československá televize (ČST), Česká televize (ČT)||Byl jednou jeden člověk|
|Ecuador||Ecuavisa||Érase una vez... el hombre|
|Finland||YLE||Olipa kerran ihminen|
|France||FR3 ***||Il était une fois... l'Homme|
|Greece||ERT||Μια φορά και έναν καιρό ήταν... ο άνθρωπος|
|Hungary||Magyar Televízió, Minimax (TV channel), Da Vinci Learning||Egyszer volt... az ember|
|Iceland||Sjónvarpið||Einu sinni var...Saga Mannkyns|
|Israel||Israeli Educational Television **||היה היה - האדם|
|Italy||RAI ***||RAI: C'era una volta l'uomo Mediaset Conosciamoci un po'|
|Japan||Tatsunoko Production */***|
|South Korea||Educational Broadcasting System||옛날 옛적에...|
|Mexico||Canal 5||Érase una vez... el hombre|
|Netherlands||Katholieke Radio Omroep (KRO) ***||Er was eens... De Mens|
|Norway||Norsk Rikskringkasting (NRK) ***||Det var en gang et menneske|
|Peru||Panamericana Televisión (PANTEL)||Érase una vez... el hombre|
|Poland||Telewizja Polska (TVP), TV Puls||Był sobie człowiek|
|Portugal||RTP **||Era uma vez... o homem|
|Republic of Ireland||RTÉ|
|Slovakia||Československá televízia (ČST)||Bol raz jeden... človek|
|South Africa||South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC/SAUK)||Eendag was daar..|
|Spain||Televisión Española (TVE) ***||Érase una vez... el hombre|
|Sweden||Sveriges Radio (SR) ***||Det var en gång - tidernas äventyr|
|Switzerland||SSR *** (French)||Es war einmal… der Mensch
Il était une fois... l'Homme
C'era una volta l'uomo
|Turkey||TRT (TRT) **, Kanal D||Bir Varmış Bir Yokmuş - İnsanoğlu|
|United Kingdom||ITV||Once Upon a Time... Man|
|Venezuela||Televisora Nacional Canal 5||Érase una vez... el hombre|
|West Germany||SWF, WDR, ZDF||Es war einmal… der Mensch|
* Production company
** Originally broadcast in B/W; color not yet introduced in these countries
*** Contributing co-producer to the series