Time Squad

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Time Squad
Time Squad Logo.jpg
From left to right, Buck Tuddrussel, Otto Osworth, and Larry 3000
Genre Science fiction
Comedy
Superhero
Created by Dave Wasson
Written by
  • Dave Wasson
  • Carlos Ramos
  • Michael Karnow
Directed by
Voices of
Composer(s)
Country of origin United States
Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26 (53 segments) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Dave Wasson
Running time 21 minutes (whole)
11 minutes (segments)
Production company(s) Cartoon Network Studios
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original network Cartoon Network
Original release June 8, 2001 (2001-06-08) – November 26, 2003 (2003-11-26)

Time Squad is an American/Canadian animated television series created by Dave Wasson for Cartoon Network, and the 10th of the network's Cartoon Cartoons. It follows the adventures of Otto Osworth, Buck Tuddrussel, and the robot Larry 3000, a trio of hapless "time cops" living in the far distant future who travel back in time attempting to correct the course of history. During their adventures, they run into major historical figures such as Julius Caesar, Abraham Lincoln, Sigmund Freud, Leonardo da Vinci, the Founding Fathers, and Montezuma, who have taken a drastically different course of life than history dictates. The mission of the Time Squad is to guide these figures onto the correct path and ensure the integrity of the future.

The series premiered during Cartoon Network's marathon block "Cartoon Cartoon Summer" on June 8, 2001, and ended after two seasons on November 26, 2003, airing 26 episodes in total. In the course of its run, the series received five Annie Award nominations. Creator Dave Wasson described the series as "a C-student's guide to history".[1]

Overview[edit]

The show is set in the year 100,000,000 AD, on a satellite which orbits Earth. This future Earth is never visited directly, though it is referred in dialogue as a peaceful utopia where there are no longer any problems to solve. All nations of the world have merged into one, and according to Tuddrussel, there are "no wars, no pollution, and bacon is good for your heart".

Despite this cheerful vision of the future, the space station on which the characters live and from which they travel to the past is remarkably dystopic. It features a shooting range, a terrarium and a prison for repeat offenders, but it is dank, outdated (for the time) and unclean. Mostly this seems to be down to officer Buck Tuddrussel (Rob Paulsen), a scruffy and immature perennial bachelor, who nevertheless happens to be the station's most senior officer.

The only other official member of Buck's unit is Larry 3000 (Mark Hamill), a translator robot and former diplomat who was rendered more or less obsolete when all of the world's nations merged. Buck's mindless machismo clashes with Larry's effete sensibilities, and the two bicker terribly. Added to this the fact that neither of them has any great knowledge of history, they made a rather poor team together.

However, when they encounter Otto Osworth (Pamela Adlon), an 8-year-old orphan who happens to be a history genius from the 21st century, he is quickly recruited and added to the team. Otto is shown to be the only one on the team with any enthusiasm or competence for the job. The problem is, neither of the other two are particularly willing to listen to his advice, and he must often resort to trickery to make sure the mission is completed.

The Time Squad organization is set up to ensure that history is maintained and the future protected.[2] According to Larry 3000, "time is like a rope", and, as it is woven at one end, ages and gradually unravels and frays at the other. In the context of the show, this often means that historical figures have made different, sometimes anachronistic, choices in life (see free will), and as such will not be able to fulfill the role that history says they fulfilled (an example of this Henry Ford didn't invent the automobile assembly line due to constant hostility of the dodo birds that never became extinct). According to creator Dave Wasson, "We started by basically knowing what a guy did in history, then found the most outlandish way he could go wrong".[3]

Characters[edit]

Time Squad[edit]

  • Otto Osworth (voiced by Pamela Adlon): An orphan illegally traveling along with Tuddrussel and Larry, taken on board due to their incompetence and his impressive historical knowledge (and for Otto to escape his brutal life at the orphanage). Despite being a bookworm, his demeanor is far from boring; he is just as childlike and jocular as any regular 8-year-old. Even though he is the youngest, he is also the most responsible out of the squad, being the only one pure enough to not let himself get swayed by temptations. Depending on who he's siding with, he can either become loud, obnoxious and destructive (when Tuddrussel has him company) or composed and calm (when it's Larry he agrees with).
  • Lawrence "Larry" 3000 (voiced by Mark Hamill): The resident Robot Buddy and the only one on board able to operate the computer. It's his job to make sure the squad ends up at the right time and place. Initially, he was programmed as a polyglotic robot for diplomatic purposes; when all of the nations rejoiced into one, huge country, his consular abilities were no longer needed. Larry is famous for his effeminate behaviour and interests, which are portrayed all but subtly. Unusually, he is extremely dramatic and open in showing his emotions whilst still being the snarkiest of the trio. He prides himself in having knowledge of proper etiquette and manners. For Otto, he has been repeatedly depicted as a maternal figure.
  • Beauregard "Buck" Tuddrussel (voiced by Rob Paulsen): A time cop, who possesses all the physical requirements for his job and none the intellectual. Whenever there's someone who needs a beating up (and even when they don't), he's the best person to get assigned for such a task. Impulsiveness, aggressiveness and air-headedness are traits which define Tuddrussel quite nicely. Not much of his backstory is known, aside from his Southern heritage and a short-lived marriage to fellow time cop Sheila Sternwell.

Recurring characters[edit]

  • Sheila Sternwell (voiced by Mari Weiss): A lieutenant within Time Squad ranks, Sheila is a no-nonsense woman that takes her job seriously. The ex-wife of Buck Tuddrussel, it's made clear that while she regrets making the mistake of marrying him in the first place, and can be slightly bitter towards him, she doesn't actually resent him and still does her job and helps out Tuddrussel and his unit when needed. She even seems to go far in not ratting out Tuddrussel and Larry over Otto, and other screw ups that she should be reporting.
  • XJ5 (voiced by Daran Norris): An advanced robot that is more qualified for the job of a time cop than Larry, and he loves to rub it in. Working with Officer Sternwell, he provides actual help and guidance on missions.
  • J.T. Laser (voiced by Jim Wise): Professional and competent, he is the best of the best of what Time Squad has to offer; but he is also an arrogant jerk that gladly makes trouble for Tuddrussel and Larry.
  • Lance Nine Trillion (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson): The best officer in Time Squad needs to have the robot with the most advanced technology right?. Lance is the perfect partner for J.T.
  • Sister Thornley (voiced by Dee Dee Rescher): Otto's former caretaker and the main villain of the show before getting taken by Larry and Tuddrussel. Otto had good reason to fear her, as did the other kids that she kept. Obviously not afraid of the police or anyone coming after her, Sister Thornley freely abuses the kids that are put into her care, while at the home and even more disturbingly in public. Her motives are despairingly questionable, such making the children work under horrific conditions in order to make a quick buck, or why she had a problem with Otto reading books, (or any child reading, for that matter. She apparently had an entire policy against it). Quick to punish, she makes it clear that one does not want to cross her path. At the end, Larry and Tuddrussel takes Otto back with them much to her dismay. They leave another kid that they got from another orphanage whom Thornley takes advantage of.

Historical figures[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 13 (27 segments) June 8, 2001 (2001-06-08) October 26, 2001 (2001-10-26)
2 13 (26 segments) March 22, 2002 (2002-03-22) November 26, 2003 (2003-11-26)

Timeline and world history[edit]

Voice cast[edit]

Principal voice cast[edit]

Historical figures/Special guests[edit]

Reception[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2001 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement in a Primetime or Late Night Animated Television Production[4] Cartoon Network Studios Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Production Design in an Animated Television Production[4] Tim Biskup Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production[4] Pamela Adlon
as Otto Osworth for "Eli Whitney's Flesh Eating Mistake"
Nominated
2002 Outstanding Character Design in an Animated Television Production[5] Alex Kirwan
for "The Clownfather"
Nominated
Outstanding Production Design in an Animated Television Production[5] Dave Wasson
for "Keepin' It Real with Sitting Bull"
Nominated

Merchandise[edit]

Home media releases[edit]

Time Squad has not received any official DVD releases. However, the episode "Dishonest Abe" is featured in the Powerpuff Girls VHS Meet the Beat-Alls.

Promotions[edit]

Cartoon Network and Subway partnered to release five Time Squad-themed toys in Subway Kids Paks. The promotion lasted from September 30 to November 17, 2002.[6]

Video games[edit]

Though the series has no official video games, the character Larry-3000 appears in the Cartoon Network game Cartoon Network Universe: FusionFall.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bernstein, Paula (February 21, 2001). "Cartoon Net Gives Go to 4 New Shows". Variety. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  2. ^ "Eli Whitney's Flesh-Eating Mistake". Time Squad. Season 1. Episode 1. June 8, 2001. Cartoon Network. 
  3. ^ Keveney, Bill (June 8, 2001). "'Time Squad' Aims to Rewrite History". USA Today. p. 15E.  |section= ignored (help)
  4. ^ a b c "29th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2001)". AnnieAwards.org. ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  5. ^ a b "30th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2002)". AnnieAwards.org. ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  6. ^ "Subway and Cartoon Network Partner". QSR Magazine. Journalistic. September 3, 2002. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 

External links[edit]