Total Drama Island

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This article is about the first season. For the entire series, see Total Drama.
Total Drama Island
The Total Drama Island logo.
Country of origin Canada
No. of episodes 28 (including special and review)
Original network Teletoon
Original release July 8, 2007 (2007-07-08) – November 29, 2008 (2008-11-29)[1][2]
Season chronology
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Total Drama Action
List of Total Drama episodes

Total Drama Island (sometimes shortened to TDI) is a Canadian animated television series which premiered in Canada on Teletoon on July 8, 2007 and on June 5, 2008 in the U.S. on Cartoon Network. This is the first season of the Total Drama series and has 27 episodes, each 22 minutes in duration[3] with a special 44 minute episode at the end. The season is mostly a parody of the series Survivor, which consists of twenty-two campers in an elimination-based competition. On the Cartoon Network airing in the United States, some content has been removed from the episodes by censors in order to keep the rating open to a younger audience; for example, putting in words instead of long bleeps, and censoring of sensitive body parts, for the episodes "That's Off the Chain" and "Trial by Tri-Armed Triathlon". The fourth season, Total Drama: Revenge of the Island, also takes place on the same island as this season, but with an all-new cast. Total Drama Island was created by Tom McGillis and Jennifer Pertsch with their production studio, Fresh TV, which also created their previous animated series, 6teen.


A grand view of the main setting used in this season (which is artificially recreated in the next season). The island is also used in the fourth and fifth seasons (which leads to its destruction).

Total Drama Island sets in a fictional titular reality show that follows the competition of 22 unsuspecting and unknowing teenagers at Camp Wawanakwa, the most rundown, bug-infested, disgusting island located in an unspecified area in Muskoka, Ontario. The campers participate in competitions and challenges which get more insane and dangerous each week to avoid being voted off the island by their fellow campers and teammates. At the end of the series, the winning contestant will win C$100,000. The competition is hosted by Chris McLean, who is assisted by the camp's chef, Chef Hatchet, who is also Chris McLean's best friend despite being mistreated at times. Egotistical and immoral to them, unless it affects him legally, Chris places the show's contestants in various life-threatening challenges.

At the beginning of the season, the twenty-two 16-year-old teen campers are placed into two groups of eleven, the "Screaming Gophers" and the "Killer Bass". In each episode, the teams participate in a challenge, in which one or more campers can win invincibility for their team. The losing team is called to the campfire that night, where they vote one of their members off the island. The camper with the most votes is eliminated from the competition. At this campfire, McLean passes out marshmallows to the campers who have not been voted off, while the one who does not get a marshmallow must walk down the Dock of Shame to the Boat of Losers, which will take them away from the island and they will "never, never, never, ever, ever, ever, come back, ever" according to Chris (this was proved a lie in "No Pain, No Game", when he brought Eva and Izzy back into the game).

About halfway through the season, the teams are disbanded, so it is every camper for themselves, after which the challenges continue; the winner of each challenge then only receives invincibility for him or herself, whereupon the rest of the campers vote one camper without invincibility off the island. This process of elimination continued on until two players remain on the island. These two players, Gwen and Owen, were then subject to a final contest. At the end of the season, Owen wins the competition, while Gwen ends up being the runner-up. Total Drama Island is a parody of the reality show Survivor. Host Chris McLean is very similar to Survivor host Jeff Probst.[4] This is the first season in which the winner does not get to keep the money, due to it being eaten by a shark in the episode "Total Drama Drama Drama Drama Island".


Total Drama Island is a Canadian animated television series which premiered on July 8, 2007, on the Teletoon channel. This season has 26 episodes, each 22 minutes in duration, and two special episodes.[5] It was the third Cartoon Network show outside of Adult Swim and Toonami to have the U.S. rating of either "TV-PG" or "TV-PG-D", and a parental-guidance warning after every commercial break and at the beginning of the show (the first two being Sunday Pants and IGPX). Its rating in Canada was initially "G" while current broadcasts are rated "PG".

Season Episodes Country Network First air date Last air date
1 28[6] Canada Teletoon July 8, 2007 November 29, 2008
United States Cartoon Network June 5, 2008 December 18, 2008
United Kingdom Jetix April 1, 2009 May 6, 2009


The primary cast of Total Drama Island.

Top: DJ, Duncan, Tyler, Harold, Geoff, and Heather
Middle: Lindsay, Leshawna, Eva, Justin, Owen, Noah, Trent, Gwen, and Cody
Sitting: Izzy, Bridgette, Courtney, Katie, Sadie, Ezekiel, and Beth

There are 22 original contestants who competed in Total Drama Island. They are Beth, Bridgette, Cody, Courtney, DJ, Duncan, Eva, Ezekiel, Geoff, Gwen, Harold, Heather, Izzy, Justin, Katie, Leshawna, Lindsay, Noah, Owen, Sadie, Trent, and Tyler. Depending on the country, Owen or Gwen win, with the other as the runner-up with Heather in third. However, no one really wins any money in this season, as the prize money was instead given up by the winner for an opportunity to win even more money (depending on the ending shown, Owen voluntarily gives up the money, while Gwen is forced to give it up by Chris and Chef), but at the same time giving everyone an equal chance to win again.

Voice actor Role Episodes worked
Stephanie Anne Mills Lindsay 22/28 episodes
Katie 11/28 episodes
Emilie-Claire Barlow[note 1] Courtney 16/28 episodes
Clé Bennett Chef Hatchet 25/28 episodes
DJ 23/28 episodes
Julia Chantrey Eva 8/28 episodes
Katie Crown Izzy 18/28 episodes
Novie Edwards Leshawna 25/28 episodes
Megan Fahlenbock Gwen Whole season
Kristin Fairlie Bridgette 21/28 episodes
Brian Froud Harold 17/28 episodes
Sarah Gadon Beth 14/28 episodes
Carter Hayden Noah 8/28 episodes
Lauren Lipson Sadie 15/28 episodes
Scott McCord Owen Whole season
Trent 20/28 episodes
Drew Nelson Duncan Whole season
Peter Oldring Cody 14/28 episodes
Ezekiel 6/28 episodes
Tyler 11/28 episodes
Dan Petronijevic Geoff 25/28 episodes
Christian Potenza Chris McLean 27/28 episodes
Adam Reid Justin 9/28 episodes
Rachel Wilson Heather Whole season


There are teams in every season of the show. The teams in this season are the Screaming Gophers and the Killer Bass. Here are the members of each team after the first team switch:

  • Screaming Gophers: Beth, Cody, Gwen, Heather, Izzy, Justin, Leshawna, Lindsay, Noah, Owen, and Trent.
  • Killer Bass: Bridgette, Courtney, DJ, Duncan, Eva, Ezekiel, Geoff, Harold, Katie, Sadie, and Tyler.

At the start of the series, Katie was on the Screaming Gophers, and Izzy was on the Killer Bass, but Katie and Sadie refused to be on opposite teams due to their fear of being separated from each other, so Katie and Izzy switched places.


For every season, the show's producers create two alternate endings for the final episode, such that the winner seen in one country's broadcasts is the runner-up in other countries (and vice versa) where the show airs. Owen is the original winner in Canada, but he is also shown as the winner in Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Latin America, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom and in the United States. Gwen is the original runner-up in Canada, but she is also the winner in Finland, Norway, Poland, Romania and in Sweden.


Total Drama Island was developed and produced by Fresh TV starting in 2006 with an early name for the series being Camp TV.[7] The season was animated at Elliott Animation and was directed by Todd Kauffman and Mark Thornton.[8] It is primarily targeted at twelve- to eighteen-year-olds, and the creators, Tom McGillis and Jennifer Pertsch, studied what teenagers liked and disliked about reality television shows in the writing process.[9] McGillis says they used a "countrywide online research project" to determine this demographic's likes.[10] Fresh TV Inc. partners McGillis, Pertsch, Elliott and Irving produced the series.[11] The budget for the series was $8 million.[12] It was animated in Flash,[8] at Elliott Animation's studio in Toronto.[11] Every cast and crew member on Total Drama Island had to sign a confidentiality agreement not to disclose who the winner was.[13] All the characters were designed by Kauffman.[14] Voice actors from the FreshTV series 6teen have lent their voices for Total Drama Island: Christian Potenza, who played the character Jude on 6teen, played the role of host Chris McLean. Potenza said that the best part of the job was that his character could not be voted off the show.[15] Emilie-Claire Barlow plays a recurring role as Chrissy on 6teen and plays Courtney on Total Drama Island. Barlow stated that Courtney was her favorite character that she had ever played.[16] Other voice actors from 6teen include Julia Chantrey as Eva; Drew Nelson (Kai) as Duncan; Megan Fahlenbock (Jen) as Gwen; Adam Reid (Wayne) as Justin; Stephanie Anne Mills (Kirsten) as Lindsay and Katie; and Rachel Wilson (Melinda Wilson) as Heather.



Carole Bonneau, the Vice President of programming of Teletoon Canada stated that Total Drama Island, along with Fresh TV's 6teen were "consistently top performers" for audiences of ages 6–11, and also helped to bring in older viewers as well.[17] When Total Drama Island aired on the American Cartoon Network, it performed very well; The Toronto Star reported that, "in some ages groups [Total Drama Island showed] a 500 per cent ratings increase in [its] time slot."[10] On December 11, 2008, Total Drama Island garnered 3.5 million viewers.[18] That year, the series was the top "regularly scheduled Thursday night program at 9 p.m. on all television throughout third quarter among boys 2-11, 6-11 and 9-14," according to the Animation World Network.[19] On Memorial Day weekend of 2009, a marathon of Total Drama Island increased viewership in age groups 2-11, 6-11, and 9-14, each by 20% or more compared to the same week in 2008.[20] As of 2011, Total Drama Island has aired in over 188 countries.[21]

Critical reaction[edit]

Total Drama Island has received critical acclaim. Common Sense Media gave the show 4 out of 5 stars, calling it a "[c]lever cartoon reality show spoof", even though it also describes it as too intense for young children to watch.[22] The series was nominated for a Gemini Award for "Best Animated Program or Series", shared by Tom McGillis, Jennifer Pertsch, George Elliott and Brian Irving.[23] Debi Enker of The Age gave a negative review of the season's last episode, calling the art, design and writing "lamentable."[24]

Public reaction[edit]

Total Drama Island received a score of 8.2 on Metacritic from users, which indicates "universal acclaim". Many of the fans viewed the show as one of the best cartoons of its time.[25]


DVD releases[edit]

A DVD was released by Cartoon Network on August 18, 2009 in the United States. It contains all of the 27 episodes (including TDI Rundown) of season one of this series in a 4 disc set, for a total of 594 minutes long. In addition, its bonus features (entitled as X-tras) are the audition tapes of twenty two campers, as well as Izzy's second audition tape and her exclusive interview with Chris. In Australia, Total Drama Island is on Region 4 DVD as separate volumes. This series of discs contains the widescreen version with uncut scenes and original dialogue, as seen on Teletoon and ABC3. In reviewing the DVD for season, Matthew Price of The Oklahoman wrote that while the show started out "unbelievably slowly," the series became more interesting as campers began getting voted off. Price also praised the parody of reality shows.[26] In another review of the DVD, Jeffrey Kauffman of DVD Talk wrote that the character development was compelling and that the parody of reality shows were very funny.[27] Mac McEntire of DVD Verdict praised the character development as well, but noted that the show sometimes sinks to "lowbrow gross-outs".[28] Both Kauffman and McEntire recommended the series DVD.

Total Drama Island Interactive[edit]

Total Drama Island Interactive was an online game in Canada marketed in conjunction with the television series. It was produced by Xenophile Media. By registering a free account, the player could play games using a customizable avatar to earn points for marshmallows. Marshmallows are used as money in the game so the player can buy in-game items. The player who earned the most points had their avatar make a cameo appearance in the season finale.[29] The games were based on the challenges in the show.[30] Total Drama Island Interactive was nominated for an Interactive Emmy Award in 2007.[29] However, the website is currently no longer available, as it has been replaced by Total Drama Online and by the Teletoon official site.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rochelle Wilson voiced Courtney in the first two episodes of the season, "Not So Happy Campers - Part 1" and "Not So Happy Campers - Part 2". Starting with the third episode of the season, "The Big Sleep", Emilie-Claire Barlow voices Courtney. Wilson later returned to the series to voice Sugar in Total Drama: Pahkitew Island.


  1. ^ "Elliott Animation – Productions – Total Drama Island". Archived from the original on July 15, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Total Drama Island: GOPHERS vs. BASS". Archived from the original on January 8, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Elliott Animation - Productions - Total Drama Island". 
  4. ^ Aaron Sagers (September 1, 2009), "Pop 20: If Facebook were a dinner party", The Monitor 
  5. ^ "Elliott Animation – Productions – Total Drama Island". 
  6. ^ "Total Drama Island". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  7. ^ admin (March 27, 2006), "Neptoon's Promo Washes Ashore", Cold Hard Flash, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  8. ^ a b admin (June 29, 2007), "Title Drama Island", Cold Hard Flash, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  9. ^ Playback Staff (May 15, 2006), "Total Drama Island ribs reality TV", Playback, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  10. ^ a b Raju Mudhar (January 11, 2009), "Canadian cartoon show sucking 'em all back in", The Toronto Star, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  11. ^ a b Playback Staff (May 15, 2006), Total Drama Island: And So It Begins, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  12. ^ Annalisa D'Aprile, "L'Isola di cartone che prende in giro i reality", Kata Web (in Italian), retrieved December 25, 2010 
  13. ^ Teletoon (Jun 24, 2007), "From the creators of the award winning series 6teen, the number one show on Teletoon, comes a truly unique reality show for kids", Channel Canada, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  14. ^ Total Drama Island: Final 4[dead link]
  15. ^ Krissie Rutherford (November 3, 2006), "Newest role is 'every guy's dream' – Gemini-nominated Oakville actor has written his own dream role", Oakville Beaver 
  16. ^ Asma Khaliq (March 1, 2007), "Up close with a familiar voice: From Sailor Mars to Timmy's ads, Emilie-Claire Barlow is someone you've definitely heard", The Toronto Star, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  17. ^ "Teletoon orders new series for fall", Media in Canada, retrieved December 22, 2010 
  18. ^ Gary Levin (December 18, 2008), "Nielsens: Dallas, 'Boston' score key ratings wins", USA Today, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  19. ^ Annemarie Moody (October 2, 2008), "Ratings Highlights For Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon", Animation World Network, retrieved December 26, 2010 
  20. ^ Bill Gorman, "Cartoon Network's Total Drama Island Earns Double Digit Increases", TV by the Numbers, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  21. ^ Stinson, Scott (13 October 2011). "Stinson: CanCon on the Croisette at Mipcom". The Globe and Mail. Toronto ON. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  22. ^ "Total Drama Island", Common Sense Media, retrieved December 22, 2010 
  23. ^ "Fresh TV Inc. Celebrates Three Gemini Nominations for Top Rated Shows",,, 2008-08-27, retrieved 2009-03-21 
  24. ^ Debi Enker (June 10, 2010), "Total Drama Island", The Age, p. 36 
  25. ^ "Read User Reviews and Submit your own for Total Drama Island - Metacritic". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  26. ^ Matthew Price (September 25, 2009), "DVD Reviews", The Oklahoman 
  27. ^ Jeffrey Kauffman (August 18, 2009), "Total Drama Island: The Complete Series", DVD Talk, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  28. ^ Mac McEntire (August 19, 2009), "Total Drama Island: The Complete Series", DVD Verdict, retrieved December 26, 2010 
  29. ^ a b "Xenophile Media and Fresh TV Receive International Interactive Emmy(R) Award Nomination for Total Drama Island – Totally Interactive!", Canada Newswire, March 6, 2008 
  30. ^ "BellFund Annual Report: 2006" (PDF), BellFund, 2006, retrieved December 26, 2010 
  31. ^ "ACCUEIL -". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 

External links[edit]