Fireman Sam

Welsh animated children's television series

Fireman Sam (Welsh: Sam Tân) is a British/Canadian animated children's television series about a fireman named Sam and his fellow firefighters who work in the Pontypandy Fire Station, and other residents in a fictional Welsh rural village called Pontypandy (a portmanteau of two real towns, Pontypridd and Tonypandy). The first five series of the show were animated in stop motion, but starting with the sixth series onwards, the show is completely animated in CGI.

Fireman Sam
GenreAdventure
Created by
  • Rob Lee
  • Dave Gingell
  • Dave Jones
Voices of
Narrated byJohn Alderton
Music by
  • Ben Heneghan
  • Ian Lawson
  • Eggplant, LF/Pop Sound Inc. (2005-present)
  • David Pickvance (2008-2019)
  • Blain Morris (2020-present)
  • Mike Shields (2021-present)
  • Amanda Cawley (2021-present)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Canada (Season 5-present)
Original language(s)
  • Welsh (Seasons 1-4)
  • English (Season 5‐present)
No. of series13
No. of episodes231
Production
Producer(s)Various producers
Running time
  • 10 minutes (series)
  • 20 minutes (Christmas special episode)
Production company(s)
Distributor
Release
Original networkUnited Kingdom:

Canada:

  • Teletoon (Season 5)
  • CBC (Season 6)
  • Treehouse TV (Season 7-8)
  • TVOKids (Season 9-present)
Picture format
Audio format
  • Stereo
  • 5.1 Surround Sound
Original release17 November 1987 (1987-11-17)[2] –
present
Other websites
Website

Original ideaEdit

The original idea for the series came from two former firemen from London, who took their idea to artist and writer Rob Lee who developed the concept, and the show was commissioned. The series first appeared in Welsh on S4C on 1 November 1987, and a few weeks later in English on BBC One on 17 November of the same year.

CharactersEdit

FirefightersEdit

  • Fireman Sam is the brave archetypal fireman and protector, who remains composed in an emergency and unfailingly offers assistance to all those in need. He is single, but maintains a close relationship with his niece, Sarah and nephew, James. He spends his spare time in his inventing shed, in which he makes devices ranging from a potato picker made from old bicycle parts to a machine capable of replacing the band. On occasion his inventive streak can undermine his emphasis on fire safety.
  • Elvis Cridlington provides a stark contrast to Sam in both competency and demeanour.
  • Station Officer Steele is the chief of Pontypandy Fire Station. As a former army officer, he insists upon a high standard of both hygiene and efficiency in the fire station.
  • Penny Morris is the only firewoman before Ellie Phillips. She only visited occasionally (hailing from Newtown fire station), and in the new series, she works at Pontypandy fire station full-time. Penny doubles as a mechanic. Her ideas are often unconventional and at odds with her male colleagues, but she usually turns out to have been right. Penny is often known to go on adventures with the's children Sarah and James, Norman Price and Mandy Flood. A relationship between her and Elvis has been hinted more than once. It is also hinted that Penny is a vegetarian.
  • Chief Fire Officer Boyce hails from Newtown and visits Pontypandy.
  • Ellie Phillips is the new female firefighter introduced in the latest feature-length special "Heroes of the Storm". She attended the Newtown Fire Academy and was one of the best in the batch.
  • Arnold McKinley is the new fireman introduced in the latest feature-length special "Heroes of the Storm". It is him who gave the name "Hydrus" to the new rescue vehicle introduced at the end of this special. He attended the Newtown Fire Academy and was one of the best in his batch.
  • Jerry Lee Cridlington is a new firefighter and Elvis' cousin. He made his debut in Castles in the Air as a replacement while Penny Morris was away for the day and whilst he was at the fire station he got Station Officer Steele confused as he thought Elvis was in two places at once. He resembles Elvis, though he has blond hair and according to Elvis, he is the better cook of the two.

Pontypandy residentsEdit

  • Bella Lasagne is the absent-minded village café owner, hailing from Italy and has since moved to Newtown, making various visits. Bella appears to be based on the real Welsh Italians who ran cafés known as "Bracchis" in South Wales Valleys.
  • Ben Hooper is the new coastguard who operates the ocean rescue center.
  • Bentley Jones was Fireman Sam's superhuman invention. He appears in Bentley the Robot and Fireman Sam in Action.
  • Bronwyn Jones (née Griffiths) is a Pontypandy citizen who runs the Wholefish Café and is the mother of Sarah and James. She is the wife of Charlie and the sister-in-law of Fireman Sam.
  • Buck Douglas is an alien-hunter and television presenter who will be introduced in the Fireman Sam special, Alien Alert.
  • Charlie Jones is a fisherman, Bronwyn's husband, Fireman Sam's brother and father of Sarah and James. He is running his fishing boat.
  • Derek Price is Norman's cousin, Mr and Mrs Price's son.
  • Dilys Price runs the village shop. She is a well known gossip, and has great affection for Trevor, the bus driver (something which poor Trevor is too shy to act upon). Dilys is the mother of mischief-maker Norman Price, but is frequently blind to her son's troublesome ways. She dotes on her only child, or "Mummy's Little Darling" or My Little Treasure as she sometimes calls him. In the original series, Dilys is shown to be more snobbish than in the later series. She also appears to use malapropisms in her speech (for example, "historical" instead of "hysterical", "I'm suffering from smoke installation (inhalation)", and "I'm a very reprehensible (responsible) person, me"). She tells her son Norman to turn off the "eccentric" (electric) blanket given to Norman by his Nan. Dilys is also known to be self-centered; when she and Bella think they are going to be abducted by aliens, Bella says, "It's-a coming straight for us!", to which Dilys replies, "Stands to reason, if they want intelligent lifeforms," while looking disapprovingly at Bella.
  • Gareth Griffiths is the father of Bronwyn, maternal grandfather of Sarah and James and Charlie's father-in-Law.
  • Hannah Sparkes is an eleven-year-old girl and Joe and Lizzie's daughter. She is the only child in Pontypandy to use a wheelchair.
  • Helen Flood is the nurse, mother of Mandy Flood, and wife of Mike Flood.
  • Sarah and James Jones are the relatively well-behaved six-year-old twins of Charlie and Bronwyn, niece and nephew of Fireman Sam. They are often more sensible in an emergency than Norman. When they grow up they want to be firefighters like their uncle Sam. They started acting more like naughty twins in the 2008 series (i.e. insulting each other, having arguments, and sometimes being the cause of an emergency, but it is made clear they still care for each other). Sarah's catchphrase from 2012 is "I have/What a totally brilliant idea!" while James' is "Here I go."
  • Joe Sparkes is the village's mechanic and father of Hannah Sparkes.
  • Lamikins is a lamb that is Woolly's child. Norman also tries to look after Lamikins.
  • Lily Chen is the three-year-old daughter of Mrs Chen and youngest child on the show.
  • Lizzie Sparkes is Joe's wife, Hannah's mum and the vet.
  • Mandy Flood is a seven-year-old girl and daughter to Helen and Mike Flood. Her behaviour is that of a bridge between naughty Norman and well-behaved Sarah and James.
  • Mike Flood is a handyman, husband of Helen, and father of Mandy Flood.
  • Moose Roberts is a famous mountain climber who hails from Canada and works at the Mountain Activity Centre.
  • Mrs Chen is the mother of Lily and the rather rude and bossy schoolteacher.
  • Norman Price is a seven-year-old boy with a love of practical jokes and skateboarding. Unfortunately, Norman regularly fails to set appropriate limits on his own behaviour, and has been known to cause mischief and sometimes causes havoc at the fire station, and for many of Pontypandy residents. He has shown interest in becoming a firefighter himself one day.
  • Tom Thomas is a helicopter pilot who hails from Australia. He helps with certain emergencies if the firefighters need his assistance.
  • Trevor Evans is a West Indian former auxiliary fireman with the Pontypandy brigade. His job is as the village's bus driver. He is known for his fondness for cricket, his fear of heights, his awkward manner and general bad luck streak, but nonetheless exhibits a great devotion to the welfare of others (especially Dilys). In the 2005 and 2008 seasons, Trevor is no longer an auxiliary firefighter but is still the bus driver, and the spark between him and Dilys still holds strong.

AnimalsEdit

  • Rosa is Bella's pet cat that often goes missing.
  • Dusty is a stray flea-ridden dog that soon becomes the fire station's mascot.
  • Lion is Bronwyn's striped, ginger cat.
  • Nipper is Gareth's brown dog.
  • Norris is James and Sarah's guinea pig.
  • Radar is a fire station Dalmatian dog.
  • Woolly is a sheep that Norman tries to look after.

OthersEdit

  • M.O.P. Jones is a robotic bin when to have Sam's plan he was to do to stop people to vehicles in the episode 'The Great Inventor'.
  • WP was the call sign of fire control during the first four seasons of Fireman Sam. It is monitored by a woman whom has never been seen in the series and relays emergencies to the Pontypandy fire fighter whilst they are out on call.

VehiclesEdit

LandEdit

  • Ambulance/Doctor's car is the only medical vehicle in Pontypandy. The ambulance is a small car and has only ever been driven by Nurse Flood. It bears a resemblance to a Smart car.
  • Bessie is the old fire engine which runs on rails. It was used when Station Officer Steele was a young fireman. It is driven by Station Officer Steele, Fireman Sam and Firefighter Penny Morris.
  • Bus is the only road vehicle which is public transport and is driven by Trevor Evans.
  • Jupiter is a special aerial platform combined fire engine (originally a traditional fire engine). Fireman Sam and Elvis mainly drive it, and occasionally, the other firefighters will drive it too.
  • Mercury is the third vehicle which is used for fire emergencies. It is a quad-bike mainly driven by Fireman Sam, however Steele and Elvis have since driven it.
  • Mobile Command Unit was introduced in the feature-length special movie, Heroes of the Storm.
  • Mountain Rescue 4x4 is a Jeep based at the mountain rescue centre. It is used in occasional mountain emergencies and is driven by Tom Thomas, Fireman Sam and Firefighter Penny Morris.
  • Phoenix is the newest vehicle at the station, it is a multi-purpose 4x4 with an extending crane for animal rescue uses. It is mainly driven by Ellie or Penny.
  • Pontypandy Flyer is a railway steam train driven and owned by Gareth Griffiths. It goes from Pontypandy Station to the mountain activity centre owned by Canadian hiker Moose Roberts.
  • Van is a three-seated van driven and used for Mike Flood's job as a handyman.
  • Venus is Pontypandy's second fire vehicle and is a rescue tender mainly driven by Firefighter Penny Morris and occasionally by Fireman Sam and the other firefighters.

AirEdit

  • Cloud Scraper is a hot air balloon created by Joe Sparkes, it appeared in the Series 9 episode "Up, Up and Away".
  • Cloud Scraper 2 is a hot air balloon mentioned by Mandy Flood and Joe Sparkes.
  • Saturn is the heat GPS tracker drone.
  • Wallaby One is the rescue helicopter manned by Tom Thomas and occasionally Fireman Sam. It is stationed at the Mountain Rescue Centre where Tom Thomas works. It has a double harness which is used by Fireman Sam.

WaterEdit

  • Fishing Boat is a boat owned by Charlie Jones who is a fisherman and it is used for his work.
  • Hydrus, built and previously owned by Moose is the amphibious rescue vehicle that can be used on land and on water but not the sea, it is driven by Fireman Sam. It is the sixth fire vehicle in the show.
  • Juno is a rescue jet ski driven by Fireman Sam.
  • Neptune is the rescue boat driven by Firewoman Penny Morris and Fireman Sam and was the original boat in the series until series 9.
  • Skiff is a rowing or sailing boat that makes appearances in Fireman Sam.
  • Titan is the main fire boat manned by Ben Hooper, the lifeguard alongside Firefighter Penny Morris. It has two water cannons.

LocationsEdit

Within PontypandyEdit

  • Café was the Italian café ran by Bella Lasagne. Bella's café was based on the real-life 'Bracchis' run by Welsh Italians. It is still seen in the CGI series but as a coffee shop.
  • Coast Road is the main road that takes anyone from Pontypandy to neighbouring places Pontypandy Mountain and Newtown. The coast road was a common scene when travelling to emergencies in Series 5.
  • Cut Price Supermarket is the village shop in Pontypandy and is run by Dilys Price. It sells almost everything and is has a 7-Eleven/gas store look. It has a second level which is like a house and Norman lives up on the second level. In Series 1–5 it was called N.W Price.
  • Disused Coal Mineshaft is a disused mineshaft that was out of coal from.
  • Disused Gold Mine is a disused mine at the end of the Pontypandy Mountain Railway there are many underground caves which are prone to flooding.
  • Disused Quarry, appeared in Quarry Rescue.
  • Field, Bella's Field (also known as the Potato Patch) appears in Barn Fire. Bella owns a field somewhere in the Pontypandy countryside, this is where she grows potates for her cafe presumably other vegetables are grown here too.
  • Garage is Joe's Sparkes place of work in the town of Pontypandy. It was introduced in Season 9.
  • House is Fireman Sam's house was loacted right beside the Fire Station till the new one was built and it had to be removed and the house where the Flood family lives at it is right outside of Pontypandy and the sheep field is near by.
  • Mountain Activity Centre is owned and run by Moose Roberts. It is at the base of Pontypandy Mountain. The interior of the Centre was first seen in The Pontypandyness Monster and again in Heroes of the Storm.
  • Mountain Rescue Centre is owned by Tom Thomas. The Centre is in the valley near the Pontypandy mountain range. It is a small, log building surrounded by railings. It has a balcony with a wind sock and helipad for Wallaby 1, the Mountain Rescue helicopter. It has a satellite dish on the roof and a small tree out the back. This is the place of work for Tom Thomas and also the place he lives.
  • Pontypandy is the Welsh village where the television series is set. Newtown is the neighbouring town.
  • Pontypandy Fire Station is the fire station which has been rebuilt twice. Originally, it had 1 vehicle bay for Jupiter, and Venus parked outside. For the 2005 series, there was still only 1 vehicle bay, but had been revamped so Venus had a room at the back of the station. In the CGI series, there were two stations overall, one from 2008–14 and one from Heroes of the Storm onwards. In the third station, there were two vehicle bays (one for Jupiter and one for Venus). Finally, in the last station, there are 4 vehicle bays (one for Jupiter, one for Venus, one for Phoenix and a large one for Mercury and Hydrus). in the original series the fire station consisted of; Jupiter's garage, kitchen and Steele's office, for the 2005 series, same setup but with a gym, for the 2008 series the station was completely revamped, making the entire bottom floor with Steele's office and the garage and upstairs the kitchen. The station now has a sitting room, briefing room, control room, kitchen and dining room and there are two poles.
  • Pontypandy Island is a small isle a fair bit off from the mainland.
  • Pontypandy Mountain is the highest point in Pontypandy. It first appeared in the Series 5 episode Danger Falling Sheep. At the base of the mountain is the Mountain Activity Centre.
  • Pontypandy Park is a park introduced in Season 1.
  • Pontypandy Picnic Area is near Pontypandy Mountain in the countryside between Newtown and Pontypandy.
  • Pontypandy Ruins are on a cliff along the Pontypandy coast.
  • Pontypandy Train Line is a train line that runs up to Pontypadny Mountain where the Mountain Activity Center is and the Old Mines where Penny took the kids in Heroes of the Storm.
  • Pontypandy Veterinary Clinic was introduced in the Series 10 episode, Runaway Horse. It is run by Lizzie Sparkes.
  • Wholefish Café is a café that is run by Charlie and Bronwyn Jones. It appears in the CGI series.

Outside of PontypandyEdit

  • Newtown is a neighbouring town to Pontypandy.
  • Ocean Rescue Centre is a boathouse at the quay where Neptune the lifeboat is parked. In the 2014 Series it is upgraded and Juno and Titan are added.

NotesEdit

  1. Known as DHX Studios Halifax during Season 11. Credited as an outsourcer in Series 12.
  2. Vancouver studio.


ReferencesEdit

  1. "Wildbrain and Mattel TV Come to the Rescue with Fireman Sam season 12". WildBrain.
  2. Shuttleworth, Peter (17 November 2017). "Happy 30th birthday Fireman Sam". BBC News.