Danger Mouse (TV series)

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Danger Mouse
DangerMouseTVtitle.jpg
GenreComedy
Espionage
FormatAnimated series
Created byBrian Cosgrove
Mark Hall
Voices ofDavid Jason
Terry Scott
Edward Kelsey
Brian Trueman
Jimmy Hibbert
Narrated byDavid Jason
Original language(s)English
No. of series10
No. of episodes161
(+2 unaired pilot episodes) (List of episodes)
Production
Running time5-25 minutes
Production company(s)Cosgrove Hall for
Thames Television
DistributorFremantleMedia Enterprises
Broadcast
Original channelITV (CITV)
Nickelodeon (USA)
Picture format4:3
Original run28 September 1981 (1981-09-28) – 19 March 1992 (1992-03-19)
Chronology
Related showsCount Duckula (spin-off)
 
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Danger Mouse
DangerMouseTVtitle.jpg
GenreComedy
Espionage
FormatAnimated series
Created byBrian Cosgrove
Mark Hall
Voices ofDavid Jason
Terry Scott
Edward Kelsey
Brian Trueman
Jimmy Hibbert
Narrated byDavid Jason
Original language(s)English
No. of series10
No. of episodes161
(+2 unaired pilot episodes) (List of episodes)
Production
Running time5-25 minutes
Production company(s)Cosgrove Hall for
Thames Television
DistributorFremantleMedia Enterprises
Broadcast
Original channelITV (CITV)
Nickelodeon (USA)
Picture format4:3
Original run28 September 1981 (1981-09-28) – 19 March 1992 (1992-03-19)
Chronology
Related showsCount Duckula (spin-off)
Danger Mouse, as seen in the title sequence.

Danger Mouse is a British children's animated television series which was produced by Cosgrove Hall Films for Thames Television. It features the eponymous Danger Mouse, an English mouse who works as a superhero/secret agent. The show is a loose parody of British spy fiction, particularly James Bond and the Danger Man series starring Patrick McGoohan. The show originally ran in the United Kingdom from 28 September 1981 to 19 March 1992. In the English-language version, the titular hero was voiced by David Jason.

Series[edit]

Although all the characters in the series are animals, the adventures of Danger Mouse appear to be taking place alongside the human world; there are various examples of a mouse-sized Danger Mouse walking through human-scale sets, standing on table-football tables and, not least, living inside a normal size pillar box. This becomes less consistent as the series goes on, as many later episodes show the characters as being human size. There are also times when the cast attempts to deliberately interact with humans (such as Duckula mind-controlling human Members of Parliament to be as showbiz-mad as he is, as well as the episode "Trip to America," where Danger Mouse and Penfold are seen to interact with a Texan).

Because a ten-minute episode needed 2,000 drawings, the cartoons made frequent use of repeated footage and "in the dark" sequences (black with eyeballs visible only, or, in Danger Mouse's case, simply one eyeball) as a cost-cutting measure. A recurring setting for episodes was "The North Pole" - so chosen because the white, snow-covered backgrounds would require minimal painting and colouring.[citation needed]

Although rumours of a CGI revival of the show have persisted in recent years, no official announcements have been made. The original Danger Mouse returned to terrestrial television after the BBC purchased episodes of the series to broadcast in its daytime schedules with its first broadcast on 12 February 2007.[1][2]

The hero wears an eyepatch and his chest is prominently emblazoned with the initials 'DM'. This causes problems for those translating the series into other languages, where a literal translation of the words 'Danger' and 'Mouse' do not have those initials; the Scots Gaelic version, for example, calls the series (and the lead) Donnie Murdo (two given names unconnected either with mice or danger). He was Dzielna Mysz (brave mouse) in Polish, Dundermusen (Thundermouse) in Swedish, and Dare Dare Motus in French, "Dare Dare" being French slang for "as fast as possible". The Slovene translation omitted the DM initials entirely, however, dubbing Danger Mouse Hrabri mišek ('Brave Mouse').

Popularity[edit]

By 1983, Danger Mouse viewing figures hit an all-time high of 21.59 million viewers.[3] Danger Mouse was the first British cartoon to break into the American TV market (since the animated shorts Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings, Ludwig, and Paddington Bear being shown in the 1970s) following syndication on 4 June 1984, where, it garnered a tremendous fan following that still exists.[citation needed] Since it went off air, it has been periodically repeated and been released on DVD. In the United States, it was broadcast on Nickelodeon in the 1980s in the late afternoons and in the early evenings as a segue into prime-time hours (as the A&E Network and later Nick-at-Nite) as the series appealed to both pre-teens and adults with its quick-witted English humour.[4]

In Australia, it was first broadcast on ABC TV, then moved to Network Ten in 1996. It is still best remembered as a Classic ABC programme. It was also the first British cartoon to break into Cheez TV, being shown on the weekdays.

In the UK, Channel 4's 100 Greatest Kids' TV Shows, Danger Mouse came third, beaten only by The Muppet Show and The Simpsons.[5]

Other adaptations[edit]

A long-running comic strip adaptation, written by Angus P. Allan and illustrated by Arthur Ranson, ran in Look-In magazine and was syndicated in various other magazines. Ranson also provided some backdrops for the TV series. Allan and Ranson's work was highly appreciated by Cosgrove Hall, and the pair were awarded an "Oh Goodness!, Oh Crikey!" award in appreciation of their services. Some of Allan's stories were adapted for the television series, although Allan's name was misspelled "Angus Allen". Artist Ranson later went on to illustrate Judge Anderson in the UK comic 2000 AD.

A series of video games based on the character also appeared. The first were Danger Mouse in Double Trouble and Danger Mouse in the Black Forest Chateau (both in 1984) followed by Danger Mouse in Making Whoopee! in 1985.[6][7][8]

Some stories were also available as read-along cassettes with accompanying books. These were re-read by the cast for audio.

Merchandise[edit]

During its run, the series spawned a wide range of merchandise, including story books, hardback annuals, jigsaw puzzles, a Panini sticker album, View-Master disks and of course, VHS releases. In the years since, Danger Mouse products have continued to sell, often aimed at the now-adult audience which grew up with it, such as t-shirts, mugs, keyrings, fridge magnets and posters. To coincide with the 25th anniversary, Cosgrove Hall also licensed rights to a number of companies to produce a range of new anniversary merchandise including Blues Clothing (women’s and girls’ underwear and sleepwear) and Concept 2 Creation (collectible figurines).

Fremantle media launched a webshop run by Metrostar e-commerce where a wide variety of goods were for sale, including the CD Audio adaptation of two Dangermouse episodes using the original artists voices, released by Steve Deakin-Davies : The Ambition Company.

Characters[edit]

Heroes[edit]

Penfold in
"The Odd Ball Runaround".

Villains[edit]

Others[edit]

Episodes[edit]

DVD releases[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

FremantleMedia released six Region 0 in 2001-2003, featuring 6-8 random episodes in each set. In September 2006, Fremantle Media released a further six DVDs and a 12 Disc DVD box set. The 25th Anniversary DVD set has all 161 episodes, but some were originally aired in five-minute segments, so these have been edited together to make a total of 89 episodes. This means much of David Jason's 'cliffhanger' narration is not present on the DVDs. Although the box set has received mostly positive reviews, some cited the lack of chronological order of the episodes as a disappointment.

A 10-disc "30th Anniversary Edition" box set was released on 26 September 2011, with the episodes in broadcast order.

DVD NameNo of episodesRelease DateAdditional Information
Danger Mouse Vol. 1: Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind!
6
5 March 2001

6 episodes:

  • Custard
  • Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind!
  • The Duel
  • The Day of the Suds
  • The Bad Luck Eye of the Little Yellow God
  • The Four Tasks of Danger Mouse

Special features

  • Biographies.
  • First ever Count Duckula episode "No Sax Please, We're Egyptian!".
Danger Mouse Vol. 2: Danger Mouse Saves the World... Again!
6
4 June 2001

6 episodes:

  • The Invasion of Colonel K
  • Danger Mouse Saves the World...Again!
  • The Odd Ball Runaround
  • The Wild, Wild Goose Chase!
  • The Return of Count Duckula!
  • Demons aren't Dull?!

No special features.

Danger Mouse - Tower of Terror
6
15 October 2001

6 episodes:

  • 150 Million Years Lost
  • The Planet of the Cats
  • Four Heads are Better Than Two
  • Tower of Terror
  • The Great Bone Idol
  • Public Enemy No. 1

Special features:

  • Pilot Episode "The Mystery of the Lost Chord".
Danger Mouse - Project Moon
8
11 March 2002

8 episodes:

  • Long Lost Crown Affair
  • By George, It's a Dragon!
  • Project Moon
  • Remote-Controlled Chaos
  • Ee-Tea!
  • Journey to the Earth's... 'Cor!
  • Play it Again, Wufgang!
  • The Clock Strikes Back!

Special features:

  • Original theme tune ideas.
Viva Danger Mouse
8
9 September 2002

8 episodes:

  • Viva Danger Mouse
  • Gremlin Alert
  • Tut, Tut, It's Not Pharaoh!
  • Multiplication Fable
  • Lost, Found and Spellbound
  • Mechanised Mayhem
  • Bandits, Beans and Ballyhoo!
  • The Martian Misfit

Special features:

  • Cast list.
Danger Mouse - Who Stole the Bagpipes?
8
10 March 2003

8 episodes:

  • Who Stole the Bagpipes?
  • Aaaaargh! Spiders!
  • The Chicken Run
  • Tiptoe Through the Penfolds
  • Trouble with Ghosts
  • Nero Power
  • The Plague of Pyramids
  • Alping is Snow Easy Matter

Special features:

  • Pilot Episode "The Mystery of the Lost Chord".
Danger Mouse 1 - Rogue Robots
9
4 September 2006

9 episodes:

  • Rogue Robots
  • The Dream Machine
  • Lord of the Bungle
  • Die Laughing
  • The World of Machines
  • Ice Station Camel
  • The Strange Case of the Ghost Bus
  • Pillow Fright!
  • The Trip to America

Special features:

  • Quiz.
  • Photo gallery.
Danger Mouse 2 - The Spy Who Stayed in with a Cold
9
4 September 2006

9 episodes:

  • The Next Ice Age Begins at Midnight!
  • The Aliens are Coming!
  • The Man from Gadget
  • Tampering with Time Tickles
  • Hear, Hear
  • The Spy Who Stayed in with a Cold
  • Statues
  • Heavy Duty
  • One of our Stately Homes is Missing

Special features:

  • "Where's Penfold?" game.
  • Photo gallery.
Danger Mouse 3 - The Hickory Dickory Dock Dilemma
7
4 September 2006

7 episodes:

  • Cor! What a Picture!
  • The Hickory Dickory Dock Dilemma
  • Once Upon a Time Slip
  • It's All White, White Wonder!
  • What a Three-Point Turn-up for the Book!
  • Penfold Transformed!
  • The Good, the Bad and the Motionless

Special features:

  • "Can You Drive DM's Car to Safety?!" game.
  • Photo gallery.
Danger Mouse 4 - The Ultra Secret Secret
7
4 September 2006

7 episodes:

  • Danger Mouse on the Orient Express
  • The Ultra Secret Secret
  • Duckula Meets Frankenstoat!
  • Have You Fled from Any Good Books Lately?
  • The Intergalactic 147
  • Penfold B.F.
  • Where, There's a Well, There's a Way!

Special features:

  • Interview with Mark Hall (from BBC Inside Out North West).
  • Photo gallery.
Danger Mouse 5 - The Statue of Liberty Caper
8
4 September 2006

8 episodes:

  • The Statue of Liberty Caper
  • Beware of Mexicans Delivering Milk
  • Quark! Quark!
  • Afternoon Off with the Fangboner!
  • All Fall Down
  • Turn of the Tide
  • I Spy with My Little Eye...
  • Bigfoot Falls

Special features:

  • Behind the scenes feature (from Splash).
  • Photo gallery.
Danger Mouse 6 - Rhyme and Punishment
7
4 September 2006

7 episodes:

  • A Dune with a View
  • Don Coyote and Sancho Penfold
  • Crumhorn Strikes Back!
  • Ants, Trees and Whoops-a-Daisy!
  • Cat-astrophe
  • There's a Penfold in my Suit!
  • Rhyme and Punishment

Special features:

  • Behind the scenes feature (from CB-TV).
  • Photo gallery.
Danger Mouse - 25th Anniversary
89
4 September 2006

12 disc set in silver card packaging, containing the following DVDs:

  • Rogue Robots
  • The Spy Who Stayed in with a Cold
  • The Hickory Dickory Dock Dilemma
  • The Ultra Secret Secret
  • The Statue of Liberty Caper
  • Rhyme and Punishment
  • Danger Mouse Saves the World... Again!
  • Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind
  • The Great Bone Idol
  • Project Moon
  • Viva Danger Mouse
  • Who Stole the Bagpipes?
Danger Mouse - 30th Anniversary Edition
89
26 September 2011

10 disc set:

  • The complete collection in broadcast order
  • "Danger Mouse and Friends" (exclusive to this DVD collection and never previously available)
  • Pilot Episode
  • Interviews with Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall
  • Exclusive behind-the-scenes footage
  • Danger Mouse games
  • Original theme tune ideas
  • Biographies
  • Stills galleries
  • 4 artcards (HMV exclusive only)

Also, in January 2008, a promotional DVD containing 6 episodes was distributed by The Times newspaper, for Fremantle Media. The episodes featured were: Rogue Robots; Lord of the Bungle; Once Upon a Time Slip; It's All White, White Wonder!; Quark! Quark! and Penfold B.F.

United States[edit]

A&E Home Video is licenced by FremantleMedia to release Danger Mouse in the United States. They reflect the UK broadcast order and include the original serial format of some stories, retaining David Jason's linking narration.

DVD NameNo of episodesRelease DateAdditional Information
The Complete Seasons
1 & 2
41
31 May 2005

2 disc set containing 17 episodes:
Rogue Robots; Who Stole the Bagpipes?; Trouble with Ghosts; The Chicken Run; The Martian Misfit; The Dream Machine; Lord of the Bungle; Die Laughing;
The World of Machines; Ice Station Camel; A Plague of Pyramids; Custard; Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind; The Duel; The Day of the Suds;
The Bad Luck Eye of the Little Yellow God; The Four Tasks of Danger Mouse

  • Special features.
  • The Lost and Never-Broadcast Pilot Episode "The Mystery of the Lost Chord".
  • Character Descriptions.
The Complete Seasons
3 & 4
62
25 October 2005

2 disc set containing 14 episodes:
The Invasion of Colonel K; Danger Mouse Saves the World... Again!; The Odd Ball Runaround; The Strange Case of the Ghost Bus; The Trip to America;
The Wild, Wild, Goose Chase!; The Return of Count Duckula; Demons aren't Dull?!; 150 Million Years Lost; The Planet of the Cats;
Four Heads are Better than Two; Tower of Terror; The Great Bone Idol; Public Enemy No. 1

  • Theme Song Sing-Along.
  • Character Descriptions.
The Complete Seasons
5 & 6
37
28 March 2006

2 disc set containing 37 episodes:
Long Lost Crown Affair; By George, It's a Dragon!; Tiptoe Through the Penfolds; Project Moon; The Next Ice Age Begins at Midnight!; The Aliens are Coming!;
Remote-Controlled Chaos; The Man from Gadget; Tampering with Time Tickles; Nero Power; Once Upon a Time Slip; Viva Danger Mouse; Play it Again!; Wufgang!; Hear, Hear; Multiplication Fable; The Spy Who Stayed in with a Cold; It's All White!, White Wonder!; The Hickory Dickory Dock Dilemma;
What a Three-Point-Turn-up for the Book!; Quark! Quark!; Alping is Snow Easy Matter; Aaargh!, Spiders!; One of our Stately Homes is Missing;
Afternoon off with the Fangboner; Beware of Mexicans Delivering Milk; Cat-Astrophe; The Good, the Bad and the Motionless; Statues;
The Clock Strikes Back!; Ee-Tea!; Bandits, Beans and Ballyhoo!; Have You Fled Any Good Books Lately?; Tut, Tut, It's Not Pharaoh!;
Lost, Found and Spellbound; Penfold, B.F.; Mechanized Mayhem; Journey to the Earth's... 'Cor!

  • "One Stormy Night" - Episode from Count Duckula.
The Final Seasons
21
26 September 2006

3 disc set containg 21 episodes:
DM on the Orient Express; The Ultra Secret Secret; Duckula Meets Frankenstoat!; Where, There's a Well, There's a Way!; All Fall Down; Turn of the Tide;
Gremlin Alert; Cor! What a Picture!; I Spy with my Little Eye...; Bigfoot Falls; The Statue of Liberty Caper; Penfold Transformed!; A Dune with a View;
Don Coyote and Sancho Penfold; Crumhorn Strikes Back!; Ants, Trees and...Whoops-a-Daisy!; There's a Penfold in my Suit!; Rhyme and Punishment;
Pillow Fright!; Heavy Duty; The Intergalactic 147

  • "Town Hall Terrors" - Episode of Count Duckula.
  • Alternative Danger Mouse Theme Song Options.
  • Danger Mouse Theme Song Karaoke.
  • Character Descriptions.
The Complete Series
161
28 August 2007[10]

9 disc set containing the following DVDs:

  • The Complete Seasons 1 & 2.
  • The Complete Seasons 3 & 4.
  • The Complete Seasons 5 & 6.
  • The Final Seasons (renamed "The Complete Seasons 7 - 10" for this box set.).

Credits[edit]

1980s[edit]

1990s[edit]

Broadcast history[edit]

Europe[edit]

Americas[edit]

Oceania[edit]

Asia[edit]

Middle East[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dangermouse (1981-1992)". British Film Institute.
  2. ^ "Dangermouse back on 25th birthday!". BBC News. 5 September 2006.
  3. ^ "Cosgrove Hall: 30 years". BBC Manchester (BBC). Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Hannah, Warner (2004). Fascinating TV Facts (1 ed.). London: Ted Smart. p. 99. ISBN 0-7535-0919-9. 
  5. ^ "100 Greatest Kids' TV Shows". channel4.com. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  6. ^ "Danger Mouse in Double Trouble". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  7. ^ "Danger Mouse in the Black Forest Chateau". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  8. ^ "Danger Mouse in Making Whoopee!". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 
  9. ^ "Interview with Brian Cosgrove on danger-mouse.net". Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  10. ^ "Danger Mouse DVD news: Announcement for Danger Mouse - The Complete Series Megaset!". tvshowsondvd.com. Retrieved 2010-08-26. 

External links[edit]