find that watch one day..."
Nine year-old Abercromby lives with his sailor
Granpa, in a seaside house
filled with maritime flotsam and jetson. Granpa
used to have an old gold pocket
watch, a treasured possession lost at sea when
his ship sunk, and that watch is
always the last thing on Abercromby's mind when he
goes to sleep at night...
Oh, but Abercromby doesn't just sleep. He
also dreams. And in his dreams he
becomes "Captain" Abercromby, in
an extraordinary make-believe world filled with
sea-creatures and pirates and adventure. How
extraordinary? Well, his ship (the
Hope) is piloted by a living tree called Great
Oak, and crewed by a walking,
talking suit of armour called Arthur, a purple
dogsbody called Poindexter, and
Siren the feisty Mermaid. Abercromby seeks Granpa's
long-lost pocket watch, but
he has to stay on his toes because the incompetent
Pirate Jake and his gang,
are in constant pursuit on board the Thunderbottom.
Jake's motley crew include
his "parrot" spider Bobweb, Clawdia the
vain ship's cat and a hopeless lobster
cook called Snappy.
Jake tries all manner of underhand schemes and
deeds to get his hands on
Granpa's watch before the good guys, but his ruses
always seem to go
spectacularly wrong. By the end of each adventure,
Jake's been foiled,
but Abercromby is invariably no nearer his
goal. Then the lad's alarm clock
starts ringing and our Captain wakes
back home, in his bed once more...
"Captain Abercromby" is fantastic.
The series was created by Scottish artist-
illustrator John Gorman and there's a galleon's
worth of creativity poured into this
vessel. Two splendid ships, desert islands, and
scurvy taverns play host to a
wealth of characters, and in and around the
stars are an ever-present flock of
foolhardy puffins, seagulls and seafolk, mocking
our heroes and villains, and
generally getting up to much background mischief.
The ships "sail" on a CGI-sea,
which cleverly masks the operators and their
operations, and the waves splash
up handfuls of dreamy glitter. The characters sparkle,
too, with some witty
one-liners and put-downs aplenty. Beneath
the waves are bubble mixture
bubbles, Big Blue Fish, seahorses and merfolk too...
This series feels like a Jim Henson production,
but the £1.2million show was
actually produced in Scotland, by Wark Clements,
and this was their very first
children's project. The first episodes went into
production in the spring of 2001
and set sail on CBBC2, on January 4th 2002.
heroic exploits are kept in check by Admiral Dobbin of the navy,
who puts in a regular appearances
to ensure all's well and proper on the Hope.
The crews often stop by Limpet Inn, where Lily Limpet furnishes them
food and drink, and aquatic
Rabadabdab, meanwhile, plays host to a crazy Sultan (an Arabian puffin,
culinary skills are somewhat limited. His menu appears to consist
entirely of seaweed!
Family Tree" we learn that Arthur's ancestral home is
Bravepants", which in danger
of becoming an American theme park...
Oh, and if you thought a talking tree was extraordinary, stay tooned
the episode "Bully
for You", where Pirate Jake takes delivery of Conan the
Big Blue Fish
of the Year
Birthday Bash Bobweb's
Extra Pair of Paws
Unlucky for Some
The Right Treatment The
The Rule Book Lights
The Sultan's Visit
Arthur's Family Tree
Gee a Genie
and designed by John Gorman
Williams, Ken Anderson,
Keith Brumpton, Doug Williams
script editor: Mike
Lee, Keith Brumpton
Purves, Dave Chapman,
MacIntyre, Damian Farrell,
Robertson Bruce, Geoff Felix
Sterrenberg, Victoria Willing
Mason, Sarah Cowlinshaw
with thanks to: Scottish
Mask & Puppet Centre
Models, Neil Sterrenberg
set design: The
asst art dir: Dave
art director: Ewen
lighting camera: Gary Morrison
camera asst: Keith
Ingram, Shu Lorimer
Arthur, Chris Batchelor
sound sup: Steve
on the Wall
asst dub mix: Dave
dubbing mixer: Mike
Producer Ken Anderson is
part of this colourful cartoon crew...
a picnic with Abercromby's Keith Brompton...