"Reduce!... Re-use!... Recycle!..."
Bob hears that his childhood haunt of Sunflower Valley is on the
development, the world's most famous builder
quickly evolves a Big Plan. And it's
a plan that's set to take us through 78
ongoing episodes as it come to fruition.
Bob intends to create a fully-fledged eco-town,
using natural materials found
locally and incorporating designs in keeping
with the countryside location.
Quite an undetaking then, but if anyone
can build this dreamtown, it's Bob!
"Project: Build It" picks up from
the original Bob the Builder
series and specials.
It's not a spin-off as such, rather, it's
a continuation of the show in a new direction.
To those keeping tabs, this is in fact Series
9 and onwards, but it's such an
extensive new vision, it deserves a separate
indexing. Indeed, "Project: Build It"
breaks new preschool ground, being the very
first sequential series to reach
The first seeds of the project are sown via a
24minute special. Bob's Big
introduces us to Sunflower Valley. Bob and
his brother Tom used to camp there
when they were kids. Now a competition is
being held to find the best design for
the proposed valley development. Bobsville
architect Mr. Adams has put together
a garish design involving skyscrapers and restaurants,
and our Bob is determined
to better him and win the contract from
under his nose. It's young Roley the
Steamroller who inspires the direction of the
final design, when he directs Bob
to a bird building its nest in a tree. The
natural-look's the way to go. And sure
enough, Bob's eco-town plan wins. What's
more, alongside the prized contract
comes a prize new vehicle to assist the work, in
the shape of Scrambler the
The series proper starts from scratch, with
Bob and the gang arriving in the
valley to begin building their dreamtown.
They have to operate out of a mobile
home, without electricity for heating or
illumination as they start to build, from
the ground upwards. Over the course
of the early episodes we watch them
constructing a caravan home for Wendy, a
new cottage for Farmer Pickles,
and a brand new sunflower factory. "Project:
Build It" puts environmental
concerns at the top of the agenda, so stories
feature much recycling and
reusing of materials, eco-friendly planning and
construction. The theme is
echoed in the new series catchphrase "Reduce!
So Bob may has moved to Sunflower Valley,
but it's very much business as
usual. The stories are still breezy and
bright, and HOT's animation as flawless
as ever. Bob's lost none of his appeal,
and there's always enough going on in
each adventure to keep us adults interested too.
Plus there's the episodic
storytelling, which shows the new town developing
as the series progresses.
It's a great hook. Couple this with Bob
and Wendy's "will they/won't they"
relationship and the new format makes it
feel like you're watching
a preschool Soap! - Hmm. How might it all
"Bob's Big Plan" premiered on BBC2, on Monday 2nd May
It" took up a regular week day slot the next day...
Wise old Wendy doesn't join the gang in the valley until episode
Well, she has an excuse,
because someone needs to keep their eye
on Bob's builders' yard
up to that point. Scoop reminds them all about
the help Bob's father
has given hem in the past. And so it's settled.
Bob's father and mother
take over the yard, leaving Wendy and Bob
to concentrate on the
In episode 8, "Two Scoops", poor old Scoop finds himself
needed in two
places at once, until
Bob's Dad has a plan. He hires another scoop. This
friendly red robo-digger
is called Benny, and he soon becomes a permanent
member of the valley
As with the original series, HOT Animation have produced a series
escapades to sit alongside
the main show. "Bob's Mini Projects" are 2minute
broadcast separately on BBC2 and made available as
extras on the DVD releases...
Hound: October 2003
Bob's new episodes...