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  Short British Films &  TV Specials

      Ajay boards The Greendale Rocket

   small spacer
Postman Pat
  and the
  Greendale Rocket

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producers:  Cosgrove Hall Films
                      for Entertainment Rights
   animation:  stop-motion animation
      run time:  25mins

 "If only there was someone we knew who could help us.
     Someone who really knows about trains!"


    The weather is turning rather blustery in Greendale and Postman Pat is
    having trouble holding on to his mail, and Jess the cat, as he makes his
    delivery to the local school. Inside, Jeff Pringle is teaching the kids all about
    the old Greendale Light Railway which used to run all the way from Pincaster 
    to Greendale, though it's long-since been abandoned.

    But the lesson is merely the lead in to a fascinating Field Trip, and whilst the
    class explores the old station buildings they unearth a mechanical marvel, in the
    shape of the Greendale Rocket - a train left behind when the line was closed.
    After a hastily convened village meeting, it's agreed that the current Greendale
    community will put their efforts into refurbishing the station and its chuffing
    engine, and getting the railway working once more. Oh, but in spite of
    Ted and Pat's best efforts that darned train simply won't work!

    Just as well, then, that Pat's son Julian has been communicating with a
    penpal - Meera - in Pincaster. Because, as coincidence would have it,
    Meera's father Ajay Bains is a train enthusiast. At Julian's request,
    Ajay makes a surprise visit to Greendale to get his hands dirty.

    Only, that darned train is still playing up. And the Grand Opening is now
    only a day away. And there's a rotten storm brewing. And Pat's mail is stuck
    in Pincaster. And Jess has gone missing too!

    Needless to say, in spite of fallen trees, floods and a very temperamental
    steam train, Pat and the gang pull through. The mail is safely collected
    and delivered, Jess returns safe and sound, The Greendale Rocket chuffs
    again, and the villagers welcome a new family in to the fold, because
    Ajay, his wife Nisha, Meera, and baby brother Nikhil have come to stay
    and look after the newly opened railway line...

      Meera celebrates!

    "Postman Pat and the Greendale Rocket" serves as the extended introduction
    to Pat's all-new and shiny tv series, which returned to our screens after
    several years' hiatus. Cosgrove Hall picked up where Woodland Animations
    left off, and in their hands Greendale has become bigger, and busier.
    Most notably, Pat and company now have mouths that move when
    they talk - negating the need for a narrator.

    Keep watching closely and you'll spy some lovely details details in the
    effects and in the minutiae of the set dressing. There are lots of swirling
    leaves about town. Pat has an evening conversation in which his toast
    slides everywhichway around his plate. Pat's fireplace has miniature
    Charles Renny McIntosh tiling, and Mrs Goggins' Post Office is stocked
    with individually designed products, like tins of "Catto" cat food
    "for the cat". During the climactic storm, CGI rain angles down, lightning
    zigzags across the sky and the River Pen swells to bursting point.
    It's great stuff, is this.

    If you're really nitpicking, you might find fault with the opening presentation.
    Bob the Builder went to town with his special films, eschewing regular
    credits in favour of a movie-themed opening. Poor Pat is not so well
    served, though, and has to rely on his regular titles, which means
    some of the "specialness" is missing. Oh, okay, so the film also relies
    on a little too much coincidence to pull through to its climax. But really,
    when Greendale looks this good who cares?   

    Fixing up that engine

    How long does it take to repair the Rocket and its railway line?
    Although no one mentions a specific month, we can at least tot
    up the days with the help of Mrs Goggins numerical wall calendar.
    We return to it several times in the film.

    Work starts on the 11th and continues throughout the "Back on
    Track" song montage, to the 22nd of the month. Come the day of the
    Grand Opening, we've reached the 26th - but the storm, floods,
    and undelivered post push things forward another day, to what
    would be the 27th. Which means, rain delays included, the whole
    process takes a mere 17 days - Tell that to Network Rail!
   "I know I can fix that train,
    I just know it!
                                            - Ted enthuses



     What's Pat without his singalong song? Everyone knows Brian Daly's
     famous theme. For the new series, though, we must doff our caps
     to Simon Woodgate who has furnished the postie with a new end credits
     song, and a smattering of tapping tunes in various episodes and specials.

     "Postman Pat and the Greendale Rocket" includes the song
      "Back on Track" and a wee sliver of "We Don't Need an Open Road".
      Both are rather hummable ditties...

"So we're fixing, we're fixing up that engine,
     And the station will open up its doors,
     The Greendale Rocket's gonna ride again,
     We'll be back on track once more!..."

                                          - Back on Track by Simon Woodgate


    Greendale Glitches

» During the storm, Pat leaves the Post Office and attempts to drive
       out of Greendale. As he drives by, you'll notice his passenger window
       has been blurred out, and Jess is just about discernible through
       the glass - But that's impossible, because Jess is in Pincaster
       at this particular time!

» Speaking of time, on that same stormy morning, Pat leaves the
        Post Office at 7.00. He then tries "every road out of Greendale"
        to no avail. But when he gets back to the Post Office it's still
        7.00 o'clock!

        Alright, so you might argue that the clock had simply stopped.
        But when he finally returns from Picaster with Ajay and Ted that
        same clock has moved to 10.00. Did Mrs Goggins replace the
        battery when Pat was gone?

» And if that's pedantic, try this one: Meera, Ajay, Nisha, and Nikhil
        all feature in the generic opening credits. But they haven't yet appeared
        in Greendale, and neither has the Greendale Rocket!

    Broadcast info

    "Postman Pat and the Greendale Rocket" actually made its home
    video premiere prior to any tv broadcast. In the UK, the film launched
    on DVD/VHS as a double-bill with "Postman Pat's Magic Christmas",
    on 10th November 2003.

    The film subsequently premiered on BBC2, ten months later,
    on September 6th 2004 as a precursor to the regular series...


     See also

    Postman Pat (Ivor Wood)
    Postman Pat (Cosgrove Hall)

     Postman Pat and the Pirate Treasure

     Postman Pat Clowns Around

       Postman Pat's Magic Christmas


     The Greendale Rocket on DVD

     UK DVD Postman Pat: Magic Christmas
                Region 2 double-bill / Ent. Rights / November 2003


    based on the original series written by John Cunliffe

    based upon the original television series
    designed and produced by Ivor Wood

     exec prods:
      title music: 
      art dir:
      script editor:          animators:                               
      puppet maint: 
      set illus:       
      set dressing:
      senior costume
      costume makers:  
      studio dir:
      lighting cam:
      asst cam:
      cam assts:
      asst prod:
      voice rec:
      vid post-prod:
      audio post-prod:
      computer graphics:
      data management:
      tech support:
      prod man:
      prod asst:
      prod acct:
      stills co-ord:
      prod co-ord:
Theresa Plummer-Andrews (for the BBC)
Jane Smith, Oliver Ellis (for Ent. Rights)
Chris Taylor
Chris Bowden
Brian Daly
Simon Woodgate at Echobass Studios
John Cunliffe
with additional material by Elly Brewer
Bridget Appleby
Justin Exley
Annika Bluhm
Tim Collings, Brian Demoskoff, Lucy Gell,
Lisa Goddard, Lisa-Jane Gray, Monica McCartney, 
Matt Palmer, Bob Scott, Chris Tootell
Mackinnon & Saunders
Noel Baker, Colin Batty, Anne Hall,
Joe Holman, Clare Jones, Caroline Wallace,
Robbie Manning, Nick Roberson, Emma Trimble,
Kristine Keogh, Georgina Haynes, Richard Pickersgill,
Michelle Scattergood, Stuart Sutcliffe
Patricia Brennan
The As & When Men
Jeff Spain, Rick Kent, Richard Sykes,
Alan Henry, Robin Jackson
Mark Stacey
Dom Lee
John Ashton, Diane Holness, Angela Kiely

Clare Elliott
Nigel Cornford, Joan Jones, Andrea Lord,
Stewart Selkirk
Sue Pugh
Martin Kelly
Justin Noe
Jo Richards, Simon Lacey
Owen Ballhatchet
The Sound House, Hullabaloo studios
Flix Facilities
Hullabaloo Studios
Jonathan Turner
Pete Kidd
Phil Atack, Matthew Horsefield
Karen Dudley
Lucy Atkinson
Sarah Ulyatt
Gwyn Roberts
Victoria Marks
(for Ent. Rights)
Ken Barrie  
Carol Boyd
Kulvinder Ghir
Janet James
Archie Panjabi
Melissa Sinden


      On the web

      Postman Pat
      The big and bright official site...

      Mackinnon & Saunders
      Pat's puppet makers...

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© Woodland Animations Ltd - a division of Enertainment Rights / F2006