If you haven’t seen this children’s programme on CBeebies…you must!
It’s way beyond cool, it’s just sheer brilliance.
Think of it as kid’s Star Trek set under the sea instead of in space.
Created by Meomi (Vicky Wong and Michael Murphy) who also created the mascots of the Vancouver Olympics, the Octonauts are a group of 8 (funnily enough) undersea explorers in search of adventure and fun.
They live in an “octopod” which looks like a metal octopus and are led by an octopus called “Professor Inkling”, who generally moves about by chair (a bit like Davros from Doctor Who).
The team is lead by a polar bear called Captain Barnacles – he wears a very fetching blue cat-suit and blue hat – he also plays the accordion. He is the firm favourite in this house to the extent that SC requested an accordion. SC plays his accordion very badly, but when he starts playing I expect morris dancers (no offence) to jump out and take a turn about the garden! Captain Barnacles always says “Sound the Octo-alert”.
Kwasi the kitten is a pirate – the patch is over his right eye, but when he looks through the telescope he lifts up the eye patch! Mmm, don’t get that either, and he always says “in my pirate days”. He loves speed and drives the fastest boat, called Gups.
Peso the penguin is the medic – he always mends anything by applying a bandage, in super-quick time I hasten to add.
Doctor Shellington – is a sea otter complete with Scottish accent for all you trekkie fans out there. He is the ship’s scientist and knows everything about underwater sea life.
Dashi the dog monitors the computers and takes photos, she has an Australian accent bizarrely.
Tweak bunny – clearly from the mid-western USA states glows in the dark and is the ships engineer, famed for doing things “quicker ‘an you can say bunch of munchy, crunchy carrots” (affects bad Texan accent).
Finally there are things called vegimals – cross between a vegetable and animal. The main one is called Tunip – and they do the cooking.
So what’s so great about it?
Well aside from the spurious links to Star Trek, the title music gets you going, it’s fast and exciting and the programme is fairly educational on some higher plane.
We’ve learnt that the ocean is divided into 3 layers – sunlight, twilight and midnight zones, sea urchins and crabs have a symbiotic relationship, a whale shark is the largest fish in the ocean, anemones can divide themselves into 2 and much more.
To some adults it may seem far-fetched and maybe a tad daft – especially as they somehow have a diving helmet hidden around their necks which activate at the touch of a button – but the programme has been made into a 10 minute fast-paced adventure story packed full of excitement, tension and drama along with some fairly high-brow marine biological facts.
If you love Star Trek and that genre of television, you should really try watching an episode.
SC thinks he is Captain Barnacles.
Me – I love it!
Explore, Rescue, Protect!