Sunday, March 9, 2014

Toons After Dark: Time Squad (2001)

Two years after Sheep in the Big City flopped, and flopped badly, Cartoon Network went back to the Jay Ward library for more inspiration. While Sheep was meant to be a homage to Rocky & His Friends, Dave Wasson chose one of the backup features on that iconic series for his project.

Time Squad has elements of both Peabody's Improbable History and the live-action 1982 series, Voyagers!, the latter because 10 year old Otto (Pamela Adlon, King of the Hill) is plucked from his bedroom to become a time traveler, joining Buggtussel (Rob Paulsen) and Larry 3000 (Mark Hamill). Larry, a robot, is also the pilot, and a regular jack-of-all-trades, while Buggtussel is just the exact opposite, a musclehead whose brains must've been lost somewhere in the ozone layer.

Unfortunately, like Sheep, Time Squad, despite its promising premise, didn't last very long. Viewers rejected the series after 26 episodes, spread out over 2 years (2001-3), much as they didn't accept Voyagers! 20-odd years earlier. Depending on how well "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" fares at the box office, I'd say people would prefer the dog & boy combination over a boy, a robot, and a space cadet.

Here's the open:

Ya gotta understand. I watched Voyagers! fairly regularly back in the day, just as much as I'd seen the Peabody reruns earlier in my youth. Time Squad is just a poor third.

Rating: C+.

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