Synopsis by Hal Erickson
First broadcast over Welsh television in 1994, Fireman Sam was a pro-social children's series, utilizing stop-motion animation and colorful scale-model backgrounds. Each of the 15-minute episodes was set in the village of Newton, somewhere in the Land of Pontypandy. When the titular Fireman Sam wasn't genially boasting how he "kept his engine quite clean" (it was a clean machine), he was teaching the kids at home how to avoid accidents around the home, usually those combustible in nature. Other characters included fire station officer Steele, junior fire fighter Elvis, Penny and Trevor, shopkeeper Dilys, zany Bella, and local kiddies Sarah and Norman. Offered in both Welsh- and English-language versions, Fireman Sam was not only a hit for the BBC network, but also became a huge licensing cash cow, resulting in sales of 1,000,000 home videos and 5,000,000 ancillary storybooks.