Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone
The logo for both versions of the show.
Also known asPotsworth & Co.
GenreAnimation
Adventure
Fantasy
Comedy
Created byMartin Powell
Vivien Schrager-Powell
Developed byDave Edwards
Directed byDon Lusk
Paul Sommers
Animation Directors:
Robert Alvarez
Creative directorRay Patterson
Voices ofMichael Bell
Hamilton Camp
Joan Gerber
Elisabeth Harnois
Whitby Hertford
Janice Kawaye
George Lemore
Kenneth Mars
Rob Paulsen
Clive Revill
Frank Welker
Theme music composerMichael Tavera
Country of originUnited Kingdom
United States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes13
Production
Executive producersWilliam Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Martin Powell
Vivien Schrager-Powell
Paul Sabella
Theresa Plummer-Andrews
ProducerDavis Doi
Running time21 mins
Production companiesH-B Production Co.
Sleepy Kids PLC
Original release
NetworkBBC
The Children's Channel (UK)
Syndication (US)
Release1 September (1990-09-01) –
24 November 1990 (1990-11-24)

Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone is a British-American animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera in conjunction with Sleepy Kids PLC and is known outside the US as Potsworth & Co.[1] In the United Kingdom, the BBC felt that the suggestion of children being awake after midnight was inappropriate (which is reflected in the theme song's lyrics in the British broadcast); thus the name was changed.

The show is about four children who meet in their dreams every night, accompanied by their dog Potsworth and a toy dinosaur, to protect the sleep of the innocent from the dreaded Nightmare Prince.[2]

History

The series revolves around Potsworth, an English Springer Spaniel, based upon a real-life springer spaniel called Potsworth, bought from the Battersea Dogs Home by Martin and Vivien Schrager-Powell. The couple were somewhat disheartened with some of the children's programmes being made at the time, commenting that "Six-year-olds just aren't content to be fobbed off with 'Mr Wizard go pouf and nasty man go away'. Stories these days have to be believable, contain some logical process". In 1987, Martin started writing stories about Potsworth who lives in a city in America and four young children: Carter, Keiko, Rosie, and Nick. The couple took the idea to Hanna-Barbera and suggested a 50-50 deal to turn the stories into a television series.[3]

First appearing on The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera on 1 September 1990, Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone lasted only 13 episodes.[4] It was watched by 8.5 million in the US while 5.1 million watched the series on Children's BBC in Britain, making it the "second most popular children's show on British television after Neighbours".[3]

The "real" Potsworth became something of a celebrity when he featured extensively in the British media as part of the promotion campaign for the cartoon series when it first aired in the UK in 1990/91 television season. A comic adaptation of Potsworth & Co. was featured in the merged Beezer and Topper from issue #87 to #153 (May 16, 1992—August 21, 1993) and, when that comic closed, The Dandy from issue #2701 onwards (August 28, 1993—1994).

The series' setting, "Dream Zone", was first used on "Back to Next Saturday", the NBC Saturday Morning preview special for the 1985 season.

Premise

The series tells of four children and Potsworth the dog who live in the same neighborhood. When they go to sleep at night they turn up in the Dream Zone where, as the Midnight Patrol, they are appointed by the Grand Dozer to protect it from nightmares and other threats and are given their missions by the Snooze Patrol. Their main enemy is the Nightmare Prince.

Whilst they are in the Dream Zone, the five have special powers. Keiko has a flying skateboard; Carter can draw anything and then have it come to life; Nick is super-strong and is able to fly; his stuffed toy Murphy comes to life; whilst his cynical sister Rosie tags along. Potsworth himself acquires the power of speech which enables him to complain about the way he is treated in the real world, and make wry comments about the kids and their own attitudes and relationships. The cartoon Potsworth had a very "English" accent, even in the American version of the programmes, reflecting his real-life counterpart's British origins.

Computer game

An officially licensed computer game of the series, using its British title of Potsworth and Co, was released in 1992 by Hi-Tec Software for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and Atari ST.

In this scrolling platform game, the player took on the role of one of the characters in each themed level and had to collect various items and then reach the exit.

Characters

Midnight Patrol

The 5 Midnight Patrol members are the main stars of the show. Each one has his/her individual abilities.

Other Dream Zone characters

The Dream Zone has a number of inhabitants, the principals of which include:

Antagonists

Episodes

No.TitleOriginal air date
1"Night of the BedBugs"1 September 1990 (1990-09-01)
The Nightmare Prince unleashes a horde of creatures called BedBugs in an attempt to destroy the Dream Zone. But when they start eating his castle, he needs the Midnight Patrol's help to get rid of them.
2"The Dozer Walks Among Us"8 September 1990 (1990-09-08)
When he sleepwalks, the Grand Dozer goes around the Dream Zone causing unintentional chaos and destruction. Thus, he has to be locked up once in a while in order to prevent this — that is until the Nightmare Prince lets him loose.
3"King Potsworth"15 September 1990 (1990-09-15)
Potsworth becomes the somewhat reluctant king of a kingdom of dogs called Dogland. He enlists the rest of the Midnight Patrol when Dogland is attacked by a giant devastating cat.
4"The Nightmirror"22 September 1990 (1990-09-22)
The Nightmare Prince steals the Nightmirror which he uses to create evil twins of the Midnight Patrol who wreak havoc in the Dream Zone.
5"When Bubba Rules"29 September 1990 (1990-09-29)
Exasperated by her son's constant failures to destroy the Dream Zone, the Nightmare Prince's mother assigns her monstrous nephew Count Bubba Bonebreaker to act as his supervisor. Though Count Bonebreaker takes over his job and demotes him to janitor. Before long, the Midnight Patrol decide that the Prince was not such a bad thing after all.
6"Nick's Super Switch"6 October 1990 (1990-10-06)
Nick switches places with a superhero boy named Wonder Kid from the Dream Zone location of Supertown after having been bullied by a boy named Moose.
7"Dozer Quest"13 October 1990 (1990-10-13)
The Grand Dozer is not sleeping and if he stays awake, the Dream Zone will end. The Midnight Patrol have to go to all lengths to get him back to sleep. Carter has an idea, but then he can't sleep either.
8"Rosie's Extra Sweet Day"20 October 1990 (1990-10-20)
After a conversation with a talking tree, Rosie gets turned into the nicest girl in the Dream Zone.
9"I Was a Teenage Babysitter"27 October 1990 (1990-10-27)
Rosie must take care of the Greystone Giant's little son Rocky.
10"The Wishing Whale"3 November 1990 (1990-11-03)
The Midnight Patrol (minus Keiko) meet the Wishing Whale who grants them their fondest wishes. But then the wishes get somewhat out of hand.
11"Santa-Napped"10 November 1990 (1990-11-10)
The Nightmare Prince captures Santa Claus and the Midnight Patrol must rescue him to save Christmas.
12"Save the Cave"17 November 1990 (1990-11-17)
The Greystone Giant is too far behind in his dream supplies, so the Midnight Patrol help him keep up with the dream orders. Though the Nightmare Prince plans to disrupt their plans.
13"Rosie's Fuss Attack"24 November 1990 (1990-11-24)
Rosie changes form every time she complains, so the Midnight Patrol must find a special cure for her.

Cast

Ratings (CBBC Channel)

Monday 6 May 2002- 20,000 (9th most watched on CBBC that week)

[5]

Home media

In 1991, Hanna-Barbera Home Video released a single VHS cassette of the series in the United States entitled Potsworth and the Midnight Patrol containing four episodes which are "Save the Cave", "The Wishing Whale", "King Potsworth", and "The Nightmirror".

References

  1. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. p. 541. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  2. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Facts on File. p. 461. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b "UK: Making it Tough for Tots - SLEEPY KIDS". Management Today. 1 June 1992. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  4. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 390–391. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  5. ^ http://www.barb.co.uk[full citation needed]