The following is from a children’s show pilot I wrote last year, entitled “Professor Barnacle’s Funtime Field Trips.”
The premise of the cartoon was simple: Professor Barnacle was a scientist /schoolteacher with pirate-like mannerisms, who would always take his students on “out-of-the-ordinary” field trips. The purpose of the show was to both educate and delight, as I feel good children’s shows should do.
Professor Barnacle’s students were of unspecified age/grade, but it was meant to appeal to children ages 10-14. There were eight principle students: SUSIE, the bookworm, MORRIS, the wimpy nerd, DAREN and JANICE, the twins, BRIDGET, the priss, JEROME, the athlete, XIN QUANG, the Asian one, and FARLEY, the wheelchair one. Professor Barnacle was also joined by TERRENCE, the class pet, a talking hamster with a Rastafarian accent.
I have yet to hear back from either TVO or Treehouse, but at this point I’m not holding my breath.
Here is an excerpt from episode one: “IMAGINE THAT!”
INT. CLASSROOM – DAY
Children are all at their desks, chatting before class begins.
DAREN: I wonder where Professor Barnacle is going to take us this week!
JANICE: Maybe we’ll get to explore the moons of Jupiter!
FARLEY: Yeah, or maybe we’ll visit an Egyptian pyramid!
BRIDGET: Or an African rainforest!
XIN QUANG: Maybe he take us see bottom of ocean!
MORRIS: Well, I hope it’s just a regular field trip…
JEROME: Morris, shut the fuck up.
BRIDGET: Yeah, you’re such a fucking fag.
All the children laugh. Suddenly, PROFESSOR BARNACLE bursts into the class wearing a high-tech looking suit. TERRENCE is on his shoulder.
BARNACLE: Yo ho ho, students!
ALL STUDENTS: Professor Barnacle! Hurray!
DAREN: Where are we going today?
JEROME: Are we going to visit dinosaurs?
BARNACLE: Oh ho ho! Settle down, children! This week, we’re visiting a place much more close by.
BRIDGET: Huh? Where?
BARNACLE: Why, our own imaginations, that’s where!
JANICE: What’s that?
BARNACLE: The imagination’s the part in all of our minds that’s responsible for conjuring up all those mental images and dreams and the like.
ALL STUDENTS: Wow!
FARLEY: And how’re we gonna visit the imagination?
BARNACLE: Why, with my latest invention! The IMAGINA-SUIT 3000!
He pulls out 8 miniature versions of his suit and hands them to the students, who put them on (Farley with the help of the other students).
BARNACLE: Ready children? Whose imagination shall we be visitin’ first?
JANICE: How about mine?
BARNACLE: Alright! Let’s go!
He presses a button on his suit. They find themselves in a land full of chocolate and candy.
JEROME: Wow, look at all the candy!
XIN QUANG: It make mouth water!
The children eat some of the candy.
BARNACLE: Where to next? How about Bridget’s imagination?
ALL STUDENTS: Yeah!
He presses a button on his suit. There is a flash, and suddenly the children find themselves in a meadow. There is a rainbow, and pink unicorns are prancing around.
SUSIE: Wow, it’s so pretty!
FARLEY: Ewwww, so girly!
BARNACLE: Oh, whoops! I accidentally sent us to Morris’ imagination!
JEROME: Morris, you fag.
Everyone laughs. Barnacle presses another button. They are now in a house of mirrors. The children go up to them, but instead of seeing themselves they just see reflections of Bridget. However, she is covered in blood.
BRIDGET’S REFLECTION: Mother was evil, and so she shall be punished. One and two and three in one.
Bridget’s reflection then puts a finger to her lips and screams.
DAREN: Wow, Bridget! Who’s that?
SUSIE: Yeah, and what’s she saying? Does that mean anything to you?
BRIDGET: I… don’t… remember…
BARNACLE: Um, I think we should move on. Daren, how about your imagination?
DAREN: I’d rather… not.
JEROME: Oh, come on!
Barnacle presses another button. Now they find themselves on a large stage. Surrounding them, women in fat suits are doing handstands.
BARNACLE: Okay, kids. Nevermind. Let’s move on.
-And so on and so forth. By the end of the show, the children learn a valuable lesson about the subconscious and repressed memories. My personal favourite part of this episode is when they find themselves in Farley’s mind and are chased by a gnome with the words “Cerebral Palsy” on his chest.