Mooselicker says: This was written by Mark over at The Animation Commendation. He knows a lot more about Kidz Showz than we ever could know and he might be the creator of Arthur. I’m not sure. I’m too afraid to ask.
Who here can honestly say that they never grew up with PBS?
Quite amusing! Well, the fact is that the vast majority of people viewing this page have indeed grown up with PBS and their many shows including “Arthur”, “Barney & Friends”, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”, “The Magic School Bus”, “Sesame Street”, “Caillou”, “Clifford the Big Red Dog”, etc. And I’m no exception! Many of the PBS shows are dear and beloved to me, but one show in particular that I have a predilection for is none other than “Cyberchase”!
Don’t bother looking up the definition of “predilection”! Just pay attention to what I have to say!
With the focus of the show being mathematics, this show was pretty much loved by all critics! But the average kid reception was somewhat mixed. Basically, the ones who hated school disliked the idea of coming home and learning more math!
The show featured three Earth kids, Jackie, Matt, and Inez, who have the ability to get transported to the digital world of Cyberspace.
Hey, it could’ve been worse! They could have been transported to a land of fire-breathing dragons!
Cyberspace is run by a leader named Motherboard (what else would she be named), who’s not in fully functioning order for pretty much the entire series.
Ruled by a hologram in a computer? Sounds a bit Orwellian to me!
The reason being that an evil nemesis and once-good guy named Hacker (aka “THE Hacker”) constantly does his best to destroy Motherboard’s circuitry and take over Cyberspace for himself! And this lovable bad guy is voiced by none other than the amazing Christopher Lloyd himself!
“It’ll take a lot more than 1.21 ‘jigowatts’ to overthrow Motherboard!”
Speaking of celebrity voices, the kids make friends with a formerly bad cy-bird named Digit who helps them frustrate the Hacker’s evil schemes and is voiced by none other than the…umm…indescribable Gilbert Gottfried!
So many similarities…soooo many similarities!
Now you may be wondering, “How does mathematics play a role in this show?”. Well, basically all of Hacker’s plans are thwarted by our three heroes and Digit by the use of some mathematical principle or principles, be they the use of levers, understanding of coordinate systems, the laws of probability, recognizing sequences and patterns, possessing algebraic knowledge, understanding volume, equalizing ratios, making sensible estimations, performing measurement conversions, solving logic puzzles, trudging through long division, understanding properties of circles, locating objects on grids, or a plethora of other math topics that my tiredness prevents me from mentioning!
There’s enough material in here for a score of seasons!
The show has been on hiatus since 2010, but apparently is due for another season later this fall. If it does indeed resume, I will definitely be watching it!
You forgot to include the Aflac duck! Nice post on a nearly forgotten show; I only knew it existed because of Gilbert Gottfried. It was usually on in the background as I waited for WordGirl. I do enjoy math though. I wish I had the memory to do a post on Square One
Yeah, GG was also a voice of a penguin in “Farce of the Penguins”. How in the world do you get typecast as a bird voice actor, lol?
WordGirl was such a creative and funny show that I wish it had aired when I was younger.
Hiatus? What kind of a kidz show goes on hiatus? That’s sending a bad message to kids. Think of all of them who had fathers who left. If Cyberchase comes back they may think he will.
Great post Mark. You always know your stuff.
Fun fact: Mark isn’t my name, but Mark Brown is my online alias, and yes, I did make it as an homage to the author of “Arthur”, so you were somewhat correct.
Great work Mark! I enjoy your writing style. Also, I will always think of Gilbert Gottfried as Iago (or just as any bird).
I’m glad you wrote about this show because I’ve honestly never heard of it. I wasn’t much of a PBS kid, but most of the shows you mentioned I have seen, so I guess I was just missing this gem!
Thanks, I like my writing style too 😀 ! (Psst…what exactly is my writing style?)
Well, “Cyberchase” did air relatively late in comparison to the other shows I’ve mentioned, so that explains why many of us didn’t grow up with it.
Just wanted to say thank you all once again for letting me guest write an article!
Anytime. You created Arthur 😉
Cool! Another fun blog to check out!
I’ve never heard of this one either but then again, I’m older then you guys and my kids are younger so I’m just going with a generational thing.
It is always so random to me that Christopher Lloyd voices this show. He seems way too out of its league. I mean, come on, he’s Doc Brown.
I think his inclusion in the show is what makes the show awesome! And Christopher Lloyd himself has done a good amount of voice acting, I think more than people realize.