Monday, June 8, 2015

Spaced Out - a general overview

I've found it on the old Turner Info website. Valious information about the show appears on this post. And by "valious", I mean that we have information on the show that little to no English footage of it exists.
Intergalactic adventures with the Martins - a normal family sent to live in an experimental space station.
Cartoon Network Gets SPACED OUT 
Life is really starting to look up for George Martin and his family. He’s managed to land himself a dream job that catapults him from what up until now has been a rather sad life experience, to one that is pretty much, out of this world. You see, George has been offered the position of Station Manager aboard a Secret Orbital Space Station.
But there is one small problem. His new employers have been more than a little astro-economical with the truth. In fact, they are actually an extremely corrupt and evil corporation called ‘Krach Industries’ who are intending to use the gullible but lovable George and his family as guinea pigs. The Martins are destined to become unwitting participants in a human experiment to discover whether life can be sustained on the Krach Space Station.
However, resolute in his success, George manages to persuade his family to de-camp for a new life among the stars. His wife, Monica stands by him and day-dreams about the day she’ll meet intelligent aliens. His young son Benjamin, is excited by the prospect of a great adventure, whilst Betty, his terminally sarcastic, angst ridden, teenage daughter, can’t think of one good reason why there could be anything positive about the move.
The Martins are not alone and share the station with a few bizarre characters; Boris the Russian cosmonaut, Guy, the one-man service industry (waiter, doctor, gardener…) and Ms Schuman the snide spinster schoolteacher and her equally un-pleasant son, Bobby.
Add these characters to a highly un-stable environment of aliens, androids, and cosmic phenomena and the stage is set for some seriously outlandish plots.
Spaced Out is a 26 x half hours family show, and is the result of a co-production between Alphanim, Tooncan, Canal + and Cartoon Network, Europe.
GEORGE MARTIN (The "hero") 
An optimist, a generally happy person, George is a bit of a boy scout. He thinks of himself as warm, understanding and attentive. For him, there is no such thing as a problem, there are only solutions.
George is rather self-satisfied and appreciates his new life to the hilt. His perpetual optimism however can become rather annoying.
As with all optimist, George is prone to bouts of melancholy but always gets up, brushes himself down and focuses the bright side of even the most negative situations.
For George, the glass is always half full… even when it’s empty !
From his control tower, George is all-powerful. He manages day/night cycles, climatic changes, growth of artificial vegetables, atmospheric density, nitrogen levels and gravity. He also carry’s out all the Station maintenance. It's him that keeps the whole thing ticking over. He firmly believes Krach-Ind.'s story that new paying inhabitants could arrive at any moment.
Yes, in a certain sense, George is God - A sweet if rather dim God who has only one desire, to be happy!
On Extraterrestrials - A rationalist, the voice of Krach, George believes we are alone in the universe. He is eternally sceptical and it is impossible to convince him otherwise. He will go so far as to deny the evidence, with no ill intent. He always has a scientific explanation.
MONICA MARTIN (George’s wife) 
Monica is active, responsible and on a spiritual quest in search of the meaning to life. An optimistic, open-minded New Ager, she hopes contact will be made with extraterrestrials and dreams of a peaceful human-alien brotherhood.
Monica is a kitchen sink psychologist. Whenever her daughter Betty manifests some desire, even if it is suicidal, Monica is happy: at least Betty wants to do something. She will even urge Betty to take things further. Monica listens to what people have to say, but over-analyses everything, which can make her fairly annoying on occasion.
On Extraterrestrials - Monica lives in eternal expectation of first contact with extraterrestrials. She is firmly convinced it will happen one day, and that it will be a grandiose, happy, quasi-religious event. This is the source of much discord between her and George.
BETTY MARTIN (The elder daughter) 
Betty is sluggish, depressive, dark and incredibly neurotic. You just need to take a look at her. Makes you wonder if she's been like this since birth. She’s your typical teenager with attitude.
Being on this dratted station is about the worst thing that could have happened to her.
Whether she is wildly happy or deeply depressed, you can barely tell the difference.
Her main characteristic is her speech, a comic hybrid between Clockwork Orange and teenage slang. Her parents barely understand this hybrid language she speaks. Only her young brother Benjamin understands her and is landed with the task of keeping the lines of communication open between his sister and parents.
On Extraterrestrials - Why not: you never know! There's no reason to believe there aren't other races leading boring lives just like us, elsewhere in the universe.
Benjamin is calm, serene and happy to be on the station. It's an unbelievable experience. He is curious, imaginative if a bit absent minded. He is an open, sweet child who listens to others.
In fact, it's not hard to imagine that on Earth, he was often teased because of his physique. Out there in space, there is nobody to make fun of him. He can thus grow and uncover his real self.
Full of imagination and curious, forever exploring, crazy about Fenimore Cooper, Jules Vernes and Isaac Aasimov, with Benjamin, adventure is around every street corner! This is the dream life.
On Extraterrestrials - Of course aliens exist. They’re ugly, slobbering and mean, just like the ones in the books he reads.
GRAN (George's mother. Widow) 
She is a permanent fixture of the Station. She lives in a house right next to her son.
She hadn't wanted to let George go off without her. She gets so worried about him because she loves him so. He's her little Georgie Porgie!
Gran is nuts about jogging, stretch aerobics step classes and other tortures. It's her obsession.
That Gran is egotistical is an understatement. She is the only person who counts in her life, and George too of course. Each of her sentences contains at least two "I"s, three "me"s and four myself"s.
As for everything else, she couldn't care less. Grandchildren??! She barely remembers their name. In any case, she hates talking about them because it makes her older.
Gran doesn't want to grow older, so she has become hyperactive.
George finds his mother perfect, but then love is blind. He doesn't understand and gets upset when his family points out her failings.
On Extraterrestrials - Thinks exactly as her son does.
MISS SCHUMAN (The school mistress) 
Military styled, curt mannered, rigorous, morally uptight, old-fashioned, reactionary and peremptory. She's the entire Opus-Dei rolled into one.
Miss Schuman is the Station gossip. Occasionally a fink, jealous, mean and indiscreet, she loves other people's problems. Just goes to show you what happens when you have no principles!
According to Miss Schuman her son Bobby is the living proof of the benefits of a strict upbringing. She's right in that when Bobby is with his mother, he is a true little angel but the moment her back is turned, he becomes a total nightmare.
Oblivious to the truth, Miss Schuman tries to find the cream of fathers for her son and the man of her dreams.
On Extraterrestrials - Fervently hoping for a close encounter with a hunky, well-endowed young man.
BOBBY SCHUMAN (Miss Schuman's son) 
An angel in the presence of his mother. Elsewhere, he's a nightmare.
When he speaks to his mother, he whispers, you can barely hear him. He doesn't want to disturb. Without his mother around, he screams, swears, farts, burps and picks his nose. You can't get much worse.
Even with his double life, he's impossible to catch out because of his wit and intelligence.
With George, he plays at being the perfect little gentleman. In fact, it's the same with all the adults, only Betty and Benjamin know what he is truly capable of.
It's revolting to see Bobby in action because the adults believe him to be perfect. He's a real boot-licker, he carries grocery bags, runs errands, and even says "Hello" and "Thank you."
On Extraterrestrials - Doesn’t know.
BORIS MAKALOV (Station convoy person) 
Thanks to his inter-planetary shuttle, Boris ensures the link between the Station and Earth and is the only one to ever leave the Station.
When he arrived accidentally on the Station, Boris was a wreck of a man, at the end of his rope after spending almost ten years in artificial hibernation for a trip to Mars.
He wakes up just moments before landing in the Martin universe and is a bit out of touch. The USSR had become Russia and no one wants to repatriate him. He's just another sacrifice.
A veteran of the Afghan War, Boris has a keen understanding of survival science, hand to hand combat, arms and a high tolerance for pain. Boris is also a bit on the paranoiac side and sees KGB agents everywhere.
Boris is pretty darn smart. His IQ is twice that of George's but he is very modest. He always lets George be the big brother. The Martin family represents the domestic idyll that he longs for.
On Extraterrestrials - Lives in abject fear of aliens.
GUY (The Stations Jack-of-all-trades) 
He is in turn movie usher, manager of the bowling alley, police chief, street sweeper, postman….
No one knows whether Guy is a robot or if he's a human being and no one really cares.
Guy is all purpose, he changes costumes at lightning speed. He is everywhere at the same time which doesn't seem to faze the Martins one bit.
On Extraterrestrials - Not programmed to respond in that area. Next question?
Krach Industries is a vast industrial consortium active in such diverse sectors as chemicals, clothing, food, home appliances, real estate and cosmetics. Anything one can buy on Earth can be manufactured by Krach.
For every product manufactured and sold, new ones are being researched and developed. Since these new products aren’t always up to scratch, Krach needs a representative sample of testers: the Martins!
There is a considerable advantage to using the Martins as testers: if there’s a problem, they aren’t about to complain or sound the alarm to anyone at all. Moreover, the Krach R & D Division houses a super-secret section: the space colonization initiative. Krach, you see, intends to solve the housing crisis by paving outer space with concrete.
All this means that the Orbiting Station is shrouded in the utmost secrecy: no one on Earth knows that it exists. The Martins know only what Krach tells them, eat only what Krach feeds them and see only what Krach wants them to see. The Martins are blissfully unaware of all this.
Cynicism, inhumanity and sales logic are Krach-Ind.'s ruling words.
Krach-Ind. Is based in an ultra-modern building peopled with high level robot-managers dressed in identical suits. There are no angry bosses at Krach-Ind., there are only sales people, interchangeable and dehumanised who can appear at any moment on the Station to handle any problems that arise. They are always warmly welcomed by George. They are after all his benefactors.
The only thing that obsesses Krach, is their rate on the stock market.
The Station is a character unto itself.
The Station is protected by a magnetic dome that allows the inhabitants to breathe and protects them from random outer-space rays. Inside are what look like real houses, you'd almost believe that it was inhabitable but when you actually live there, you quickly notice that tons of things go wrong and that the equipment is far from perfect. For instance the showerhead sometimes drips dry ice or even trash.
A tangled net of galleries, tunnels, entrances and passages can be found under the station. It is an unexplored and slightly frightening place. You couldn't ask for a better adventure ground.
On the Station, everything is artificial : the lawns, the trees, the air and the gravity. No futuristic high tech gizmos exist on this Station. Everything looks like down on Earth, a nice, peaceful suburban neighbourhood. High technology is illustrated only by the Funotron, the shuttle and the control board. On the Station, there are small vehicles (like golf carts) available to get around.
An aircraft can cut through the dome, but it would cause damages.
From the Station, the Earth can be seen.
Day and night are artificial. George is the one that ensures the cycle.
Krach-Ind. knows about everything that happens on the Station. It sees what the viewer sees. No one knows how, we just accept it.
The Station's inhabitants ignore this fact obviously. They think that they alone are masters of their destiny, but….
The Martins’ house
Boris’ house next-door
Gran's house a little further on
Miss Schuman’s house
The school
The supermarket: you can only get products stamped with the logo "Krach Industries".
The Park: it’s a National Trust-type park except it’s made of false rock, complete with water fall, patchwork of plastic grass squares, etc… In a word, it’s the “nature reserve” - just a little fake, that’s all.
The Entertainment Area: it changes from one structure into another at the push of a button. It can be a soccer stadium, a swimming pool, a disco, you name it…
The Restaurant: it changes on demand. You have the choice of Italian, Chinese, French, fast-food, etc. There’s only one waiter-cook (Guy) adapted to the environment of the moment.
The police station: it’s run by Guy
The Warehouse: where George finds the tools to fix what's broken on the station
The Shuttle Landing Area: Boris is the pilot ensuring the link between Earth and the station.
The Basement: a veritable network of pipes, machines and waste matter.
THE MEANS OF COMMUNICATION:A Public Phone Booth - works with coins only ; it enables to call Krach Industries only.
The Television - The Martins don’t pick up Earthbound TV, except clandestinely, somewhat like the French listening to Radio London under the German Occupation. Bootleg tapes occasionally make the rounds. Krach TV is a mix of hypnotic programming and commercials: nothing too disturbing or thought-provoking here.
Boris’ Shuttle - Boris has been hired by Krach Industries to make deliveries.
Computer - The Martins have a computer but there is no plug allowing them to connect themselves with the Web. Unless Benjamin manages to pirate the telephone booth, Internet will simply remain inaccessible to them.


  1. I don't know but for some reason the little me used to like this show , it used to come on Teletoon france by the title "Allo la terre ! ici les martins" I remember all the characters (Ugly characters design" the Russian stereotype guy Boris man , thanks for this tour in the nostalgia train !

    1. The 5-year old me liked watching this show when it premiered on October 6th, 2003. Shame that no full episodes in English survive.