Oh crumbs, ooh erh and… Look out! It’s a bomb! The new Danger Mouse cartoon is set to bring the lily-white, one-eyed rodent and his trusty hamster side-kick, Ernest Penfold, back to the telly with a bang in Autumn 2015. To add to the incredible news, the BBC has also confirmed the full compliment of the voice cast that will take over from the old guard in the new series when it airs later in the year.
An official air date has now been confirmed, having had its premier on Friday 4th September 2015 in a secret location with a star-studded red carpet list. The opening double-length episode will be going out on CBBC on the 28th September 2015, which will coincide with the 34th anniversary of the original series launch. We also know that a whopping 52 episodes of the new Danger Mouse cartoon has been commissioned by the CBBC, with each one a small, but perfectly sized and slightly dangerous 11 minutes long.
For anyone not up on their 1980s children’s cartoon shows, Danger Mouse is the genius hybrid of James Bond and a range of household pets. It follows the exploits of the eponymous secret agent rodent, who along with his trusty, but extremely nervy assistant Penfold heads out on a variety of missions to save the planet, ordinarily from the super-villain exploits of Baron Silas Greenback and his fluffy white caterpillar, Nero.
In the new series, Danger Mouse will be voiced by Alexander Armstrong of Pointless fame and he’ll be joined by Kevin Eldon (Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge) as Penfold and David Lamb as the show’s narrator. Stephen Fry (The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies) has been confirmed to play the aged chinchilla, Colonel K, Richard Osman (also of Pointless fame) will play Professor Strontium Jellyfish, Shauna MacDonald (The Descent, Filth) will voice Professor Squawkencluck – the niece of the original professor – and Morwenna Banks will take on a variety of roles across the series.
If that isn’t enough to get you excited about red post boxes and eye patches once again, the BBC has also confirmed that Ed Gaughan (Black Mirror Series 2) will be the voice of the toad villain Baron Greenback. Kayvan Novak (Cuban Fury, PhoneJacker) will also be using his multi-vocal skills to bear in a range of different characters throughout the series.
The cast has got pretty big boots to fill from the original series, which was voiced by the legendary David Jason, Terry Scott, Edward Kelsey, Brian Trueman and Jimmy Hibbert. However, the real challenge will be winning over a new generation of children to the show, more than keeping older fans of the original happy, which will be a much bigger tribute to the work of creators Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall.
In addition to the main cast, the new cartoon will also feature a host of guest stars and three new names have been added to the list with Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd) voicing new frost-bitten villain The Snowman, Brian Blessed (Flash Gordon) starring as Santa – his fourth time the role – and Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter) playing the malevolent Queen of Weevils.
The new Danger Mouse cartoon commenced production back in September 2014, so we should be seeing a teaser trailer fairly soon to get more of an idea of what to expect. It’s being animated by Boulder Media, with Sarah Muller executive producer for CBBC, and Bob Higgins executive producer for FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment, who own the global TV and licensing rights to the series.
On the face of what we know now about the cast and the look of the very first visuals above, it’s looking like this is going to be a pretty impressive return for Danger Mouse and Penfold. There’s a lot of talk from the Beeb about the pair using state of the art gadgetry and vehicles to get the job done, along with their trademark combination of cool daring on the part of DM and a slightly timid approach from his little buddy, so we should be in for a class cartoon reboot.
For us older viewers, there’s definitely going to be a period of adjustment to the new voices, but for kids experiencing the show for the first time they should take to it like vampire ducks to vegetarianism.