Danger Mouse – Mission: Improbable Review

  • Series Title: Danger Mouse
  • Season: Mission: Improbable
  • Episodes: 7
  • Discs: 1
  • Network: CBBC
  • Cast: Alexander Armstrong, Kevin Eldon, Dave Lamb, Stephen Fry, Shauna MacDonald
  • Format: Color, Animation, Widescreen, PAL, R2

Danger Mouse was a much-loved British cartoon from the 1980s. Featuring a white mouse (Danger Mouse) with a black eye patch, his hamster assistant Penfold, and his boss, Colonel K, the series was fun, clever, and full of puns, cultural references, and silliness. This new series keeps the same characters, including the villainous Baron Silas Greenback and his assistants Nero and Stiletto. The new series also introduces Professor Squawkencluck, a female scientist who develops Danger Mouse’s incredible gadgets and acts as the scientific brain for the group’s missions. She’s basically DM’s Q – and she’s a chicken. No, she isn’t afraid of everything – she’s literally an animated chicken with a Scottish accent. Meanwhile, Colonel K also has a hologram copy of himself.

The new Danger Mouse has some very funny moments in these first seven episodes. However, poor DM is not a very clever mouse – and he’s pretty incompetent with technology – which irritates Squawkencluck, Penfold is the same old Penfold, sensibly scared by the situations he and DM find themselves in. However, Penfold gets to shine in two episodes, and his friendship with Danger Mouse is particularly strong in this updated version.

As one would expect in an updated modern version of a classic from the 1980s, the animation is better and more modern. DM’s science and tech is also more advanced. Yet, the show keeps the characters, including the villains from the original show. The episodes without Greenback are better (and that is the majority of the episodes on this collection). I also really liked Pandamonium – a giant panda who’s basically a big dummy, but lovable. He’s used by Baron Greenback in the first episode, then appears again on his own.

The episodes on the Mission: Improbable are:

  • Danger Mouse Begins Again
  • Planet of the Toilets
  • Danger at C-Level
  • The Other Day the Earth Stood Still
  • Welcome to Danger World!
  • Big Head Awakens
  • Greenfinger

Overall, though some of the episodes were very funny, I missed the puns and cultural references of the original series. This show was fun, but more aimed at children than the all-ages original series. It’s not awful, but it’s not as cleverly-written as it could be. A solid 3 out of 5 stars.

The Librarians Season 1 Review

  • Series Title: The Librarians
  • Season: Season 1
  • Episodes: 10
  • Discs: 3
  • Network: TNT
  • Cast: Noah Wyle, John Larroquette, Rebecca Romijn, Christian Kane, Lindy Booth, John Harlan Kim, Matt Frewer
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC, R1

TNT’s The Librarians is the sequel series to three made-for-TV movies starring Noah Wyle. I have reviewed those films on this blog please see links below.

The first episode of The Librarians plays like another “The Librarian” TV Movie, as Noah Wyle returns as the Librarian, Flynn Carsen, working out of The Library hidden beneath New York’s Metropolitan Library, and home to a collection of hidden knowledge and magical artifacts. Flynn meets Eve Baird, his new Guardian. They discover someone is killing off potential Librarians, and gather together three people who were also meant to become Librarians: Jake Stone – a oil rigger with a 160 IQ with an encyclopedic knowledge of art history, architecture, and related areas; Cassandra Cillian – a woman who’s brain tumor makes her both a synesthetic (someone who sees numbers as colors; or associates complicated formulas with smells) and a genius at math; and Ezekiel Jones – a thief. Together, Flynn, Eve, and his new Librarians try to stop the Serpent Brotherhood, led by Dulaque (Matt Frewer) from using Excalibur and the Stone to release magic into the world. They fail. Eve is nearly killed, Cassandra betrays everyone then comes back to the fold when she realizes her mistake, magic is released, and Dulaque escapes. However, all is not lost, Flynn survives, Charlene and Judson release the Library into Space and Time to prevent Dulaque from taking it or destroying it, and Flynn realizes he’s going to need help from his new recruits. He turns them over to Jenkins at the Library Annex to solve mysteries and capture magical artifacts, and leaves to find the Library.

The new team, under Jenkins, works to find and return to the Annex dangerous magical artifacts, and to help people threatened by the newly released magic in the world. From a town threatened by fairy tales, to the Minotaur, to helping Santa bring good will back to the world, the Librarians travel far and wide, helping people and putting down magical threats. The episodes seem to be self-contained however, every story brings them an element that ends up being extremely important to the final episode of the season. In the final story, Flynn returns again, and they attempt to bring back The Library. Dulaque arrives, kills his assistant Lamia, and opens a door to the River of Time and the Loom of Fate. Dulaque cuts the Threads of the Loom. Eve and an alternate non-Librarian version of Flynn must find a way to stop Dulaque. The leap from reality to reality finding alternate Librarian versions of the Librarians: Cassandra – a powerful magic user from a world filled with dragons; Jones – a scientist in a world where most of the population has been turned into ghosts; and Stone – the Librarian. Eve and these alternate versions must find a way to repair the Loom, stop Dulaque, and prevent Eve’s death. Along the way, we discover Jenkins’ secret past, as well as Dulaque’s “real” identity.

The Librarians is a fun, light, enjoyable series. It has magic and adventure, and for the most part no one is really ever harmed. Noah Wylie appears periodically through the series, and the episodes are always better when he’s there. However, the Librarians and their Guardian form a D&D-type adventuring group: The Soldier (Eve Baird), the Thief (Ezekiel Jones), The Scientist/Mathematician (Cassandra Cillian – rather than a Magician); and the Historian/Art Expert (Jones Stone). It’s a slightly more modern version of D&D heroes. Recommended.