BRUM (1991-2002) – This live-action British children’s series is one of those kiddie programs that is fairly enjoyable for adults, too. Brum, the title character, is a living, sentient 1920s Austin 7 vintage automobile with a childlike mind.
Brum is forever curious and adventurous, sneaking out of the garage housing his owner’s vintage auto collection at the start of each episode. The plucky little car explores Big Town (really Birmingham) and has family-friendly escapades, often involving slapstick “baddies” whose evil activities are thwarted by Brum and his latest acquaintances.
The episodes of Brum last 10-15 minutes each as the vehicle interacts with live human beings. Mark Powlett as a traffic policeman and Linda Kerr Scott as Granny Slippers are two of the little car’s most frequent colleagues in his adventures.
Narration and limited dialogue are used in varying measures depending on creative choices in each season.
Typical of BBC programs, though Brum is listed as a 1991-2002 series it was not one long continuing run. Season One, consisting of 13 episodes, first aired in 1991. Season Two did not air until 1994 and ran for 13 more installments. Season 3’s 20 episodes came along in 2001, Season 4’s 18 episodes aired from April to July of 2002, and Season Five, consisting of 10 episodes, ran from September to November of 2002.
The year 2016 brought a CGI version of Brum targeted at very young viewers but it was not as successful as the earlier, live-action seasons.
Brum features spontaneous singing and dancing at times and while it’s not really the type of show most adults would seek out for their own viewing, it’s entertaining enough for parents and children to enjoy together.
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