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Martha Speaks
MarthaSpeaks
The show's current logo.
Format Children's television series
Created by Susan Meddaugh
No. of episodes 35 (35 unaired)
Run time 28 minutes (approx. 13 minutes per episode)
Network PBS Kids
Starring Tabitha St. Germain
Madeleine Peters
Cedric Payne
Alex Ferri
Vanesa Tomasin
Christina Crivici
First aired September 1, 2008
Last aired present


Martha Speaks is an animated children's television program based on the 1992 children's book of the same name by Susan Meddaugh about a dog named Martha (voiced by Tabitha St. Germain), who is owned by 20-year-old Helen Lorraine (known in the books as Helen Finney). When Helen feeds Martha some alphabet soup, the soup travels to her[[brain instead of her stomach resulting in her ability to speak. The show focuses on synonyms and vocabulary, with each episode featuring an underlying theme illustrated with key words. The show takes place in the fictional town of Wagstaff City, a parody of Flagstaff.

The show is produced by WGBH in Boston along with Vancouver based animation studio Studio B Productions (a division of DHX Media), and debuted on September 1, 2008 on PBS Kids stations across the USA. Some episodes of this TV series and another PBS Kids show Curious George were available for limited theatrical release on January 3, 2009.[1]

The show has been renewed for a second season.

Production

The program is produced by Carol Greenwald, who was behind other WGBH programs like Arthur, its spinoff Postcards from Buster, and Curious George (among others), and was developed for television by Emmy Award-winning writer, Ken Scarborough, the show's head writer and a producer. Mr. Scarborough previously developed Arthur for television (and was head writer for the first two seasons), and was head writer on Doug.

Characters

Main article: List of Martha Speaks characters
  • Martha: A talking dog. Martha was born a stray and was thrown in the dog pound as a puppy. Martha also had a lot of energy as a puppy. Not much else is known about her past. Martha gained the ability to talk after eating alphabet soup - the letters in the soup went to her brain instead of her stomach- which was an event that couldn't be repeated. Martha often sticks her nose in other people's business, causing trouble. Also, she mentioned she gets carsick when she was a puppy in Truman and the Deep Blue Sea. She has had jobs as a telemarketer, a radio talk show host, firedog, etc. In Martha's Pickle she mentioned that she still does her radio show from Martha Gives Advice. Despite her talk show, various community members seem surprised when Martha talks to them, or skeptical when someone mentions a talking dog. Voice by Tabitha St. Germain.
  • Helen: Martha's owner who has red, short, and curly hair. She is also Skits' owner. Voiced by Madeleine Peters.
  • T.D.: Helen's best friend. A running gag is that he would come up with some crazy scheme which no one would believe but would be true (Martha Runs Away, Martha Takes The Cake, Escape from Flea Island, Raiders of the Lost Art). Voiced by Alex Ferris. He has a cousin named DD, T.D has a older sister she's at college from episode Trumans brother and another cousin named C.D.
  • Alice: Helen's best girl friend, known for having ill-luck on her birthday. Voiced by Christina Crivici.
  • Skits: Helen's other dog. He tries the same alphabet soup, but it does not make him talk.
  • Carolina: Helen's cousin. She is kind of a know-it-all. Voiced by Vanesa Tomaniso.
  • Courageous Collie Carlo: Star of a Lassie like TV series. He has a fear of flowers.
  • Big Minnie: A bigfoot-like monster that was seen in Martha Camps Out and mentioned in Martha and Truman Get Lost and Martha Gets Spooked
  • Granny Flo: Owner of the factory which makes the Alphabet Soup Martha needs to speak. Somewhat greedy and regrets having to put "every letter in every can" (per the company's slogan).
  • Bob: A mean dog who appeared in Martha Walks The Dog, Martha Doesn't Speak Monkey, Nurse Martha, and What's Bother Bob?.
  • Jake: Helen's little brother, a toddler.
  • Pablum: a scientist who often teams up with Otis Weaselgraft the con artist.
  • Nelson: A cat, Martha's nemesis.
  • Ronald: Alice's brother, an older boy who has a parrot and dislikes Martha. He is somewhat of a snob who likes to scare people.
  • Otis Weaselgraft: a bald con artist frequently thwarted by Martha.
  • C.K.: T.D.'s grandfather. He's a farmer who Helen, T.D., and Martha once visited. His farm was seen in Down on the Farm and was mentioned in Skits Behaves.
  • Mariela: Helen's mom. She works in a flower shop.She is Hispanic.
  • Daniel: Helen's dad. He is a bus driver.He is Caucasian.
  • Lucille: Daniel's mom. She doesn't like bacon, and she is allergic to flowers like Courageous Collie Carlo.
  • Bernie: Daniel's father. He once lost Lucille's keys, bended her knees, and selling Lucille's chair for a big grizzly bear. (Martha Says It with Flowers).
  • O.G.: T.D.'s dad who owns a workshop.
  • Boomer: The guy with glasses. Seen on Martha Calling and Skits Under the Weather.
  • Windy McCloud: Wagstaff City's meteorologist.

Episodes

Main article: Episodes

So far 50 episodes have aired. According to the official web site, there are 30 episodes planned for the second season [2] Additionally, only six episodes are based directly on the books (including the original Martha Speaks), as there were only six books at the time the series began production. After each show, there would be "Music Time with SteveSongs". In later episodes, there would be Dot's Story Factory.

DVD release and iTunes

Episodes of the series was be available as downloads in fall 2008 [3], with DVDs expected to be released in spring 2009. [4].

See also

References

  1. Kidtoon Films
  2. http://pbskids.org/martha/parentsteachers/program/episodes.html
  3. Martha Speaks . FAQ | PBS KIDS!
  4. TV review: Fun lessons in 'Martha Speaks'

External links

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