Fireman Sam (Sam Tân in it's original Welsh) is a Welsh children's television series. It is based around the inhabitants of Welsh town Pontypandy (a portmanteau of two real-life towns, Pontypridd and Tonypandy), especially firefighter Sam Jones.
The series original run was from 26th December 1985 - 20th June 1994 in Wales, on the children's block of Bumper Films and S4C, and from 17th November 1987 to 16th November 1994 in the rest of United Kingdom, broadcasting on BBC 1. The idea for the series was coined by two former ex-firemen from Kent, Dave Gingell and Dave Jones, and written by Rob Lee.
Fireman Sam has also been dubbed in Gaelic in Scotland. Fireman Sam has been aired over 40 countries around the world and has been translated more than 25 languages including Mandarin language.
The original show was finished in 1994, but the series did not stop yet. The whole original Fireman Sam series finished in 1996 that features Fireman Sam In Action and some of the merchandise like books.
The English-language version
The English-language series, from series 1 to 4, was made up of 32 ten-minute episodes, plus a twenty-minute Christmas special. The narration, and all the character voices, were done by English actor John Alderton. The original run of these first four series was produced by Bumper Films for ITV, and aired on CITV in the UK sence 1986/7
The second run, from 2002 to 2007 used more modern techniques of stop-motion animation, making the characters appear clearer and making the mouths move in sync with their speech. Several new characters were also introduced alongside the original characters, such as Tom Thomas and Helen Flood. The 2002/2007 run was produced by Calon TV (known then as Siriol Productions LTD], and consisted of twenty-six ten-minute episodes and was produced by Hit Entertainment for CITV/ITV.
As well as the changes in animation and the new characters, three voice actors were hired - John Sparkes, a Welsh comedian, to voice the male characters and Joanna Ruiz and Sarah Hadland providing the female voices.
The third run, from 2008 to present used CGI animation, Pontypandy is now a seaside fishing village instead of a village set deep in the hills as in the early series, though most of the locations have retained their appearances. More characters were introduced, such as Charlie and Bronwyn, Sarah and James's parents. This series was produced by Hibbert Ralph Animation in association with HIT Entertainment.
In this series the characters are voiced by Steven Kynman, Tegwen Tucker, David Carling, and Su Douglas. John Hasler, Ifan Huw Dafydd and Nigel Whitmey joined the cast in 2012. Alex Lowe and Jo Wyatt joined the cast in 2014 and Harriet Kershaw joined the cast in 2015.