Boffins (TV series)
Boffins (also known as The Boffins) is an Australian children's television programme produced by Film Australia in 1993. It was created by John Patterson and Ian Munro, who also co-created Johnson and Friends. 13 episodes were produced, and the program was purchased for broadcast by ABC in 1994, but was never aired for unknown reasons. However, it was later released on home video by the ABC in 1995.
Title card for the series, seen at the beginning of every episode.
|Created by||John Patterson|
|Directed by||Ian Munro|
|Opening theme||"Boffins" performed by Suzy Connolly|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Running time||9.5 mins|
|Production company(s)||Film Australia|
Boffins follows the adventures of four tiny furry alien-like creatures known as Boffins, who spend their days in kitchen cupboards and surrounding areas, trying to discover the science behind how the world works, Madame Curie and Aristotle are very close to some of the answers, but Newton and Echo, the young boffins from the house next door are only interested in having fun!
The series was designed to introduce primary school children to some of the basic laws of science. Each episode explores a different concept; the transmission of sound, levers, pulleys, magnetism, gravity, siphons, evaporation, reflection and dispersion of light, friction, and requirements for growth.
- Aristotle: Appropriately named after the Greek philosopher, Aristotle loves science, but is quite lazy, conceited and bossy. However, deep down inside, he has a good heart and a great sense of humour. Aristotle has a hatred for Galileo, as he is jealous of his inventions. He lives in the kitchen cupboard with Madame Curie.
- Madame Curie: Madame Curie lives in the kitchen cupboard with Aristotle. Despite being strict at times, she is quite caring and acts as a motherly figure to Newton and Echo. She is named after polish physicist Marie Curie.
- Newton: Newton is a teenage boffin from the house next door, he has a dislike for science, like most teenagers. He appears to be based on a typical 1990s Australian teen boy, he wears a red flat cap, and a yellow shirt featuring a peace symbol. Despite hating science, he still visits the kitchen with Echo. He is named after British physicist Sir Isaac Newton.
- Echo: Echo lives in the house next door with Newton, she dislikes science, but not as much as Newton. She appears to be based on a typical 1990s Australian teen girl. She wears a green shirt, with various symbols stitched onto it and a skirt. She is named after the effect caused by the reflection of sound.
- Galileo: Galileo is Madame Curie's cousin, he lives in a kitchen cupboard in a house on the other side of town. He has invented various gadgets and machines which Aristotle is jealous of, he often sends them to Madame Curie, which infuriates Aristotle. Despite never physically appearing, he is frequently mentioned in various episodes. He is named after Italian physicist Galileo Galilei.
- Doris: Doris is Madame Curie's sister, who lives on the other side of town. She was only mentioned in the episode Wrong Number, in which she sends a letter to Madame Curie, which prompts her to get a telephone. According to the letter, she lives with Galileo.
|Character||Costume Actor||Voice Actor|
|Aristotle||Peter Browne||Peter Browne|
|Madame Curie||Deborah Kennedy||Deborah Kennedy|
|Echo||Kirsty McGregor||Kirsty McGregor|
The costumes were built and designed by Studio Kite.
|No.||Episode title||Scientific concept|
|1||"Wrong Number"||Transmission of Sound|
|Madame Curie demands a telephone so the Boffins investigate the nature of sound and make one of their own.|
|The Boffins try to loosen the stuck kitchen tile and accidentally discover the power of levers.|
|3||"Over the Moon"||Pulleys|
|The Boffins try to move a huge box of cornflakes and discover how to use pulleys.|
|The Boffins set out to discover the source of a new secret force - magnetism.|
|5||"Upwards and Downwards"||Hypothesising|
|Aristotle and Madame Curie demonstrate the force of gravity, but they soon need the force of cleaning up as well!|
|6||"Life in the Balance"||Gravity|
|Newton is dangling dangerously off the kitchen bench and Aristotle saves him by discovering the centre of gravity.|
|7||"Water Water Everywhere"||Syphons|
|The young Boffins discover a "scientific" way of transporting water, they start a syphon but cannot stop it.|
|8||"The Disappearing Water"||Evaporation|
|The Boffins become scientific detectives to help Newton find his vanishing water - there is no thief, just evaporation.|
|9||"Let There Be Light"||Reflection of Light|
|The young Boffins try to collect light in a matchbox and find that they can't hold it. They discover how to reflect a beam of light.|
|10||"Feeling Blue"||Dispersion of Light|
|An experiment with prisms helps Aristotle and Madame Curie choose colours to paint their laboratory.|
|In a desperate attempt to get rid of the dreaded Kendall's Kitchen Cleanser, the Boffins discover friction and a new sport - soap skating.|
|12||"The Miracle of Life"||Requirements for Growth|
|The young Boffins have trouble growing plants, until they discover the importance of light, water and soil.|
|Aristotle and Madame Curie set off on an expedition and Newton and Echo realise they have developed the ability to take charge of the scientific experiments.|
Despite being relatively obscure and never airing in Australia, Boffins was broadcast in various countries around the world - including Singapore, Malaysia, Israel, Brunei, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Canada, The Middle East, Africa and possibly elsewhere.
The series was also released in the United States and Canada as a set of educational videos, which were only available to schools and universities.
Three VHS tapes were released by ABC Video in 1995.
|Volume 1 - Over the Moon (14935)||17 April 1995||Wrong Number, No Entry, Over the Moon and Fridgestuff|
|Volume 2 - Upwards and Downwards (14936)||17 April 1995||Upwards and Downwards, Life in the Balance, Water Water Everywhere and The Disappearing Water|
|Volume 3 - Let There Be Light (14937)||17 April 1995||Let There Be Light, Feeling Blue, Moving Matters, The Miracle of Life and The Pledge|