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Pole Position (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pole Position
Pole Position Title Card.PNG
GenreAnimated television series
Created byJean Chalopin
Developed byMichael Reaves
Jean Chalopin
Directed byBernard Deyriès
Creative directorsGary Selvaggio
Mitsuki Nakamura
Voices ofDavid Coburn
Lisa Lindgren
Melvin Franklin
Darryl Hickman
ComposersShuki Levy
Haim Saban
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13 (list of episodes)
Executive producersJean Chalopin
Andy Heyward
ProducersMitsuru Kaneko
Koichi Ishiguro
CinematographyKenichi Yoshizaka
EditorHarutoshi Ogata
Running time25 minutes
Production companiesDIC Enterprises
MK Company
DistributorLBS Communications
Original networkCBS
Original releaseSeptember 15 (1984-09-15) –
December 8, 1984 (1984-12-08)

Pole Position is a Japanese-American animated series produced by DIC Enterprises[1] and MK Company.

The name was licensed from Namco, capitalizing on the video game series Pole Position. The game and the show have nothing else in common, other than Wheels being red as in Pole Position and Roadie being blue as in Pole Position II.


This show was produced by DIC Audiovisuel's American branch DIC Enterprises in association with Japanese studio MK Company. The animation services were provided by Artmic, Mushi Production, and K.K. DIC Asia. The character designs were provided by Filipino cartoonist Jesse Santos, and the mechanical designs were provided by Artmic's co-founder Shinji Aramaki.


Pole Position ran for 13 episodes on CBS in 1984 as part of its Saturday morning children's programming line-up. The show had reruns for a few months in 1986,[2] followed by a run on The Family Channel (now Freeform) from the late 1980s through the early 1990s. It was shown in the United Kingdom during the 1980s at first on Saturday Superstore in 1986 and in the CBBC strand, and was repeated in the early 1990s on Saturday mornings as part of Going Live on BBC1.


The show features the Darretts, a family of stunt-driving crime fighters, who investigated and thwarted wrongdoing while operating under the front of a traveling show known as the "Pole Position Stunt Show", which was sponsored by the United States government in order to give cover for their investigative activity and provide maintenance for the high-demand vehicles.[3] The Darretts had two adult children and a third child who was much younger in age. A road accident ended the life of the parents, and the father's younger brother, known as Uncle Zack, took charge of the stunt show. He said that now that the patriarch and his wife were dead, it was incumbent upon the two adult children, Tess and Dan, to continue their parents' dangerous and proud work.

The vehicles feature numerous hidden gadgets like water skis and hover jets. The vehicles' computers themselves are portable and can be removed from the dashboards and carried around using handles—thus they are often referred to as "the modules". The modules are characters appearing as talking computer-drawn faces displayed on video screens.


  • Tess Darrett – Tess is the older sister of Dan and Daisy and the de facto leader of the group who drives Wheels. Tess is voiced by Lisa Lindgren.[4]
  • Dan Darrett – Tess's hot-headed younger brother who drives Roadie. Dan is voiced by David Coburn.
  • Daisy Darrett – The younger pre-teen sister of Dan and Tess. Daisy is voiced by Kaleena Kiff.
  • Dr. Zachary Darrett – A wheelchair-using engineer and uncle of the Darrett kids. He runs the Pole Position operation and vehicle development. He is voiced by Jack Angel.[5]
  • Kuma – Daisy's pet, Kuma is a strange genetic hybrid between a raccoon and a monkey. Kuma is voiced by Marilyn Schreffler.
  • Wheels – a red and black 1965 Ford Mustang driven by Tess. Wheels's AI computer is more careful than Roadie. Wheels is voiced by Melvin Franklin, who was a member of The Temptations.[6]
  • Roadie – a more futuristic-looking light-blue coupe driven by Dan. Roadie's AI computer is very smart and keeps Dan out of trouble. Roadie is voiced by Darryl Hickman.



No. Title Original air date
1"The Code"September 15, 1984 (1984-09-15)
A rogue Pole Position agent by the name of Greg Dumont, a love interest of Tess, is hired by a criminal mastermind by the name of Alex Vance to steal the control codes to Roadie and Wheels in an attempt to get his hands on the high-tech cars and use the A.I.s to destroy Pole Position.
2"The Canine Vanishes"September 22, 1984 (1984-09-22)
The team goes to the Florida Everglades looking for Pandora, a lost dog that is carrying an important vaccine. They must find the dog before enemy agents gets their hands on her.
3"The Chicken Who Knew Too Much"September 29, 1984 (1984-09-29)
The team protects a chicken, given to them as a gift from an archaeologist. But when a bad guy shows up to abduct the fowl, the team must figure out the bird's link to finding a hidden treasure.
4"Strangers on the Ice"October 6, 1984 (1984-10-06)
The team is assigned to deliver satellite equipment to a mountain research station but the equipment is stolen, and a snowstorm thwarts the kids' attempts at getting it back.
5"The Race"October 13, 1984 (1984-10-13)
The team enters a race suspected to be used to smuggle a computer chip out of the country.
6"The Thirty-Nine Stripes"October 20, 1984 (1984-10-20)
The team is assigned to protect museum paintings that are being mysteriously vandalized; the cut pieces secretly contain a diagram for an advanced computer chip.
7"The Thirty-One Cent Mystery"October 27, 1984 (1984-10-27)
Kuma uncovers a plot to steal an Indian totem hidden somewhere at Mount Rushmore. He tries to warn the others with a quarter, nickel, and a penny (31 cents) all of which have the same presidents as the monument: Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln.
8"Dial M for Magic"November 3, 1984 (1984-11-03)
The team gets stuck in a weird town controlled by a strange illusionist.
9"The Bear Affair"November 10, 1984 (1984-11-10)
Daisy receives a talking teddy bear which is pointing out mysterious clues about a factory. Tess and Dan investigate the factory hoping to discover clues.
10"To Clutch a Thief"November 17, 1984 (1984-11-17)
Dan and Tess are invited to their hometown to celebrate a queen's pageant where Tess is made carnival queen, but the queens amulet she wears is a fake made of candy as the real one goes missing. Clues lead to a jealous woman who makes the candy amulets and holds a grudge that she wasn't chosen as queen every year and finds out her son stole the actual amulet for her.
11"The Secret"November 24, 1984 (1984-11-24)
The team is stranded in an unfriendly town and harassed by the local sheriff. The unwelcoming treatment leads the team to suspect criminal activity at the town's gold mine and that the sheriff may be involved, only to be beat to the punch when Tess is arrested with a gold nugget on her..
12"Shadow of a Trout"December 1, 1984 (1984-12-01)
Uncle Zach is missing, and the kids find out they are suspects in his disappearance.
13"The Trouble with Kuma"December 8, 1984 (1984-12-08)
The kids go to an island threatened by a tsunami to rescue Dr. Lungo (Kuma's creator). They find that Lungo's shady assistants are trying to kill him and steal his genetic research.

Principal cast

Additional voices

DVD release

Brightspark Productions released a 4-disc box set containing all 13 complete episodes of the series on DVD in the UK on April 21, 2008.[7][better source needed]

Mill Creek Entertainment released 10 of the 13 episodes of the series in a combo pack with 10 episodes of C.O.P.S. and 10 episodes of Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors on January 10, 2012. Later in October 16, Mill Creek released TV Toons To Go, a 10-disc compilation of various cartoons owned by Cookie Jar, now by DHX Media, and the 10th disc of that set contains the remaining 3 episodes of Pole Position that weren't included on the combo pack DVD set.


  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 469–470. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1997). The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television. Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 346. ISBN 978-0823083152. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  3. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 629–630. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  4. ^ Lisa Lindgren at IMDb
  5. ^ Jack Angel entry at IMDb
  6. ^ Melvin Franklin entry at IMDb
  7. ^ Pole Position – Complete Collection [1984]: DVD

External links

It could be ran on SHOWTIME Familytime Presentation in April 3rd, 1986, and May 26th, 1987, on SHOWTIME Networks 1616 Broadway, New York, NY 10036

This page was last edited on 14 October 2021, at 02:55
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