|Format||Animated television series
|Directed by||Larry Jacobs
|Starring||Christopher Lloyd as The Hacker
Gilbert Gottfried as Digit
Matthew A. Wilson
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||9|
|No. of episodes||97 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Nelvana (2002-2007)
Flying Minds (2005)
Title Entertainment (2007-present)
|Original channel||PBS Kids (2002-2004, 2013-Present)
PBS Kids Go! (2004-2013)
|Picture format||16:9 1080i (HDTV) (Season 9-present)|
|Original run||January 21, 2002 – present|
Cyberchase is an American television series. The series takes place in Cyberspace, a virtual world, and chronicles the adventures of three children, Jackie, Inez, and Matt, as they use math and problem solving skills to save Cyberspace and its leader, Motherboard, from The Hacker, the villain. Cyberchase has received generally positive reviews and won numerous awards. Thirteen/WNET New York and Nelvana produced the first five seasons, while Thirteen, in association with Title Entertainment, Inc. and WNET.ORG, produced seasons six through eight.1 The show airs on PBS and PBS Kids in the U.S. All episodes (season 1-8) have been released free on the Cyberchase Website. Since July 2010, Cyberchase has been put on hiatus, but was announced that starting in November 2013, Cyberchase will be revived and start airing new episodes with its 9th season. Seasons 1-5 were recently put on Netflix, along with other PBS Kids shows.2 In April 2013, it was announced via Cyberchase's official Facebook page that Cyberchase would return for a ninth season, which has premiered on November 4, 2013. The movie will premiere on April 15, 2014. 3
The show stars three Earth mathematician children—Jackie, Matt and Inez—and Digit, a bird-like cyborg. The series takes place in Cyberspace, the electronic medium of computer networks, in which online communication takes place, with planet-like bodies called "Cybersites", which are based on locations such as Ancient Egypt, the American Old West, mythological Greece, and Carnival. The guardian of all Cyberspace is Motherboard; her repairman is Dr. Marbles.1 The three kids and Digit use their math and problem solving skills to stop the evil deeds of The Hacker, a villain who breaks into Motherboard and her networks, and his two cyborg henchmen, Buzz and Delete.
NOTE: This is the only show on PBS Kids that is noticeable darker and dramatic than previous or succeeding episodes and seasons, with crash, accident, explosion, disaster, evil laughter, in almost every episode
Each Cyberchase episode is followed by "Cyberchase For Real", a live-action educational supplement linking concepts learned in the show to real life experiences.1 The actors Bianca DeGroat and Harry Matthew A. Wilson are in their thirties, but amusingly act in a manner similar to the age of the target audience. "For Real" is produced by WNET in and around New York City after production is completed on the animated segments. These "For Real" segments are broadcast exclusively on PBS in the United States where the program runs longer and fill the time gap where there might be breaks for commercials. Some "For Real" segments can also be viewed online.4 As of September 17, 2012, "Oh Noah!", shorts that teach kids to speak Spanish, have replaced the "For Real" segments.5
According to the Website, Motherboard (sometimes referred to as "Mother B.") is the "Brain of the giant computer system that oversees all of Cyberspace.6 Her technician computer scientist, Dr. Marbles, keeps her functioning properly. Dr. Marbles creates The Hacker as an assistant, but Hacker turns against Motherboard. Digit is the assistant to The Hacker and watches as Hacker steals the Encryptor Chip. He eventually escapes Hacker, after Dr. Marbles banishes Hacker to the Northern Frontier.
Cyberchase aims to show kids that math is everywhere and everyone can be good at it. The series encourages viewers to see, think, and do mathematics in their world. The show and supporting activities have been designed to support math education and reflect the curriculum standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.7 The show’s philosophy is to foster enthusiasm for math, to model mathematic reasoning, to help children improve their problem-solving skills and to inspire all children to approach math with confidence and a "can-do" attitude.8
Also known as "Earthlies" by Digit, excluding him. Known as "Earthbrats" by Hacker.
- Jackie (voiced by Novie Edwards) is an 11-year-old African American girl. She loves to keep things neat and organized in order to figure things out. Her favorite activities include gymnastics, double Dutch, skipping, drawing, and writing plays about herself. She wears a yellow sweater with a light blue denim skirt, red Jewelry, and dull lavender hi-tops. Jackie’s biggest pet peeve is slimy and icky stuff like bugs and many other "gross" things. Like Inez, she was very fond of Slider. Wicked called her Jacqueline once in episode 409 to try to be nice her. Matt called her that in the same episode just to tease her. In a running gag, Jackie sometimes freaks out when they're in a crisis. This encourages Matt to taunt her by making an Academy Awards-like "Award goes to" comment. Jackie: Cyberspace is doomed! Doomed, I tell you! DOOOOO-HOO-HOO-HOO-HOO-HOO-HOO-OOMED!!! Matt: And the award for best dramatic outburst of the day goes to...Jackie! Jackie: Matt! However, in the fifth season and the episodes after those, Jackie becomes more calm. Jackie hates the Hacker and thinks he is gross.
- Iconic Line: "Make room! -- I gotta pace" and "Ew Ew and Double Ew!"
- Iconic Action: Pacing, no matter the circumstance, even under water.
- Matt (voiced by Jacqueline Pillon) is an 11-year old Irish American boy. He likes skateboards and collecting things (his backpack is always full of useful items). He is impulsive, impatient, tells jokes, and knows a lot about Greek Mythology and Star Wars. He usually wears a long green turtle neck, a red backpack, neon blue jeans, and red hi-tops. According to episode 403, it is mentioned that Matt is impatient. He has a pig named Sherman on his family farm and loves other animals such as frogs and lizards. Matt’s red backpack contains his many ken-kens and yo-yos which he is very good at using.. He frequently calls Inez by the nickname "Nezzie," much to her annoyance. It is also shown that he has a crush on Inez. However, He seems to reciprocate those feelings due to his jealousy at Inez's closeness with Slider. It is also shown he can be quite protective of her at times. Inez called him Matthew twice in season 2, episodes 205 and 214 just to tease him. Matt is considered “The Hero” of the group.
- Iconic Line: "Touchdown!"
- Iconic Action: Twirling his Yo-Yo
- Inez (voiced by Annick Obonsawin) is a 9-year-old Hispanic girl and is well known for her excellent vocabulary, for which the others often tease her about. She mostly wears a long-sleeved pink shirt with a yellow star on the front, teal shorts, a purple vest, a pair of square glasses, and dark blue boots. Despite being the youngest human member of the gang (only by a year), she's is “the Smart Guy”. Inez’s biggest pet peve is when Matt calls her “Nezzie.”, though she is fine with Slider calling her that. When asked why by Matt, she replies, “He’s… different,” implying that she likes Slider. Inez wears a Sherlock hat in season 2, episode 212.
- Iconic Line: "Ohhh This is not good. This is not good at all!"
- Iconic Action: A handstand.
- Digit (voiced by Gilbert Gottfried) is a cyboid who works for Motherboard and is the kids' best friend. He and the kids protect Cyberspace and Motherboard from Hacker. Digit was created by Hacker and worked for him for a long time, along with Buzz and Delete. He escaped after learning of Hacker's evil doings. He became one of Motherboard's helpers, serving as Dr. Marbles' assistant. He would later join the Cybersquad. Digit can fly by spinning his tail feathers in a helicopter-fashion, or simply by flapping his wings(There are a few episodes where it shows Digit flying with his wings). But he has a fear of heights and prefers to walk, despite the fact that he can fly.. He's a cook and wrote his two popular cookbooks 'The Cyber Chef' and 'Cookin' with the Didge'. He carries many objects in his chest, including Widget. He used to try building virtual nests and didn't have such accurate practice. He can turn his beak into just about anything, and bends it on usual occasion. In 107, he doesn't appear. He also can disguise his voice very well.
- Iconic Line: "Yoikes" and "The Didge is always prepared" and “I knew that, I was just testing you!” as well as "bada-bing bada-boom!"
- Motherboard (voiced by Kristina Nicoll) is the relaxed and benevolent ruler of Cyberspace and lives in the Cybersite Control Central. She looks similar to a mainframe. Her former assistant was Hacker who put a virus in her, but because her firewall wasn't fully uploaded before the virus hit, she was only left weak. The Cybersquad tries to recover the Encryptor Chip and keep Motherboard safe from Hacker.
- Dr. Marbles (voiced by Richard Binsley) is the smart and brilliant inventor who serves Motherboard. He's full of ideas, as the lightbulb on his head suggests. His speech is peppered with computer terms, like "Backspace!" instead of "Hold on a minute!" He is the one responsible for creating Hacker to help and defend Motherboard, although Hacker would later rebel against Motherboard and tried to destroy her. A guilty Marbles would then downgrade Hacker's power and banish him to the Northern Frontier for his wrongful actions, right after Hacker vowing to return to finish Motherboard and Marbles before taking over Cyberspace.
- Widget (voiced by Gilbert Gottfried) is a small likeness of Digit. His hat, tail feathers, and bowtie are not screwed on properly. He's seen in episodes 124, 206, 308, and 504. In episode 124, it is revealed that he can't fly yet. He is younger than Digit and helps Digit when it is necessary.
- TW (Teeny Weeny Parallini) is a small square girl Parallini. She is not scared of Hacker, and despite the fact that her mother wouldn't let her help the cybersquad, she does help them find Diamond Joe.
- Fluff is a penguin that plays hockey, which is hard in Cyberia. He is logical and does not buy into advertisements. Fluff is determined to follow in his father's footsteps and to make his family proud. He helped the Cybersquad with the hacker's challenge. He is voiced by Austin Dilulio.
- Creech is the young princess-like ruler in the Cybersite, Tikiville. She became the apparent Big Kahuna (the term for their rulers in Tikiville) after competing in a race with other Tikiville-inhabitants as well as Hacker. Creech is in some ways similar to Inez, and those ways helped the two to become friends easily. Both have a fairly similar outlook, which is optimistic until something goes completely wrong, and they both have a large vocabulary, which, in Inez's case, causes her to be made fun of. She also is the person in charge of Tikiville's Egg of Benedicta. She's voiced by Stephanie Beard.
- Jules, who was first seen as a cave guard in episode 507, is a good friend of the Cybersquad, but is often timid. He appears again in episode 607, where Hacker tricks him into pressing the nose of the Jam Master, causing Matt, Jackie, Creech and himself to get sucked into the chamber of Jimaya. After that he appeared in 801 where he helped in Hacker's Challenge. He is often trying to find a job, but Hacker continuously tries to ruin it for him. He is voiced by Scott McCord.
- Slider is a serious and James Dean-style 13-year-old skateboarder in Radopolis who builds and repairs skateboards and bikes. Since season three, he has been a recurring character in the series. According to Slider, his father Coop had abandoned him when he was younger because The Hacker had hunted Coop for many years. However, in the episode "Measure for Measure" he finds out that his father abandoned him to protect him. Slider is voiced by Tim Hamaguchi.
- Hacker is the main antagonist in the series, voiced by Christopher Lloyd. In almost every episode, he is trying to conquer all or a part of Cyberspace, but is thwarted each time by the Cybersquad. He resembles Elvis Presley, a fact he appears to be aware of, but is green-faced and wears a black wig and has a pointy chin of which he is vain. He also wears a bicoloured cape. He was created by Dr. Marbles to assist Motherboard, but he rebelled and was exiled to a cybersite called the Northern Frontier. Nevertheless, he does have potential to become good again, as shown in one of the episodes where he became a peaceful artist (temporarily). He has two cyborg lackeys, Buzz and Delete, whose reliability is quite variable; sometimes, he gets very peeved when he has to do things himself that Buzz and Delete can't. He travels in his large spaceship, the Grim Wreaker. Apparently, puce is his favourite colour.
- Iconic Line "That's THE Hacker to you!" and "No one tells The Hacker what to do!"
- Buzz (voiced by Len Carlson (2002-2005) and Phillip Williams (2006-present)) is one of Hacker's henchmen, a small spherical cyborg with a large mouth and scrawny limbs, but he seems to think he's a big tough guy; however, he can be kind at times and loves doughnuts.
- Iconic line: “The boss isn't going to happy about that!” or “The boss really isn’t going to happy about that!”
- Delete (Voiced by Rob Tinkler) is the skinnier of the two of Hacker's henchman, the other being Buzz. He is loyal to Hacker. Unlike Buzz, who is more rough around the edges, Delete is softer and more vulnerable to trickery and deceit. He cares deeply for three things: Buzz, whom he has a brotherly friendship with, his pet bunny George, and Zanko, his fairy borg father.
- Iconic Line: "I'm gonna love him, and keep him, and call him George!"
- Bianca is one of the main protagonists in the "For Real" segment of the series. She often uses the original plot (the animated main plot) to solve everyday real world problems. As a character, she is rather absent-minded, arrogant, and self-centered, and does not think before she acts. She is seen to get carried away very easily.
- Iconic line: “I wonder what would happen if I …”
- Harry Wilson is another protagonist in the "For Real" segment. He often dresses in a nerdish style and wears horn-rimmed glasses and Converse shoes. In many of the segments, he's often rather careless, which usually costs him his current job. (played by Matthew A. Wilson).
The series has had a generally positive response.
On the site common sense media, the show was for ages 5 and up and rated 4/5 stars. The reviewer, Joly Herman, commented that "the adventures aren't scary, violent, or sexually inappropriate" but "require fortitude and brain power". Proposed discussion points sprouting from the series include "Can your child take the skills learned in each episode and figure out how to apply it to everyday life?" Herman noted that the only downside was that the adventures did not take place in the "real world" but added that the "For Real" segments solved this problem. The show was given a rating of 3/5 smiley faces under the "The Good Stuff" section.10
Carey Bryson of About.com gave the show a rating of 4/5 stars. Bryson noted that the series' explanations of "simple mathematical idea[s]" are "usually explained well and woven throughout the story in a fun and interesting way". The review commended the series for its accessibility: "Children can easily learn from the example in the cartoon story" and praised the "Cyberchase For Real segment that follows each episode". Citing an example from the series using codes, Bryson explained how the show could be used to expand upon the curriculum: "Not only did [her five-year-old] learn about codes, but she also got in a ton of spelling practice". Bryson commended the series: "Educationally, Cyberchase delivers".11
|2007||Outstanding Broadband Program - Children's||See below||Won|
|2008||Outstanding New Approaches - Children's||See below||Nominated|
|Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program14||Christopher Lloyd||Nominated|
|2009||Outstanding New Approaches - Daytime Children's||See below||Nominated|
|2012||Outstanding New Approaches - Daytime Children's||See below||Nominated|
^2007 Outstanding Broadband Program nominees : Frances Nankin, Sandra Sheppard, Ellen Doherty, Jill Peters, Bob Morris, Suzanne Rose, Michelle Chen, Elizabeth Hummer, Arash Hoda, Anthony Chapman, David Hirmes, Bianca DeGroat, Matthew A. Wilson, George Arthur Bloom12
^2008 Outstanding New Approaches nominees : Sandra Sheppard, Frances Nankin, Ellen Doherty, Jill Peters, David Hirmes, Kelly Lafferty, Michelle Chen, Tanner Vea, Bob Morris, Matthew A. Wilson15
^2009 Outstanding New Approaches nominees : Sandra Sheppard, Frances Nankin, Ellen Doherty, David Hirmes, Tanner Vea, Denyse Ouellette, Gilbert Gottfried, Philip Williams, Robert Tinkler16
^2012 Outstanding New Approaches nominees : Frances Nankin, Sandra Sheppard, Jill Peters, Marj Kleinman, Ellen Doherty, Kristin DiQuollo, Michelle Chen17
- National Science Foundation
- Northrop Grumman
- Corporation for Public Broadcasting
- The Volckhausen Family
- Helena Rubinstein Foundation
- "About Cyberchase". Pbs.org. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
- "Cyberchase Videos". Thirteen. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
- Miramar-Garcia, Gabriel (2012-09-17). "PBS to broadcast Oh Noah! with Cyberchase for Hispanic Heritage month". Rapid TV News. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
- "Cyberchase How it all Started".
- "National Council of Teachers of Mathematics". Nctm.org. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
- "Cyberchase Learning Goals". Pbs.org. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
- Herman, Joly. "Cyberchase". common sense media. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
- Bryson, Carey. "Cyberchase - TV Show Review". About.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
- "34th Annual Creative Arts & Entertainment Emmy Awards Presented At Star-Studded Hollywood Gala". The Emmy Awards. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- "2006 Winner Directory" (PDF). Cine Golden Eagle Film & Video Competition. p. 1. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- "The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Announces the 35th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Award Nominations". The Emmy Awards. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
- Awards for "Cyberchase". The Internet Movie Database. Accessed September 24, 2012.
- "Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards: 36th Annual Nominations Announcement". The Emmy Awards. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
- "The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Announces the 39th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Award Nominations". The Emmy Awards. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
- Studies on Cyberchase on Informalscience.org
- PBS Kids: Cyberchase Official Site
- Cyberchase Parents and Teacher Website—lessons, video, and tools to teach math.