Benjamin Franklin enlists the help of young people to record the happenings leading up to and during the Revolution for his newspaper the Pennsylvania Gazette. First, there is a James Hiller, a patriot who tends to act before he thinks and is, at times, too quick a judge in his search for American heroes. Next is Henri, a French orphan who's only quest is for food. Lastly, a young woman named Sarah Phillips joins the team; the daughter of an ex-English general with strong views opposing slavery. Together, they travel the colonies witnessing the sacrifices made for freedom.Written by
While airing on PBS, episode run-time would be extended with segments between episode acts. These segments included "The Liberty News Network" (hosted by Walter Cronkite as Benjamin Franklin), "Mystery Guest" (a guessing game hosted by James), "Now and Then" (a series comparing Colonial life to modern life, hosted by Sarah), and "Continental Cartoons" (a rebus guessing game featuring James, Henri and Sarah). See more »
From August through September, the characters are in two places at the exact same time. James and Henri are present to witness LaFayette's courage at Brandywine on 11 September 1777, yet are also with General Gates' American army at Saratoga (and James is a prisoner of the British during that Saratoga episode at the same time he's able to witness Brandywine). See more »
Being British I'm terribly offended by this show, it shows us in a bad light and is full of historical inaccuracies. It should be taken off the air and I'm considering filing a class action law suit against PBS and it's sponsors for all of the racism and nervous shock it causes me! No only kidding! I saw this show recently and not only is it an excellent children's TV show but they could do allot worse by allowing high school students to see this -- it should be on the curriculum. I think that a cartoon might hold the attention span of the students longer than a documentary or a history lecture.
Having said all that PBS is taking some risks here with this show. It actually shows the Americans in a good light which what I know about PBS is unusual. I'm sure this as far as they would go, because they would never dare show a cartoon series of the Mexican-American war, Custers last stand, the Alamo, the gold rush or even W.W.II in such a noble way without creating outrage from disgruntled Spanish-speaking Americans, native Americans as well Asian Americans(not to mention law suits).
It seems that we Brits are still fair game in the eyes of PBS. If PBS want's to continue receiving vast amount of cash from it's sponsors and pledge money from willing viewers keep an eye out for "civil war kids" and "slavery kids" some time in the future
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