Fireman Sam, the popular animated program, will shortly be made into a feature-length animated special titled Fireman Sam: Alien Alert.
The upcoming animated feature that has a plot full of twists and turns that will introduce a new character named Buck Douglas, the alien hunter and TV presenter who will be voiced by David Tenant. According to Radio Times, Sam and his Pontypandy Fire Brigade aren’t experts in alien hunting, so the crew teams up with Buck Douglas to fight an alien invasion.
— Character World (@Character_World) June 25, 2016
The upcoming feature will show Fireman Sam investigating mysterious events like UFO sightings, which have stirred up the entire town of Pontypandy. As usual, the animated drama will be action-packed, and the loveable Fireman Sam will get involved in many exciting adventures that will excite children.
Fireman Sam has evolved in the last 29 years, with the show frequently being updated to keep up with modern audiences and new animation technology. Additionally, there are toys, DVDs, events, and a magazine series all dedicated to the popular character and show. According to Net Imperative, Fireman Sam has garnered around 230,000 fans on Facebook in addition to fans who prefer other social media platforms.
Online games based on the franchise are available that enable family members to play together while appreciating the important safety lessons that Fireman Sam has to offer.
With a view towards increasing the power of the Fireman Sam brand, the brand managers at Mattel have teamed up with an organization called Social Life to promote the brand in a unique way that involves implementing an engaging worldwide social media strategy. Social Life has already given a new look and feel to the brand’s local Facebook pages to promote Fireman Sam as a safety ambassador and is uploading content that is in line with the values and themes that are reflected on the show. Apart from promoting teamwork and community building, the social media accounts have been positioned to highlight the importance of safety, heroism, and rescue through GIFs, creative games, and art challenges.
Fireman Sam’s Facebook pages are catering to the fans based in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Poland. Additionally, the brand managers are striving to make the brands socially relevant for survival. Social Life’s new initiative has created a positive impact on the fan’s engagement levels as Fireman Sam’s fans are already being very active on social media. Fireman Sam’s fresh and reinvigorated social media identity promises an increased interactivity between parents, children, and the legendary character.
Fireman Sam has always been depicted as a role model who conveys positive social messages through his actions. However, according to BBC News, an episode that was first broadcast on Channel 5 in October 2014 showed a scene in which a character from the show slipped on a pile of papers that allegedly contained a page from the Qur’an, the Islamic holy book. As the papers flew in the air, viewers caught a glimpse of the page from the Qur’an.
— The Independent (@Independent) July 27, 2016
You know the news cycle is mad when you barely bat an eyelid at Fireman Sam being embroiled in an Islamophobia row. pic.twitter.com/3Opk2lv440
— Kaya Burgess (@kayaburgess) July 26, 2016
The faux pas went undetected until Miqdaad Versi, the assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, raised concerns over broadcasting the offensive scene.
Identifying the page as Surah Mulk (67), verses 13-26 from the Qur’an, Miqdaad Versi took to social media to question the producer’s intentions behind broadcasting the offensive scene.
Channel 5 promptly removed the episode from the website that streams the Fireman Sam episodes online. Mattel has said the gaffe was unintentional and the company has apologized for the distress and offense that was caused by the episode.
According to BBC News, Mattel released a statement saying that the production company intended to include illegible random text in the scene.
[Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images]