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Series / Brum

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For six days of the week, Brum the little car lives quietly in the motor museum, and doesn't make a sound. But on the seventh day, Brum comes to life, and likes to go exploring.

Brum is a British children's TV series that was transmitted sporadically between 1991 and 2002 on BBC One's CBBC children's block. It followed the adventures of the eponymous Brum, a cute, sentient little car who, according to The Other Wiki, was apparently based on a late-1920s Austin 7 "Chummy" convertible.

Brum was kept in in a museum in Birmingham (hence his name), where he would often escape (without the museum curator ever noticing he was gone) to explore the "Big Town" — Birmingham's main commercial, industrial and residential centre. Naturally, his sense of curiosity would either lead him to discover problems to be solved, or Brum himself would encounter some sort of strife to get himself out of.

The series underwent something of a Retool when the third series aired in 2001 — the Theme Song was completely changed (the Opening Theme changed from a ragtime-sounding number to a Big Band tune where the Ending Theme featured the decisively more pop-sounding "Brum, Brum Gets Things Done"), the show's former narrator, Toyah Wilcox, was eschewed in favour of two child narrators (Tom Wright and Sarah Wichall) and many established characters were dropped, no matter how large their part was within the series. However, the structure of the show remained almost the same, and so did all of its quirks.

The show aired for a time in the mid 2000s on what's currently Discovery Family and TLC (as part of their Ready Set Learn block) in the US.


  • Action Figure Speech: Brum often shows he's either speaking or expressing some sort of wild emotion (such as enthusiasm, excitement or panic) by bobbing his suspension, making him rock on both sides. At other times he spins his crank, extends his front flaps, sounds his horn and "waves" by opening and shutting his doors.
  • Down the Drain: A non-video game example appears in Brum and the Flood, where Brum must venture into Big Town's sewers to unblock them and prevent a large flood.
  • Every Episode Ending: Whenever Brum returned to the museum from "Big Town", he would always have some kind of memento (be it given to him or left there by accident) in his back seat. The curator would then come along when closing up the museum for the day, notice the object in Brum's seat and do something with it (or just wonder how it got there).
  • Large Ham: Nearly all of the recurring human cast, with the notable exception of the museum owner. Brum's Signature Style was presenting the characters as mute while the narrator would say the dialogue, like reading a storybook aloud. Therefore it was imperative that the characters be as hammy as possible.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: The third season of the show is drastically different from the first two. It focuses more on Brum being heroic as he tries to stop thieves, the tone is more cartoony and over the top with a focus on chase scenes, and the narrator only talks when reacting to Brum rather than explaining everything that is going on.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Brum's name derives from both the show's setting (Brum is a slang term for Birmingham) and the fact he brums a lot since he is a car. (The first meaning was likely lost on US viewers, though.)
    • Mr. Brillo, the crotchety old man, is rough like a Brillo pad.
  • Murderous Mannequin: In the episode "Brum and the Shop Window Dummy", Brum witnesses a woman steal an entire mannequin from the store window in order to get the dress the mannequin is wearing. Brum gives chase, collecting the various pieces the mannequin loses, and brings the pieces, dress, and thief back to the store. As the store owners and police officer gratefully wave Brum goodbye, the mannequin turns her head as her own way of saying thanks to the little car.
  • Out of Focus: One episode has Brum’s battery going flat at a bad time, and the rest of the episode focuses on other people coming across the classic car in the junkyard until one person realizes that it simply has a flat battery rather than being broken and replaces it.
  • Pantomime Animal: A pantomime horse chases Brum all over the theatre in Opera. A pair of thieves also disguise themselves as a pantomime cow in Brum and the Pantomime Cow.
  • Sentient Vehicle: Brum, of course, is a sentient car.
  • Slapstick: Often pervasive in the show's humor due to its strong emphasis on visuals.
  • So Once Again, the Day Is Saved:
    • "... and off he brummed, all the way home." (or at least a variant)
    • "Way to go, Brum!" In the newer series.
  • Stock Footage: The footage of Brum escaping from and returning to the museum filmed for the 1994 series was reused in the 2001 revival.
  • Swiper, No Swiping!: Used in every episode with an antagonist, save for the first episode where two bullies ignore Brum's cries and let a bunch of balloons carry a little girl's doll into the sky.
  • The Voiceless: Again, all the cast except for the narrator are unable to speak.


Video Example(s):


Brum and the Pantomine Horse

Brum was trying to get away from the fierce opera lady, where he meets the pantomine horse.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / PantomimeAnimal

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