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Series / Brum

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Brum, Brum gets things done.

Brum is a British children's TV series that was transmitted sporadically between 1991 and 2002 on BBC One. 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 (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.
  • Balloonacy: In Brum and the Chasing Balloons.
  • Beach Episode: Seaside.
  • Black Best Friend: Vicky Spoon.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: The 2001 revival's Ending Theme, where it describes Brum as "a crazy superstar" and a "superhero".
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Seeing as there's no dialogue, the narrator does this for the villain of "Brum and the Stolen Necklace" saying "Look Brum! An evil person!" and "Oh, she's so evil!".
  • Catchphrase: Oh, my wheels and wipers!
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase
  • Character Title
  • Cloudcuckoolanders: Mr and Mrs Doolally, Brum's scatterbrained friends.
  • Couch Gag / 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).
  • Advertisement:
  • Dance Line: In Brum and the Big Chase.
  • 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.
  • Fat and Skinny: In the 2001-2 series, Big Town's resident "helper-outers" (for lack of a better term) Bob and Job.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Mr. Brillo.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Brum with just about everyone, but especially Vicky Spoon.
  • Jerkbutt: In many of the stories, antagonists abound. These include the young bullies in Rescue, the two robbers in Robbers and The Big Town Robber (no relation to the aforementioned robbers).
  • 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.
    • This was also a device used so that the show could be easily translated into other languages when exporting it overseas.
  • 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 when the show ran on Discovery Kids, though.)
    • Mr. Brillo, the crotchety old man, is rough like a Brillo pad.
  • 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.
  • Salt and Pepper: The Lollipop Lady and Mickey the black janitor (no relation to a certain Smith).
  • Sentient Vehicle: Brum, of course.
  • Slapstick: Often pervasive in the show's humour 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.
  • Upper Class Twits: Mr and Mrs La-Di-Dah.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: Brum and the Helicopter. Except it's called "Sweetheart's Day".
  • The Voiceless: Again, all the cast except for the narrator.
  • Wedding Day: In Brum at the Wedding.

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