Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego? (game show)

Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego? (game show)

Infobox Television
bgcolour = red

caption = Title card of the show.
show_name = Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?
format = Game Show
creator = Brøderbund Software
runtime = 30 minutes
starring = Lynne Thigpen as The Chief
Kevin Shinick as Time Pilot Squadron Leader
The Engine Crew as Various Informants
country = flagicon|USA United States
opentheme = "Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?" by The Engine Crew
network = PBS
num_seasons = 2
num_episodes = 100
first_aired = October 7, 1996
last_aired = October 2, 1998
preceded_by = "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?"
related = "Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?"

"Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?" is a children's television game show loosely based on the computer games of the same name created by now defunct Brøderbund Software. "Time" aired on PBS from 1996 to 1998 and stars Lynne Thigpen as "The Chief", Kevin Shinick as "ACME Time Pilot Squadron Leader" and "The Engine Crew" as various informants. The show replaced "Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?".

Before the show begins, the viewing audience sees a V.I.L.E. logo (the ACME Time Net Files CD with the case number in season 2) before they see live-action Carmen Sandiego in her CGI headquarters (via the ACME Time Net Nano-Probe in season 2). She appears complaining to herself about something and quickly plots to steal the historical "seed" that lead to that something's existence. She then summons to one of her gang members and tells them what to steal and where to go. In Season 1, she also shines an Info-Beam on them, to give them the details. In Season 2, she tells them to bring it back to her in a Loot Orb (Cybersphere) when they have it. The Chief then appears and tells the audience that if the stolen object is not returned within twenty-eight minutes (the length of the show), history will be changed forever. Then the show begins with the Engine Crew preparing the ACME Chronoskimmer (a top-secret spaceship capable of time travel) for launch (on the ACME Time Net Nano-Probe in season 2).



* Lynne Thigpen as "The Chief"
* Kevin Shinick as "ACME Time Pilot Squadron Leader"
* The Engine Crew
** Owen Taylor as Engine Crew #1 (yellow uniform, season 1)
** Jamie Gustis as Engine Crew #1 (yellow uniform, season 2)
** Alaine Kashian as Engine Crew #2 (red uniform)
** John Lathan as Engine Crew #3 (maroon uniform)

V.I.L.E. Gang

* Janine LaManna as "Carmen Sandiego" (season 1)
* Brenda Burke as "Carmen Sandiego" (season 2)
* John Lathan as "Sir Vile"
* James Greenburg as "Baron Wasteland" (season 1) and "Buggs Zapper" (season 2)
* Alaine Kashian as "Jacqueline Hyde"
* Paula Leggett Chase as "Medeva"
* Owen Taylor as "Doctor Belljar" (season 1)
* Jamie Gustis as "Doctor Belljar" (season 2)

Various Informants

* Lynne Thigpen as Statue of Liberty, Commisaar (evil Chief from a parallel universe), slave woman, Fumbles McWhoops (engineer), Libby (cafeteria robot), a bunch of grapes, Millenia, and others
* Kevin Shinick as Kevin's Mom, alternate timeline Kevin, and evil Kevin
* Owen Taylor as various informants
* Jamie Gustis as shipwrecked man, Insurance Agent, and others
* Alaine Kashian as a French pigeon, Edna Dinglehopper, an ear of corn, the Grumpy Skunk, and others
* John Lathan as slave man, George Washington Carver, Recyclo-Man ("the man who recycles everything!") and others
* James Greenburg as Fred Dinglehopper, Lettucon, Abraham Lincoln, and others
* Paula Leggett Chase as Catherine the Great and others
* Brenda Burke as Eleanor Roosevelt and others
* Elephant Guy (a business man being chased by an elephant)

V.I.L.E. Gang

Other than playing the Engine Crew, Greenberg, Taylor, Gurtis, Kashian, Chase, and Lathan also portrayed Carmen's V.I.L.E. henchmen:

*Baron Wasteland (Jamie Greenberg) - The archetypical moustached and monocled villain, Baron Wasteland is, as his name suggests, a wealthy aristocrat who loves pollution and enjoys destroying the environment. His name is a play on "barren wasteland" and he is supposedly from the Industrial Era. He left the show after the first season and is the only villain on the show to not be adapted into the newer version of the computer game, although the game featured a different villain holding the title of baron, that being Baron Grinnit ("grin and bear it").
*Buggs Zapper (Jamie Greenberg) - Buggs Zapper is a gangster with a fear of insects who wears a pinstriped suit and constantly carries around an old-fashioned bug sprayer. He was introduced in the second season, replacing Baron Wasteland. In the computer game's manual, it is stated that his only goal in life is to "rub out" the single fly that supposedly torments him endlessly. His time era is presumably the 1930s or so. His name is a play on "bug zapper."
*Dr. Belljar (Owen Taylor in Season 1, then Jamie Gustis in Season 2) - A cyborg mad scientist, Dr. Belljar, according to the computer game's manual, works as Carmen Sandiego's computerized scientist-in-residence and plans to rewrite history so as to record himself as the world's greatest scientist. His name apparently refers to bell jars. He appeared on both of the show's seasons, but his appearance was drastically retooled for the second season.
*Jacqueline Hyde (Alaine Kashian) - Jacqueline Hyde is a teenage girl who has a split personality, one ("Jacqueline") being sweet and innocent with the other ("Hyde") being evil and insane. She repeatedly alternates between her personalities with each surfacing over the other for only a few seconds or so. As Jacqueline, she has a normal voice and seems soft-spoken, but as Hyde she yells loudly and has a "modulated" voice. She is either red-haired, strawberry blonde or blonde (the show's graphics make it difficult to tell) and she wears a red blazer, a pink blouse, a red miniskirt and knee-length stockings, perhaps to suggest a traditional schoolgirl uniform. Her clothing may indicate she is from the early-to-mid 20th century. Her name is an obvious play on "Dr. Jeykll & Mr. Hyde" by Robert Louis Stevenson.
*Medeva (Paula Leggett Chase) - Medeva is a witch from the Middle Ages who mostly speaks in rhyme. According to the computer game's manual, she graduated from a witch's charm school "centuries ago" and even her victims say she's enchanting. Her name seems to be a portmanteau of Medea (a sorceress in Greek mythology) and "diva".
*Sir Vile (John Lathan) - Sir Vile is an obsequious Medieval knight who bends to every whim of "Lady Carmen". The computer game's manual describes him as an evil knight in "not-so-shining" armor, who has been in a bad mood since the Middle Ages when he failed to corner the market on round tables. His name, "Sir Vile," implies more than just the fact that he is a knight recruited to work for V.I.L.E., for it is also a play on the term "servile".


Round One

In season 2, at the start of the show, The Chief would call for Kevin, who is goofing around in his room. Three players (ages 10-14), known as "Time Pilots", compete. They are given 100 Power Points to begin the game, and Kevin says, "Chief, what's our mission profile?" The Chief then briefs them on what was stolen and what time it was stolen from.

In Season 2, the ship's Nano-Probes reveal the time and place where Carmen has sent her henchman, so the team warps (travels) through space, straight to "the time of the crime." Once they arrive at their time target, the Chief gives them their briefing. Sometimes, the ship arrives upside-down or sideways, but it always rights itself.

Various skits are performed which give clues to the location the villain went to, like the Cluefinder from "World" which is locked-in to someone from the past or the future. After the skit, three possible answers or locations are shown to the pilots. They simultaneously select their answers, then reveal them to Kevin. The viewer can see the individual choices represented by an individual color (pink, green, or blue). You can see which choice the pilots made by the lights in front of them, before they actually reveal their answer. Any pilot with the right answer scores 10 Power Points. If he/she is wrong, no points are lost or scored.

At one point in the game, Carmen's henchman would provide the clue from the viewscreen; in season 2, he/she would appear either in front of the players in a projector tube, on the ACME Time Net Nano-Probe, or, if delivering a message to Carmen (which was also shown on the ACME Time Net Nano-Probe), would appear on her monitor. The points in time visited follow the historical progression of the "seed" that was originally stolen and it is repeatedly emphasized that all the history traveled through will be erased unless the artifact is returned. Therefore, the final point in time would always be the present or else very near the present. The typical course of the round would be as follows:

* Data Boost - At two points during the game (one in the second season), there is a Data Boost. The first one happens when the ship's Fact Fuel is low (used in the first season only); the second happens after Carmen's henchman attacks and damages the ship (which was shown on the ACME TimeNet Nano-Probe in Season 2). It happens when Kevin announced that the only fuel/solution is by activating the Data Boost. It also happens when in season 2, the ship's Engine Crew report what's going on and tell Kevin, "Better do a Data Boost!" (Ex. the time-probes launcher malfunctioning, the Engine Crew being teleported to Times Square, or engine problems). Kevin reads clues in a given subject and gives the players a choice of 2 or 3 answers (for example, "Bill Cullen - game show host, or pilot?"). The first to buzz-in with the right answer scores 5 Power Points; if the player is wrong, they lose 5 Power Points. Several questions like this are asked according to time. As Kevin says with a salute, "All our fact fuel is verified by Encyclopedia Brittanica!"

* Global Pursuit - After one skit is performed, the Global Pursuit round is played (this replaced the second regular Data Boost in Season 2). This is played like "The Chase" round, for a series of questions with three possible answers (all places in the world) are asked. Only one player could buzz in, for 5 Power Points up or down.

* Ultimate Data Boost - This series of questions are the final ones for the round. For the end of Round 1, the team has to make one last jump through time. To do that, they need all the Fact Fuel they can generate, by answering this final round of questions. This is just like a normal Data Boost, but the questions are worth double the Power Points, and again, several questions are asked according to time. The two pilots with the highest score move on to Round Two, the third-placed player would be eliminated.

In case of a tie for 2nd place, Kevin will read clues to a famous person or place. The first person to buzz in with the right answer moves on to Round Two. Like in "World", the last clue, if needed, would contain the correct answer.

Afterwards, in season 2, the eliminated pilot waves goodbye as they head back to Time Net Command (the present) via the teleporter, with Kevin and the other two pilots doing the same.

Round Two - The Chronological Order Game

With Kevin in command, the two remaining pilots then warp, full speed ahead, to the present or near-present day, where they must activate the Loot Tractor Beam to bring back the stolen artifact away from the day's villain (shown in the ACME Time Net Nano-Probe in season 2) and place it safely on board. The Cybersphere that the loot is in can be seen glowing in the center of the big HyperSpin wheel in the engine room. Since the last warp drained their Fact Fuel, they have to make the trip back in eight jumps. The Chief then lists eight events. All the events are related to the artifact that was stolen. The events are put on a board, and the pilot leading after Round One is given the option on who goes first. If there is a tie between the pilots, a coin toss decides who chooses (the coin tosses are shown in the 2nd season). Whoever goes first must now list the eight events in reverse chronological order (thus, starting with the most recent event, and finishing with the least recent event). As long as the current pilot continues to list events in chronological order, they can continue playing. If the pilot picks an event that breaks chronological order, or if they take too long, their turn ends, and their opponent must start again from the beginning.

The first pilot to successfully list all eight events in reverse chronological order saves history, recovers the artifact (in season 2, the pilot activates a transporter to automatically transport the loot back from whence it was stolen), wins the game, and the right to play the Bonus Round to catch Carmen & that day's villain, while the other is sent to pilot the Chronoskimmer back to the present.

Some pilots eventually list all eight right on one try.

Bonus Round - The Trail Of Time

The Chief tells Kevin and the pilot to go to the escape pod and head to the bonus round, and Kevin tells Carmen, "We're on our way!", followed by the Engine Crew singing the theme song from the engine room to the bonus round set. Sometimes in season 1, the song is shortened. In season 2, Kevin and the pilot go to the escape pod on their own before heading to the Trail of Time. Then, Kevin, the pilot, and the Engine Crew race across the studio to the starting point of the round. The pilot (with a bicycle helmet on in the 1st season) has 90 seconds to answer 6 history questions posed by Carmen herself on The Trail Of Time, which goes from the past to the 20th Century. The Engine Crew point the pilot to the next gate along the trail. All questions (usually start with "It's (name of decade/year)…") are related to the artifact that was stolen in that day's show, and are dual-choice (Kevin has, on several occasions, noted that each question used up six seconds of the player's time to ask). Following the Engine Crew's directions, the pilot runs to the first gate and presses a button to activate the question (during season 2, Carmen just read the question when the pilot arrived at the gate). If the pilot answers correctly (indicated by a ding), the gate will open automatically. If the pilot answers incorrectly (indicated by a buzzer), they must operate a device (pulling a rope, turning a wheel, etc) to manually open the gate, using up time. The pilot runs to the next gate and the process is repeated. After the first three gates (sometimes two), the pilot catches the villain that stole the artifact at the beginning of the show. If the pilot can get through all six gates before time expires, they energize the Capture Crystal, which they take over and place in the Chronolock Chamber at the edge of the studio, to catch Carmen Sandiego and win the grand prize of a new multimedia Computer. Otherwise (if time runs out and Carmen escapes again), they win a set of encyclopedias and a portable music system with a collection of music, and The Chief then says, "Chief out!".

The set is slightly confusing, and requires the engine crew be on-hand to wave the player to their next gate using airport-style marshalling wands. Despite this, pilots will occasionally arrive at the wrong gate, wasting precious time.

It should be noted that almost all pilots getting five out of six questions right won, and a pilot answering four correctly could complete the run, if they operated the gate devices rapidly enough. Some pilots got a perfect score.

In the first season, Carmen was captured in a cage, while in the second season, she was captured in a Capture Crystal.

The show always ended with either Kevin, the pilot, or both along with the Engine Crew saying, "At ACME Time Net, History is Our Job; The Future is Yours!" before the end credits are shown with the ending theme song heard.


*One recurring sketch in the second season had the Chronoskimmer being pulled into a parallel universe, which seemed to be quite similar to "Star Trek"’s Mirror Universe. There, ACME was evil and V.I.L.E. was good.

*On at least one occasion, a future Kevin has given clues to himself three episodes in the past (the current episode). The (fictional) contestants in the future episode usually have scores in the 500s or higher, though the highest possible score is 260.


Grand prize

The budget was smaller on this version of the show compared to "World". As a result, the grand prize for a winning contestant capturing Carmen Sandiego was a complete multimedia computer system instead of a trip.

Consolation prizes

Eliminated contestants get a set of consolation prizes called the ACME Timenet Mission Package. Some of the consolation prizes include:

* (only for a final round loss) A 1995 Encyclopedia Britanica Set
* (only for a final round loss) A 1997 Worldbook Encyclopedia Set
* (only for a final round loss) A Portable Music System with a music library
* A Carmen Sandiego T-Shirt and Hat
* "Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?" for Computer
* A Texas Instruments Calculator
* A Sony Walkman
* 52 Issues of Time Magazine

=Comparisons to "World"=


*In one episode, the "clue-finder" was Lynne Thigpen appearing in her Chief costume from the "World" edition, having been taken from the time when "World" first went on the air. Lynne Thigpen, as the "Time" Chief, then appeared on the monitor in the center of the stage and briefly conversed with her past self.
*In another episode, the contestants were given a series of names and asked to identify which were pilots and which were game show hosts. Greg Lee was one of the game show hosts listed.


*Unlike for "World", scenes involving The Chief in this version were prerecorded. This eliminated interaction between her and the host on the "Time" edition.
*One reason fans of the original "World" didn't like the "Time" version as much was the elimination of Greg Lee, Rockapella and much of the comedy and skits that made the "World" edition very popular. Fact|date=July 2008
*The reason why Greg Lee and Rockapella were not featured in this version was possibly due to a budget reduction.


*Corporation for Public Broadcasting (1996-1998)
*Viewers Like You (1996-1998)
*National Endowment for Children's Educational Television (1996-1997)
*Delta Air Lines (1996-1997)

The opening variant in Season 1 is "Today's mission is fueled by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Viewers Like You, the National Endowment for Children's Educational Television, and by Delta Air Lines."

The closing variant in Season 1 is "All historical information has been verified by "Encyclopædia Britannica" and was accurate as of the date this program was recorded. This program is produced by WGBH Boston and WQED Pittsburgh. Carmen's journey through time is propelled by Delta Air Lines, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Viewers Like You, and the National Endwoment for Children's Educational Television."

The opening variant in Season 2 is "Today's mission is fueled by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by Viewers Like You."

The closing variant in Season 2 is "All historical information has been verified by "Encyclopædia Britannica" and was accurate as of the date this program was recorded. This program is produced by WGBH Boston and WQED Pittsburgh. Carmen's journey through time is propelled by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by Viewers Like You."

After the funding credits and before the PBS Kids logo, the Chief (in voice-over) would say, "This is Lynne Thigpen speaking for this program and reminding viewers that the future is in your hands."

External links

* [http://www.loogslair.net/wiki/index.php?title=Where_in_the_World_is_Carmen_Sandiego%3F#.22Where_in_Time.22_.281996-1998.29 Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? Rules @ The Game Show Rules Wiki]
* [http://www.angelfire.com/wa/gsjackpot/whereintime.html Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? Rules at the Jackpot Page]

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