If you've ever watched the opening sequences of BBC1 Saturday night drama flagship 'Casualty' with a growing sense of grim inevitability that the unfamiliar characters are destined to end up pinned beneath something or in A&E with no face, then Fireman Sam might not be your cup of tea.
Although it is, admittedly, rare that anyone in Fireman Sam's hometown of Pontypandy ever gets more than a telling off for their troubles, every single call-out for Sam, Elvis, Penny and Station Officer Steele is precipitated by the kind of foolhardy recklessness familiar to the bruised and bloodied guests at Holby A&E.
More often than not, it is the playful mischief of local youngsters Norman and Mandy that ends up in yet another Pontypandy institution being burned to the ground/stranded at sea/stuck up a tree. Mercifully, to date, the clumsy and wilful duo has a zero body count to its name.
And that is because Fireman Sam and his station colleagues are such excellent fire-fighters. Now updated from stop-motion to the full CGI, Fireman Sam is a daily hit of studious fire safety advice that will have your four year old muttering enthusiastically about needing to use the 'jaws of life' on the dog.
Kids, quite rightly, love it. It is simple, colourful and fun, and the authentic fire appliances and other vehicles look exactly like the ones you got them from Asda.
News that Pontypandy is hosting its first ever live music festival is greeted with wild excitement in the village, not least by young Norman who hopes to find out who the secret superstar headliner will be 'at any cost'. Start the fire engine, Sam.
Singing, dancing, fires and daring rescues all ensue, promising to keep Sam and co busy and your little ones' wide-eyed and insisting, more than ever, that Fireman Sam is real.
The Pontypandy fire service and friends will be kicking off their 2012 dates at the Hammersmith Apollo on Saturday 28th January, followed by shows in Milton Keynes, Brighton, Whitley Bay, Grimsby and more, before the final show (announced so far) in Port Talbot on 30th June 2012.
We have tickets available for all dates now. Prices vary depending on venue but generally start at around £14. Note that all performances are in the early afternoon, typically at 1pm or 2pm.