Barney & Friends "Season 9" (partially found alternative version of PBS children's series; 2004-2005)

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Barney Season 9 Title.jpeg

Title card for season.

Status: Partially Found

The ninth season of the long-running edutainment show Barney & Friends aired on PBS Kids from September 6th, 2004 to May 13th, 2005. It was notable for being somewhat of a departure from previous seasons in that Barney would come to life in front of a white screen and address the viewer about an episode's specific topic. While the educational curriculum of the format remained the same, interstitials featuring Barney, Baby Bop, and BJ engaging in activities and songs in the white space would often appear.

It was also known for having a shorter version made exclusively for the UK with different scenes that took place at that park. Other international markets opted for the original version instead, contributing to these revised episodes' rarity.

Background and Changes

Around 2002, Barney & Friends began airing on Channel 5's Milkshake! block. Even though the episodes being imported were shortened to 25 minutes, the network still felt that the show's runtime was too long for the block. In addition, they were not keen on the child cast of the show. To accommodate these issues, HiT Entertainment had all 20 episodes of Season 9 reduced to 15 minutes and changed the park scenes to solely focus on Barney, Baby Bop, and BJ. Head writer Stephen White was responsible for writing the new material.

The results varied depending on the episode. In some instances, the storyline would play out similarly to what it was in the original version, only with Baby Bob and BJ taking the place of the kids. In others, the plot would depart from what happened in its initial incarnation while still focusing on its main theme. There were also instances where scenes or individual shots from the original episode that only had the dinosaurs were kept intact and worked into the new format. As for the "white screen" segments, some of them had to be shortened for time constraints. Fortunately, there were times when footage featuring the kid cast was used if their role in a certain scene were too vital to edit out.

Availability

Only a quarter of these revised episodes have seen DVD releases in the UK and they have since been uploaded to YouTube by fans. In 2006, HiT issued the compilation Let the Games Begin & Other Stories, featuring the episodes "Coming On Strong," "Let's Play Games!," and "Look What I Can Do!." This title was also released in Australia the next year. "My Friends, The Doctor and the Dentist" was included as a bonus feature on the interactive DVD On the Go: A Collection of Stories while "Imagine That!" was featured on a bonus disc that came with a Thomas & Friends book.

The rest of the episodes have not surfaced and it is unknown if recordings of them exist. Not helping matters is that Barney was dropped from the Milkshake block in 2007 when it moved to Cartoon Network and whether they went with the alternative version or the original has yet to be determined.

Episode List

# Episode Status
1 Everybody's Got Feelings Lost
2 Caring Hearts Lost
3 Let's Make Music! Lost
4 Movin' Along Lost
5 Let Your Creativity Fly! Lost
6 Imagine That! Found
7 All About Me Lost
8 My Baby Brother Lost
9 Keep On Truckin' Lost
10 I'm A Builder Lost
11 Coming On Strong Found
12 Let's Play Games! Found
13 You Can Count on Me! Lost
14 A Wonderful World of Colors and Shapes Lost
15 Easy as ABC Lost
16 Look What I Can Do! Found
17 Making a Move! Lost
18 Home, Safe Home Lost
19 On the Road Again Lost
20 My Friends, The Doctor and the Dentist Found

See Also

Bumpers

PBS

PBS Kids