Monday, July 04, 2005


Not coming soon to a TV screen near you (unless you live in Australia or New Zealand) is Popetown, an animated sitcom about Vatican bureaucracy. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the series had hopes of expanding to the UK, but was recently axed by the BBC thanks to "more than 6000 British Catholics, without having seen a single frame, wrote complaints to Britain's national broadcaster."
When you watch it, you're left wondering why. It's entertainingly elastic, with elegant, simple animation. The characters and situations, while tricky, are hardly the stuff of controversy. "It's actually very mild," producer Phil Ox says. "The look of the show is edgy but the content is slapstick, in the tradition of a lot of comedy."

is the story of Father Nicholas (voiced by Kevin Eldon), an idealistic young priest struggling to make sense of the Vatican bureaucracy. The thorns in his side include scheming cardinals and a pope who is determined to shirk the duties of his office. It's juvenile in part, but it has little real provocation.

"In many ways, Popetown is a very traditional office sitcom because it's about having to deal with your boss, and not understanding what they mean most of the time, or what their goals are," Ox says. "In that sense, Father Nicholas is our point of view inside the Vatican. He is very eager to do things the right way, and unfortunately he's not always allowed to."

You can track the latest news and view video clips at (It looks silly and fun.)

Who knows? Being canned by the BBC might be the best thing yet for the Popetown crew. With all this publicity (including this post by the oh-so-famous Cafeteria Catholic), I wouldn't be surprised if Popetown is picked up in the U.S. Would you?


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