What is the first thing that usually comes to mind when you hear about Pole Position? Normally it’s the old racing video game, but I would prefer to think of the animated series Pole Position: The Complete Series (1984-1985), which is hardly based on the game at all.
This show features three orphaned siblings Dan, Tess, and Daisy, who are a team of crime fighters that travel to different cities under the guise of stunt car drivers. Dan and Tess perform in the stunt shows while Daisy sits on the sidelines with her mischievous pet Kuma because she’s obviously not old enough to drive.
Leading the Pole Position team is their Uncle Zachary, who only keeps in contact by monitor. There’s no telling why he’s never around in person, but whenever trouble occurs, Zachary always keeps his nieces and nephew informed.
What also makes this show interesting are the talking cars, Wheels and Roadie. They have many hidden gadgets and can also transform into a water ski or a hover jet. What really stands out is that Wheels and Roadie have computerized faces that remind me of Atari style animation. That really shows that this show was made in the early 80s.
I didn’t realize until much later when the AI computers were actually detachable modules. I was always under the impression that Wheels and Roadie were the cars, like the Transformers or the Go-Bots.
Of course, what’s the Pole Position franchise without action? Well, even though this series doesn’t revolve around a racetrack, it has plenty of great car action. These vehicles can travel anywhere and overcome just about any obstacle. And did I mention that the cars could talk?
This is a classic series overall, especially when compared with the video game. Do you think they’ll ever make a Pole Position game more like this? That would be awesome.