Sesam Stasjon is the Norwegian co-production of Sesame Street. The show is set in a train station and features four original Muppets. The big walk-around Muppet is Max Mekker, a shaggy blue monster who works as a repairman at the station. Another monster, Alfa, works at the store and helps out at the cafe. Bjarne Betjent is the ticket master, and in its later years, the show added a new Muppet -- Py, a little red monster who hatched from an egg left on a train.
In 1987, NRK approached Children's Television Workshop about the possibility to make a Norwegian co-production of Sesame Street. In 1989, an agreement was reached between NRK and CTW. and the production of Sesam Stasjon began in September 1990. As part of the preparation for the show, Kermit Love traveled to Norway in June 1990 to teach the Norwegian puppeteers.
The first episode aired on NRK on February 25, 1991. In the beginning, the plan was to produce 77 episodes all written by Eyvind Skeie. In 1992, Skeie left the production after finishing his contract of 77 episodes. At the same time, NRK decided that they wanted to make another 250 episodes to run through 2006. However, the series would not survive that long. NRK decided that the resources used to produce Sesam Stasjon could be used better elsewhere, so NRK decided to pay CTW to get out of the contract, that would end in 2001. NRK ended up producing 243 episodes (including the advent series from 1992), with the last new episode airing in the spring of 2000. However, Sesam Stasjon stayed on the air in reruns until 2004.
The exterior set was built around Lørenskog Train Station, which was provided from the Norwegian railroads (NSB). The station was built in 1901 by architect Paul Due. A tower was added to the building. The station was modified again in August 1991. This time, the inside of the station was changed and opened for the public so that kids could walk around inside the station. There were also live appearances by the cast and walk-around characters. In 2003 it was decided to change the station back to the original look.
NSB provided two modified train engines from 1940 of the type EL.10. (El10.2504 and El10.2508), these engines were used on the show. Two other and more powerful train engines (Di2.827 and DI2.839) were also painted with the Sesam Stasjon colors. These trains were not used on the show but were used as passenger trains around Norway. The passenger cars were painted BFV1 cars, restored Donnerbüchse (Thunderbox) cars that had been abandoned in Norway by the German army after the second world war. There were also some open passenger cars that were used during the summers, these cars were made out of cargo cars also called Gs cars.
Some of the episodes were like mini-series; the storyline would continue where the last episode left off. One of these longer stories was about how Alfa entered a contest to write a television show. She wrote about her life at Sesam Stasjon, and she won the contest. The entire station was invited to NRK, so they could talk about the show. In a later episode, a TV crew from NRK arrived to shoot the TV show using actors to play Alfa and her friends. These "actors" were the walk-around suits, that were built for live appearances.
In August 1992, there was talk about creating a Norwegian version of Sesame Place, due to the popularity of the touring stage show and the passenger trains. NRK would not be able to fund the project, but the Children's Television Workshop was positive towards the idea and negotiations began. Three parks in Norway showed interest in the idea: Tusenfryd in Vinterbro, Kongeparken in Stavanger and Hunderfossen in Lillehammer, however, the park never happened.
NRK negotiated a deal with Sesame Workshop, to make four episodes available on their webtv platform in 2016.
- Geir Børresen as Max Mekker: a large blue monster
- Hanne Dahle as Alfa: a yellow female monster
- Åsmund Huser as Bjarne Betjent: a pink ticket-booth owner
- Christine Stoesen as Py: a red monster who hatched from a blue egg
Character Translations and Voices
|English Character Name||Norwegian Character Name||Norwegian Voice Actor|
|Kermit the Frog||Kermit Frosk|
Additional Voice Actors
- Anders Hatlo
- Kari-Ann Grønsund
- Trond Brænne
- Erika Brathole
- Håkon Iversen
- Anne Marie Ottersen
- Elin Rosseland
- SESAM FOR NORSKE BARN: Reaksjoner i møte med et nytt TV-program
- Aftenposten 28.04.1999
- Aftenposten 05.06.1990
- Aftenposten 26.03.1992
- Dagbladet 18.01.1998
- [mail correspondence with NRK October 5, 2016]
- Aftenposten 28.04.1999
- Aftenposten 12.08.1991
- Aftonposten, August 14, 1992
- mail correspondence with NRK October 5, 2016