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"On This Spot"
Season/Series: 12
Number in season: 5b
Original Airdate: United States November 3, 2008[1]
Canada February 9, 2009
United Kingdom April 16, 2009[2]
Credits
Written by: Dietrich Smith
Storyboard by: Daniel Decelles
Episodes
Previous
"The Chronicles of Buster"
Next
"The Cherry Tree"
Read transcript

"On This Spot" is the second half of the fifth episode in the twelfth season of Arthur.

Summary[]

Arthur wants people to commemorate Sitting Bull, although his friends care more about a teen actor.

Plot[]

In the introduction, Arthur shows things that may have happened or might happen where he (or the viewer) is standing: dinosaurs, cave people and a futuristic city.

On this Spot

Mr. Ratburn teaches the class about Sitting Bull, who supposedly stopped in Elwood City with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Arthur is fascinated, though Buster and Francine show little Interest when the three walk home, ignoring Arthur's words of fascination of Sitting Bull in favor of a conversation about the school lunch.

At home, Arthur researches Sitting Bull on the internet and shows Francine, Buster and Muffy the next day a tree which was apparently near where many believe the Wild West Show stopped during its tour. The tree in current day is near the Mill Creek mall and Muffy comments how that is 'progress.' Arthur thinks more people should know about the historic site but his friends are more interested in current celebrity actor, Derek Montaigne when he is brought up in conversation who, according to Buster's mailman, sat on a bench outside The Sugar Bowl. After his friends leave, Arthur has a vision of Sitting Bull sitting next to the tree, who questions him about Derek Montaigne out of curiosity and pompously tells him he would like a plaque beside the tree after Arthur tells him he is more interesting than the celebrity.

Arthur talks to Mr. Ratburn at school, and asks if the tree could be designated into a landmark. Mr. Ratburn then takes him to local historian Seymour Turkel. Mr. Turkel informs Arthur that he needs a form, along with 1000 signatures on a petition, to make the tree a landmark. He gives Arthur the first signature.

Arthur unsuccessfully tries to get more signatures while walking with D.W. from the Ice Cream shop. D.W. suggest marketing the petitions as one that would save kittens and demonstrates by running up to the nearby Binky with the signature sheet. Arthur aptly rejects his sister's idea to which she responds by saying there should be landmark for kittens. Meanwhile, Buster has started giving walking tours of everywhere Derek Montaigne interacted with in his supposed visit to Elwood City which is received with more public interest than Arthur's petition, now with two signatures thanks to the efforts of D.W.

After this, Arthur sets up a stand near the mall, in order to obtain more signitures for the petition. His is unsuccessful in obtaining more and falls asleep, dreaming a senerio in which he is over 100 years old and is only then reaching his goal of collecting enough signatures. An older Francine meets him with a hover scooter and criticizes Arthur's persistence and calls it useless. With only one signature left to go, Arthur's form is blown away into the wind.

Mr. Turkel and Mr. Ratburn find Arthur napping and he is abruptly woken up by Ratburn at the prospect of a pop quiz he shouts out in order to wake him. Arthur reveals he has obtained 52 signatures thus far.

Mr. Turkel then motivates Arthur by taking him on a tour to show him some historical sites in Elwood City, while Mr. Ratburn agrees to stay at the table, taking over for Arthur collecting signatures.

Buster's tours come to an end when the mailman he questions mistakes a delivery boy for Derek Montaigne in front of a group of people who then lose interest in Buster's tour and leave despite Buster's attempt to rejuvenate their interest by telling them Fred Rogers also visited the town. Arthur suggests repurposing Buster's tour maps for a new one Arthur plans on dedicating to the historic Elwood City sites.

With the help of Mr. Turkel, Arthur and Buster start an “It Happened in Elwood City Walking Tour” that stops at the Sitting Bull tree where Arthur gives a lecture. He has almost 300 signatures, and a vision of Sitting Bull tells him that it is good that his friends know about the people who lived before them. A landmark was never officially created at this point, as it is revealed that it may take decades to get one established.

Characters[]

Major[]

Minor[]

Cameo[]

Mentioned[]

Trivia[]

  • Arthur's line, "Actually, it was 123 years ago" indirectly reveals that this episode takes place in the year 2008.
  • This episode is last time the DVS narrator does not say, "The end."
  • This is the last time Mister Rogers is mentioned in the show.
  • Moral: It is important not to forget or underestimate the past people's role in society today, as they are just as noteworthy, if not more than, popular modern celebrities;

Episode connections[]

Cultural references[]

Production notes[]

  • In U.S. markets, this is the last Arthur episode to use the 1992 WGBH logo at the end of the credits. Starting from Matchmaker, Match Breaker the logo is replaced with a 2009 WGBH Kids logo at the end of the credits. This change wouldn't occur until the middle of Season 14 for non-U.S. markets.

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