Jonny Quest Season 1
© 1998-2007, Lyle P. Blosser
Here are links to brief summaries (with some additional comments, including flubs
and trivia items) of the original 26 episodes of Jonny
from the 1964-65 season on ABC, listed in the order they were broadcast
(according to TV Guide). Information on technical details such as production codes,
working titles (when known and where different from the final title), original and
rerun air dates (according to TV Guide) is included on each individual episode page.
Thanks to Jim Alexander for providing the TV Guide
clippings seen on the individual episode pages!
's place on
debuted on Sept. 18, 1964 at
7:30 pm Eastern on ABC. It remained a Friday night favorite until Dec. 31, 1964
when it was moved to Thursdays at 7:30 pm Eastern. The first episode was
"The Mystery of the Lizard Men"
and television cartoons were changed forever.
The last first-run show ("The Sea Haunt"
was aired on March 11, 1965 ; the last prime-time rerun (also
"The Sea Haunt"
) was broadcast on Sept. 9, 1965. But, despite its brief
one season initial run,
Jonny Quest was far from finished
It's amazing to think that Jonny Quest
only on the air for one season in primetime, but has retained wide interest to this
day. Some of that is due to the many seasons of re-runs it has enjoyed. But, why
so many re-run seasons? What makes the show a classic? Scroll down for a few thoughts.
Select a link from the list below to see details for the episode.
- The Mystery of the Lizard Men
- Arctic Splashdown
- The Curse of Anubis
- Pursuit of the Po-Ho
- Riddle of the Gold
- Treasure of the Temple
- Calcutta Adventure
- The Robot Spy
- Double Danger
- Shadow of the Condor
- Skull and Double Crossbones
- The Dreadful Doll
- A Small Matter of Pygmies
- Dragons of Ashida
- Turu the Terrbile
- The Fraudulent Volcano
- Werewolf of the Timberland
- Pirates from Below
- Attack of the Tree People
- The Invisible Monster
- The Devil's Tower
- The Quetong Missile Mystery
- The House of Seven Gargoyles
- Terror Island
- Monster in the Monastery
- The Sea Haunt
What makes the classic "season 1" Jonny Quest
There are quite a few points that, in my opinion, come together to make
such a well-remembered and well-respected show. Rather than
discuss those points abstractly, I'll use an episode as an example and use specific
content from that episode to illustrate.
The Robot Spy episode
examples of what, IMHO, makes the classic 1964 Jonny
series stand head and shoulders above other animated shows (and
even some live action shows). This, for lack of any better term, I call "less is
more". The show's writers and artists collaborated in the use of dialogue and scene
layout to create a world that feels much, much richer than it was drawn. Other shows
have attempted to capture this feeling by drawing scenes so full of detail that
they appear cluttered and, actually, more unrealistic.
takes the opposite approach, by letting the viewer's imagination
fill in the scenes instead. Following are some examples from The Robot Spy
episode that show what I mean:
- When Race hauls the robot spy device back to the warehouse, we see the backs of
Dr. Quest and a soldier watching as Race drives the sand truck into the building.
Then Dr. Quest says, "Lower away!" and we imagine Race (now off-camera) complying
and gently lowering the robot to the floor.
- When Dr. Quest is preparing the para-power ray gun for use against the escaping
robot, he gives urgent commands: "Jonny, hook in the power line", "Race, turn on
the generators" and "Hadji, you handle the hydraulic pressure". During all this,
we see a brief scene of Jonny nodding his head as he gets his instructions, and
then it's back to Dr. Quest at the console. But the
feel of the scene is much more dramatic; we see in our mind's eye Jonny,
Race, and Hadji moving quickly to accomplish their tasks.
- There are numerous scenes when the character speaking is "off camera", and we simply
see others listening to the speaker. But the words carry the scene; we don't need
to see the speaker to hear those words, and it sets the scene for the next speaker's
words, which are often delivered by someone "on camera" listening to the first speaker.
- Also, there are a number of examples when we see the speaker from behind, and see
the face of the listener. About the only motion is the speaker's head gently bobbing
as he speaks. Much less complicated than drawing mouths that match the words being
spoken, yet equally (if not more) effective!
It is writing and artistry like this that make Jonny
feel so realistic -- and a lot of what we experienced during the
show was provided by our imaginations!
Note that there are still lots of details in The Robot Spy
, but they are
rather than over-large. Some examples:
- When Bandit spots a jackrabbit in the desert, we see:
- the rabbit's nose wrinkling as he sniffs the air in Bandit's direction. The only
reason this is even noticed at all is because almost everything else in the scene
is absolutely still.
- the hair on Bandit's back is raised, making his outline appear slightly ragged.
- When Dr. Quest admonishes the boys to keep the noise down, the camera is focused
on Jonny and Hadji. When the view shifts back to Race and Dr. Quest, we see the
good doctor turning back toward the robot craft. In our minds, however, we see what
happened before, Dr. Quest turning from
the craft to speak to the boys. Subtle? Sure, but effective.
- After the para-power ray brings down the robot's escape craft, the camera cuts to
a shot of Dr. Quest with his face buried in his hand. No words are spoken, but we
certainly feel the intensity of the moment,
and the great relief coursing through the scientist at another disaster averted.
The rest of the episodes are full of these details and scene techniques; next time
you watch an episode, try to find some -- you'll be amazed at how many there are!
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