Ten Best Jonny Quest TV Episodes

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ABC-TV's Jonny Quest ran from 1964-65. The Shadow of the Condor, Turu the Terrible, The Robot Spy, The Mystery of the Lizard Men, The House of the Seven Gargoyles, Dragons of Ashida, The Curse of Anubis and A Small Matter of Pygmies are the show's best ep

Hanna-Barbera's Jonny Quest ran on television from 1964-65. Created by Doug Wildey (1922-1994), Jonny Quest began life as a prime-time animated adventure series, debuting over ABC-TV on September 18, 1964. The show featured Jonny Quest (Tim Matheson), Dr. Benton C. Quest (John Stephenson, Don Messick), Roger T. "Race" Bannon (Mike Road), Hadji (Danny Bravo) and the family dog Bandit (Don Messick). Dr. Quest was a world-renowned scientist who traversed the globe, with Race Bannon serving as his bodyguard/pilot and son Jonny, his young Indian friend Hadji and of course the mischievous Bandit accompanying him in his travels.

The original 1964-65 series produced 26 half-hour episodes. Here are ten Jonny Quest TV episodes that no fan should ever miss. Right, Bandit?

"Shadow of the Condor" - November 20, 1964

Experiencing engine trouble, Race is forced to set the jet down on a small airstrip located high up on a plateau in the South Amercian Andes. Here they are greeted by Baron Heinrich Von Freulich (Everett Sloane), an embittered World War I veteran who flew with the famous Condor Squadron, notching up 84 aerial kills. The Baron hopes to add to his total, sabotaging the Quests' plane and forcing Race to fly to La Paz for a valve replacement in a vintage World War I model. The Baron insists on showing the way, hopping into his old Fokker and then engaging Race in a dogfight. Race's machine guns, however, are unloaded, forcing him to outmaneuver the Baron and hope for the best. A wild episode, with the thrilling dogfight waged amidst the mountain's screaming condors providing the unforgettable action.

Teleplay: Charles Hoffman

Director: Joseph Barbera, William Hanna

Cast photo, l-r: Hadji, Race Bannon, Dr. Benton C. Quest, Bandit, Jonny Quest (Hanna-Barbera)

"Turu the Terrible" - December 24, 1964

Dr. Quest and his party journey to the Amazon, where they encounter a rare mineral vital to the space program. A crazed, wheelchair-bound man named Deen (Everett Sloane) has enslaved the local natives in mining the precious ore, with his pet pteranodon Turu serving as his personal enforcer. While aboard the Amazon Queen, the Quest party is attacked by the giant bird, with Dr. Quest and Race Bannon later donning rocket belts and armed with a bazooka, ready to do battle with Deen and his killer monster. "Kill, Turu, kill!" the old man commands his pteranodon, with the huge bird emitting a vicious, bloodcurdling scream. The scene in which the pathetic Deen tries to save his beloved pet, joining the bird in a bubbling pool of oil is the perfect end for both crazed man and beast. "Blasted gooney bird!" the Australian skipper of the Amazon Queen declares in one scene, shaking his fist at the monster who had wrecked the boat's canopy.

Teleplay: William D. Hamilton

Director: Joseph Barbera, William Hanna

"Turu the Terrible," 12/24/64 (Hanna-Barbera)

"The Invisible Monster" - January 28, 1965

Dr. Isaiah Norman (John Stephenson) radios for help after his experiment goes awry. While trying to find a new energy source, Dr. Norman has created an invisible monster that feeds on light and other energy souces. Dr. Quest and party depart Palm Key for Cave Island, where they encounter a scene of utter destruction upon their arrival. In order to trap the monster and eventually destroy it, Dr. Quest and company don rocket packs and drop paint bombs on the beast, making it visible as they lead it back to the shed via a string of light bulbs. The scene in which the invisible monster stomps through the jungle, leaving huge, smoldering footprints is one of the episode's highlights.  

Teleplay: William Hamilton

Director: Joseph Barbera, William Hanna

"The Robot Spy" - November 6, 1964

The sinister Dr. Zin (Vic Perrin) plots to steal Dr. Quest's latest weapon – an experimental ray gun. Zin's unmanned ship crash-lands near the Quest compound, with the military trucking the wreckage to a storage shed. Here a spiderlike robot emerges from the craft at night, heading to the lab where Dr. Quest is conducting his experiments. The orb proves almost unstoppable as it flees the compound with the top secret information, until a well-placed shot to its eye results in a horrific explosion. An image of Dr. Zin is later transmitted through the damaged eye, with the Oriental villain promising that he and Dr. Quest will surely meet again in the future. An oustanding episode, with the always entertaining Dr. Zin expertly filling the evil genius role.  

Teleplay: William Hamilton

Director: Joseph Barbera, William Hanna

"The Robot Spy," 11/6/64 (Hanna-Barbera)

"The Mystery of the Lizard Men" - September 18, 1964

A strange beacon of light has been destroying ships in the Sargasso Sea, with Dr. Quest and company heading to the area to investigate. A nasty contingent of "lizard men" – scuba divers decked out to resemble reptiles – slither aboard at night and attack the Quest party. Dr. Quest, Race and the boys battle the invaders, later learning that a foreign power is using the area to test a new laser. Using a mirror, they are able to deflect the beam back to its source, resulting in the destruction of the enemy ship and its deadly weapon. The thrilling chase scene in which Race sends his hydrofoil crashing down on the cowering lizard men is the stuff of cartoon legend.

Teleplay: Joseph Barbera, William Hanna, Douglas Wildey, Alex Lovy

Director: Joseph Barbera, William Hanna

"The House of the Seven Gargoyles" - February 18, 1965

Team Quest heads to Norway where Professor Ericson (Vic Perrin) is working on his "Ericon Bar," a device that can reverse gravity. Foreign agents are after the invention, threading a submarine through the narrow fjords. A midget spy, dressed as a gargoyle and sitting atop Ericson's castle with his stone counterparts, reports back to his superiors. Check out the final scene, where a grateful Ericson presents the boys with one of the stone gargoyles from his castle as a little souvenir. They head out with the gargoyle in the backseat, with one almost expecting the old boy to come to life.

Teleplay: Charles Hoffman

Director: Joseph Barbera, William Hanna

"Dragons of Ashida" - December 18, 1964

Dr. Quest visits his old friend Dr. Ashida (Henry Corden), whose experiments have turned ordinary Tibura lizards into giant maneaters. Realizing that his friend has obviously gone mad, Dr. Quest, Race and the boys attempt to leave the island as soon as possible. But Ashida has other plans, insisting that if the Quests wish to leave the island Race must defeat Sumi, his giant, hulking enforcer and lizard handler. The martial arts come alive in this segment, with black belt Race taking on both Sumi and Ashida.

Teleplay: Walter Black

Director: Joseph Barbera, William Hanna

"The Curse of Anubis" - October 2, 1964

Dr. Quest is summoned to Egypt by Dr. Ali Kareem (Vic Perrin) to view his latest archaeological find at the ruins of Ghiva. Dr. Kareem hopes the ancient statue of Arubis will unite the Arab nations and plans to pin its theft on Dr. Quest. The Anubis mummy doesn't take kindly to the desecration of his temple or the theft of his statue and comes to life, smashing through walls and pursuing the guilty parties. A very spooky episode, with Egyptology and an ancient curse combining for an entertaining segment.

Teleplay: Walter Black

Director: Joseph Barbera, William Hanna

"The Curse of Anubis," 10/2/64 (Hanna-Barbera)

"Pursuit of the Po-Ho" - October 9, 1964

Dreena Hartman (Cathy Lewis), the wife of Emil Hartman (Don Messick), radios Dr. Quest that the dreaded Po-Ho tribe have taken her husband captive. Team Quest arrive on the scene, with the hapless Dr. Quest also winding up as a prisoner. Dyeing his skin purple, Race Bannon becomes the tribe's feared fire god, with Jonny and Hadji assisting him as he rescues Hartman and Dr. Quest from an execution pit. Very lively episode, with Dr. Quest hanging on for dear life as a speedboat drags him out of the pit and into the mass of the awakening savages.

Teleplay: William Hamilton

Director: Joseph Barbera, William Hanna

"A Small Matter of Pygmies" - December 11, 1964

Forced down in the jungles of Brazil, Dr. Quest and company come upon a pygmy tied to a stake. They free the man, but are later taken captive by his tormentors. Their new friend helps them escape, with the vengeful pygmies in hot pursuit. Using a hill as their fortress, Dr. Quest, Race and the boys repel the pygmy advance using boulders and a catapult. Eventually coming to their aid are government helicopters, which drive the attacking pygmies back into the bush. The pygmy warriors are mean little cusses, slinging arrows and spears at Team Quest. A thrilling episode, but not very historically accurate as pygmies are endemic to Africa only. But hey, this is a cartoon series!

Teleplay: William Hamilton

Director: Joseph Barbera, William Hanna

Jonny Quest title card (Hanna-Barbera)

Jonny Quest Notes

  • On DVD: Jonny Quest - The Complete First Season (Warner, 2004)
  • Jonny Quest reruns are currently being telecast on the Boomerang Cartoon Network
  • Fan site: Classic Jonny Quest.com
  • A Jonny Quest movie is currently in development

Copyright © 2013 William J. Felchner. All rights reserved. 


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