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Jonny Quest

From Academic Kids

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Jonny Quest, The Complete First Season, 2004 DVD release cover

Jonny Quest was a science fiction animated series created by Doug Wildey for Hanna-Barbera which had its debut on ABC in 1964.

Jonny Quest is an eleven-year-old boy, the son of Dr. Benton Quest, "one of the three top scientists in the world," and apparently something of a Renaissance man; his scientific and technical know-how spans many fields. Mrs. Quest is dead, the apparent victim of one of the many plots against Dr. Quest, and seldom mentioned. These plots made it necessary for Dr. Quest to hire a bodyguard, Roger "Race" Bannon, who guards Jonny and Dr. Quest's adopted second son, an Indian boy named Hadji, who is seldom seen without his jewelled turban and Nehru jacket. The Quests have a compound in the Florida keys, but their adventures take them all over the world. Jonny's pet is a bulldog puppy named Bandit.

Dr. Quest travels the globe studying scientific mysteries, which get him into scrapes with foes that range from espionage robots and electrical monsters to Egyptian mummies. Although most menaces were unique to the episode, one occasionally recurring foe is known as Dr. Zin, an Oriental mastermind. There is also Race Bannon's mysterious old flame, Jade, who occasionally appears.

The series aired in prime time through 1965, with Saturday morning reruns from 1967 to 1972, and occasionally thereafter in syndication. A second series for Jonny Quest was produced in 1986 as part of a syndicated program package called, The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera. A feature length animated tv-movie, Jonny's Golden Quest, was shown on USA Network in 1993, and another one, Jonny Quest vs. the Cyber Insects, aired on TNT in early 1996. In 1996 a third series was produced for Cartoon Network under the title The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, which featured computer animation and added Race Bannon's daughter, Jessie, who stole much of the limelight from Hadji.

In the 1960s episodes, Tim Matheson was Jonny's voice actor. Mike Road was "Race" Bannon, Danny Bravo was Hadji, and Dr. Benton Quest was voiced by John Stephenson for five episodes, and by Don Messick thereafter. The memorable theme music for the 1960s series, a percussion-heavy big band "spy jazz" piece with no lyrics, was written by Hoyt Curtin.

The show was parodied in an early episode of Freakazoid as "Toby Danger," in the "Channel Chasers" episode of Fairly Odd Parents, in the episode "Bannon Custody Battle" of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, and a campy pastiche of it is The Venture Bros.

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