Johnny Quest

Johnny Quest

1964 - United States

Inspired by the original 1962 James Bond movie, Dr. No, influential American animator Joseph Barbera decided to develop a high-tech action-adventure series for television. Barbera produced a short two-minute story based on the US radio series Jack Armstrong but having done so he found that he was unable to make a deal with Jack Armstrong's copyright owners and the project was cancelled. Instead, Barbera hired noted comic strip artist Doug Wildey to develop a character who was originally called Chip Baloo before finally being named Jonny Quest, the name, allegedly taken from a phone book, being more symbolic of the type of adventures and mysteries that our hero would encounter. 

Jonathan "Jonny" Quest is an 11-year old boy, the son of a widowed US government scientist, Dr Benton Quest, who, from his home base in the Florida Keys, sets off on adventures that take him all over the world. Jonny, who is proficient in judo, scuba diving and handling firearms, accompanies his father on these sometimes dangerous missions along with Special Agent Race Bannon, a street-wise orphan called Hadji and their pet dog, Bandit. There is a recurring villain in the form of Dr. Zin, an Asian criminal mastermind, but mostly the Quest team find themselves pitched against a different foe in each story. Jonny Quest first appeared on US television in 1964 but soon found itself the centre of controversy as many parents were concerned of the levels of violence for a children's cartoon series. Nevertheless, the series ran for two seasons. The closing credits include clips from the Jack Armstrong test film even though they do not appear in any Jonny Quest episode.

Published on December 28th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.

Read Next...

The Five Foot Nine Show

A one-off comedy show that reunited two of the regulars from That Was The Week That Was.

Also released in 1964

The Flashing Blade

Originally made in France in 1967 as Le Chevalier Tempete the series of four epic 75-minute episodes were edited into 12 22-minute episodes for its dubbed UK broadcast in 1969 and shown as part of BBC's children's programming.

Also released in 1964

Gilligan's Island

Although never a huge hit in the UK, Gilligan's Island was a massive success in its native USA, and has stood the test of time by becoming almost an icon of 1960's American sitcom.

Also released in 1964

Cluff

Any no-gooder underestimating the tweed-suited detective would do so at their own cost because Cluff's slow methodology belied a skilfully perceptive insight into human nature and behaviour, particularly in the criminal mind.

Also released in 1964

Flipper

The show that was dubbed an "aquatic Lassie" - Flipper comes to the rescue in a series of nautical adventures.

Also released in 1964

Invincible

Amazon's adult animated series about a teenager whose father is the most powerful superhero on the planet. As he begins to develop his own powers, he discovers his father’s legacy may not be as heroic as it seems...

Also tagged Us Animated Series

Firecrackers

1960s comedy that was heavily influenced by the classic Will Hay comedy Where's That Fire? that had been shot twenty-five years earlier at the same Elstree studio.

Also released in 1964

Gideon's Way

1960s detective series about a policeman with an enormous capacity for work and a strong self-discipline.

Also released in 1964