RAJQ Behind the Scenes No. 7
Hi gang. Here's the skinny on "Nuclear Netherworld". To fans of Classic Quest, this
episode will be an obvious labor of love and tribute to that great show. (Still
my all time favorite "kid's show"). It was a deliberate attempt to do a Classic-style
show right out of '64. (Lots of "Calcutta Adventure" and "Fraudulent Volcano" elements
are in it.)
When I got this job, I knew that I wanted to somehow tribute the Late, great Doug
Wildey, who, of course created the Jonny Quest show way back when. Doug was also
the producer, art director, and primary story plotter as well. (talented guy). I
had the pleasure of knowing Doug for the last few years of his life and am proud
to consider him a friend. Dave Stevens' "The Rocketeer" comic stories feature Doug's
likeness and personality in the character of "Peevy" so I thought, I should put
Doug in a show he created. I really envy Dave. He use to work for Doug. His widow,
the incredibly sweet Ellen Wildey, gave me her blessing to use him.
1. The show is co-written by "Chip Baloo". Actually a friend who wishes to remain
anonymous. The very first working title of the JQ show was "The Saga of Chip Baloo".
Really. Doug wisely changed Chip's name to Jonny back in 1963.
2. Doug was a real fan of the old west, so I made "Grandpa Doug" a modern day cowboy.
His ranch logo is a variation of the Wildey signature.
3. The character model was designed by master comic book artist and good friend
Steve Rude (who was also Doug's pal).
4. Doug's voice was Harve Presnell. Some of you more mature viewers may know him
as the grumpy, wealthy dad from "Fargo" (my best picture hopeful). Harve was called
in to play a helicopter flying, cattle rancher. So, knowing NOTHING about the character,
he comes to recording wearing a flightsuit. He says something like "Well, I just
flew in from my ranch". Davis and I looked to Donna, our casting director and asked
"Where do you find these guys?" Born for the part, Harve did one the best voice
jobs of the series. His line that begins "VonRomme, I hold you personally responsible
for what happened to my Grandson..." was amazing. His voice was actually cracking
with rage and grief. It was on his face. Incredible.
5. His Security Cheif, Mr. Corey (named after my computer doctor) was voiced by
Jerry Doyle, Babylon 5's security cheif, Garibaldi. (I wish I gave him a bigger
role before killing him!) JD is also the voice of "Captian Simian". Very funny,
6. The locations are assumed to be a section of Carlsbad Caverns which is a mostly
unexplored network of 300 miles of subterranean caverns. I LOVE CC! I've made a
few visits. Incredible.
7. Some "cut for violence" bits include: Doug grabbing the flamethrower from a dead
guard's hand while saying "That's for Felipe, you rat". Originally, there were THREE
jetpack guys sent after Jonny and Co. Doug blasted the first one. Couldn't do that.
A "Mystery of the Lizardmen"-like downshot of VonRomme's men covering up their faces
as the cave collapses. Actually, we got away with a lot in this show, mostly in
dialogue. "Plenty of chores where you're going, Hank". Heh heh.....
8. A related note. I had a line which begins "VonRommes Foreign customers will pay
whatever we want...." The word "Foriegn" is considered a no-no, aparrently. So we
changed it to "International". I have NO IDEA how "foriegn" made the bad word list.
It's pretty neutral for "not from here".
9. I like to put Jonny in situations where Race would have been handy and THEN leave
Mr. Bannon out of the episode. I'm kinda' mean that way.
10. No. VonRomme will not return as some irradiated bad guy. He's paid the ultimate
price for his evil. Ironically too, considering how he kept threatening his underlings
with radiation exposure.
11. Voice director, Kris Zimmerman actually got teary-eyed about the ending. She's
so sweet. she called me a "sentimental guy". That's good, right?
12. Doug "rides into the sunset."
As do I. Next time: "Diamonds and Jade"