RAJQ Behind the Scenes No. 1
Hi everyone. This is the first in a promised series of Behind the Scenes of selected
Jonny Quest episodes. I'm only going to cover the episodes I wrote because I would
rather not speak for anyone else. This posting's about "Rock of Rages" which will
rerun Tuesday, Feb 18.
I was working as a prop designer at Warner Bros. when Davis Doi (My former H-B boss
and Producer on SWAT Kats) called me and offered me a writing job on Jonny. The
WB job was nice, but Davis was offering me big promotion and a chance to do what
I wanted. I gave Warner two weeks notice and began "Rock of Rages" at night and
weekends to get a head start. (I actually finished the outline before leaving WB).
With "Rock" I wanted to do a generic Jonny Quest episode showing both sides of the
series: Monsters/Action stuff. Also required: a tough badguy, exotic location, an
"Old friend" of Dr. Q's, and an important part for each character (including Bandit).
It was a lot of fun to write and I wanted to do Jonny justice because, it's always
been my favorite animated series. I also have a solid reputation as a JQ expert
and now I had to put my money where my mouth was.
Here are some Questoid Factoids about that episode:
1. The title is a play on "Rock of Ages" a Hebrew spiritual song. Appropriate, since
the Golem legend is a Jewish one.
2. I did a Golem story to make fun of the lame-o "Hardrock" character from the 86
show. I wanted to show how SCARY a giant rock being was. Not a good idea for a cute
3. When researching the ancient Golem legend, I found no two versions were identical,
but they all pointed to Prague. I used information from several versions of the
legend to fashion it's story as told by Benton. The scriv, however is a made up
word and item.
4.I played off actual political events. Prague was the Capitol of Czecholslavakia
untill the fall of the Eastern Block split the country into two: Slovackia and The
Czech Republic. Vostok wants to restore Communist rule and since Prague provided
him with the Golem, he started there.
5. Novak (the archeologist), Anton Karst, and Alena Stasny are all authentic Czech
6. Novak was originally shot by a gun but this made the censors nervous so we changed
the sound to a dart gun and added Novak's moaning sounds after he hit the ground.
(Do you think a dude as bad as Vostok would use a dart gun? C'mon!)
7. There was a longer Jessie scene of her going into a VR Information Retrieval
program (ala "Disclosure") to get the goods on Vostok, but it was cut from the storyboard
8. Another cut was Jessie saying to Race "If you recognized Vostok, than he must
have recog...." Race interrupts: "No. He didn't get a good look at me". That's why,
after the helicopter attack race says: "Well, I guess Vostok DID recognize me!"
A punchline to a cut joke.
9. Don Messick was originally recorded as the voice of Dr. Quest, but we had to
loop over all his dialogue with John Delancey. If you listen carefully, one line
was missed: "And not a moment too soon!" is Don. Listen carefully. We love JD, but
replacing Don was a sad thing indeed.
10. The Golem's relentless attack on the Presidential Palace (a real location, carefully
recearched, inside and out) was an homage to the Spy's escape in the classic episode
"The Robot Spy". Probably my favorite JQ ever.
11. Alena Stasny gets her last name from a friend of mine who was actually born
and raised in Prague and was an invaluable source of information when I wrote the
12. Michael Bell (Anton Karst) is also the voice of Ezekial Rage. He was also in
the first episode of Star Trek TNG as Groppler Zorn.
13. Alena Stasny want to college here in the States. She was best friends with Rachel
Wildey (Jonnny's mom to be). She also had some real feelings for the young and oblivious
Benton but kept them to herself for Rachel's sake. You can see a hint of her feelings
for him when they meet at the Prague airport.
14. Vostok is named after a Soviet Missile.