Wednesday, December 30, 2009

JQ #8 The Robot Spy

how cool are the monsters of Jonny Quest?  not every episode featured a monster, but a good chunk of the series did.  let's relive one of the most famous ones now.

does this scene look vaguely familiar? a UFO has just landed and Dr. Quest and Race Bannon are going out to take a look at the strange light behind the dunes.

it has landed behind an unidentified scientific/military base somewhere in a desert, I'm guessing either New Mexico or Arizona, since neither place got much notice in the 1960s.

it's been sent by that nefarious agent against good, Dr. Napoleon Zin.  I just learned that was his first name, after watching this cartoon my entire life.  how about that?

Dr. Zin was Dr. Quest's main rival, the only foe to appear four times throughout the series.  no, I don't count any of the remakes, since I've never seen them.  I've heard he had daughters show up as well in the last series.

he's a pretty standard "yellow peril" menace, though hardly as stereotyped as Fu Manchu or The Yellow Claw.  he never did "meet" any of the Quest Team in person, oddly enough, but it makes him pretty darn smart- he could never get caught if he wasn't out "in the field" if you will.

finally, the titular robot spy.  this was a darn scary thing to see pop out of a UFO, I'll tell you what, especially to a kid.  it's silent and creepy, with the one red eye (you would think a genius like Dr. Zin would want two eyes, so he could see stereoscopically, but one eye just looks so much cooler, right?) and those long spidery legs.

it's an amazingly simple and effective design.  I think this is where my fear of arachnids was born, since it's usually called a kind of "robot spider".  top it off with those weird feelers which can immobilize a person and you have one fearsome robot.  definitely worthy of being Dr. Zin's most famous episode.

we'll get to more monsters later on.  Bandit doesn't count.

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