Escape to Questworld

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The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest
"Escape to Questworld"
Episode no. H00616-94004
Airdate August 27, 1996
Chief locations Chicago, Illinois 88.03W, 43.82N (953 miles)
Vehicle(s) Quest Jet
Writer(s) Richard Merwin
Peter Lawrence
Michael Ryan (Questworld)
Guest roles J.D. Roth (Swat Member)
Frank Welker (Surd / Guard / Quest Computer / Cop)
Megan Cavanagh (Julia)
Chick Vennera (Lorenzo)
Paul Eiding (Bennett)
Episode sequence The Darkest Fathoms <--> In the Realm of the Condor
Other episodes

Race is hired to contain a nerve gas leak in Chicago, the legacy of a botched raid on Dr. Jeremiah Surd years earlier. When he and Dr. Quest are trapped, it's up to Jonny, Jessie, and Hadji to find the renegade scientist.

Plot Summary


Race infiltrates the ship

In Chicago during 1978, Race Bannon is handling the threat of Jeremiah Surd, who has lost his government funding and is threatening to unleash deadly nerve as upon the city if he does not receive two million dollars. Phone call negotiations allow Race's team to trace Surd's location to Pier 27; he responds with a SWAT team to board Surd's ship. Surd sends his guards to deal with the attackers; Lorenzo takes down a helicopter with a rocket launcher while Julia tangles with Race. He runs out of ammo, and uses a knife to cut a rope holding a net which falls on her. Lorenzo challenges him next, but Race swings across the room and boots him into a stack of crates. He reaches Surd, who laughs that the nerve gas is in the city, not on the ship. Race lays down his gun and suggests working out a deal, when suddenly soldiers drop in from above and shoot Surd in the leg. Feeling betrayed, Surd lunges for the controls, but a soldier shoots him in the neck despite Race's objections and causing his apparent death.

Act One

The team confront Surd

In the present day, construction workers are demolishing an old building when Surd's nerve gas is released, killing five of them within minutes. Commander Bennett contacts Race at the Quest Compound, informing him of the release and pointing to a large dome behind him housing the gas. He asks him to take the case of containment and supervision, and Race reluctantly agrees, flying to Illinois with Dr. Quest on the Quest Jet. Race and Dr. Quest don hazmat suits and make their way in, accidentally tripping a laser sensor in the process. The boobytrap shuts the doors and releases more gas while starting a twenty-four hour timer. Bennett warns that their suits will only keep them safe for twenty two hours; Dr. Quest meanwhile asks Hadji to pull up schematics on the building for Surd's files, but he cannot find anything. Jonny Quest then proposes that Surd might still be alive, and he, Hadji, and Jessie Bannon get to work searching official records. The search turns up nothing until Jessie notices that a hospital transfer record is dated 1979, whereas Surd seemingly died in 1978. The team head out on a rowboat to the Belle Isle Institute of the Insane, and devise a plan to cut the power during a lightning strike to allow covert entry. They find a paralyzed Surd, who deduces that they are there to plead for the lives of Dr. Quest and Race. They bribe his help with a tantalizing sample of Questworld, which undoes his immobility; they promise more at the Compound if they have a deal. Surd agrees, and runs rampant through Questworld, eventually disappearing from Hadji's monitor. He phones Julia, asking her to contact Lorenzo and declaring that they're "back in business". The team see the phone call and pull him out of Questworld; he tells the team to cut the third purple wire in a certain conduit, but doing so causes an explosion. The lighthouse is this ransacked by a tear gas canister.

Act Two

Jonny and Jessie in the fun house

Two assailants burst in and carry Surd out, stealing the portable Questworld unit in the process. Dr. Quest and Race reestablish contact; Race has a tear in his suit, but Dr. Quest tapes it up before any nerve gas gets in. The team realize that Surd will soon log on to Questworld again, and prepare to intercept him in cyberspace. As Jonny and Jessie enter, they quickly find out that Surd has as much power over the world as they do, and two flashes of light circle around them (burning Jessie's arm in the process). Surd refuses to let Hadji remove them from Questworld, causing the yogin to pull a system component from the lighthouse computer. Jessie is shocked to find a real burn on her arm; Surd has apparently programmed cyberspace to inflict physical harm. As Benton and Race face a four hour time limit, the team decide to go hot again despite Surd's display of power; they find themselves in a "fun house" he built. Jonny loads a power sled, and speeds away after arming a sonic detonator. Surd tries to find it, but ends up smashing its reflection in several mirrors. He's pulled out of Questworld shortly before the explosion, and the team track him on Interstate 95 through a system back door. They find him at a truck stop with four wheelers and sneak in; Lorenzo pulls a gun, but they take cover behind Surd (who risks being shot). Surd agrees to help them as he has no choice; the decision comes down to one wire. Jonny tells Benton to cut the orange, while Race thinks it's a trap and wants him to cut the blue. As it comes down to one second, Benton cuts the blue, causing a minor explosion. The teens jump out of the truck, which speeds away; via a cell phone, they hear that Dr. Quest and Race are okay.



  • Race - "Doesn't it bother you that millions will die?"
  • Surd - "Does it bother me when I step on ants crossing the sidewalk?"
  • Race - "How'd you get so twisted?"


  • Race - "This place has more wires than the White House!"


  • Jessie - "I wish Jeremiah Surd were alive."
  • Jonny - "Why, Jess?"
  • Jessie - "So I could kill him!"


  • Jonny - "And like you always said, Hadji, a blind man can't take the sun for granted."
  • Hadji - "I said no such thing."


  • Surd - "Every station on television has been playing that story since this morning. Do you know how many times they've interrupted Scooby-Doo? And it wasn't even one I'd seen yet!"


  • Surd - "Oh, Jonny Quest, do you really understand the entity you've unleashed upon your world?"


  • Dr. Quest's hair is all brown and no gray.
  • Lorenzo and Julia must have been living a short distance from the Quest Compound in Maine to be able to rescue Surd minutes after a phone call.
  • Dr. Quest and Race's hazmat suits were good for twenty two hours, but twenty four have passed by the end of the timer.


  • The exterior shot of the Belle Isle Insane Asylum has been used in several openings of Aqua Teen Hunger Force as Dr. Weird's laboratory.
  • The game Cover-Up At Roswell establishes Surd's escape as occurring July 10, 1996.
  • This episode does not feature a Quest Byte.


A cel from this episode (from a shot that apparently wasn't used) was auctioned on Ebay.

From: Episodes