In the Realm of the Condor

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The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest
"In the Realm of the Condor"
Episode no. H00616-94002
Airdate August 28, 1996
Chief locations Peruvian Rain Forest 74.64W, 1.84S (3,256 miles)
Vehicle(s) PBY Catalina
Writer(s) Peter Lawrence
Guest roles Jesse Douglas (Estella Scheele)
Michael Benyaer (Navigator)
Ed Gilbert (Professor Scheele)
Mark Hamill (Eldoradoan)
Alex Dent (Indian Boy)
Frank Welker (Indian Boy, Monkey)
Episode sequence Escape to Questworld <--> Rage's Burning Wheel
Other episodes

The Quest team follows Estella Scheele to find her missing ornithologist grandfather and track down a new species of condor in the Peruvian rain forest.

Plot Summary


Scheele's grandfather runs from the natives

Deep in a South American jungle, many years ago, an ornithologist runs from armed natives dressed in tribal regalia. He accidentally drops his compass and continues down a path to a massive culvert, replete with bird-head aqueducts lining its stone walls. As he mutters to himself, the native warriors approach from behind; the camera pans to a vista, leaving his fate unknown.

Act One

Exploring the rain forest

In the Quest Compound laboratory, Estella Scheele begs Dr. Benton Quest to investigate the case of her grandfather, the man depicted in the teaser. She presents his compass as evidence of his survival in the Peruvian jungle, but Dr. Quest brushes the request aside, even after she reveals he had discovered a new species of condor. Jonny Quest enters with Bandit, and the team retire to the library to view Estella's tape. Dr. Quest is still unconvinced, prompting Estella to present a golden archaeological artifact allegedly from no known site. She departs and Benton analyzes the piece in the laboratory; he's stunned to find it's possibly two or three thousand years old, and connected to Chavín culture, a supernatural cult from antiquity. Once Dr. Quest links the artifact to an illustration produced by the culture, the team decide to set off and find the culture's main city, said to be built of gold.

After arriving in the rain forest, the group find a pair of golden totems sticking out of a tributary of the Rio de Las Piedras, which scare away the local guides. The team continue on raft while Dr. Quest attempts to fix their position by satellite. The gentle river turns to rapids, and the raft careens out of control as Race tries to stabilize it by firing a piton gun towards an old tree. The brittle, dead tree breaks, sending the raft down two waterfalls. All survive, and make camp; Estella, Jonny, and Hadji talk by the campfire. Cries of help soon echo off the nearby cliff, and Jonny finds a anaconda strangling a native boy. He beats the anaconda away with a stick, but the boy escapes as a condor menacingly flies overhead. The next day, the team prepare to climb the nearby cliff; Race decides to lead, with Hadji behind, and Estella, Jonny, and Dr. Quest serving as the anchor. Midway up, the team are attacked by the titular undiscovered condor; Race tries to shoot it while Benton prepares to be the climbing anchor. Hadji falls first, but is secured by his safety line. Jonny then falls, but his safety line is pulled out by the condor before he can reach a safe ledge. With only one more peg holding him up, Jonny tries to regain control, but plummets after it too falls out of the cliff.

Act Two

El Dorado

Jonny is brought to safety on the ledge by a pair of native arms. The condors continue to harass the team, but mysteriously fly away after a shrill call fills the air. Race diverts the group to the ledge that Jonny landed on, and inside they find the skeleton of Estella's grandfather with a "Scheele" camera. Estella seems unfazed and continues, while the others express doubts about her sincerity. Further inside, the team inspect a stone door while Estella tries to move a heavy golden artifact. Her removal triggers a mechanism that opens the door, revealing the lost city of gold, El Dorado, marked with a massive statue of a condor around which a flock of the birds fly. Dr. Quest realizes that the only way to and from the city is via the condors, and he, Race, and Hadji spot Jonny being honored with a quill for saving the native from the anaconda. The natives speak with a combination of words and clicks.

Estella busies herself with chipping gold from a massive statue, creating an uproar and the imprisonment of the team. Dr. Quest and the others chide Estella for her actions; she claims she never cared about her grandfather, and is consumed with lust for the city's gold. They realize the floor of the cell is a trap door leading to feasting condors below, but a native boy uncovers an alcove in the wall from outside and leads the team through the city to escape. Estella fakes a fall to take the native boy hostage; the other natives realize, and come forward in confrontation. Their leader asks the return of the boy in English, but Estella takes up a position on a high walkway. Jonny follows with a golden object, which he throws to Estella before tackling her. The two tumble off the walkway; Jonny holds on with his hand, but Estella falls to her death face-first. Jonny falls soon after, but the leader of the natives calls forth the condors to rescue him. The leader reveals himself as Professor Scheele, and the native boy as his grandson, denying any relation to Estella. On top of the cliffs, he summons the condors to take the Quest team back to civilization, understanding that the secret of the lost city will remain.



Jonny prepares to depart
  • Jonny - "Don't worry. You know Ms. Scheele, if anyone can find a way out of here, Race and my dad will."
  • Estella - "You're so formal, Jonny, just like your father. You can call me Estella, you know? And as for worrying, I've been in far more dangerous situations than this."


  • Hadji - "We are taught that where we are is where we are supposed to be. But I am beginning to wish we were somewhere else!"


  • Race - "What do you think; are we up for the climb?"
  • Jonny - "Slammin'!"


  • Race - "Then Estella, Jonny, and Benton, you'll be the anchor."
  • Dr. Quest - "You mean overweight and likely to sink to the bottom."
  • Race - "Nah, think of it as rock-solid."


  • Estella - "Don't look down, Hadji. The trick is to keep going."
  • Hadji - "You are quite right of course, Estella. Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards."
  • Jonny - "I wish you'd save thst stuff for when we've got the time to figure it out!"


  • Dr. Quest - "I have a feeling the role of anchorman is about to come into effect!"


  • Hadji - "Have you ever seen any bird as big or powerful?!"
  • Race - "I don't care what they are. A slug in the right place is all it takes."


  • Race - "I don't know, Benton. That young lady's colder than a catfish on marble."


  • Dr. Quest - "That was probably the stupidest thing I've ever seen a human being do!"


  • Dr. Quest's hair is all brown and no gray.
  • The credits list "Schelle" instead of "Scheele" as surname.


  • This episode does not feature a Quest Byte.
  • Jessie is completely absent from this episode.



The Promo Video showed concept art for El Dorado.

From: Episodes