Rock of Rages
|The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest|
|"Rock of Rages"|
|Airdate||September 28, 1996|
|Chief locations||Prague, Czech Republic 14.28E, 50.63N (5,475 miles)|
|Guest roles|| Quinton Flynn (Dmitri)|
Rob Paulsen (Novak / Commander)
Frank Welker (Golem / Driver)
Darleen Carr (President)
Michael Bell (Karst / Pilot)
Mark Hamill (Vostok)
|Episode sequence||The Mummies of Malenque <--> Bloodlines|
The legend of the golem in Prague's Jewish quarter brings interest from the Czech President, professors and archaeologists, the Quests—and a living relic of the Cold War with dark ambitions.
Deep in catacombs beneath Prague, an explorer locates a tiny, obelisk-shaped object with strange markings on it. He yells to his superior, who walks up behind him and shoots him, taking the object and declaring that the golem of Prague, seen nearby, will help him create a new world.
Jonny, Hadji, Dr. Quest, and Race are traveling aboard the Dragonfly to investigate the object, which Dr. Quest reveals is the Golden Scriv, capable of carving a mystical symbol into the golem's forehead that will bring it to life. They arrive in Prague, having been personally invited by the Czech President Alena Stasny, an old friend of Benton. Alena greets them, and afterwards two men show up—the professor in charge of deciphering the scriv (Dr. Karst) and his shady assistant who shot the other man in the teaser. They suggest going to the laboratory, where the professor dismissively asks Dr. Quest to try his luck at decoding the scriv. Dr. Quest realizes that its three parts can be twisted, producing intelligible markings.
The shady assistant tells Dr. Quest that he can see the golem in the catacombs. Meanwhile, Race is typing at a laptop in his hotel; he gives a photograph taken of the assistant to Jessie in Maine. Her analysis shows that the man is Vostok, an ex-KGB agent who went rogue when the Iron Curtain fell. A helicopter approaches and shreds the room with its guns; Race fires at it with his weaponry, but the pilot launches missiles. Race jumps out of the hotel as the missiles detonate, propelling him into the helicopter's cockpit, which he takes command of. In the catacombs, the professor inscribes the symbol upon the golem, which comes to life. Vostok takes the scriv and commands it to kill the Quests.
The golem inadvertently kills the professor and lumbers towards the Quests, who take refuge in a nearby chamber. It picks up and hurls a generator at them, causing an explosion that opens up the ground above. The golem then goes dormant, the symbol having disappeared; Vostok lost the scriv in the explosion. The Quests climb out, but Vostok finds and grabs the scriv, reviving the symbol and golem. Above ground, a jeep with three soldiers loyal to Vostok stops them, but it's blown up by Race from the helicopter. He fires a missile at the golem to no effect; the helicopter's pilot then wakes up and attacks him with a knife. The golem interrupts their fight by hurling a jeep at the chopper; Race jumps out and the helicopter crashes into the golem, causing the ground beneath it to cave in.
Race sees a way out, and that night, the Quest team convince Alena to fortify the palace. The soldiers see the golem approach and open fire. The golem emerges unscathed, and Vostok prepares to lead his invasion force behind them. The professor, thought to be dead, returns and struggles with Vostok for the scriv; the golem is confused by the digressing orders and goes mad. Vostok recovers the scriv, but Jonny knocks it out of his hand with a rock; Bandit retrieves it. Jonny jumps on the golem and disfigures the symbol, disabling the golem. Vostok flees with his troops, and the next day, Alena bestows the highest Czech medals to all the Quests, and gives Bandit a sack of doggy treats.
- Race - I don't know who you are, ugly, but I know trouble when I see it!
- Race - (fires a missile at the golem, which is unfazed)
- Race - Huh...have to try something else.
- Vostok - Regretfully, my friends, destiny and I have a different purpose for you.
- Vostok - My goal is simple—an orderly, socialist world; a world free of having to make decisions; a world much like I grew up in.
- It's intentional, but 81.24W, 29.31N for the Quest Compound puts it on the coast of Florida. Lance or another team member probably put it in as a nod to the classic Palm Key compound.
- John de Lancie mispronounces the President's name Alena, giving it a long 'e' sound (like "Alina").
- Granville van Dusen voices Race in this episode.
- The ∞ symbol means "infinity" in mathematical notation.
- Don Messick was voicing Benton in this episode until he had to retire for health reasons; the line "And not a moment too soon!" after Race crashes the helicopter into the golem survived overdubbing by John de Lancie. Listen to it here.
- The scene cut for time that would have featured Jessie finding Vostok's criminal file in Questworld appears as a page in the Lindell Coloring Book.
- This episode's Quest Byte features the locating and destruction of a Saturn file.
Lance Falk Behind-the-Scenes #1
- 1 Rock of Rages
Subj: Behind the Scenes #1 Date: 97-02-08 13:40:06 EST From: LFMOA
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 sidekick.
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 names.
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 for time.
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 show.
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.
Lance Falk Factoids
From Lance Falk Dialogue:
- I originally killed off Vostok in “Rock of Rages”, but changed my mind late in the game after recording. It only involved swapping out a storyboard panel where you could see his hand sticking out from tons of rubble.
- I knew he had one more good story in him. Maybe a Submarine thing, maybe a snow thing. As you know, I did a combination of the two…THEN I killed him off in a much cooler way than he would have died in RoR.
Lance Falk Behind-the-Scenes #4
Subj: Behind the Scenes 4
Date: 97-02-23 03:55:18 EST
Hi loyal Questoids, this installment is devoted to odds and ends rather then one specific episode. (stuff I forgot the first time, basically).
1. Originally, the Real Adventures of Jonny Quest was formatted a bit differently. Like this: Teaser / Opening Credits / Commercials / Act One / Etc. This is how Both Seasons structured them which is why the first act is so short. For some reason, this was changed to the current structure: Opening Credits / Teaser / Commercials / Act One / Etc.
I still see them "Teaser first" in my head. (Like Trek and B-5) This is a Season One idea that I really liked. Too bad we didn't try it.
2. The Dragonfly Jet (white with the huge tail fin) is from the Classic Show. Season One chose not to use it. I made sure it returned in "Rock of Rages" as the official Quest transport. Its name was never actually given in a show but JQ creator Doug Wildey told me it's name (and HE would know).
3. Another thing we restored from the Classic Series is the jewel in Hadji's turban. He doesn't have it in Season One or our first two shows ("Mummies of Malenque" and "Rock of Rages") He aquires it during our third show: "Bloodlines" when his Sultan status is revealed. from then on, he wears it (even in Questworld).
4. In "Rock of Rages" there is an apparent mistake. (but it isn't) Early in the show, the Golem goes "Dead" when the scriv is knocked from Vostok's hand. Later, when Jonny knocks away the scriv with a rock, the Golem is still on a rampage, not affected by Bandit, Jonny, or not being held at all. The explination: When Karst and Vostok wrestle over the scriv, the strain breaks it (You see this as a flash of energy). The resulting Scriv damage turns the Golem into a beserker, bent on fufilling his last command: "Destroy the President!" I think a line explaining this was cut for time. (I DO think these things out, y'know!)
5. Vostok does not see himself as a villian. He really believes Communism is the correct path for humanity. When the Iron Curtain collapsed, he kind of snapped and decided his great destiny was to show the world the error of it's ways. Another cut line explains this a bit. When the Golem is first ordered to get the Quests, Benton pleads to spare the youngsters. Vostok replies: "Sadly, the innocent must sometimes perish when great destinies are to be forged. Regettable, but historically inevitible, yes?" A nice character bit but understandibly expendable. Vostok sees himself as a Caeser or Alexander the Great doing destiny's work. He thinks God won't let him die until he remakes Earth in a Communist mold. Vostok really believes in this stuff.
6. Jonny and Hadji each speak some Japanese in "Thoughtscape". They say: (Jonny) "Welcome to our Country, Ambassador" (Hadji) "We hope you have a pleasant stay."
I picked Japanese because we had a handy language coach available: Producer Davis Doi. He worked with Rob & Quentin (Hadji & Jonny) for fifteen minutes until their pronunciation was flawless with no trace of accent. (It's real easy for the writer to script phrases like: "Jonny says in perfect Japanese....."). Rob & Quentin really liked doing it. Quite a trick to pronounce something in a very different language WHILE sounding in character if you think about it.
That's all for now. Tomorrow, I'll give you the whole scoop on "Race Against Danger"