The Robot Spies

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The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest
"The Robot Spies"
Episode no. H00616-94048
Airdate April 15, 1997
Chief locations Cairo, Egypt 31.31E, 30.06N (6,825 miles)
Vehicle(s) Race's Smart Car
Dragonfly Jet
Writer(s) Lance Falk
Guest roles Quinton Flynn (Guard)
Jennifer Hale (Smart House Computer)
Frank Welker (Mr. Henry)
Tasia Valenza (Jade)
Clyde Kusatsu (Dr. Zin / Guard)
Andreas Katsulas (Stephano DePace)
Theresa Saldana (Estella)
Episode sequence Night of the Zinja <--> More Than Zero
Other episodes

Dr. Zin revives his Robot Spies and ravages the Quest Compound, abducting Jonny, Jessie, and her mother Estella in the process. Dr. Quest and Race team up with Jade to infiltrate his lair, but their arrival is well anticipated.

Plot Summary


Return of the Robot Spies

At the airport, Race Bannon picks up Dr. Benton Quest in his smart car after the latter attended a scientific conference to discuss theories on quantum mechanics. At the Quest Compound, Jessie Bannon is showing her mother Estella around the mansion with Jonny Quest when the perimeter alarm goes off. Jonny checks a camera system and finds several robot spies ascending the cliffs after rising from the ocean.

Act One

Benton equips Race and Jade

Race and Dr. Quest pull up to the mansion to find it in flames. They park the car and run in to the burning structure, unable to locate Estella or the teens. Benton powers up the security monitor and watches footage of the spies breaking through the defense blinds all present being abducted. A Robot Spy then drops a detonator in front of Bandit, at which point the footage ends. Bandit is okay under some rubble, and Dr. Quest notes that he's tracked Jonny through his signal watch to Cairo, Egypt. They visit Jezebel Jade, who's not so hot about helping Estella, but agrees to help the missing parties anyway—for double the price, since Dr. Zin is a very dangerous foe. A man named Mr. Henry who had previously hired Jade to recover an artifact offers his help, and the team start with Zin's top competitor, Stephano DePace. They break into his fortress with Dr. Quest's wall-melting aerosol and ask him where Dr. Zin is located. He reveals that Zin is located at some ancient ruins roughly twenty five miles southeast of his complex, and warns the team that they are impenetrable. Meanwhile, Jade heads to his study and cracks his safe, removing an Egyptian artifact. They leave his compound, and he discovers the theft, alerting his guards. The team escape in Mr. Henry's waiting car, and Jade hands him the scepter of Osiris. Mr. Henry then gases them to unconsciousness while laughing that he works for Zin.

Act Two

The team in Zin's lair

In Dr. Zin's lair, Jessie, Jonny, and Estella are in a simple room with no exits. Estella finds two plates with the hieroglyph for "passage" on them, and pushing them in unison with Jonny drops a trap door taking them to perfect ruins older than the great pyramids. Two Robot Spies appear, and they flee up narrow stairs. The Spies can follow them, prompting all three to push a giant statue down the stairs, taking one of the Spies out in the process. They continue fleeing, and find Bandit. As Jonny exclaims that his father must be near, Dr. Zin emerges from the passage opposite the team and declares that they are not going anywhere. Race, Dr. Quest, and Jade appear behind the team and restrain them, controlled by the mind-bending power of the Scepter of Orisis when combined with Zin's special guantlet. Dr. Zin states that the ultimate test of the combination will be making his enemies fight each other, and commands the adults to throw Jonny, Jessie, and Estella over the side into a pit. Bandit immediately strikes Zin's hand, knocking the gauntlet into the seemingly bottomless pit. Zin prepares to flee, but Dr. Quest grabs him and promises an end to his schemes. The second Robot Spy appears, distracting Dr. Quest long enough for Zin to flee—but Benton follows as a door separates them from the rest of the team.

Dr. Quest settles his score with Zin

The Robot Spy fires upon them as Race hangs on the side of the ledge from the impact. He recovers and tricks the Robot Spy into destroying the bridge, condemning itself to destruction at the pit below. A rogue laser blast makes a hole in the ceiling, allowing moonlight to filter in from above. Meanwhile, Benton and Zin are engaged in a passionate physical fight. Zin plays dirty by equipping himself with a torch and extendable wrist blade. Outside, the team climb up through the hole, but are instantly pursued by three more Robot Spies. Dr. Quest turns the tables on Zin by knocking him into a throne, the force of which makes a statue pin him down in pain. DePace's crew arrive with machine guns and missile launchers; he orders them to hit the Spies with everything they've got, but their assault has no effect. Dr. Quest cannot remove the statue inside, so Zin hits a switch on the throne to activate a sealing mechanism via stone doors and sand that will trap them forever. Dr. Quest tries to escape, but a failing Robot Spy seems to fall upon him. DePace and Race decide to lure the Spies over the hole in the ceiling, and succeed in causing a cave-in. Another Spy threatens from behind, but they hear Dr. Quest's voice before he emerges. He explains at Jade's office that he hotwired the Spy and burned his way out with lasers. Race proposes reactivating the Palm Key compound, while Jade reveals that she kept the Scepter of Osiris, and Mr. Henry is spilling the beans about Zin's operation. Dr. Zin's fate is left uncertain.



  • Dr. Quest - "We discussed some new theories concerning quantum fractal energy sources."
  • Race - "Sounds like a party to me."


  • Dr. Quest - "Luckily, I brought along a few surprises."
  • Jade - "Wow, I've got to get some of that!"


  • DePace - "It's people like Zin who make it difficult to eke out a dishonest living."


  • Estella - "You are insane!"
  • Dr. Zin - "So seem all visionaries to the unenlightened masses."


  • Dr. Zin - "This isn't over."
  • Dr. Quest - "Oh, yes it is! Your schemes, your attacks! You've threatened my family for the last time!"


  • Dr. Quest - "Come on, Zin! We knew one day it would come to this! Let's finish it now!"
  • Dr. Zin - "I could not agree more!"


  • Estella - "This family attracts danger like a lightning rod."
  • Jade - "Yeah; fun, isn't it?"


  • It goes without saying that the Robot Spies come from the classic episode "The Robot Spy". They are an icon of the Jonny Quest mythos, and have been directly parodied by the Venture Brothers.
  • The scepter of Osiris is parodied in the Venture Brothers as well, appearing as the "Hand of Osiris", a coveted object smuggled out of ruins in a grotesque manner in "Escape to the House of Mummies Part II".
  • Written by Tim Miller, the Quest Byte has Jonny donning a huge armored suit to destroy Surd virus evolutions. The virus grabs Jonny after he rigs it for an explosion, and he barely makes it out and regains his composure in what appear to be sewers. As Iris explains that the virus's removal is unconfirmed, a first evolution bug laughs in the background.
  • Cels from the show were later put up from auction:

Lance Falk Factoids

From Lance Falk Dialogue:

  • That was MEANT to be the last one aired...that's why I was finally allowed to blow up the thrice-damned Maine mansion (I'd begged to do this since day one, but our 26 had to match their 26 to some degree) and hint at a return to Palm Key Island. That's also why I sort of put a button on the Dr. Zin / Dr. Quest rivalry. The Jade / Jessie / Race's Ex relationship, etc.
  • I plotted it as a two-parter, but because of Questworld obligations, there was only a slot for one. I'm sort of amazed all that we were able to squeeze in. (Note: Lance later stated in 2018 that the challenge of doing this made it probably the hardest episode he worked on, and regrets that the missing scenes weren't included.)
  • I think it plays okay, but it would have been richer and more complex if I had more time to tell it. We would have delved into the origin of the city, more Robot Spies, more about the character relationships....I'm sure you can figure out the rest.
  • Yes. Bandit saves the day. He did this in my first one (Rock of Rages) and so again here....but it's important that he did it by just being a normal dog. In RoR he "Fetched a Stick" in RS he jumped a guy who was clearly a threat to his masters. My love for dogs is boundless and I try to keep Bandit involved when it makes sense. My own two dogs sort of look like him!
  • The high-tech underground Egyptian city was inspired.... okay, ripped-off from the motion simulator ride "In Search of the Obilesk" at The Luxor in Las Vegas. It's an amazing ride created by FX legend Douglas Trumbull (look him up if you don't know who that is). The design of that attraction is endlessly fascinating to me. In fact, I rode it a few weekends ago when I was in Vegas.
  • It was SO cool to get Andreas Katsulas from Babylon 5 to do a voice. I'm a HUGE fan of the show and his character in particular. Guess what? Another victim of cigarettes. They seem to kill all my favorite people.

From: Episodes