Trouble on the Colorado

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The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest
"Trouble on the Colorado"
Episode no. H00616-94040
Airdate September 11, 1996
Chief locations Lake Powell, Utah 112.21W, 37.04N (2,412 miles)
Vehicle(s) PBY Catalina
Writer(s) Samuel Graham & Chris Hubbell
Michael Ryan
Guest roles Frank Welker (Dr. Surd)
Megan Cavanagh (Julia)
Chick Vennera (Lorenzo)
Irene Bedard (Old Indian Woman / Alice Starseer)
Michael Horse (Old Indian)
Episode sequence The Alchemist <--> In the Wake of the Mary Celeste
Other episodes

Alice Starseer is returning to Earth to lay her grandfather to rest, and Dr. Quest has been invited to attend the ceremony. Old enemies and new allies lurk among the rapids of the Colorado river, the route to the meeting site.

Plot Summary


"It's kinda long distance."

At the Quest Compound, Jonny Quest wakes to Bandit's barking to find that the crystal beacon given to Dr. Quest by Alice Starseer is shining, and informs his sleeping father. The team depart for Lake Powell, Utah in the PBY Catalina, intending to raft down the lake to the Anasazi ruins. Nearby, three men and one woman are performing an Anasazi ritual with a feather dropped in a puddle and dust sprinkled into the air. The dust forms a yellow aura and flies into the canyons as the Quest team enter a large raft to avoid separation rapid, where men deserted from John Wesley Powell's first expedition of the river. The people continue their ritual as one man lights a peace pipe and blows smoke on the feather. The team soon enter dangerous waters, and after a maneuver to avoid a branch throws them slightly off course, the raft overturns on a rock as Jonny struggles to reel Bandit in.

Act One

Race battles Lorenzo

Jonny washes up on a rock; Dr. Quest and Race are nearby on a shore and reel in Jessie and Hadji, who has lost his helmet and turban. Bandit is nowhere to be found, his life jacket having ominously washed up on the canyon beach. Dr. Quest laments losing some gear and rations, but Jonny finds paw prints and pleads with his father to search for Bandit and rendezvous with Race and Benton at sunset. He acquiesces to the request, and Jonny, Jessie, and Hadji set out to find their pawed friend. Dr. Quest cannot wait to meet Alice and hear of hear trip, including visits to other galaxies. Julia and Lorenzo have been monitoring the Quest team's progress, and prepare to enter the canyon as Surd amuses himself with games in Questworld. The teens find that the paw prints lead to a steep canyon wall, while Jessie find an inscription denoting the presence of the Colorado Exploration Expedition. Jonny reasons that if the one-armed Powell did it in the Old West, he is well qualified to climb the walls. At night, Benton and Race wait in one of the Anasazi cliff dwellings; suddenly, Lorenzo appears with a submachine gun and orders them to stand down. Race kicks a log at him from the fire and tangles as the gun is knocked away. In the resulting fight, Lorenzo feigns forfeiture before reaching for the gun. Race trips him up with a stick thrown to him by Dr. Quest, but as Benton recovers the gun, Julia enters and trains her gun on him. At the cliff, Jonny and Jessie have made it, the latter wondering how Bandit climbed the canyon. Hadji's ascent is marred when a foothold cracks and he must hang on with one arm.

Act Two

The alien homeworld

Hadji nears disaster as the hold crumbles further; Jonny tries to reach him with a rope but is two feet short. He spots a shrub nearby and ties his feet to it, then lowers Jessie down by holding on to her ankles. Hadji is able to reach her and climb up, and there the team find the Native Americans from before with Bandit. Back at the ruins, Julia and Lorenzo load Race and Dr. Quest onto Surd's helicopter; he asks them when the meeting with Alice Starseer is to occur, and explains that he hacked Dr. Quest's files and the men in black covert files detailing the entire incident surrounding the events of Return of the Anasazi. Jonny, Jessie, and Hadji with the Native Americans go to the ruins, and find shell casings and blood from the scuffle. The man notes that a helicopter must have taken them off; he saw it skirting the north rim (despite Jessie's brilliant deductive guess otherwise). At the meeting site, Alice appears, expressing gratitude for Benton's help in the coming task of burying her grandfather. He wishes he were happy to see her; as she inquires why he isn't, Surd makes his entrance and loads all parties onto his helicopter. He orders Julia and Lorenzo to terminate Benton and Race, then goes hot in Questworld with Alice. She resists, appearing as a demonic scorpion; Surd overpowers her and begins exploring her memories of the galaxy, witnessing the birth of a star in the process. As Dr. Quest and Race face death upon the edge of a cliff, Jonny, Hadji, and the Indians from before appear, distracting Julia and Lorenzo as Jessie unties her elders. The combined attack quickly subdues both foes as Race satisfyingly punches Julia. Just as Surd finds the alien home planet in her memory, Benton disconnects him. They then let Surd go free, as tribal custom dictates that the chief cannot pass well unless all prisoners are freed. Alice drops the father on his mummified body and sprinkles dust before singing into the night.


Alice and her father


  • Jonny - "Uh, dad. Phone's for you! It's kinda long distance."


  • Dr. Quest - "Besides Bandit, we've also lost one third of our food, and our walkie-talkies."
  • Race - "Well, at least we still have our good looks..."


  • Hadji - "Right! We have struck in I believe."
  • Jonny - "You mean, struck out, Hadji."
  • Jessie - "Actually, we didn't. We hit a grand slam!"
  • Hadji - "I have never claimed to comprehend silly sports analogies."


  • Surd - "I cannot tell you how much I resent these returns to the real world!"


  • Jonny - "No problemo! Remember Hadj, the optimist always sees the donut, but the pessimist sees only the hole!"
  • Hadji - "This instance, it is a very large hole!"
  • Hadji - "Do you think he even listened to me?"
  • Jessie - "Nope."


  • Lorenzo - "Sit down, Doc!"


  • Surd - "You're such an impolite earthling, too! Alice Starseer's returning for a terrestrial visit, and you weren't even going to roll out the red carpet!"


  • Jessie - "How'd you know that? You must have noticed how the rotor flattened all the brush. Then you saw the tracks the landing gear made, and you figured it had to be a helicopter, right?"
  • Indian - "Actually, I saw a big Chinook skirting the north rim just before we found you three."
  • Jessie - "Oh."


  • Surd - "Questworld is MY universe!"


  • Julia - "Let me guess; the cavalry to the rescue?"
  • Old Indian - "No, Indians!"


  • Race - "Pa always told me not to hit a lady; but then again Ms. Julia, you're no lady!"


  • The paw prints lead to the canyon walls, but how on earth did Bandit scamper up? Perhaps the Native Americans found him at the base of the cliff and carried him.
  • Alice's twangy Western accent is missing in action.


  • This episode does not feature a Quest Byte.

From: Episodes