The opening of The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest shows several short scenes on the walls of its green, topographic canyon. Some of these scenes (and some from other media) are nowhere to be found in the show's episodes. These are a result of the messy wrap-up for season one, in which episodes in varying degrees of completion were kept or scrapped. Fan theories on the unproduced episodes' content abound, and this page attempts to source the scenes to individual script ideas.
In Lance Falk Dialogue, Falk remarked, "There were also a number of unproduced Peter Lawrence Edited scripts in various stages of completion. Going through that material was part of what I was paid to evaluate. As for "scrapped" episodes...remember that recording is done BEFORE any animation. At that point, there's a script, storyboard and some rough designs. That's about it. None of the designs have even been finalized or color keyed by then. It's not like there are "lost" episodes or anything."
The key is "various stages of completion" and the scenes in the introduction of the show. If you notice, season one was animated in two distinct styles: one unique, and one that seems more in line with the work of Mook Studios on the second season. Episodes with the first style sometimes have "original footage by Takashi" in the credits, and have heavy post-production and digital painting for a high quality aesthetic.
Found in the Peter Lawrence Writer's Bible is a summary for an unproduced episode, used as an example of virtual reality's role for home movies. The episode features Jessie making a home movie of herself as a vampire, as she claims each member of the Quest family as her victim until being slain by Dr. Quest. (Might be kind of an awkward home movie, no?) The summary is reproduced here, but can also be found on the bible page:
Using the VR set-up's image-capturing systems (flat- and 3-D scanners, digitizers, etc.), and the computer's ability to manipulate those images, Jonny, Jessie and Hadji can create their own digital home movies - starring themselves, their friends and families. (And even MCI.)
For example: the episode's PREVIEW is filled with strange cuts of image-collection - illustrations of vampire bats are scanned; footage of the classic NOSFERATU is digitized; Bandit suffers a 3-D scan, then his image on the PC monitor morphs into a werewolf (not entirely convincing, for we can still recognize Bandit, the least werewolf-like dog in the history of TV entertainment).
VIRTUAL REALITY CONTINUED
The main body of the episode begins: Jonny asleep in bed. Hears Jessie's disembodied voice calling. Wakes. Looks up. Sees Jessie floating outside his window, an ethereal image beckoning to him. As if in a trance, he goes to the window. Reaches out to open it.
BAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMM! The window implodes and, in the same instant, Jessie transforms into a terrifying vampire bat, rwapping her translucent wings around Jonny, enveloping him - our chaste version of the vampie's kiss.
Now we're in the middle of a full-fledged vampire story, in which Dr. Quest must fight for his extended family as, one by one - even Bandit, they fall prey to the vampire.
At the episode's climax, Dr. Quest must drive the obligatory stake through his best friend's daughter's heart! (Our interpretation of this classic image will be impressionistic, not graphic ... of course).
We the audience watch in shock. Did Jessie transform the entire extended family into the undead? Was Dr. Quest the only survivor? Did he really do what we think he did?
Then - CHKKK-CHKKK-CHKKK! - the image on screen begins to break up. (Or perhaps End Credits roll.) We hear applause. We PULL BACK - and there is the entire Quest "family" congratulating Jessie on her latest digital home movie. Even Bandit jumps up enthusiastically. But - wait a moment! Are his canine teeth an inch or two longer than before?
Jinx of the Sphinx
In 2020, Ebay listings appeared for storyboards done by Stretch Films by John Dilworth, the creator of Courage the Cowardly Dog. In this episode, Jonny, Hadji, and Jessie enter a QuestWorld simulation created from a papyrus that depicts the Sphinx as an actual living beast. In the simulation, the Sphinx comes to life and immediately attacks the three, who flee on cycles and then gliders. Jonny materializes a massive sword in his hands atop a cliff as the Sphinx closes in, at which point the storyboards end.
As this was storyboarded by a different studio than the Peter Lawrence "home team" in the first season, it's likely this was produced for season two. The story ends abruptly during the final confrontation, so it's unknown whether this was intended to be a full episode, or a long Quest Byte.
These episodes were the ones that Takashi Masunaga and Peter Lawrence were working on and attempting to produce before they left Hanna-Barbera. As Lance and others have stated, some of their completed work was finished to make full episodes, and some was not. Clips from the unused scripts and Takashi footage appear in the show's opening (along with footage from The Darkest Fathoms, Assault on Questworld (Questworld), Alien in Washington (Questworld), East of Zanzibar, Return of the Anasazi, and The Spectre of the Pine Barrens), as well as the Promo Video. Another unused scene is in Cover-Up At Roswell during the Manhattan Maneater segment.
- The camera watches from behind as a train speeds through a desert rocky landscape with buttes at sunset. (Promo)
- In a cavern built with circular walls, a pedestal sits in the center as the walls glow iridescently. (Promo)
- Jonny ascends a steep rock wall near a huge waterfall with a climbing robe attached to his waist. He slips, but the rope catches him, leaving him hanging as the background is revealed to be a huge cavern with a modern city skyline apparently inside. The stake holding his rope slips out of the cliff, and Jonny falls in front of the waterfall. (Promo, Intro)
- Jessie, on horseback, lifts Jonny up to the horse against a dark blue and purple sky. (Promo, Intro)
- Jonny and Bandit run towards the camera as a plane in the background fires upon them against a dark blue and purple sky. (Promo, Intro)
- A convoy truck speeds towards Jonny, who's unconscious on a stretch of pavement against a dark blue and purple sky; Jonny wakes up just in time to roll away. (Promo)
- Dr. Quest pilots the PBY Catalina towards the camera against a mauve sky, ending with a facial shot. (Intro)
- Dr. Quest looks out of the door of the Catalina as Race pilots against a mauve sky. (Intro)
- Jessie throws her hair back against the dark blue and purple sky as Jonny rides alone on a horse in the background. (Intro)
- Jessie flees on horseback towards the camera from an Apache helicopter against a dark blue and purple sky. (Intro)
- A whale fin erupts from the sea, and a harpoon is fired at it; Jonny then reacts aboard a ship with Race behind him. (Promo)
- A small plane navigates a city's bronze skyline, flying straight up at one point against the side of a building towards a dark blue sky. (Promo)
- Several New Yorkers arm themselves and begin searching the city; at a bar, a man selects a submachine gun from several weapons laid out on a bright counter. (Cover-Up At Roswell)
- The Questor is seen from overhead as it sails towards an island with a natural feature that looks like a monstrous skull on its beach. (Cover-Up At Roswell)
Theories and Grouping
With all the scenes in mind, they can be grouped into similar origins, and some can be resolved as cut parts or prototypical scenes from existing episodes.
"Mauve Sunset" Group
Scenes: 1, 7, 8
These are grouped by the color of the sky, and feature a train shot and two shots of Dr. Quest and Race in the PBY Catalina.
- It's possible that the train shot was meant for Return of the Anasazi, which features Jonny and Jessie traveling westward by train.
Scenes: 2, 3
These are grouped by the fact that they take place in a cave, and include a shot of Jonny climbing a waterfall cliff in a massive cavern containing a modern city, plus a shot of a circular iridescent cave with a pedestal in the center. The huge modern city inside the cave is the real curiosity here.
"Dark Sky" Group
Scenes: 4, 5, 6, 9, 10
These are grouped by the color of the sky and the similar content of Jonny and Jessie fleeing hostile military craft. It would seem that Jonny and Jessie both run independently of the craft, with Jessie on horseback; she then picks up Jonny. The shot of Jessie throwing her hair back is incongruous, since it depicts Jonny riding alone on horseback.
Sketches of this episode appeared in the Preview Press Kit:
Scene 11 is probably from early work on East of Zanzibar. The episode includes a similar shot of a whale's head surfacing (instead of the tail seen in the unproduced scenes), with a harpoon ready to fire. It's unclear what ship Race and Jonny are on in the following shot; it's obviously not the Questor, appearing to be of more traditional construction.
Scene 12 is a total mystery; it might just be test footage, since the city isn't very detailed and no characters are present.
Scene 13 is definitely unused footage from 106 Manhattan Maneater. One of the riflemen looks like a Central Park guard, and the two men selecting the gun at the bar are seen in the episode watching Vince Vance talk with D.B. Graves and announce the prize money for the tiger. Check this simple comparison:
Scene 14 is used before footage from 101 The Darkest Fathoms in Cover-Up At Roswell, and probably was taken from that episode. Though some might say that no island is visible anywhere in the first part of the island, Jonny uses a sandbar when he's attacked by the Black Jack Lee impostor, providing for the existence of some small islands in the area.
Destination: Australia Screenshot
JQML user Jonny recorded a Quest promotion on an Italian TV channel once that featured an itinerary screen with "Sydney, Australia" as the destination. He found the video in 2000 and reported:
From: "Jonny" <jquest@...> Reply-To: JQML@yahoogroups.com To: <JQML@yahoogroups.com> Subject: [JQML] Amazing discovery! Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2000 23:13:56 +0200 Guys this is unbelievable... While doing a digital backup of Mummies of Malenque, I stepped on an old recording from an Italian TV channel, the Rai Uno. It was a commercial for JQ TRA, and there was a flick of the 3D world map (you know, the travel globe). There would be nothing weird about it, if it wasn't for the "destination" line, which said Sydney, Australia! Man... this fits perfectly the animation clips from the intro. Jessie riding a horse, Jonny joining her, both of them running on a horse from an Apache helicopter, Jonny running away from an A-10 jet, and so on. So maybe Lance Falk didn't tell the truth, or maybe he didn't even know it himself. It seems to me there really was the rumored lost episode. Really, everything adds up. I have a screenshot to prove it (the travel globe), who'd like to see it? I assure you it's incredible, totally unique!
He produced a screenshot for the ML; QuestFan doesn't have it, so it'd be appreciated if someone e-mailed it to email@example.com. If it was a legitimate piece of an unproduced episode, it's possible it was used for either the "Dark Sky" group or the "Mauve Sunset" group, which both feature flat lands that could resemble the Australian outback; the sunset group includes buttes and rock formations. Another theory at the ML claimed to have proof of a "Quest Bunker" in India without evidence.
Right now, QuestFan is unsure where this screenshot came from:
Jessie throwing her hair back has only been found on the intro, and it's against a curvy canyon wall, but this image shows a straight frame. If anyone has any information on the source, it'd be appreciated!