awkwardly

Sunday

Jonny Quest Body Count


I watched 13 hours of cartoons and wrote all these notes, and you just want the number, don't you? Fine. My estimate is that 145 people were killed in the original series that aired from 1964-1965. Don't leave yet. You still want to hear about Team Quest's search for better hallucinogens? Their brush with the war in Indochina? Dr. Zin's fickle grooming habits? The delight that Jonny and Hadji and two grown-ass men take in Bandit's constant injuries? Read on.

*Spoilers* for a cartoon that first aired fifty years ago.

Methodology: We see a lot of bad guys taken out of the picture without being tied up or brought to jail afterwards. For instance, they crash cars or get buried in an avalanche, and that's the last we see of them. You could assume there's some Scooby-Doo moment after the end of the episode where Race hands the bad guys over to cops or Hadji gives the wounded minions CPR, but we don't see it onscreen very much. In a few cases, our heroes clearly comment on the deaths of bad guys. Race warns, "Don't look, Jonny," as screaming bad guys are overtaken by crocodiles. Or Jonny says, "That's the last mistake he'll ever make."

If bad guys or bystanders seem to be badly harmed but are not explicitly shown walking away later, I assume they died. If you don't share that assumption, the body count should be lower. I'm also taking a guess at how many bad guys it takes to operate a submarine (at least ten?), or to staff a smuggling base in an underwater cavern (25?), or a secret factory manufacturing nerve gas (20?). I think these are conservative estimates. Realistically a sub might have required thirty or fifty sailors, and a smuggling operation slightly less ambitious than a Bond villain's might have required fifty guards and stevedores.

While making notes about the number of people killed in each episode, I expanded to include the number of animals killed, then tracking these other common threads throughout the series:
  • Jonny and the gang have adventures at sea or on water in 58% of episodes, in boats or ships or canoes. 
  • Six of the 26 episodes are partly set underwater. In all but one of those episodes, the bad guys have some kind of submarine. 
  • Bandit gets comically injured in 42% of episodes.
  • The writers of the show might have tried to minimize the carnage our heroes inflicted by having the bad guys often foiled or injured by their own weapons or actions. Whatever the motivation, their grenades or lasers or attacks end up bouncing back on bad guys in 38% of episodes.
Below are details of how many people I thought died in each episode.


0. Credits
Opening credits: Mummy and bad guy killed in cave-in. Ship full of bad guys destroyed by reflected laser (10?). See notes in episode one below.
Closing credits: Race jumps speedboat and lands on two frogmen.
Total body count: 14 if you count the mummy.

R.I.P. - Two unnamed "lizardmen" crushed in the end credits of every episode.


1. Mystery of the Lizard Men
One ship destroyed (5 crew?) and one fisherman killed by bad guys' laser.
Race jumps speedboat and lands on two frogmen.
Ship full of bad guys destroyed by reflected laser. Since the decrepit ship disguises the exit of an enemy sub and Team Quest never has to chase the sub after this explosion, I'm estimating at least ten crewmen required to operate the sub were killed.
Total body count: 18

Bandit comically injured: as a judo demonstration for Jonny, Race uses one finger to flip Bandit on his back.

On water? yes
Under water? yes
Bad guys have sub? yes
Ricochet? yes


2. Arctic Splashdown
One frogman victim of his own bomb.
Missile explodes with three bad guys trying to steal missile parts.
Total body count: 4

Bandit comically injured: skis down stairs and crashes into ship's captain.

On water? Yes
Under water? Yes
Bad guys have sub? Yes
Ricochet? Yes


3. Curse of Anubis
One guard pulled offscreen by bad guys.
One scorpion whipped to pieces by Race.
Two bad guys fall off bridge during chase.
Mummy and bad guy killed in cave-in.
Total body count: 5 humans (counting the mummy), 1 scorpion

Ricochet effect: bad guy boss killed by the mummy he was responsible for unleashing.


4. Pursuit of the Po-Ho
Zero fatalities, although it looks like 3 indigenous people can't swim when their canoe sinks.

Bandit comically injured: crab pinches his nose. Bandit smacks into porch while riding armadillo.

On water? Yes


5. Riddle of the Gold
Maharajah assassinated.
Assassin mauled by tiger.
Bad guy mauled by leopard.
Total body count: 3

Bandit comically injured: when Bandit plays snake-charming flute to a coil of rope, the end of rope rises like a cobra and whips him. Nose bitten by parrot. Burns his butt by sitting on bomb fuse to put it out.


6. Treasure of the Temple
Four bad guys eaten by crocodiles.
Total body count: 4

On water? Yes


7. Calcutta Adventure
One fighter pilot crashes into trees.
Three bad guys dowsed by hot chemicals.
Three bad guys buried in avalanche.
How many bad guys does it take to keep a secret nerve gas lab operational? 20 inside when it explodes?
Total body count: 27

Injury to Bandit's nose: caught in lid of mongoose's basket.


8. The Robot Spy
Zero fatalities.

Dr. Zin grows a mustache between the fifth and eighth episodes.


9. Double Danger
Bad guy killed by his own bomb.
Total body count: 1

Bandit comically injured: tripped by monkey, falls on face and skids.

Ricochet? Yes

Fun fact: This episode aired 13 November 1964 and was set in Thailand. Given Dr. Quest's work for the US government, his team probably landed at one of the bases from which the US Air Force was already launching bombing missions into Laos and Vietnam.

Race: It's hard to believe that this vine grows only in Thailand.
Dr. Quest: It's true. From that vine comes the answer to one of the problems facing future space expeditions.
Race: You mean the threat of mental deterioration.
Dr. Quest: Right. However, with this formula... Picture the crew of this spaceship, locked in their metal prison, surrounded by billions of miles of nothing for as long as 16 years at a stretch. . . The human mind is not prepared for such a test of solitude. 
Race: So what you're after is a sort of giant tranquilizer?
Dr. Quest: Exactly. We know now that man has always found ways to alter his emotions by consuming various plants. It's called "hallucinogenics." . . . By synthesizing this plant into pills, a crew could keep mentally alert for as long as 20 years. ... 

And you thought Scooby Doo was all about dope.


10. Shadow of the Condor
One owl killed by a condor.
Bad guy crashes biplane into condor, then mountain.
Total body count: 1


11. Skull and Double Crossbones
British Coast Guard blows up ship with four bad guys. They announce that they'll search for survivors, but no survivors are shown or discussed later.
Total body count: 4

On water? Yes
Under water? Yes


12. The Dreadful Doll
In a hijacked sub, Race blows up tunnel that leads to secret base in underwater cavern. No mention of what happened to the dozens of workers in the base when their only exit was permanently sealed.
Total body count: 25

Bandit comically injured: bound and gagged by bad guy.

On water? Yes
Under water? Yes
Bad guys have sub? Yes


13. A Small Matter of Pygmies
Zero fatalities, although indigenous people are again depicted as bad swimmers or great at holding their breath underwater for a long time.

Squeamish bonus: After shooting a panther from a distance, Race warns Jonny not to go near it because it could still be alive. Race puts his rifle close to the panther's head. Cut to Jonny grimacing as we hear Race deliver the coup de grรขce.

On water? Yes


14. Dragons of Ashida
Race kills two dragons. Bad henchman feeds Dr. Ashida to his dragons.
Total body count: 1 human, 2 dragons.

On water? Yes
Ricochet? Yes


15. Turu the Terrible
Pteranodon and his trainer fall into tar pit.
Total body count: 1 human, 1 pteranodon.

Bandit comically injured: fish bites Bandit's tail after Jonny warns him to keep away.

On water? Yes


16. The Fraudulent Volcano
Hadji smashes tarantula in pitcher.
Six bad guys in flying platforms crash into mountainside.
Total body count: 6


17. Werewolf of the Timberland
Zero fatalities.

Bandit comically injured: sprayed by skunk.


18. Pirates from Below
Three bad guys blown up by their own mine.
Dr. Quest uses robot arm pinchers on undersea tank to capture two enemy mini-subs and snip them in half. Bad guys might have escaped.
Total body count: 3

On water? Yes
Under water? Yes
Bad guys have sub: Yes
Ricochet? Yes


19. Attack of the Tree People
No fatalities.

On water? Yes


20. The Invisible Monster
Two killed by monster.
Dr. Quest dissolves the monster.
Total body count: 2


21. The Devil's Tower
Nazi killed by his own grenade.
Total body count: 1

Ricochet? Yes

Bandit comically injured: hit in face with stones & fruit thrown by primate.


22. The Quetong Missile Mystery
Two local government investigators killed by remotely detonated mines as they approach bad guys' missile area.
Although they have knock-out darts to incapacitate a few sentries, Race sneaks up and puts one bad guy in sleeper hold, then drops his unconscious body in water. I'm ruling that a fatality.
General Fong shoots ones of his guards as punishment. The guard falls on detonator and sets off mine under Fong's boat, killing two.
Total body count: 6

On water: Yes
Ricochet? Yes


23. The House of Seven Gargoyles
One bad guy shot and killed another after quarreling.
Three bad guys killed by falling glacier, triggered by their own gunshots.
Total body count: 4

On water? Yes
Under water? Yes
Bad guys have sub? Yes
Ricochet? Yes


24. Terror Island
Giant crab picks up guard and carries him off screen (presumably killed).
Race shoots leg of water tower which falls on four bad guys (presumably killing them). He banks a few shots off the blade of a bulldozer to kill a bad guy, then kills four more with a grenade.
Jonny drives bulldozer through wall, killing giant spider.
Four bad guys killed by giant lizard. Giant lizard electrocuted.
Giant crab is apparently still out there.
Total body count: 14 humans, 2 giant monsters.

Bandit comically injured: frightened by firecrackers exploding all around him.

On water? Yes


25. Monster in the Monastery
Yeti throws man off cliff.
Yeti leader slips on oil spilled by Jonny, falls off mountain.
Another yeti crushed by his own boulder when it bounces back.
Hadji kicks yeti off castle ledge, apparently to his death.
Dude in yeti suit nabbed by actual yeti.
When Dr. Quest and Race arrive to survey the scene, they see nine dudes in yeti suits sprawled around the castle courtyard. Dr. Quest says, "Looks like they've all been wiped out by some tremendous force." I'm generously assuming the handful of bad guys that Jonny and Hadji knocked out with vases or crates survived and were not among the nine in the courtyard.
Total body count: 14

Ricochet? Yes


26. The Sea Haunt
According to the ship's log, the creature killed second mate and tossed three sailors overboard. I assume the crew was able to rescue the three sailors. The captain ends his log entry in the middle of a sentence, but he may have escaped on a lifeboat. By the end of the episode, we never hear if the lifeboats made it, so the entire crew might have been picked off by the creature as they tried to flee.
Total body count: one confirmed

On water? Yes



FINAL BODY COUNT: 145

Creatures killed: Owl, condor, scorpion, mummy, panther, 2 dragons, pteranodon, tarantula, invisible electrical monster, giant lizard, giant spider.

Monsters who got away: yeti, giant crab, sea haunt creature.

Percent of episodes on water (involving sail boats, ships or canoes): 57%
Percent of episodes under water: 23%
Percent of episodes in which bad guys have sub: 19%
Percent of episodes in which bad guys hide in underwater cavern: 8% (2 episodes)
Percent of episodes in which Bandit is comically injured: 42%
Percent of episodes with at least one fatality: 81%
Ricochet effect (percent of episodes in which bad guys were killed by their own weapons): 38%

Click on table above for larger view.



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