Tuesday, 30 December 2014

46 Scooby-Doo Where Are You !

First watched : Uncertain

Another  Hanna-Barbera  classic  Scooby  Doo  has  a  special  place  in  my  affections   because  as a  franchise  he's  lasted  through  to   the  present  day. My  son  knows  who  he  is  and  that continuity  makes  me  feel  a  little  less  old.

Because  of  this  durability  it  feels  a  bit  superfluous  to  explain  the  premise  but  never  mind. Scooby-Doo  Where  Are  You ! ( sic )   is  the  bridge  between  Enid  Blyton's  Famous  Five  and  The  X-Files. Scooby  ( I'm  not  sure  the  other  characters ever  call  him  by  his  full  name ) is  a  Great  Dane  - a  breed  whose  size  makes  them  terrifying  to  me  but  Scooby's  scared  of  his  own  shadow - who  accompanies  four  late  sixties  stereotypes  on  missions  to  investigate  supposedly  supernatural  occurrences, a  task  for  which  he  is  fundamentally  unsuited  of  course. His  companions  are  Fred, a  square-jawed  jock, Daphne  a sultry  sex  bomb  with  a  propensity  for  becoming  a  hostage, Velma  a  bespectacled  library-bound  wallflower  and  Shaggy, a  proto-slacker  dude  and  Scooby's  human  equal  in  cowardice. Every  episode  was  pretty  much  the  same  - the  ghosts / monsters  would  be  revealed  as  ordinary  criminals  disguising  earth-bound  nefarious  activities  thanks  to  the  efforts  of  "those  meddling  kids " - but  it  was  lovable  just  the  same.

The  original  series  was  made  between  1969  and  1970  comprising  25  episodes  over  two  seasons. It  re-surfaced  two  years  later  as  The  New  Scooby-Doo  Movies  which  were   45  minute  long  episodes , less  formulaic  and  featuring  guest  stars,  either  fictional  characters  from  other  TV  series  or  real-life  celebrities  in  animated  form. These  were  all  American  of  course  and  this  is  where  I  first  heard  of  many  of  them  such  as  Sonny  and  Cher .Mama  Cass  Elliott  died  shortly  after  the  Mamas  and  Papas  episode  was  broadcast  here  in  1974   ; without  it  I  wouldn't  have  had  a  clue  who  she  was,  This  format  lasted  two  years  and  24  episodes  were  made.

By  the  time  of  the  third  format,  The  Scooby-Doo  Show  in  1976   I  had  tuned  out  so  I missed  the  introduction  of  the  infamous  Scrappy-Doo. I  only  heard  about  him  in  the  mid-noughties   when  members  of  my  walking  group  used  him   as  a  nickname  for  a  diminutive  member. The  guys  on  Pointless  are  fond  of  bringing  him  up  with  a  sigh  as  having  wrecked  the  franchise  making  him  the  equivalent  of  Fonzie's  shark.

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