Thursday, May 5, 2011

The hero who might've been........

Filmation didn't have very many original creations over the course of its nearly 25 year existence. Most of their series were derived from licensed properties, including Aquaman, Star Trek, He-Man, & Tarzan.

However, a long lost pilot has surfaced that suggests that the studio did have an original concept that could've been sold to the networks, circa 1967 or so, and fit right in with the action-adventure series dominating the schedules in those days.

I first ran across Dick Digit whilst visiting Jon's Random Acts of Geekery a few weeks back. A lone survivor of a lost planet is chased to Earth by the same invaders who'd destroyed his world. The Jester is a shape-shifting circus star who befriends the newcomer. Filmation honcho Lou Scheimer is heard as the public address announcer at the circus, and, at the very end, house narrator Ted Knight closes things out.

As you'll see, Dick Digit was originally the Jester's puppet sidekick, but he christens his new friend with the name. The humanoid Dick sounds like the voice may be Pat Harrington, who signed on with Filmation in 1967 and worked on Journey to the Center of the Earth for ABC and was the voice of The Atom (Superman-Aquaman Hour of Adventure).

Classic Media now controls the majority of the Filmation library, but I am not certain if they even have the rights to Digit. Anyway, CapnChaos uploaded the pilot to YouTube:

Rating: A.


magicdog said...

Three cheers for Dick Digit!!

I came across the short by accident on Youtube while looking for some Filmation cartoons. I fell in love with the characters and concept. I'd love to see a reboot of this show as I think it's very updatable.

I definitely recognize Harrington as Dick Digit, but I have a hunch the Jester was voiced by Marvin Miller, who was the voice of Busby Birdwell from the Fantastic Voyage cartoon Filmation did the following year.

This was a fun cartoon. I can't imagine why Filmation didn't want to take a chance on it.

hobbyfan said...

Marvin Miller was also the voice of Aquaman for Filmation. I think the reason he didn't sign with Hanna-Barbera for Super Friends (Norm Alden & Bill Calloway were cast as Aquaman) was that he signed with the Kroffts instead, and maybe they offered him more money and more to do.