It appears those Smurfs have some buried secrets.

Do you remember the glory days of Saturday morning cartoons?

I sure do!

Which is why I am amped to be a part of the creepy but loving new anthology from Castle Bridge Media, Castle Of Horror: Thinly Veiled Saturday Mournings, that pays tribute to those great animated television programs with my Jonny Quest homage “QED: The Cosmic Spectre.”

Visitors to my website may remember that my series Max Q is partially inspired by Jonny Quest. (And since we’re on the topic I should mention that my Max Q screenplay as well as my Nightlinger screenplay are still represented by Caliber Entertainment but have also just been posted on the Script Revolution and The Black List websites.) But instead of racin’ and reverbs in the near future, QED is set in the early sixties and follows the adventures of Dr. Peregrine White (FRS, MD, DSc, etc.) and her family:

  • T. Paine White: Peregrine’s husband and retired sergeant in the Special Investigation Branch of the Royal Military Police.
  • Quetelet Edison Dalton White (Q.E.D): Peregrine and Paine’s eleven-year-old son, born with his mother’s insatiable curiosity and his father’s love for adventure.
  • Xami Zoey Tauri (X.Z.): Peregrine’s eleven-year-old niece and goddaughter, as brilliant as her aunt but usually more levelheaded than her cousin.
  • Dr. Duck Hawk Linn: Peregrine’s father, Sorbonne graduate and Georgia native with a voracious appetite for knowledge, discovery and American Southern cuisine.

The Whites live and work at Linndorsa, their home of the future on isolated Lost Key, Bermuda, a former pirate haven. As one of her generation’s best minds Peregrine is often consulted by USINT, a covert agency whose Scientific, Prototypical, and Unique Research (SPUR) Branch is dedicated to expanding the limits of technology and science. In “The Cosmic Spectre” Peregrine and family help USINT and the US Air Force investigate a rash of unnatural deaths that begin when a prototype stealth plane, Model 853-21 Quiet Bird, crashes in the Nebraska sandhills after crossing through the bizarre plasma tail of a meteor.  The pilot’s body is found in the plane’s cockpit having rapidly aged and soon more such bodies are found in an expanding vicinity. It doesn’t take long for Peregrine to realize what appeared to be a meteor is actually a space coffin and for the Whites to figure out they are battling an alien ghost.

In case you were wondering, yes, Virginia, there really was a Model 853-21 Quite Bird.

This is my second appearance in the Castle of Horror anthology series. The first was in last year’s Love Gone Wrong and if you checked out that collection then you have a really good idea of the kind of great stories you will find in Thinly Veiled Saturday Mournings!

Concocting titles can be tough. So if you’re wondering if I borrowed the title from this really neat but very short-lived TV show from 1982… you’re dang right I did.

Oh! One more thing for the sake of full disclosure. If you remember Saturday morning cartoons then you may also remember eighties television genre programs. If you do then you might recall a short-lived 1982 show that — if you looked at it sideways — sort of crossed steampunk with Doctor Who called Q.E.D. It starred Sam Waterston and was created by John Hawkesworth, whose other credits include developing the classic Granada Television Sherlock Holmes series with Jeremy Brett two years later. And if you do remember Q.E.D. then you might be wondering, “Did Steve borrow that show’s title? Could QED not only be an homage to Jonny Quest but a nod to a nearly-forgotten television program he enjoyed long ago?” To which I would reply, “What do you think?”


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