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Darkwing Duck (bible)

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The Darkwing Duck bible is the show bible used in the production of the Darkwing Duck cartoon. It was written and periodically revised by Tad Stones. In its presumed final form, completed on March 26, 1991, it is 21 pages long and contains information on the premise of the series, the spirit of the series, Darkwing's equipment, the main cast, the supporting cast, the main villains, and important heroic colleagues of Darkwing.

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Content

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03 Darkwing Duck: An Overview Darkwing Duck, also known as Drake Mallard, is an arrogant man of mystery whose misjudgements provide the show's humor. He operates from Darkwing Tower atop Audubon Bay Bridge and is assisted by Gosalyn Mallard, Launchpad McQuack, and Honker Muddlefoot. The series is comedy-adventure with a prominent family element.
04 Darkwing Duck: Darkwing Duck Darkwing Duck certainly has talent for crimefighting, but his ego and a nonsympathetic fate regularly sabotage him. Only when he gets his act together and ascends his personality flaws does fate become kind and does he succeed. Darkwing is vain, impatient, adrenaline-addicted, sarcastic, selfish, and has a particular way of speaking, all of which is what makes him entertaining. He's also overly dramatic, believing that mystery and theatrics unnerve his enemies. Being a crimefighter foremost, Darkwing's civilian life as Drake is limited to his family and his neighbors. He has no job other than being Darkwing Duck, for which he is paid by SHUSH.
05 Darkwing Duck: Launchpad McQuack
06 Darkwing Duck: Gosalyn
07 Darkwing Duck: Honker
08 Secondary Cast: The Muddlefoot Family
09 Secondary Cast: SHUSH
09 Secondary Cast: J. Gander Hooter
10 Secondary Cast: Chief Agent Gryzlikoff
10 Stories
11 Stories: Caricature
11 Vehicles: The Thunderquack
12 Vehicles: The Ratcatcher
12 Vehicles: "Suck gas, evildoer!"
13 Darkwing Duck Rogues Gallery
13 Darkwing Duck Rogues Gallery: Bushroot
14 Darkwing Duck Rogues Gallery: Megavolt
15 Darkwing Duck Rogues Gallery: Tuskerninni
15 Darkwing Duck Rogues Gallery: Quackerjack
16 Darkwing Duck Rogues Gallery: Steelbeak
16 Darkwing Duck Rogues Gallery: Liquidator
17 Darkwing Duck Rogues Gallery: Negaduck
17 Darkwing Duck Rogues Gallery: Moliarty
18 Darkwing Duck Rogues Gallery: Ammonia Pine
18 Heroic Guest Stars
18 Heroic Guest Stars: Cometguy
19 Heroic Guest Stars: Morgana Macawber
20 Heroic Guest Stars: Stegmutt
20 Heroic Guest Stars: Neptunia
21 Heroic Guest Stars: Gizmoduck

Development

Only the contents of one version of the Darkwing Duck bible are known, while the number of bible versions are unknown. The known version is the one of March 26, 1991, which was finalized only a few days prior to the Darkwing Duck preview run on the Disney Channel April 7, 1991.

This version of the bible makes mention of episodes up to "My Valentine Ghoul" through appearance lists for secondary characters, which probably means that up to "Dances with Bigfoot" (which features no secondary characters and is the last episode of the fifth batch) was being worked on at the time of the revision, suggesting that the sixth and final batch of 13 episodes of the original development run was worked on after March 26. Those began airing on February 27, 1992 with "Time and Punishment".

Implementation

The bible makes mention of numerous details most of which are trademark elements of Darkwing Duck. However, a handful of details are very specific and only brought up once or twice.

  • Darkwing Duck's character section mentions that Darkwing is "convinced that criminals are unnerved by the unknown", which is the explanation he gave Gosalyn in "Darkly Dawns the Duck" as to why he wears a mask.
  • The above section also notes that "some episodes suggest that the international peacekeeping organization, SHUSH, supplies him with high tech equipment in trade for his occasional services." This happens in episodes like "Star Crossed Circuits" and "The Frequency Fiends". This information also is available in the editorial published with the Disney Comics, although that document goes a step further by saying Darkwing also receives a paycheck from SHUSH.
  • Launchpad McQuack's character section describes him as Darkwing's conscience due to his oblivious innocence, explaining that he is "not judgemental enough to lecture". While the lecture part was honored, Launchpad did receive moments in which he judged Darkwing and did not let him get away with his actions. Episodes like these are "Just Us Justice Ducks, Part 1" and "The Darkwing Squad".
  • Gosalyn's character section notes that "When Gosalyn finally has her first real date, Drake will either act as a heavily armed chaperone or have to be sedated." Such occasion came in "Slaves to Fashion", during which Drake was actually supportive of Gosalyn going to the party with Honker. The other boys at the party, not so much, but still a far cry from the bible description.
  • Honker's character section warns that he "is not an inventor - he researches things and probably can modify an existing machine with the right reference books, but don't have him creating robots and anti gravity machines for the school science fair." This is nicely illustrated (and may have been the episode causing this note) in the episode "Duck Blind". When Darkwing shows off his new sensor-enhancing equipment, Honker stands behind him proudly, making it seem like he made it. However, Darkwing says: "Now, thanks to Honker and his catalogs," revealing Honker deserves credit, just not for building the device.
  • J. Gander Hooter's character section notes that he largely ignores Launchpad and constantly mispronounces his name (Lunchpail, Launchquack, Stamppad, etc.). This only occurs once in the cartoon series, namely in "Heavy Mental". He calls Launchpad both "Lawnchair" and "Stamppad". Their only other moments of interaction are in "Dirty Money" and "Just Us Justice Ducks, Part 1", but Hooter seems to be considerate of Launchpad in those and does not mispronounce his name. The mispronunction bit is a clear leftover from J. Gander Hoover from DuckTales, who is decidedly less friendly than Hooter.

Unproduced material

There's a few rare bits of information to be gathered from the bible. Firstly, a few episodes are listed under different names than they were released under. "Quack of Ages" and "Life, the Negaverse and Everything" have mere placeholder descriptions that reveal some of the thought process behind them, namely "a medieval story" and "a reverse universe story", while the next seven episodes were once called as follows "Just Us Justice Ducks" - "Justice Ducks for All", "It's a Wonderful Leaf" - "A Bushroot Christmas", "Comic Book Capers" - "Comic Book Classic", "Whiffle While You Work" - "Toying with Disaster", "My Valentine Ghoul" - "A Darkwing Valentine", "The Merchant of Menace" - "Smooth Sale-ing".

Another point of interest are pieces of dialogue used as examples. Most of these do not occur in any episode, but some do, suggesting these are either eliminated lines or parts of rewritten or thrown-out scripts. There's a few second lines of introduction catchphrases listed, which include "I am the penalty for early withdrawal!", "I am the combination lock on the vaults of justice!", "I am the road salt that rots the underside of your car!", "I am the lead actor who wants to renegotiate his contract!", "I am the spider that creeps down your neck!", "I am the winning lotto ticket you can not find!", "I am the hangnail that will not be clipped!", and "I am the scrubbing bubble on the bathtub ring of crime!". The "penalty"-line is in "Calm a Chameleon", the "combination lock"-line is in "Dirty Money", the "road salt"-line is in "A Duck by Any Other Name", the "spider"-line is in "Water Way to Go", and the "scrubbling bubble"-line might be a variation of "I am the soap scum that lines your bathtub!" in "Dry Hard". The "lead actor"-line, the "winning lotto ticket"-line, and the "hangnail"-line are of unknown origin. The "lead actor"-line may have been meant for a Tuskerninni episode. There are also two pieces of in-scene dialogues. One has Launchpad convince Darkwing to go on a date with a woman named Gert so as not to hurt her feelings. Nothing like this ever happens in the cartoon. The other sees Darkwing and Launchpad trying to escape a vault some crooks locked them up in. Darkwing tries to master a welding torch disguised as a cigarette lighter for this, which obviously does not go painlessly for him. His intro to the scene is "I'll soon reduce this door to a meaningless mass of molten metal mincemeat". Nothing like this ever happens in the cartoon either.

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