|Writer|| Bill Motz|
|Story editor||Doug Langdale|
|Animation studio||Hanho Heung-Up Co., Ltd|
|Episode 87: Season 3, Episode 09|
|Date||November 7, 1992|
|⇦ Index ⇨|
"Fraudcast News'" is a season 3 episode that debuted on November 7, 1992. It is one of only two episodes to feature the Cheese Gang and introduces the Bugmaster.
Darkwing and Launchpad pursue and capture several members of the Cheese Gang after a heist and the chase is one of the topics of Canard Copy, hosted by Bianca Beakley, that evening. Another topic is the upcoming show by Merriweather the Cockroach Mime at the St. Canard Center for the Arts. The newscast is watched at the Mallard residence, partly because it involves Darkwing and partly because Beakley is Gosalyn's idol. Drake is disappointed that Gosalyn admires Beakley more than she does him, but he concedes she's one of Gosalyn's better role model choices.
At the Canard Copy office, Beakley is proving quite the opposite. Furious that she's attracting less and less viewers, she takes it out on her crew and fires them on the spot. A leftover suggestion that, since the ratings went up when they had their item on Darkwing Duck, they could do a series on him, has her re-hiring them and dragging them off to go find Darkwing during his rounds through the city. She manages to catch him while he and Launchpad apprehend three crooks and Darkwing is only all too eager to have a whole series of news reports dedicated to him. Unfortunately, it is a slow night and he can't provide any good material for Beakley and her crew to work with. He tries to arrest an elderly woman who's just a minute late for the parking meter, but she beats him up.
Back at her office, Beakley and her crew try their best to make a serious news report out of the material they have gathered, but the result is saddening. Beakley grows furious at her crew again, shouting and raging about Darkwing's current uselessness and the fact that even Merriweather the Cockroach Mime garners more attention as it is. Then she falls silent, hatching a plan based on these two facts. If bugs are what the people want and Darkwing's problem is that all the villains are out of town, it isn't out of her potential to fill up the spot herself as a new supervillain. Getting herself gear and dubbing herself the Bugmaster, she attacks the St. Canard Center for the Arts that evening and abducts Merriweather. Of course, she makes sure her crew is filming the whole ordeal from the best angles and finishes it up with a challenge to Darkwing Duck. If he can guess where she's going to strike next, he can see if he can stop her. Eager for a genuine challenge, Darkwing races of to the St. Canard Museum when he sees the newscast, deducing that the Bugmaster is after the Golden Scarab of Quackankhamun and being supported in that conclusion by the results from his Darkwing Supercrime-Sensing Watch. Indeed, Beakley and her crew are already present to interview him and record the proceedings. Darkwing airily tells the camera that all will be well under his watch when the Bugmaster attacks. Darkwing takes her out easily, but she still has Merriweather hostage. Not wanting the cockroach to get hurt, Darkwing opens up to a gas can attack, at which point the Bugmaster takes off with the scarab.
Later that night, Beakley gloats about her victory, admitting to herself and her crew that the role of supervillain fits her better than she thought. The profit she intends to extract from selling the scarab certainly makes it worth it, and because of her new income possibilities, she decides to cut the series on Darkwing short, ending it with his execution next newscast. Her crew is horrified, but goes along with it. Meanwhile, Gosalyn is growing suspicious of Beakley and the Bugmaster, whom she recognizes as the same person. Her father isn't interested in her conclusions and challenges her to go talk with her idol, which Gosalyn does. She enters her office just as Beakley is pondering her recent career adjustments with the Bugmaster's mask in her hands. As Gosalyn prepares to leave in defeat her idol is a crook, she assures her she is not and that her role of the Bugmaster is simply to give Darkwing and adversary worth fighting. Once she has it proven that Darkwing is a superhero to be admired, she'll end the Bugmaster and return the stolen goods. Gosalyn buys the story and is honored when Beakley asks her to help during the next recordings.
The Bugmaster sends out a message by newspaper for Darkwing to find her at an abandoned warehouse for beewax. Undaunted, Darkwing acts on the challenge and is captured while he tries to make sense of the fact it's not the Bugmaster awaiting him, but Gosalyn dressed up like a grub. Encouraged to act as villainous as she can by the Bugmaster, the Grub orders Darkwing, Launchpad, and Merriweather hung above a vat of boiling beeswax. As Darkwing pleads Gosalyn to get him out, they are lowered and Gosalyn becomes aware the Bugmaster fully intends to kill them rather than let them escape at the last moment. She steals the Bugmaster's Wasp's Sting gun, creating a diversion while Darkwing frees himself and handles the henchmen to get access to the lever to pull Launchpad and Merriweather back up. Gosalyn helps him by taking one henchman out with the gun she's stolen, then quickly picks up the dropped camera to make a few recordings of her own. The Bugmaster then destroys the Wasp's Sting with her Cricket's Chirp sonic blaster and goes after Darkwing. As another henchman attacks him, the Bugmaster manages to catch him by surprise when she wraps him in cobweb. Darkwing frees himself with his buzzsaw cufflinks and loads his gas gun with some of the cobweb. He shoots it at the Bugmaster's rocket pack, clogging the left exhaust and making her spin around uncontrollably. She eventually collides with a large pipe and her cobweb-belt activates on impact, causing her to get stuck in a web of her own making.
The Bugmaster's identity as Bianca Beakley is made public and she is fired as news anchor. Gosalyn donates her recordings to the news channels and is credited on television. She is elated with her first big scoop, which Launchpad congratulates her on. Drake uses it to rub it in her idol was a messed-up crook all this time, which Gosalyn doesn't take kindly to.
- "Right, boss! Bu-bu-but with the supervillain convention in Florida there's just no crime in town."
- "Supervillain convention?!"
- — Crew and Beakley.
- "I've been watching TV recently and I'm sick of this second-rate jerk, Darkwing Duck!"
- "Hey-hey-hey, I'm a first-rate jerk!"
- — Drake disagrees with Bianca's conclusions.
- "That's just a taste of my Wasp's Sting, Darkwing! Doesn't it just make you mad as a hornet?"
- "Oh, great. Another pun-obsessed supervillain."
- — The Bugmaster, Darkwing Duck, and bug puns.
- "In other words, you're creating your own news just to boost your ratings."
- "Uhm, well, yeah."
- "Okay, I can live with that."
- — Gosalyn's and Beakley's journalism ethics.
- "If you are angling for a bigger allowance, this is not the way to go!"
- — Darkwing doesn't want to die.
- "These manacles have expanded slightly from the heat. I've got to concentrate. Got to use the secrets of Ancient Carpathian bone dislocation. Owh, GOLLY! I'd forgotten how painful Ancient Carpathian bone dislocation was."
- — The sacrifices of Darkwing Duck.
- "You can't catch Darkwing Duck by surprise! Ah, okay, maybe once in a while, you can."
- — Darkwing Duck gets caught offguard.
- Quackankhamun is a pun on Tutankhamun.
- Gosalyn's journalism job from "Mutantcy on the Bouncy" is brought up.
- Though the Bugmaster does not reappear in the cartoon, "Crisis on Infinite Darkwings, Part 1" confirms she continued her journey on the path of villainy.
- This episode marks the first appearance of the Bugmaster and Canard Copy.
- Letting it slide that at least the female member of the Cheese Gang is missing, the presence of the leader is not supported by the animation. When the gang's car comes first into view, the largest member of the group sits behind the wheel, where he is consistently shown to be, and the member with the hair before his eyes is sitting behind him. The leader takes this spot a scene later to shoot cheese on the road. When the gang gets out of the car, there's no one sitting behind the largest member and the one with hair before his eyes is sitting next to the largest one. The only other member in the car is the one with the bobble cap.
- Darkwing is missing his visor when he lands on top of the Cheese Gang's car.
- When Launchpad and Darkwing get trapped in a net, the ladybug-costumed henchman's dressed in white with black spots instead of red with black spots.
- Merriweather is floating between his cuffs rather than being held by them or even touching them.