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|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Original release||September 8– December 22, 1973|
|Related shows||The Brady Kids|
Mission: Magic! is an American Saturday morning animated series starring rock star Rick Springfield and is a spin-off of The Brady Kids, produced by Filmation. Although only 16 episodes were produced, the series aired on ABC from September 8, 1973 to December 12, 1973. It was also shown on television in Springfield's native Australia, where Springfield was then a bigger celebrity.
Characters and format
Even though Springfield still spoke with a pronounced Australian accent in the mid-1970s, he provided his own voice for his animated doppelgänger. On the show, Springfield always wore white pants and a white sweater which sported on the front an encircled lowercase "r" with a lightning bolt in the background; this design was taken from the back cover of his 1973 album Comic Book Heroes.
Springfield was joined by a cast of characters:
- Miss Tickle, a bubbly teacher who was secretly an expert on magic (her name was a pun on the word "mystical")
- and six teenaged students:
- Kim, an Asian girl, who is the leader of “The Adventurers Club”.
- Vinnie, who spoke with a thick New York accent and often confused elaborate words,
- Carol, a blonde girl who had a crush on Springfield,
- Socks, a quirky Jughead-like character who wore a light blue hat,
- Franklin, a black athlete,
- Harvey, a short, stocky and bespectacled nerd.
These were involved in a weekly after-school group called “The Adventurers Club,” although it was the subject of debate whether the organization was a social club or an actual class as Miss Tickle often incorporated various school subjects into the group's adventures, added to which before and after every adventure they would be visited in the classroom by Mr. Samuels, the principal of the school, who knew nothing of Miss Tickle's magical abilities.
Each Mission: Magic! adventure began by way of an enchanted Gramophone; Rick would communicate with the Adventurers via the Gramophone telling them where he was and invite them to come along. At this point Miss Tickle would aim her magic ring at Tut Tut, a ceramic cat on her desk who would come to life after Miss Tickle recited the incantation:
- "O Tut Tut, cat of ancient lore,
- "'Tis time to draw the magic door."
After drawing a magic door on the blackboard, Miss Tickle, Tut Tut and the students would meet up with Springfield and his familiar, an owl named Ptolemy, and then in their travels to mythical lands and various times solve a variety of mysteries encountered. At the end of each show, Springfield would perform a song, the theme of which was usually tied into the moral of the story. Springfield wrote, composed, and performed all of the songs on the program. An album with all of the songs, titled “Mission: Magic!” after the program, was released only in Australia in 1974. A CD version was released in 2004.
Although Mission: Magic! was primarily intended to promote Springfield's teen idol status in America, the cartoon itself would be a forerunner for the 1990s PBS series, The Magic School Bus, in which Lily Tomlin provided the character voice of Miss Frizzle.
Both shows featured redheaded teachers who possessed magical powers, and both featured groups of students from diverse ethnicities and backgrounds. Moreover, the themes of both shows were twofold: entertainment and educational. On each weekly episode, both groups would go off on a variety of adventures, transcending both time and space, by use of magical means.
Ironically, Springfield himself eschewed this series years later, claiming that it "scarred me for life."
- Miss Tickle – Lola Fisher
- Socks, Vinnie, Mr. Samuels – Howard Morris
- Kim, Carol – Erika Scheimer
- Harvey, Franklin – Lane Scheimer
- Himself – Rick Springfield
|Nº||Title||Original air date|
|1||"The Land of Backwards"||September 8, 1973|
|The Adventurers Club goes to the Land of Backwards where they meet poet Shelly Percy, and contend with Big Billy and his gang. The trouble is that they are arrested when they return stolen jewels. They escape, and save the day. Shelley expresses his joy by crying. Everything is done in reverse in this land after all.|
|2||"Modran"||September 15, 1973|
|Modran, Bell, Book, and Candle steal gold so that Modran can win a tournament by cheating. Miss Tickle and company go to the land of Prestidigitation to stop them. Socks releases a genie, and Modran captures Carol, Kim, Ptolemy, and Tut-Tut, intending to use them as insurance to guarantee that he will win the title of World's Greatest Magician.|
|3||"Dissonia"||September 22, 1973|
|The Adventurers Club visit a land where three music-hating villains have created a music eliminator to wipe out all the music in the world. Miss Tickle tries using her magic to destroy the machine, only to realize that it is indestructible. What can be done to restore music to the world?|
|4||"Land of Hyde and Go Seek"||September 29, 1973|
|The group visits a land where Colonel Kadiddle is threatened by invaders who only want the substance that can change their hairstyles. Miss Tickle uses her magic to make peace between the warring factions.|
|5||"The City Inside the Earth"||October 6, 1973|
|While visiting the Carlsbad Caverns, the Adventurers Club is summoned by Rick to a city beneath the Earth's surface. There, they run into Professor Fahrenheit, who seeks to claim the underground city for himself.|
|6||"2600 A.D."||October 13, 1973|
|Miss Tickle and the students travel into the distant future. They discover that in 2600 A.D., Omni the robot is the ruler of humans. Omni turns out not to be so evil when a comet heads for Earth. In desperation, he asks Miss Tickle and Rick to help him.|
|7||"Something Fishy"||October 20, 1973|
|The team finds danger in an underwater city. Dr. Manta is using his power over the water to dominate the subjects. In addition, he has captured Socks and Vinnie. Can Miss Tickle end the villain's threat before innocent people end up in a watery grave?|
|8||"Giant Steppes"||October 27, 1973|
|When Rick and his friend Billy are captured by the female giant Madame Mammoth, Miss Tickle has to come to their rescue. The Adventurers Club's mission this time is to restore the miniaturized Billy to his rightful place as ruler of the land.|
|9||"Statue of Limitations"||November 3, 1973|
|The club goes to modern day Paris to investigate the theft of a statue called "The Contemplator." Female stage magician Trix Le Grande is a suspect. But so are Pierre La Hoax and the Artful Codger. Further complicating matters are the fact that each of the three has his or her own Contemplator.|
|10||"Will the Real Rick Springfield Please Stand Up?"||November 10, 1973|
|Miss Tickle cannot figure out why Rick is being so hard on Ptolemy. It soon turns out that "Rick" and "Ptolemy" are actually the Chameleon and Arlo, a pair of crooks who can change their appearances to be anyone they want. They have entered our world through the magic door. Eventually, both men pose as Rick, creating further chaos.|
|11||"Doctor Astro"||November 17, 1973|
|Miss Tickle and her friends go after Dr. Astro, who has stolen the Golden Horns and uses their power to bring the Zodiac signs to life. Can even Miss Tickle triumph over this evil?|
|12||"Doctor Daguerreotype"||November 24, 1973|
|Dr. Daguerreotype has invented a camera that can turn people and objects into photographs. He and his accomplices Rex and Ina use it to photograph the magic door so that they can steal famous landmarks. When the Adventurers Club pursues them, they turn all but Miss Tickle and Rick into photographs. Their plan to photograph the adults backfires, and they end up on film themselves. Miss Tickle restores her friends and the magic door to normal so that they can return safely.|
|13||"Nephren"||December 1, 1973|
|While on a mission to restore the City of Antiquity, Miss Tickle contends with Nephren, an ancient Egyptian queen who has come back to life. This queen's magic proves so powerful that Miss Tickle ends up exhausted. But both women have to join forces to rescue Nephren's lackeys, who are trapped inside a pyramid.|
|14||"Modran Returns"||December 8, 1973|
|Modran lures Miss Tickle and her students into his world by using Rick as bait. This time, the sorcerer's scheme is to steal Tut-Tut, who turns out to be the key to the magic door. The good guys have to get him back just so they can return. That will not be easy.|
|15||"Horse Feathers"||December 15, 1973|
|The Adventurers Club attends a rodeo in a land beyond the magic door. They discover that a cowpoke named Bronco is up to no good. But he soon sees the error of his ways.|
|16||"A Light Mystery"||December 22, 1973|
|After Franklin delivers his speech about being named Science Student of the Year, he and the others discover that a generator has been stolen. The Adventurers Club goes to the Land of Lights to get it back. There are three suspects: Count Celesta, Madame Marquee, and Baron Borealis. Each one rules a different province, but one seeks to become the ruler of the entire land.|
BCI Eclipse LLC, under license from Entertainment Rights, released Mission: Magic!: The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1 on May 8, 2007. The 2 disc set includes many special features.
|DVD name||Ep No.||Release date||Additional information|
|Mission: Magic!: The Complete Series||16||May 8, 2007||