Sarcastic Voyage - Radio Adventures - Agent Dottie: Invasion of the Duplitroids

A one-off (non-serial) adventure following everyone's favorite sidekick-turned-main character, Dottie, in a 1960s-style pulp "audio cartoon."


The Radio Adventures of Matt and AAlgar is one of my favorite things that we've done, and around the time we jumped ahead from the original 30s pulp style to the 50s pulp style of season 2, I began developing a larger plan to follow up with the bit through pop culture history. Agent Dottie and the Invasion of the Duplitroids is an homage to the adventure cartoons of the late 60s, made mostly by Hanna-Barbera. Obviously Johnny Quest sits at the top of this mountain, but the extremely excellent Venture Bros. has already spun modern-day gold out of that mess, so I went for more of a pastiche thing here. There are also elements of Space Ghost, Birdman and a few other H-B shows of that era. These shows weren't what you'd call good, exactly, but they had a distinct feel to them and they very much felt like the next iteration of the pulp sequence we'd established.

• Also, around the middle of season 2 of Radio Adventures, it became clear to me that the title characters were largely incidental and that the real hero was Dottie. So it made total sense to ditch those guys and focus on one of my all-time favorite characters. Some of that is my writing, but a lot of it is Sabrina Snyder's excellent performance. My dream project would be a Dottie animated series starring Sabrina. Some day, maybe.

• This opening bit with the SVN Newsbreak was a chance for me to touch on some world-building stuff, but also to set the stage: we're in the late 60s and Dottie is fiction-within-fiction in the SV universe. Of course, we followed the extremely sad story of the woman who played Dottie in Citizen Crotch some time ago. Presumably she's recovered from those experiences and resumed performing her best character.

• And yes, that is indeed me as LBJ, continuing my quest to play every US President ever. He really did pick up beagles by their ears, which seems exceedingly cruel to me. But what do I know — I only owned a beagle for 15 years.

• As a result of the 60s H-B influence, I deliberately cast very few voice actors in this project, and directed the guys I did use in a much more wooden direction than they're typically accustomed to when working with me. I didn't want actual bad acting — I wanted good actors playing bad actors. And they all gave me exactly what I was looking for.

• "Harnessing the power of this ancient temple to destroy the space program" is almost certainly something that actually happened in one of the cartoons I referenced. It's really hard to exaggerate a thing that's already super-goddamn ridiculous.

• "Judge Mental" appeared in my 2004 point-and-click adventure game, Brain Hotel. That game was based in Flash, so you probably can't play it anymore. But I hate to let a terrible joke go to waste, so I recycled him here!

• You can't do a story about M.U.C.U.S. without commenting on their terrible acronym at least once. It's impossible!

• Those purple bats plagued us on The Post Atomic Horror when we covered the Star Trek animated series. But seriously, they were in every single damn cartoon in the 60s and 70s.

• Jason is doing a bit of a George Takei impression as the robot. I dig it.

• A lot of the sound effects I used in this are actual Hanna-Barbera SFX from this era. Which really helped make this thing cheesy in the very specific way I wanted.

• A lot of Johnny Quest seemed to take place in the Florida Keys for some reason. And there were a lot of unnecessary missiles as well.

• Dottie's sarcastic "I know what it stands for" is perfect. Sabrina's "sassy Dottie" is my favorite Dottie.

• "Powerhouse" is a superhero name I've been trying to find a place for since, like, the mid-90s. I finally managed to cross the idea off here, by turning him into a Birdman analog. (Seriously, Birdman announced everything he did out loud to the world at large. It was already like listening to a radio show, so turning it into one was pretty easy.) Also, his sun-based powers really did leave him too weak to finish a fight at least 50% of the time. Dude was pretty useless all around, really.

• I couldn't resist the "hi Dottie, I'm Nero" reference.

Johnny Quest actually did meet Nazis occasionally. This seemed weird to me until I realized the war had only been over for about 20 years.

• I couldn't do an homage to 60s pulp without doing a problematic jungle native thing, which is... obviously problematic. I think I managed to weasel my way out of that though.

• I kinda wish we'd done more fake 60s commercials, because I really do enjoy this one for Sugar Crunch Cereal (longtime sponsor of Radio Adventures).

• I picture Dottie's HQ looking like the batcave from Batman '66.

• Cartoons always treat "evil" like it's an objective trait that can easily be measured. Even as a kid I thought this was kind of ridiculous. But I ran with it here.

• Having Dottie come up with a clever, non-fighting way to defeat the bad guys was important to me — I very much see her as being in the mold of heroes like Squirrel Girl, who can fight if the have to but just as often use their wits to defeat their enemies.

• I more-or-less abandoned the notion of taking Dottie through different pulp eras after this. A 30-second excerpt from a cheesy 80s cartoon version of Dottie did appear in the Adventures of Nick and Willikins adventure game, which was fun. But as I continued to noodle the prospect of more 80s adventures or what the next step might look like (or even be — is it too soon to determine what the "next step in the evolution of pulp entertainment" looks like? I think it might be), I decided that her most interesting iteration was her original one: in the 30s. So Dottie's next significant appearance circles back to that as a regular feature of Sarcastic Voyage Theatre.


Josef Ravenson - Army Guy, Henchman, Professor Wissenshaft, Judge Mental

Amanda Smith - The Major General, Chief

Sabrina Snyder - Dottie

Ron “AAlgar” Watt - President Johnson, Emperor Nero, Baron Mynuss

Jason Wallace - Champs, Robot, Powerhouse

Written & directed by Ron “AAlgar” Watt

© 2016 AAlgar Productions