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The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay

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"The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay"
The Venture Bros. episode
225px
Episode no. Episode Pilot
Directed by Jackson Publick
Written by Jackson Publick
Original air date February 16, 2003
Episode Chronology
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"Dia de Los Dangerous!"

"The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay" is the pilot episode of the series The Venture Bros. It was first aired as a one-off on February 14, 2003. The actual series itself would not begin airing until a year and a half later. In August  2004 the episode was animated with Adobe Flash (formerly Macromedia Flash) and is the only non-traditionally animated episode of the series.[1]

PlotEdit

In Japan, news of Doctor Thaddeus Venture's latest invention has spread. A henchmen named Kikai delivers the message to his master, Otaku Senzuri. Senzuri praises Kikai's good work but then subsequently attempts to kill him with acupuncture needles. Instead of killing him, however, Kikai rises up from the ground, feeling better than before, and no longer having the craving for nicotine. Elsewhere, the Monarch, a super-villain whose persona is built around misconceptions about the lethality of monarch butterflies, explains his scheme to destroy his arch-enemy, scientist Doctor Thaddeus Venture. The Monarch has constructed a ship that resembles a meteor and filled it with three of his henchmen. The "meteor" will fall on the grounds of the Venture Compound; when the naturally-curious doctor begins to analyse the vessel, the henchmen will emerge and overwhelm him.

Meanwhile, two wide-eyed teenagers (fraternal twin brothers Hank Venture and Dean Venture) are riding hover-bikes and looking for their dog Scamp. The boys, who look and talk as if they are in a sitcom from the 1950s, enter their father's lab and ask him about their pet. Dr. Venture responds with pride that a cosmetics corporation has asked him to solve the problem of test animals that die too quickly; therefore he has performed an experimental procedure on Scamp that removes his fur and skin while keeping him alive. With a flourish, Venture displays the gruesome pet in an isolation tank. The boys are dismayed, but their father convinces them that it is a noble sacrifice in the name of helping young women look attractive.

Team Venture's bodyguard, Brock Samson, is busy washing and loading equipment into their X-1 private jet in preparation for an upcoming trip. Venture tries to engage him in discussion over their Communicator Watches, but Brock ignores him. Investigating noises from the landing gear, Brock finds a mummy and beats it savagely (and somewhat gleefully). As the battered figure lies motionless, Samson casually defiles it by urinating on the body to prevent re-animation. Venture examines the "mummy" and discovers that it is merely a man wrapped in bandages pretending to be a mummy, but the revelation seems to garner little interest. With the X-1 loaded for the trip to New York City|New York (where Venture will present his latest invention before a scientific symposium at the United Nations), the family prepares to leave. As Brock taxis the jet down the private runway, The Monarch's fake meteor slams into the ground a few yards away. However, Venture is on edge from nerves and the pills he has taken and says they have no time to investigate. As the X-1 takes off, the henchmen inside the "meteor" discover that they are trapped inside, as the meteor landed face-down, with the door stuck against the ground.

Arriving in New York, United Nations guards assist Dr. Venture with unloading his equipment from the X-1. Dr. Venture advises them not to get too close to the X-1's engines, suggesting it causes cancer. Brock opens a panel to discover a large crocodile which leaps out and fights Brock, which he fights and disembowels to the shock of the United Nations' Guards. A shadowy character follows Dr. Venture's every move in New York: Otaku Senzuri, a ninja intent on acquiring the new gadget. While Venture is sleeping, Senzuri manages to steal an equipment case but finds that it only contains Hank and Dean, who were pretending it was a submarine. The ninja knocks them unconscious and leaves them in an alley outside the hotel, where two thugs steal their communicator watches. When the boys wake up the next morning, they decide to have a "New York adventure" and set out on their own to explore the city. The Monarch arrives in a taxi and follows them, dealing with any interference through his "Sting of the Monarch" darts. At roughly the same time, Brock sets out to find the boys but heads in a different direction. He locates the two hoods and beats them mercilessly before reclaiming the watches.

Arriving in Times Square, Hank and Dean spot a middle-aged prostitute who propositions them. Misinterpreting her offer, they accompany her back to a seedy apartment. After the boys fail to understand her explanation of her services, she touches Hank's crotch; the two teens respond by fleeing in terror. The Monarch, who had staked out the apartment, begins to follow them again but runs into Brock. The bodyguard questions the villain briefly before savagely beating him. Back at the U.N., Dr. Venture is introduced to explain his new invention, the "Oo-Ray". He cheerfully melts a model city in demonstration and is completely mystified by the audience's negative reaction. The U.N. representative hosting the conference scolds Venture, who fails to see any violent applications for his gadget, and apologizes to the crowd.

Hank and Dean's blind panic has somehow led them back to the U.N. building, where they surprise their father. In a foul mood, Venture resigns himself to packing up the Oo Ray for the trip home but discovers Senzuri masturbating next to the machine. A general arrives and orders the ninja's arrest; apparently, Senzuri is a techno-fetishist who can only achieve arousal in the presence of advanced technology. The general then cheers Venture up greatly by buying a hundred Oo Rays for the Army (though Dr. Venture clearly has no idea what use the Army could make of his invention). Meanwhile, Brock is spending hundreds of dollars enjoying the hooker's services while the Monarch recuperates in the hospital from his injuries.

Episode CastEdit

Cultural ReferencesEdit

  • Turtle Bay, referred to in the episode's title, is the area of Manhattan in New York City in which the United Nations is located.
  • Another attendee of the symposium is a character modelled after Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe.[1]
  • When Brock is washing the X-1 in the beginning of the episode, he is listening to a Led Zeppelin parody titled "Hobbit Ride (To the Midnight Sun of Valhalla)", performed by Publick and Hammer, but credited to The Astrobase+Go! Cadet Boys' Fife & Drum Corps (featuring Billy No. 9).
  • Senzuri's assassination attempt is a reference to the film version of You Only Live Twice when an assassin tries to poison James Bond in his sleep using a piece of string and dribbling poison down the length of it into his mouth.
  • Times Square in New York City is shown to be "Brisbyfied", much as the real district has been said to have become "Disneyfied."
  • Otaku Senzuri's name combines two Japanese terms: otaku, which means obsession that is usually used described extreme manga and anime fans; and senzuri, which means masturbation. His company's name, Onani Corporation, also refers to the latter.

Connections to Other EpisodesEdit

  • This episode sees the introduction of the characters Kikai, Otaku Senzuri Dr. Venture, Hank Venture, Dean Venture, Scamp, Brock Samson, the Monarch, and Dr. Girlfriend, as well as the the Venture Compound, the Cocoon, X-1 and Communicator Watches. Master Billy Quizboy, Pete White, and Professor Impossible are also seen, but not named.
  • The Monarch, Brock and Dr. Girlfriend are drawn differently than in subsequent episodes. In this episode, Brock, in some scenes, appears to have a unibrow, while in other scenes, and the rest of the series, his eyebrows are separated. Brock is also relatively normal-sized here, whereas in the rest of the series he towers over everyone else. Likewise, while the opening shots emphasize Brock's lack of leg-muscle development especially in comparison with his upper body, in later episodes he is more proportionally developed. Dr. Girlfriend's face is severely angular, with tiny features; she also has an Adam's apple, something that appears only occasionally in later episodes. The Monarch has an entirely different costume. The Monarch's henchmen also have different costumes from the rest of the series. In a later episode, Henchman 21 gives one of these costumes to Hank Venture for the Monarch's wedding to Dr. Girlfriend; 21 also remarks that it is an old outfit and that he used to be much skinnier then.
  • The two thugs who steal the boys' communicator watches reappear in Return to Spider-Skull Island, as attendees at the Monarch's prison "Scared Straight" program.
  • The boys' pet dog Scamp (a parody of Bandit from Jonny Quest) is noted in a Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic! as having died.[2]
  • This episode features the Mickey Mouse spoof Bizzy Bee, which is a frequently recurring reference throughout the rest of the series. The character is explained in the episode The Incredible Mr. Brisby.[3]
  • A deleted scene in the season two episode Twenty Years to Midnight has Team Venture finally discovering the fake meteorite with the dead henchmen inside.[4]

Production NotesEdit

  • Otaku Senzuri was, according to the commentary on the DVD, supposed to have been a "suspicious Arab". The script was written pre-9/11 (in Spring of 2000); when the time came to create the pilot, Publick changed him to the ninja CEO that he became.[1]
  • One of the animation directors (Kimson Albert) gets to have a "nickname" inserted into his credits. The nickname is an unusual line or word from the preceding episode. This is included in all Season One episodes except the pilot where Mr. Albert is credited only as a "Computer Animator".
  • According to the pilot's commentary track, Cartoon Network executives forced Jackson Publick to change the closing scene's dialogue, feeling that Brock telling the prostitute to "turn around" was too lurid, even for a late-night block like Adult Swim.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Season 1 DVD commentary for "The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay"
  2. Episode "Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic!"
  3. Episode "The Incredible Mr. Brisby"
  4. Season 2 DVD deleted scenes for "Twenty Years to Midnight"


Preceded by:
none
The Venture Bros. episodes
Original Airdate:
16 February 2003
Followed by:
"Dia de Los Dangerous!"

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