Friday, 8 April 2011

The Mystery of The Mystery of the Lost Chord

For as long as I can remember, Danger Mouse was one of my firm favourites growing up with, all thanks to the creative forces that were Cosgrove Hall when their humour was given total freedom back in the days of quality kids TV. So you can imagine how delighted I was when, several years back, I nabbed the DM Box Collection for his 25th anniversary, containing every episode made and more...!

One of these grand Easter Eggs is the original Danger Mouse pilot entitled "The Mystery of the Lost Chord", which, once the series was picked up, would later be reanimated and edited into "Who Stole the Bagpipes?" What make the pilot a total mystery is the lack of credits, meaning no one - including the CH crew I assume - can remember who did what. Now animation-wise I'm not so sure of, but I've a good guess who'd be in charge of VAs and writing:

- First off, DM sounded more of a James Bond-type than what he is today while Penfold sounds more Welsh than squeaky. Best bet would be that Edward Kelsey (Colonel K and Greenback) was trialled as DM while Brian Trueman (Stiletto) originally voiced Penfold before David Jason and Terry Scott were first thought of. The lack of "Isambard" the Narrator is a dead giveaway that David wasn't first brought into light.

- Next comes the writing. If one recalls the first few DM Seasons, the earliest episodes (which originally aired as four-parter cliffhangers) the writing team consisted of Brian Trueman and Mike Harding, the latter who was also responsible for the show's music, theme tune included. The usual silly humour - such as Penfold's saxaphone playing, Colonel K's ramblings and the first encounter with McNasty regarding the Loch Ness Monster/Missing Bagpipes - seem to ring true(man) of Brian's pen.

All in all, for a pilot much of Danger Mouse was still there if a little different as all pilots usually are (Note how Baron Greenback was originally named Baron Greenteeth here!). As for what the original credits hold for who did what, we can never be sure aside from the actual writers/actors themselves. But it's fun to try and guess anyway...

And here's the actual pilot for your enjoyment. Make your own decisions, folks!

1 comment:

  1. Brian does his 'sexy' voice as DM here.