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|The Secret Saturdays|
The Secret Saturdays logo
|Created by||Jay Stephens|
|Directed by||Scott Jeralds (also supervising director)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||36|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television|
|Original network||Cartoon Network|
|Original release||October 3, 2008- January 30, 2010|
The Secret Saturdays is an American animated television series created by Canadian cartoonist Jay Stephens (creator of the Emmy-winning cartoon Tutenstein) for Cartoon Network. It debuted on October 3, 2008, in the United States. The series follows the adventures of the Saturdays, a family of cryptozoologists that work to keep the truth about cryptids from getting out, in order to protect both the human race and the creatures themselves. The Saturdays travel the Earth searching for cryptids to study and battling twisted villains like the megalomaniac V.V. Argost. The series is influenced by the style of 1960s-era Hanna-Barbera action series (such as Jonny Quest) and is combined with Jay Stephens' own personal interest in cryptozoology. The show finished its run on January 30, 2010. It aired reruns on Boomerang on December 5, 2011, until June 1, 2014.
The Saturdays appear in Ben 10: Omniverse episode "T.G.I.S." teaming up with Ben Tennyson and Rook Blonko in stopping the villain Dr. Animo who has revived the Saturdays' archenemy V.V. Argost. The episode confirms The Secret Saturdays and Ben 10 share the same reality (Ben 10 references have previously appeared in a few Secret Saturdays episodes).
When Stephens first pitched the show, it was called Cryptids, after the undiscovered scientific monsters. It involved a team of globe-trotting cryptozoologists that were uniquely qualified for the job because they were once cryptids themselves. Okapi, Komodo, and Megamouth, along with their 9-year-old human mascot, Francis, served as a sort of anti-detective team. They scooted across land, sea, and air in what Stephens called a Campercopter and their goal was to preserve the mystery of the Earth's strangest creatures before they were exposed by humans or destroyed by the cryptids' nemesis, Monsieur Dodo. This version got him nowhere with many networks, though they all did show interest for some time.
Months later, the show was picked up by Cartoon Network, due to the network wanting more action shows at the time due to the success of Ben 10 and Ben 10: Alien Force. 9-year-old Francis became 11-year-old Zak Saturday and many of the original characters were deleted. For a time, the network wanted the show's name to be The Secret Adventures Of Zak Saturday, but it was later changed. Unlike most mystery shows, the goal of the heroes of The Secret Saturdays is not to reveal the existence of cryptids, but to hide it. The art style of the show was influenced by the artwork of Alex Toth and 1960s Hanna-Barbera action cartoons, such as Jonny Quest and The Herculoids.
In July 2008, Cartoon Network started a viral campaign for the show. Several commercials for a website called CryptidsAreReal.com aired on Cartoon Network. Each commercial featured a pet of the Saturday family: one showed Komodo, another Fiskerton, and a final one showed Zon. One area of the program's website also held a "secret" document: while most of the words on it were blackedout, the names of Drew and Doc (two of the main characters) were revealed. The document also talked about a creature discovered outside of Nottinghamshire, England. Though the first word was blacked-out, the paper said a "phantom" had been the newly discovered creature. It was implied that the creature was the Fiskerton Phantom, a cryptid reported to have lived outside of Nottinghamshire and commonly done by this website, would be Fiskerton, a main character in the show. To back this conclusion up, Zak stated in one episode that Fiskerton was lucky because Doc and Drew saved him, which was also stated in the document. Typed at the bottom of the document was the name "Agent Epsilon", a character in the show. The website also showed a blueprint of the Saturdays family's airship. Another site was linked to CryptidsAreReal.com: the page for an organization called Ten Hero Tusk (an anagram of "the Kur stone"), which states that its explorers are "D. Blackwell, B. Finster, and L. Van Rook", all of which are characters in the show. During San Diego Comic-Con 2008, booklets about a show called Weirdworld (the show-within-a-show) were given out, with the website for it on the back of them. Unlike CryptidsAreReal.com, this one couldn't be traced back to Cartoon Network. Later, commercials for Weirdworld aired on Cartoon Network for a few weeks before a commercial for The Secret Saturdays itself was aired on October 3, 2008.
Zak Saturday and his parents, Doc and Drew, are a family of planet-saving scientists called "The Secret Saturdays." Living in a hidden base, they are part of a secret organization of scientists known as The Secret Scientists who protect mankind against the hidden and terrifying things of the Earth. In the series, folktales aren't just legends, but actual mysteries that the Saturday family must solve. Traveling all over the planet, the Saturdays explore ancient temples and bottomless caves, as well as battle with villains which includes the evil V.V. Argost (who hides his evil plans under his TV show Weird World) and the masked mercenary Van Rook, who specializes in capturing cryptids. Scouring the globe in search of cryptids, the Saturdays attempt to keep the existence of these unusual beasts secret, to protect both mankind and the creatures themselves. The Saturdays and their exotic cryptid pets are a loving bunch, trying to work through everyday family matters and squabbles in between their adventures. In both seasons, the Saturday family races V.V. Argost to stop Argost from controlling Kur, a mythical all-powerful beast that can supposedly raise and control a cryptid army.
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired||DVD release dates|
|Season premiere||Season finale||Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|1||26||October 3, 2008||August 1, 2009||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|2||10||November 7, 2009||January 30, 2010||TBA||TBA||TBA|
A DVD featuring the first five episodes of the series (along with bonus features such as animatics) was released on July 21, 2009. A second DVD with similar features was released on October 27, 2009. An encyclopedia entitled The Secret Saturdays: The Official Cryptid Field Guide was released on August 11, 2009. Graphic novels and chapter books were released by Del Ray Manga in Summer 2009. A video game called The Secret Saturdays: Beasts of the 5th Sun was released by D3 Publisher for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS and Wii on October 20, 2009. Comic adventures of The Secret Saturdays appeared semi-monthly in 2010 as part of Cartoon Network Action Pack comic books published by DC Comics. A line of action figures and play sets was released by Mattel.