Devlin (TV series)
Devlin is an American animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and broadcast for 17 episodes on ABC from September 7 to December 21, 1974, with reruns airing until September 1976. The series, inspired by the popularity of motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, featured a stunt motorcyclist with a traveling circus named Ernie Devlin and his siblings Tod and Sandy. It was one of Hanna-Barbera's few dramatic series.
|Directed by||Charles A. Nichols|
|Voices of||Michael Bell|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Executive producers||William Hanna|
|Camera setup||Gene Cropper|
John Curtis Hall
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company||Hanna-Barbera Productions|
|Original release||September 7 –|
December 21, 1974
The original title for the show was Wild Wheels, and the title character was "Dare" Devlin. Concerned about potential criticism that the show glorified dangerous activity, ABC nixed the title, changed the character's name to Ernie, and mandated the regular presentation of safety tips.
|Nº||Title||Original air date|
|1||"Victory Over Fear"||September 7, 1974|
|When Ernie tries to jump over 23 cars, he crashes and ends up going to the hospital after which he has second thoughts about being a motorcycle stunt rider. But when some Boy Scouts are trapped on an island (after the waters knocked off the bridge), he faces his fears and jumps over the river to rescue the scout troop.|
|2||"Hero Worshipper"||September 14, 1974|
|A runaway named Pete idolizes Ernie Devlin and wants to be a motorcycle stunt rider like him. However, the Devlins teach this kid there's more to being a star rider.|
|3||"Save That Lion"||September 21, 1974|
|When Prince, a circus lion, runs off, Sandy fears he'll be killed. Instead, he's brought back alive after being subdued with a tranquilizer dart.|
|4||"Todd's Triumph"||September 28, 1974|
|After coming up with a super roller coaster stunt for Ernie, Tod feels unimportant and left out after Hank tells a reporter that about the mechanical side of the team. A representative from a rival circus offers Tod an important job as a chief mechanic. But when a tornado strikes the city, Hank is trapped in his jeep after a tree falls on it, so Tod uses his brains to rescue Hank.|
|5||"Up, Up and Away"||October 5, 1974|
|A police safety inspector threatens to close Hank's circus over violations caused by the Gomez family's hot air balloon and Ernie's double loop ramp.|
|6||"The Challenge"||October 12, 1974|
|A motorcycle racer named Speed Simmons challenges the stunt rider to a motorcycle race.|
|7||"Sandy's Choice"||October 19, 1974|
|Aunt Martha and Uncle Fred visit the Devlins when they head to their town. Aunt Martha feels that Sandy should live at their home, instead of traveling with the circus.|
|8||"Sandy's Idol"||October 26, 1974|
|Sandy likes the idea that Hank hires a rock band for his circus. The band's name is Lucifer, and its lead singer goes by that stage name as well. Ernie and Tod don't like the idea of Sandy idolizing that band. But Lucifer shows his true colors by acting obnoxious and rude towards the people of the circus.|
|9||"The Big Blast"||November 2, 1974|
|The mayor of Turtle River doesn't want Hank's circus to open, because the last traveling carnival / circus ripped off their money. When some boys (who formed the Ernie Devlin fan club) sneak in to visit Ernie, he gives a free performance for his fans. When the mayor finds out, he has Ernie arrested and thrown in jail. A forest fire breaks out near the city; Ernie helps a townsman reach the lumber mill, so he can blast the trees blocking the water supply.|
|10||"Innocent or Guilty"||November 9, 1974|
|Hank wants Uncle Jack, the oldest member of the circus crew, to retire. After a fire happens at the big top, one of the crew finds Jack's pipe and Hank thinks that it was his carelessness. So Uncle Jack and his dog run away. When they get the new canvas for the circus, Ernie discovers that cinders coming from a nearby lumber mill, which made small burns on the new canvas, were the cause of the fire, not Uncle Jack.|
|11||"Like Father, Like Son"||November 16, 1974|
|The circus caravan is stuck in a blizzard. Ernie's fear of snow reminds him of when his dad, a motorcycle cop, died during his duty. With less food and shelter for the animals, Ernie decides to overcome his fear and get help. Tod turns his motorcycle into a snowmobile.|
|12||"Jester's Secret"||November 23, 1974|
|When Jester the clown learns that the circus is heading to Southfield, he asks Hank to make a few changes; that he'd be the ringmaster (with Hank as his assistant), and that he'd go by his real name (Harry). Why? Because he has a daughter in college, and doesn't want her to know that he's really a clown.|
|13||"The Stowaway"||November 30, 1974|
|After shows in Phoenix, Hank's circus travels to Desert City, Arizona. Along the way, the border patrol stops to inspect if there are any illegal immigrants boarding the circus caravan. When arriving in Desert City, the Devlins discover a stowaway (and runaway) named Juan. Juan wants to be part of the circus by helping Floyd out with the animals, since he's good with animals. But Hank tells him that since he's a minor and his tourist visa expired, he can't work. Juan explains that he ran away from Mexico because his dad wanted him to be a lawyer, like he is, but Juan likes working with animals a lot better.|
|14||"Sandy's Turn"||December 7, 1974|
|Sandy meets Tina, a little league ballplayer, who's a fan of the Devlins' act. After seeing the billboard Hank came up with, Tina thought Sandy was a star of the circus; that got Sandy thinking of buying her own mini bike. But Ernie insists that Sandy learns the mechanics of the bike as well as driving around in circles, to handle turns.|
|15||"Sandy's Decision"||December 14, 1974|
|After doing a show, the Devlins discover an intruder in their mobile home; it turns out to be a stray dog. Sandy decides to adopt the dog and name her Muffin. But before moving to the next city, Ernie decides to place an ad in the local paper regarding the lost dog. Thirty days have passed and the real owner finally shows up to claim his dog, Bridget (her real name).|
|16||"The Storyteller"||December 21, 1974|
|The Devlins meet their dad's old police partner. He impresses the circus of his adventures since leaving the police force. Ernie and Todd don't buy his stories, though Sandy thinks they're true at first. When a pair of black panthers arrive at the circus, Floyd asks for his help, since he claimed to have experience with panthers. But then he admits the truth — all his stories were tall tales. However, Hank gives him a job as assistant ringmaster.|
The main characters were:
- Michael Bell – Ernie Devlin
- Micky Dolenz – Tod Devlin
- Michelle Robinson – Sandy Devlin
- Norman Alden – Henry "Hank" McSummers
On May 24, 2016, Warner Archive released Devlin: The Complete Series on DVD in region 1 as part of their Hanna–Barbera Classics Collection. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and Amazon.com.
- Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 242–243. ISBN 978-1476665993.
- Woolery, George W. (1983). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981. Scarecrow Press. pp. 79–81. ISBN 0-8108-1557-5. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
- Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 152–153. ISBN 978-1538103739.
- Hyatt, Wesley (1997). The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television. Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 123. ISBN 978-0823083152. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
- "'The Complete Series' of the 1974 Cartoon Classic: Date, Cost, Art ****UPDATED!!!****". Archived from the original on 2016-04-29.