October 09, 2015

DRAK PACK

DRAK PACK
(CBS, September 6-December 20, 1980)


Hanna-Barbera Pty. Ltd.

MAIN CAST:
Jerry Dexter – Drak Jr.
William Callaway – Frankie, Howler
Alan Oppenheimer – Dracula “Big D”
Hans Conried – Dr. Dred
Don Messick – Toad, Fly
Chuck McCann – Mummyman
Julie McWhirter – Vampira
John Stephenson – Opening Narration

Sometimes to fight evil, you need evil. Or the descendants of evil, anyway.

Drak, Howler and Frankie.

That was the focus of Drak Pack. The relatives of legendary Universal Monsters Count Dracula, Frankenstein and Wolfman had banded together to use their inherited supernatural abilities to save the world and atone for the misdeeds of their predecessors. The Pack was led by Drak (called Drak, Jr. in the opening sequence and voiced by Jerry Dexter in an impersonation of Don Adams), who could fly, change his shape, walk on walls and possessed telekinesis. Along with Dexter’s impression of Adams as Drak’s voice, the series often made frequent references to Adams’ well-known show Get Smart.

The Pack's human forms.

The rest of the Pack included Frankie had superhuman strength and could release electrical charges, and Howler (both voiced by William Callaway, who gave Frankie a Southern accent) who had super breath (ala The Three Little Pigs) and an ultrasonic howl. Most of the time, they appeared as ordinary humans until they slapped their right hands together and shouted “Whack ‘em!”, unleashing their monstrous alter-egos in a stock transformation sequence. Their primary mode of transportation was an amphibious flying car called The Drakster. The founder of the team and chief advisor was Dracula himself, referred to as “Big D” (Alan Oppenheimer, in an exaggeration of Bela Lugosi’s iconic portrayal of the character).

Meet the bad guys: Fly, Toad, Dr. Dred, Vampiria and Mummyman.

Their primary foe was the evil genius Dr. Dred (Hans Conried), who would develop devices to either take down the Pack or do something horrible to the world. He ran the organization OGRE (The Organization for Generally Rotten Enterprises [or Endeavors in some episodes]) comprised of his henchmen Toad (Don Messick impersonating Peter Lorre, whom Toad resembles), who was Dred’s right hand who often unwittingly aided the Pack; Fly (Messick), a humanoid fly; Mummyman (Chuck McCann), a reanimated mummy with super strength and an endless supply of wrappings; and Vampira (Julie McWhirter impersonating Eva Gabor), who had abilities similar to Drak’s as well as a crush on him. When not holed up on their artificial island Dreadquarters (sometimes Drednought), they can be found heading towards their next target in their airship The Dredgible. Often, Dred would set up a meeting with Drak in order to gloat about his pending scheme and to challenge the Pack to stop him.

That's a wrap.

Drak Pack debuted on CBS on September 6, 1980. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera’s Australian subsidiary with music composed by Paul DeKorte. Unfortunately, its ratings proved abysmal and it was canceled after a single season of 16 episodes.  Although not exactly the same, one can find many comparisons between this show and the Monster Squad from four years prior. The show largely went forgotten until Visual Entertainment brought it to DVD in Canada in 2008. Visual later released it to America in 2011 through Millennium Entertainment

EPISODE GUIDE:
“Color Me Dredful” (9/6/80) – Dr. Dred builds a color collector that steals the world’s color.

“Mind Your Manners, Dr. Dred” (9/13/80) – Dr. Dred plans to frame the Pack for the theft of Egyptian artifacts.

“Happy Birthday, Dr. Dred” (9/20/80) – Disappointed over Toad’s birthday cake to him, Dr. Dred is determined to let the world know it’s his birthday.

“Dreadful Weather We’re Having” (9/27/80) – Dr. Dred follows the Pack on their vacation and uses a weather machine to ruin it.

“The Perilous Plunder of Pirate Park” (10/4/80) – Dr. Dred plans to steal the treasure located under the new park.

“Night of the Terbites” (10/11/80) – The Pack heads to a party while Dr. Dred unleashes his new tiny devices that devour anything.

“Time Out for Dr. Dred” (10/18/80) – Dr. Dred invents a device that can freeze time for five minutes.

“Hideout Hotel” (10/25/80) – Big D’s Florida monster convention is interrupted by a sea monster appearing near the beach.

“Dred Goes Hollywood” (11/1/80) – Dr. Dred makes a movie starring a fake Pack as villains.

“Dred’s Photo Finish” (11/8/80) – Dr. Dred’s Photo Grabber turns anything it photographs into photocopies.

“Dr. Dred is a Shrinker” (11/15/80) – Dr. Dred uses his new shrink ray to sneak into Fort Knox.

“A Dire Day at Dredfulland” (11/22/80) – Dr. Dred builds an amusement park that serves as a money magnet to force patrons to keep shelling out dough.

“Package Deal” (11/29/80) – Big D sends the Pack to retrieve a package he buried in Transylvania.

“The Grimmest Book of Records” (12/6/80) – Dr. Dred challenges the Pack to stop him as he attempts to secure the record for the most international crimes committed in 3 hours.

“International Graffiti” (12/13/80) – Dr. Dred plans to turn all the statues in the world into statues of him using a special ray.

“It’s in the Bag, Dr. Dred” (12/20/80) – Dr. Dred plans to use the world’s most powerful vacuum to suck up the desert and reveal a lost city of silver to finance his future plots.

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