This is the second part of my reading of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! in the context of Star Trek and the larger pop culture landscape of the late 1960s and early 1970s. You may wish to check out part one (covering the period of the show when it was actually known as Mysteries Five) first if you haven’t done so already, or even if you have just for a bit of a refresher. This part goes into more detail about the actual show and what I think the main characters represent. And, like the previous part, it’s a revised, remixed, expanded and otherwise tweaked version of a piece I wrote a year ago on one of my other blogs.
I’m not going to pull what Gene Roddenberry did with “Assignment: Earth” and pretend this isn’t a backdoor pilot for another project I’d really like to write someday. This is manifestly why it’s an overstuffed two-parter: I’m trying to condense my entire reading and thesis into one blog post when covering Scooby-Doo could well be a project of comparable size and scope to Vaka Rangi. However, the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! is still one of the biggest cultural signifiers of 1969, so I’ve really no choice but to put this here. My apologies in advance. That being said, if you’re at all interested in hearing me talk more about Scooby-Doo (as if for some reason this ridiculous spiel wasn’t enough for you) or just want to discuss it further, please do let me know in the comments or anywhere else you’re able to get ahold of me. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
If there’s another pop culture franchise that’s meant as much to me and about which I have as many complex, conflicting emotions as Star Trek, I’m not at all ashamed to admit it has to be Scooby-Doo.
You find yourself on a dirt path. It’s an avenue lined with leafless trees on either side. The Moon is full, and the moonlight shining through the trees gives the gnarled landscape a transfixing, grotesque otherworldly beauty. In the distance there’s an old Victorian estate. Through the evening dusk, you can just make out that it seems completely abandoned, all save for one window that remains eerily lit. There’s a crack of thunder, and a flock of bats comes flying at you. There’s an almost legibly thick haze in the air, blurring the boundaries between night and day, between our world and the others. How far across the expanse does the dream extend? How long have you been here? Difficult to say. All you know is that you need to get to your next gig and your dog’s hungry in the backseat.
When last we left Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, we dubbed it the reanimated shell of a dead show we didn’t get to see forever haunted by the potential its predecessor hinted at. While in many ways this remains true, one of the most fascinating things about Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!…