3 August 2010 | raysond
Hanna-Barbera's answer to Evel Knievel...the short-lived cartoon series Devlin
The short-lived animated Hanna-Barbera series DEVLIN was shown mostly on Saturday Mornings on ABC-TV's Sunshine Saturday Morning Line-Up that lasted one season and produced 17 episodes,all in color. DEVLIN was loosely based on the motorcycle daredevil stuntman Evel Knieval. The synopsis of the story consisted of the Devlins. They were a trio of orphans who supported themselves through their daredevil motorcycle act. The lead character and support figure,Ernie Devlin(Michael Bell)was a 22-year old professional stuntman who drove the motorcycle and the car during the stunts while his younger brother,teenager Tod(Mickey Dolenz) oversaw the mechanical work and designed routines for Ernie's acts. Ernie's kid sister,11-year old Sandy(Michele Robinson)basically provided assistance and support whenever she was needed,plus other additional duties. They work,lived and travel on the highways and byways of the country in their huge Winnebago motor home as part of a traveling circus. Hank(Norman Alden),the owner of the circus in which they worked,served as a surrogate father figure whenever Ernie or his teenager brother or kid sister needed support and guidance during troubled times.
Interspersed with some of the stunts along with the hair-raising thrills and high adventure along with some interpersonal drama were tips on motorcycle safety(given by Ernie himself)to let young viewers know the Devlin's occupation and to let them know about using the proper equipment when riding a motorcycle as well. Out of the 17 episodes that this show produced,DEVLIN had plenty of risks and cliffhanging suspense that came along with the territory. Also to point out,and since this was a Saturday Morning animated cartoon aimed at pre-teenagers and older kids under 12 years of age,DEVLIN was ABC's answer (or Hanna-Barbera)to cash in on the craze of Evel Knieval(who was in 1974 at the peak of his fame),and the whole motorcycle fad of the early and mid-1970's along with cashing in on the huge popularity of the Japanese-produced animated series Speed Racer(which became a HUGE HIT during the 1970's when it was shown in syndicated repeats). The original episodes ran as part of ABC's Sunshine Saturday Morning schedule from September 7, 1974 until August 30, 1975. After its run on Saturday Mornings,ABC moved to Sunday Mornings in repeated episodes from September 7, 1975 until its last telecast on February 15, 1976.