With Wacky Races in perpetual repeat and buried at the bottom of the CBS lineup, Hanna-Barbera placed three new series on the network schedule, including two spin-offs from Races. We've previously covered The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, so now it's time to give Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines some equal time.
As with Perils, Dick Dastardly (Paul Winchell) and his partner-in-crime, Muttley (Don Messick, of course) had their own series set in a different period, in this case, somewhere around World War 1, some have speculated. Now, they're 1/2 of the Vulture Squadron, an eccentric outfit with one goal in mind, capturiing Yankee Doodle Pigeon. The other half of the Squadron consisted of a neurotic named Zilly (Messick) and a mechanical genius known simply as Klunk (Messick again), who spoke mostly with sound effects, requiring Zilly to be his interpreter. If Dastardly wasn't frustrated enough being thwarted during the Races, imagine how it feels when every mission is a failure!
Here's the intro everyone knows. Hewey1972 uploaded it. Winchell, in character, sings the theme song.
There was a backup feature with Muttley having Walter Mitty-like daydreams, and we'll cover that another time.