Darkwing Duck

Season 1 Episode 1

Darkly Dawns the Duck (1)

Aired Weekdays 3:30 PM Sep 08, 1991 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
33 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Darkly Dawns the Duck (1)
Darkwing Duck is a little known crime fighter dying for a big break, and the publicity that goes with it. Yet when he gets on the trail of the infamous Taurus Bullba's latest scheme he gets into more trouble than he expected. Bullba has masterminded a scheme from within prison revolving around a powerful invention - The Waddlemeyer Ramrod, but is missing the arming code. Darkwing foils an attempt to kidnap the only living relative of the late inventor of the Ramrod, an orphan named Gosalyn.moreless

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  • The beginning of Darkwing duck.

    Not only is this the beginning of darkwing duck, but it is also what the introduction for one of my favorite villains Taurus Bulba! I like most about the pilot episode is a doesn't start in the middle like some cartoons do, and you're left wondering things. Here we learn how Launchpad came to be sidekick, how Gosalyn meet Darkwing, and a few other things. I don't even mind the cliffhanger, which I normally hate because they are either too suspenseful and I can't wait to see what happen (which really is not like a technical thing wrong I just have little patience) or they're just done horribly. Here however the cliffhanger suspense full but not too much they'll drive me crazy. In all it's absolutely fantastic.moreless
  • The beginning of a great Disney series.

    Darkwing Duck is a crime fighter who fights criminals with gadgets and his fighting skills. He seeks glory and fame. He's kinda modeled after Batman in a loose way. He is watching for crime in the city one evening when he spots a condor carrying a suitcase and he follows it to find out why. He soon gets on board a train where the goons of the notorious criminal Taurus Bulba are hijacking a powerful weapon called the Ramrod. Darkwing easily beats two of the henchmen, Hoof and Mouth, but is knocked away by the third one, Hammerhead. In the process of...moreless
  • Darkwing Duck, little known crimefighter, dreams of going up against real villians to become famous. He gets his chance when he finds villians stealing a powerful device, but ends up with a sidekick and little girl as well.moreless

    This pilot episode has everything that makes Darkwing Duck a great show: memorable characters, witty dialogue, and funny, but still engaging action. Not only is this one of the greatest episode in terms of animation, but it does a wonderful job setting up our love for the heroes as well. From the very beginning this show is unique, in that most heroes are shown as flawless, whereas Darkwing struggles with "an ego the size of a small planet." Everything about this episode, from Darkwing saving Gosalyn from kidnapping to his obstacle course breakfast, keeps the viewers entertained. There are few episodes that measure up to this one.moreless
Christine Cavanaugh

Christine Cavanaugh

Gosalyn Mallard

Jim Cummings

Jim Cummings

Darkwing Duck/Drake Mallard, Nega-Duck, Herb Muddlefoot

Terence McGovern

Terence McGovern

Launchpad McQuack

Tim Curry

Tim Curry

Taurus Bullba

Guest Star

Marcia Wallace

Marcia Wallace

Clovis, Mrs. Cavanaugh

Guest Star

Laurie Faso

Laurie Faso


Guest Star

Hal Rayle

Hal Rayle


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • As Taurus Bullba takes off in his ship, Clovis eye shadow changes from blue to brown a few times.

    • While hovering above the train car in Launchpad's plane, Launchpad's window is visible through Darkwing's head.

    • When Darkwing changes into his bed clothes, he is still wearing his mask, but then the camera does a close up as he approaches his bed, his Darkwing mask is suddenly gone.

    • The newspaper carrying the story about Darkwing supposedly robbing the train shows a photo of him fighting Hoof and Mouth, but the conductor only started taking pictures after Darkwing had knocked them out already.

    • While hovering above the train car in Launchpad's plane, Launchpad's window is visible through Darkwing's head as he ponders his next move.

    • The two soldiers whose uniforms Hoof and Mouth swipe are shown to be armed with rifles. Yet after stealing the uniforms the two henchmen are armed with machine guns.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Gosalyn: I don't know anything about a pig and I was nowhere near the boy's bathroom at the time!
      Mrs. Cavanaugh: What pig?
      Gosalyn: Oh, I meant big! As in big of you to take such an interest in me! How may I help you?

    • Darkwing: I never want to see you again!
      Launchpad: Okay. So, do you want my phone number?

    • Gosalyn: Keen gear! You guys must be arch-enemies, just like in the comics!
      Darkwing Duck: Actually, he doesn't even know my name.

    • Darkwing Duck: Its okay miss. You're safe now in the hands of Darkwing Du--
      (Gosalyn puches Darkwing in the stomach)
      Uhh! Hey what was that for?

    • Hoof: Hey, Hammerhead! Ain't we cute in our soldier suits!
      Hammerhead: Yeah, couple of five star generals. Just watch out for trouble.

    • Darkwing Duck: I am the terror that flaps in the night,I am the chill that runs up your spine,I am Darkwing Duck!

    • Darkwing Duck: I am the surprise in your cereal box.

    • Darkwing: I am the switch that derails your train.

    • Darkwing: Another order of dastardly delinquents deposited on your doorstep, courtesy of Darkwing Duck. That's two words, not three, both D's capitalized. Here's my photo. If the papers need more glossies, my number's on the card.

    • Darkwing: So where's the press? I thought this was the age of media glut? Where's the Action News van when you need them? And I spent all afternoon ironing this cape.

    • Darkwing: As twilight shadows creep across the sky, the lone figure of Darkwing Duck scans the city for any evidence of wrongdoing, his eagle eyes catching sight of an-- an eagle? Or more precisely a condor. I know birds travel south, but this is the first one I've seen with luggage. This bit of feathery intrigue is best investigated by... Darkwing Duck!

    • Bullba: That is why I am the brain, and you are the stooge.
      Hammerhead: That's it, boss! I'm a stooge. Uh, just call me Curly.

  • NOTES (19)

    • The stautette that Drake Mallard/Darkwing Duck pushes down to enter his secret lab is of Basil of Baker Street from the Disney feature The Great Mouse Detective (1986).

    • Launchpad McQuack is the first Disney television cartoon character to appear in two seperate cartoon shows (he first appeared in "DuckTales" (1987).

    • This show not only spoofs elements of the Batman films and comics and the Shadow, but the intelligence organization, S.H.U.S.H., also parodies Marvel Comics' S.H.I.E.L.D., a super spy organization that often requests the aid of superheroes, especially Captain America, on missions.

    • According to an interview with the show's creator, Tad Stones, Gosalyn was partly based on what he believed his then two-year-old daughter would be like when she grew older.

    • This show was inspired by two episodes of DuckTales, entitled Double O'Duck and The Masked Mallard. The original concept had Launchpad McQuack as the star.

    • There are five different versions of the Darkwing Duck introduction. The first one was aired on the Disney Channel when Darkwing Duck first premiered and featured alternate animation and a different version of the familiar theme song.The second version was used in syndication, and is actually the one they use today. The third is the version used on The Disney Afternoon, and is the same as the second version only cut for time. The fourth and fifth introductions were used on the ABC Saturday Morning airings, and contained mostly scenes from those episodes, starting with Darkwing tiptoeing up the Audobon Bay Bridge.

    • "Darkly Dawns The Duck" was adapted into a 4 issue miniseries by Disney Comics. The same adaptation was reprinted in the 4th volume of Disney's Colossal Comics Magazine.

    • Darkly Dawns The Duck Parts 1&2 appear on the DVD-set Disney's Darkwing Duck: Volume one Episodes 1-27 in it's syndicated form. This episode has never been reaired in its original form since 1991.

    • First appearance of Tarus Bullba.

    • First appearance of Hammerhead.

    • First appearance of Hoof and Mouth.

    • First appearance of Hoof.

    • This episode was released on Walt Disney home video titled: Darkly Dawns the Duck.

    • Launchpad crosses over from Ducktales to star in this show

    • This is the first two-parter of the series.

    • The name of the orphanage worker where Gosalyn is from, Mrs. Cavanaugh, is an inside joke (Christine Cavanaugh is Gosalyn's voice actress).

    • The original hour long movie began with a different opening animation, where Darkwing captures the crooks he delivers during the first scene. This has been replaced with the standard DW theme in re-run.

    • This two-part episode originally aired as an hour-length TV special on the Disney Channel on April 6, 1991. This two-parter was also available on home video.

    • Darkwing was the title Allen Brunett used to win the contest were he got to name the hero. It was changed to Darkwing Duck because the creator (Tad Stones) didn't want a lawsuit, since the original name "Double O' Ducks" would've used the James Bond logo and is copyrighted to Albert R. Broccoli's production house, EON Productions.


    • Taras Bulba:

      Taurus Bulba takes his name from the 1962 movie, Taras Bulba.

    • Darkwing's costume, gas gun, and flashy introductions are all direct references to pulp heroes such as the Crimson Avenger, The Shadow, and The Green Hornet.

    • Talespin

      Launchpad: Take that you air pirate.

      This could be a reference to the TV show Talespin, which was originally planned to star Launchpad.

    • The Three Stooges

      Hammerhead: That's it, boss. I'm a stooge! Just call me Curly!

      Not only is this an obvious reference to the Three Stooges, but one of them, Shemp Howard, did in fact play a character named Hammerhead in the Universal horror-comedy The Invisible Woman in 1940.

    • Darkwing: It's Hoof and Mouth! They work for Taurus Bullba! Bullba's as big as they come!

      Taurus Bullba's name was inspired by Taras Bulba, the main character in Nikolai Gogol's novel, The Nose.

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