The show's premise is that Dr. Quest, a famous phenomenologist, investigates mysterious occurrences and exotic locales with his son, Jonny Quest, adopted son Hadji Singh, bodyguard Race Bannon, Race's daughter Jessie, and pet bulldog Bandit. Peter Lawrence set the story a few years after the classic series, making Jonny and his friends teenagers. Lawrence aimed to use "existing, real phenomenon"—such as the "Airstrips of Nazca, the Ruins of Teotihuacan or the possible existence of Giant Squid"—to capture audiences' curiosity. Stressing plausibility, he suggested writers cover real-world enigmas, cryptozoology, unique locales, an alien posing as the vice president, and fictional but "believable" mysteries. The Quests would frequently visit the virtual environment of QuestWorld, and encounter the villainous Jeremiah Surd and Ezekiel Rage. Paralyzed years prior by Race Bannon's SWAT team, Surd would try to exact revenge through technology. Rage—a former government agent left for dead on a botched mission—would try to destroy the world with nuclear terrorism. The Quests would sparingly fight "monsters of the week", instead battling antagonists whose conflicts lay in "personal objective or ambition ... opposed by Dr. Quest". Lawrence stationed the family at a new compound on the coast of Maine, replete with houses, barns, and workshops. Rooms suited for each character included a library for Dr. Quest, workshop for Jonny, computer-equipped den for Jessie, dojo and gym for Race, and lighthouse lookout for Hadji's meditation. Lawrence equipped Dr. Quest with a fleet of air, land, and sea vehicles, including a 1940s biplane and state-of-the-art catamaran named Questor with diving bells and smaller research vessels stored in the hulls. Peter Lawrence prided Real Adventures on the strength of its writing, opining that "very few writers in this or any other field actually write visually," and contesting that each episode would have "enough material or potential to develop into a movie".
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