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Martin Mystery
Martin Mystery Logo.png
Genre
Created by
Based on
Developed by
  • Vincent Chalvon-Demersary
  • David Michel
Written by
  • Michelle Lamoureux
  • Robert Lamoureux
  • Vincent Chalvon-Demersay
  • David Michel
  • Rhonda Smiley
  • Nicole Demerse
  • Ben Joseph
  • Frank Young
  • Rob Hoegge
Directed by
  • Stephane Berry
  • Gregory Panaccione
Voices of
Theme music composer
Opening theme"Martin Mystery Theme"
Composers
  • Fabrice Aboulker
  • Pascale Stive
Country of origin
  • France
  • Canada
Original languages
  • French
  • English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes66 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Producers
  • Vincent Chalvon-Demersary
  • David Michel
Running time22 minutes
Production companies
Release
Original networkFrance
Canal J
Canada
YTV
Vrak (French dub)
Original release1 October 2003 (2003-10-01) –
27 March 2006 (2006-03-27)

Martin Mystery (French: Martin Mystère) is an animated television series based on the Italian comic book Martin Mystère by Alfredo Castelli.[1] The show was produced by Marathon Media Group (French television production company based in Paris), and Image Entertainment Corporation (a Canadian production and animation company based in Montreal).[2] It uses an art style similar to Japanese anime. The series premiered on YTV on 1 October 2003 in its originating country of Canada.

Premise

The series re-imagines the comic books' main characters Martin Mystery and Diana Lombard as teenage stepsiblings attending Torrington Academy,[1] a boarding school located in the city of Sherbrooke, Quebec.[3] They work for a secret organization known as "The Center," which covertly protects the people of Earth from supernatural threats and investigates the unknown and the paranormal. Their allies at The Center include Billy, a small, green-skinned alien who is one of Martin's best friends; and Java, a caveman from 200,000 years ago, who works as a janitor at Torrington Academy and is the arm of the group.

Martin's vast knowledge of the supernatural and his remarkable intuition make him a valued agent of The Center, and compensate for his huge ego and his clumsy attitude. Diana resents these flaws at times, as Martin often does not seem to understand the seriousness of his missions, but generally respects him, and loves him and his way of being himself without compromises.

Episodes

Main article: List of Martin Mystery episodes

Characters

Martin is a 16-year-old boy, with a passion for monsters and the paranormal, who works as a paranormal investigator for "The Center". He is immature, hyperactive, and zany, constantly bursting with energy. He is usually an underachiever in school, once getting 106 out of 902 on his pre-college aptitude test. While impulsive and impatient – often leaping into danger on missions without thinking to help those in peril – he consistently proves to be a quick thinker and clever. He has a peculiar love for everything slimy, sloppy, and gooey – things that make Diana gag. His favorite pastime is taunting Diana by playing practical jokes. A running gag in the series is his constant flirting with every beautiful girl he meets, who usually reject him.
Martin jumps to conclusions very often, coming up with every unlikely theory he can think of, usually from some horror movie or monster movie he saw, or from his subscription to Paranormal Monthly. As the leader of the trio, Martin is also the only one who wears a U-Watch. His first monster was Venoso, a female chameleon monster that has the power to shape-shift into any person it wants.
Martin appears in a crossover episode of Totally Spies!. During the episode, he is immediately smitten with Clover, even though she is uninterested in him. Towards the end of the same episode, Clover finally showed interests in Martin and even tries to get his attention, but Martin and Alex have hit it off due to a shared love of comics and video games. Throughout the episode, Martin continuously describes Sam as a "really lame buzz-kill", but doesn't lash out at him due to her composed demeanor.
Diana is Martin’s stepsister, who is his complete opposite. She is also 16 years old and an agent for The Center, while attending Torrington Academy. She is a rigid overachiever, and often has a hard time keeping her cool with Martin. The stepsiblings argue frequently, with such arguments ending in some sort of bet that Diana usually loses. Diana can be timid at times – which leads to Martin calling her a "wimp" – but can show great courage when called upon. Her intelligence often comes in handy on their missions. Never sharing Martin's love of the paranormal, she often tries to reason with logic instead of jumping to conclusions.
Diana is often used as "bait" for the majority of their missions, which results in her being a victim of the monster. Such examples include: being cocooned by an acid-spewing insect queen, turned into a frog by a warlock Martin unleashed, and being possessed by a vengeful spirit at a mountain lodge. When Martin is incapacitated by other monsters, she uses her own skills to save him, and even wears Martin's U-watch in a few episodes.
Java is a 200,000-year-old caveman, who assists Martin and Diana in their investigations as the team's tracker. Friends with both, he often works odd jobs at Torrington. While he does not usually contribute much to conversation due to his simplistic English (e.g. "What that?", "Diana bald", and "Java no like this place"), his brute strength and creative thinking often help in the team's investigations.
Java is a significant source of comedy in the show, due to his reactions to various scenarios and his poor hygiene as a caveman (e.g. his offensive foot odor, putrid armpits, and filthy breath). His technophobia also provides some running gags.
The director of "The Center". M.O.M. oversees the investigation of paranormal activities throughout the world. Serious, uncompromising, and an expert at hand-to-hand combat, she is often seen multitasking. While Martin's capabilities make him one of her favorite agents, she is often annoyed by his childish behavior. A running gag in the series is Martin destroying nearly every piece of gadgetry she is working on whenever he appears for a debriefing in her office.
As an agent, the first creature she captured was Gastromo, a parasitic, iron-eating, slug-like monster who infects and controls those he touches. Contrary to the dry sense of humor she provides to the series, Billy has said she is "a real party animal when she gets going". In one episode, Martin and Diana discover she turns The Center into a nightclub afterhours for agents, and they see her dancing. And despite her rather serious and stoic nature, she is always in a happy and festive mood at Christmas, to which a disbelieving Martin comments that it looks like "M.O.M. is actually having fun".
In the crossover episode of Totally Spies!, M.O.M. is shown to have a possibly romantic history with the spies' boss Jerry, much to the spies' and Martin's displeasure, as she and Jerry spy-flirt between holograms. The initials M.O.M. are said to actually stand for "Mystery Organization Manager", as explained by Martin in that episode. While her real name is unknown, she used the alias Ms. Olivia Mandell (derived from the initials M.O.M.) in the episode "Web of the Spider Creature".
Billy is M.O.M.'s personal secretary; he is a tiny green alien often seen flying on his mini hovercraft. Friendly and upbeat, he usually greets the gang when they are first signed in, and often does his signature high five with Martin (whom he idolizes). His role is generally a supportive one; he often pops in to give the team valuable information, usually startling them in the process. He will also analyses samples or photographs that Martin sends in during a mission. However, he won't help on a mission directly unless he is forced to.
In the second season, it was revealed Billy was once a great alien warrior Ganthar on another planet, but he gave up violence for good. On his home planet, he was a supermodel, likely popular since he was fearsome and powerful. Billy arrived on Earth in the Roswell Incident in 1947. In later episodes, Billy adopted a human disguise — the "B.S. 1000" — to be with Martin and Diana at their school. There are a few later episodes that hint Billy has romantic feelings for Diana, much to Martin's disgust.

Recurring

Diana's best friend. Jenni is one of the prettiest and most popular girls attending Torrington. She has blue eyes and flared auburn-coloured hair, usually seen wearing a black blouse and skirt with knee-high boots. Martin is in love with her, which she does not return due to his immaturity. She regularly describes him as "immature", a "freak", and a "loser". However, there are times she becomes interested in him, particularly when Martin acts like a gentleman. Unfortunately for Martin, this never lasts due to her memory being erased, or Martin subsequently doing something stupid.
Martin's rival. The son of a pilot, Marvin enjoys the extreme, saying that he enjoys the adrenaline rush that comes with such activities. Some of his activities includes rock climbing in the Himalayas, parasailing over the Great Barrier Reef, street-luging on the German Autobahn, jungle kayaking, and snowboarding down the face of K2. His talents and popularity make everyone at the school fawn over him, while making Martin jealous.
In "The Third Eye", Marvin is recruited to work for The Center, which annoys Martin. At the end of "Body-Swappers", he is relocated to Hawaii as a reward for his work on the mission. However, in "Rage of the Leprechaun", he is relegated to The Center's South Pole facility because of his negligence in a previous mission, and blames his unfortunate circumstances on Martin.
Martin's father, and Diana's stepfather. The complete opposite of his son, Gerard is a very rational, logical person. As a scientist, he spends much of his time doing field work in the forest. He and Martin have a strained relationship, partly due to Gerard considering Martin's interest in the paranormal to be "balderdash". He only appeared in two episodes; in his second appearance, he finds out about "The Center" and that Diana and Martin work for it. Diana's mother is only mentioned once in season three.

Broadcast

Martin Mystery aired in Canada on YTV and Discovery Kids in English, and on Vrak in French, from 2003 until the series finale in 2006.

In the United States, the first 7 episodes were originally shown on FoxBox in May and June 2004. Nickelodeon later picked up the series, and aired the series on Nicktoons Network from 4 July 2005 until 27 April 2008.

In other markets

Other channels that aired the show included M6 in France, Rai 2 in Italy, and Jetix throughout Europe (excluding Italy and Poland). Additional channels in Europe included SVT1 and SVT Barnkanalen in Sweden, NRK Super in Norway, Yle TV2 in Finland, GMA Network[4] and Q (now known as GTV) in the Philippines, VT4 in Belgium and ZigZap in Poland.

MBC 3, Ajyal TV, and ART 3 broadcast this show in Arabic throughout the Middle East, with the voice talents of Mo'awad Ismail as Martin and Mariam El Khesht as Diana.

Home media

Home video of Martin Mystery was distributed in France by PolyGram and MK2. In Italy, home video was distributed by 01 Distribution. Home video for the English version of season 1 was also released in Canada and the United States, but has become a rarity in recent years.

Crossovers in other series

Background characters resembling Martin, Diana, and Marvin have appeared on other series produced by Marathon and Image, such as Team Galaxy, Totally Spies!, and The Amazing Spiez!.

In 2007, a year after the series ended, the characters of Martin and M.O.M appeared on a fifth season episode of Totally Spies!. In the episode "Totally Mystery Much?", Martin helps the team investigate a series of Yeti sightings in Antarctica. None of the other Martin Mystery characters appeared or were mentioned in the episode.

Future

The series ended production after its third season, with 66 episodes being aired.[1]

In December 2013, a possible "new season project" was announced on the official Martin Mystery Facebook page.[5] As of 2022, there has been no further announcement or plans for such. However, there have been talks about a potential digital remaster and re-release of the series in 16:9 widescreen.[1]

Reception

Common Sense Media wrote of the series "Scooby-Doo meets X-Files; tweens OK."[6]

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Do You Remember Martin Mystery? What About the Original Comics?". Comic Book Resources. 21 September 2019. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  2. ^ Crump, William D. (2019). Happy Holidays—Animated! A Worldwide Encyclopedia of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's Cartoons on Television and Film. McFarland & Co. p. 184. ISBN 9781476672939.
  3. ^ Green 2019, p. 110.
  4. ^ Ruiz, Marah (27 March 2015). "Misteryo at katatawanan sa 'Martin Mystery'". GMA Network. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  5. ^ "Martin Mystère - Martin Mystery Facebook: Breaking news ! We are now more than 100 000 fans! The show is becoming one of the most popular on Facebook! After three seasons broadcast throughout the world, the producers of the show are now working on a great new season's project! Thanks to you all, there are chances that Martin, Diana, Java and Billy will be reunited! More news coming soon here!". Facebook. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Martin Mystery - TV Review". 18 April 2006.

Bibliography