Episode(s) Reviewed: "The Kur Stone"
Length: one-hour premiere
Premiere: October 2008
Network: Cartoon Network
Official Website: at CartoonNetwork.com
A.I. News Link: CN Upfront 2008: 'The Secret Saturdays'
Images: Click to Enlarge [all]
For the eleven-year-old Zak Saturday, life is pretty sweet. His family belongs to a special society of researchers whom armed with advanced technology and world-traveling know-how, tackle everything from teleportation to death rays to cybernetics. The society, an organization called The Secret Scientists, benefits from the skill and genius of a select few individuals whose inventions and subject matter research moves humanity into a new era--such is the case with the Saturday family, or rather, the Secret Saturdays.
Zak is an only child, but chances are high that he probably wouldn't want it any other way. His father, Doc Saturday, is a wealthy inventor; and the boy's mother, Drew Saturday, has a penchant for the archeology of mythical objects. Altogether, the Saturdays are in the business of tracking and investigating the existence of cryptids--beasts of legend and folklore that traditional science conveniently overlooks. Some cryptids are wild animals that roam the Amazon River Basin, others live in the swamps of Louisiana, while yet others trek through more mountainous regions; regardless, it's the job of the Saturdays to catalogue and to stay on top of these unique creatures.
There's a lot in this television animation that could force one to label it one giant throw-back, what with the research-tuned adventure-family traveling the world theme and all; but for what it's worth, The Secret Saturdays does well to keep the story fresh and interesting, even if that means mischievously merging science-fiction and science-fantasy every now and then.
Solving mysteries associated with urban legends and tales from any number of crypts, the Saturday family has the duty to document and protect these rare animals. But every once in a while, the cryptids are a bit on the dangerous side, which requires some heavy lifting. For example, the Amarok is a large, bi-pedal wolf-like creature that roams Northern Canada: heavy lifting required. Or perhaps consider the Biloko, crocodile-like humanoid beast that has adapted to eating human flesh, which has been sighted in Zaire: again, heavy lifting required.
Over the years, the Saturdays have managed to get pretty good at all this the heavy lifting too. What it all boils down to is the fact that Doc Saturday is Benton Quest and Race Bannon rolled into one guy; he's a brilliant scientist and he's super buff. Doc is over-analytical, usually well reserved, and still doesn't mind breaking the neck of a mercenary that steals into his house when he's not home. He's a great character, but is somewhat dry and appears to speak more to the viewing audience than he does to the other characters. Drew Saturday, Doc's hot wife, is a bit impulsive and likes to get things done as soon as possible. She too can kick butt, and has a solid knowledge of mythical archeology to back it up. She doesn't mind taking risks (with the lone exception of her son, obviously).