Full Name: Richard Vance
Nationality: American
Organization: Interspy
Occupation Agent

Creator: David H. DePatie, Friz Freleng
Time Span: 1967 - 1967


Richard Vance is an agent with Interspy.

That intelligence and enforcement organization is responsible for keeping the peace and maintaining security against all manner of dangers, both domestic and foreign. The list of opponents that it will have to deal is impressive with the most dangerous being S.P.I.D.E.R. (Society for Plunder, International Disorder, Espionage, and Racketeering).

To all outward appearances, Vance seems a fairly average fellow, tall and husky with short dark hair usually topped with a small-brimmed hat, prone to wearing a suit and tie unless undercover. Some references I have seen describe his occupation as being a detective and his manners and actions do fit that rather well. He has a nice assortment of gadgets he can and does use but for the most part, he sticks to traditional tools such as his fists and a revolver.

What makes Vance so unique and memorable is not himself per se but his shadow, hence the name of the series.

We are told that it was in Tibet that Vance learned the uncanny skill of detaching his shadow and using it to perform an amazing number of special tricks. Among those is being able to slip through tiny or extra-thin openings and disappear into other shadows and thus turn practically invisible. It can move a fair distance away from Vance's physical body so peering around corners and into adjoining rooms is common place. The major limiting factor, though, is that there must be light available to bring about this shadow form, darkness being a major impediment.

Being just a shadow, his alter-ego is for all intents and purposes invulnerable because it is not possible to hurt what does not have an actual shape. On the other hand, this incorporeal form can be dangerous as its hands have the ability to become physically solid and strike opponents as well as untie a bound Vance. 


Number of Episodes:15
First Appearance:1967
Last Appearance:1967

Ted CassidyRichard Vance/Spy Shadow [ 1 ]

When Warner Bros. closed its animation studio in 1963, two of its employees, Friz Freleng and David H. DePatie got a sweet deal renting the spaces and equipment and founded DePatie-Freleng Enterprises (DFE). Their initial business was commercials and industrial films but when Blake Edwards gave them a contract to come up with a character for his new movie, The Pink Panther, they were on their way.

The company would have a respectable amount of success over the next couple of years, allowing them to try their hand at their own creations. One of those attempts was a cartoon show called Super President about a Chief Executive with super powers.

They created a half hour television show consisting of two short adventures of Super President bookending a different character's storyline. That sandwiched fellow was Spy Shadow.

Fifteen episodes were created and aired and that was enough time for everyone, including DFE, that the shows were not good at all and no more were created. Apparently, though NBC would continue to air repeats now and then over the next year.

1 The Brain Drain Game
Episode S1-01, first aired 09/16/1967
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Vance is sent to rescue a kidnapped physicist in the Swiss Alps.

2 The Kilowatt Killer Caper
Episode S1-02, first aired 09/23/1967
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

A scientist uses electricity to either capture or destroy an atomic submarine.

3 Evila the Terrible
Episode S1-03, first aired 09/30/1967
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Evilia employs a hypnosis ray to conquer the world.

4 The Mystery Rustler Caper
Episode S1-04, first aired 10/07/1967
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Vance's vacation is interrupted to investigate the mysterious disappearance of herds of cattle.

5 The Egyptian Rat-Trap Flap
Episode S1-05, first aired 10/14/1967
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Vance learns El Kavadar has a map that will lead him to an immense treasure.

6 Desert Dilemma
Episode S1-06, first aired 10/21/1967
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Interrupting Cobra's slave trade leads to Vance being left tied in the burning desert.

7 The Case of the Treacherous Tugboat
Episode S1-07, first aired 10/28/1967
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Tugboat Family assembles her own fleet of ships, courtesy of the navy.

8 Close Shave in Burma
Episode S1-08, first aired 11/04/1967
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Vance sets out to retrieve a kidnapped prince.

9 The Aurora Borealis Business
Episode S1-09, first aired 11/11/1967
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Madam Shark hijacks Vance and strands him in the Arctic during its night cycle of six months.

10 The Big Bounty
Episode S1-10, first aired 11/18/1967
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Vance ends up trapped in Cobra's building, which Cobra sends crashing to the ground.

11 The Guns of Titicaca
Episode S1-11, first aired 11/25/1967
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Vance is sent to liberate the slaves from Baron Von Willietner's copper mine.

12 Dead-End Express
Episode S1-12, first aired 12/02/1967
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Vance is tasked with guarding cargo on a train dubbed the "dead end express".

13 The Contraband Caper
Episode S1-13, first aired 12/09/1967
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

A wounded agent leads Vance to Cobra's contraband ship.

14 Bandit Gambit
Episode S1-14, first aired 12/16/1967
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

Vance heads to a small island to depose its tyrant ruler.

15 The Great Trainload of Robbers
Episode S1-15, first aired 12/23/1967
Director: unknown
Writer: unknown

A sinister producer plans to lure Vance into his movie production in order to destroy him.


When I say I did not like a series, I sometimes wonder if I am in a minority. Not this time one. I did not like it. Well, do not. Back when it came out, I was 15 and there were girls and work and cool live-active television and movies and girls (maybe I repeat myself). This would have seemed a stupid idea.

Which put me in the majority because everyone else thought so as well, including the network that initially aired it.

It was very much on the side of stupid but looked almost intelligent when compared with the Super President shows it was sandwiched between. Now that was a stupid idea.


My Grade: C


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