Veritas: The Quest

Jim 2000s

Aired: 2003 ABC Veritas: The Quest

DAD: Solomon Zond (Alex Carter) / Widower (unless his wife turns up during Sweeps)

DAD’S JOB: Archeologist

KIDS: Nikko (Ryan Merriman)(17)

WHERE’S MOM?: Vanished Mysteriously in an ancient tomb. Seriously.

STAND-IN “MOM”: Juliet Droil (Cobie Smulders) / Hottie Tutor & Mentor

Saw the pilot, and it boils down to this: picture Jonny Quest, only there’s no Hadji or Bandit, Race Bannon is the guy from The Mummy, and Jonny’s got a hottie tutor (an early Cobie Smulders role from the later How I Met Your Mother). Lots of guns, bad guys in German cars, secret hideouts, and bunsen burners. Equal parts Erich von Däniken, L. Ron Hubbard, and Lewis Carroll, this series didn’t survive as long as the Young Indiana Jones Adventures lasted.

Do yourself a favor and skip the first episode – it’s a yawner. But *do* watch the “Skulls” episode with the always-pleasant guest star Liz Vassey (formerly Captain Liberty of The Tick).

Who would name their kid after the head Flying Monkey from The Wizard of Oz?

Here’s ABC’s spin:

What if you watched your mother mysteriously vanish in an ancient tomb? What if you discovered that your father was not who he seemed to be? What if the worst day of your life began your life’s greatest adventure?

Meet Nikko Zond, a hyper-intelligent but rebellious teenager still mourning the death of his renowned archeologist mother and a virtual stranger to his workaholic father, Solomon. On the day Nikko gets kicked out of the latest in a long line of boarding schools, he discovers his father’s career as a university professor is just a cover. Solomon is really head of the Veritas Foundation, whose agenda is to seek the truth behind the mysteries of history and civilization.

Teaming up for the first time with his father, Nikko finds his parents’ spirit of adventure clearly runs in his blood, as he inadvertently gets entangled in his dad’s dangerous adventures. Soon, and against his father’s better judgment, Nikko enters the high tech, classified world of Veritas and begins the adventure of his lifetime – a journey that will lead to the unlocking of universal mysteries and, hopefully, will bring him and his emotionally estranged father back together.

The Veritas team includes: The highly intelligent and mysterious Vincent Siminou, Solomon’s closest confidant and protector; Calvin Banks, a high strung but brilliant by-the-books archaeologist; and Maggie, a cool and sophisticated computer scientist. And charged with the difficult task of trying to keep Nikko out of trouble is Juliet Droil, a beautiful and brilliant former student of his father’s who will be Nikko’s tutor and friend.

From an excavation site of the pre-Roman civilization of Ancient Gaul to the North Pole, there is no place to which the Veritas Foundation will not venture in their mission for the truth. But a secret nefarious organization, seeking to destroy the Foundation’s research, will never be far behind.

The series stars Ryan Merriman as Nikko Zond, Alex Carter as Solomon Zond, Eric Balfour as Calvin Banks, Cynthia Martells as Maggie, Cobie Smulders as Juliet Droil with Arnold Vosloo as Vincent Siminou.

“Veritas: The Quest” was created by Patrick Massett and John Zinman (“Tomb Raider”) who will serve as writers and executive producers. It also marks the first television series executive-produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (TV’s critically-acclaimed “Annie” and “Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows”). The series is produced by Touchstone Television in association with Storyline Entertainment and Massett/Zinman Productions, and is shot in Montreal and Toronto, Canada.