December 16, 1991
Animation: Kennedy Cartoons, Inc.
300 years ago, pirate Negaduck and the Fearsome Four steal the jewels from the King’s ship. Darkwing Doubloon takes control of the vessel and goes after the felons with the assistance of the Justice Ducks (minus Morgana and Neptunia).
A period swashbuckler thats strength is its fun depiction of pirate ship history. The inclusion of super powered heroes and villains in this world invites absurd and surreal humour. Old maritime technology is mixed with 20th century electrics, and at one point a rubber raft is used as a lifeboat. There are some lovely later shots of sunsets too.
The episode begins with recycled footage of St. Canard from episode That Sinking Feeling. We hear a voice over tell us the episode will be set 300 years ago. However, it does not take place in period St. Canard. It is instead set aboard two small seagoing ships on the ocean, with the final 3 minutes set on a random island cave.
As with Quack of Ages, the Muddlefoots stand in as royalty. It is unclear why royalty is sailing the seas and where they are going or who they represent. It is therefore not clear what motivates their sole crew member, Seaman Drake, and his alias Darkwing Doubloon, to save the jewels.
The most interesting visual in the episode is the shadow of Seaman Drake against a ship sail. To the Muddlefoot royalty, it resembles seafaring hero Darkwing Doubloon, whom they have more respect for. This and other elements suggest a story about the folly of making assumptions and underestimating others.
There is rivalry between Darkwing and Negaduck, but there is little time to explore their goals or those of the many other characters in their period sea-faring guises. Some of their voices are markedly different in this episode, and the appearance of Fenton Crackshell outside of his regular clothing is unrecognisable. It is not clear why Fenton requires dual identities in this episode either.
For further exploration of Darkwing Duck in televisual, comic, book, video game and merchandising form, I highly recommend: