The Land of Backwards

Featuring the song: You'd Better Think Twice

Original air date: 9/8/73
Written by Marc Richards - Directed by Hal Sutherland
Storyline: When the Adventurer's Club goes to the Land of Backwards, they find that everything is reversed.  Rick asks them to help the famous backward poet Shelley Percy, but they aren't aware that the adventure will involve the jewel thief Big Billy and his henchmen.

Footnote: The musical montage features one of the few animated instances in modern day of a mother spanking a baby.  Also, Miss Tickle and Tut-Tut first appeared on "Teacher's Pet", an episode of The Brady Kids.

According to US

I have watched my first episode of Mission Magic :-) I don't like cartoons in general, so my expectations are really low, and it actually wasn't as painful as I thought it was going to be. The menu on the dvd is kind of cute, with yellow stars indicating which episode you are wanting to select. There's not much of a set up, with this being the first episode as to how everybody is connected to each other.
Rick contacts the gang, speaking nonsensical, and they quickly figure out that's he's in the "Land of Backwards". When they first get there, he does mention that he's in Burbank (Bankbur), which is kind of interesting. There's actually a cute and very little simple mystery in the episode. The criminals remind me of something out of Bullwinkle. And what is up with the owl (Ptolemy) anyway? And Rick does jail time back in 1973, who knew (ha ha). And I have to say, he runs much better and quicker in High Tide......
I do think it's much easier listening to the music while watching the show. I've tried to listen to it in my car, but that kind of drives me crazy.
The song that goes with this episode is You Better Think Twice and it kind of ties in with the story. - rlh

What a cute cartoon! Hey, I can't argue with it---Rick is the star of the show. LOL My guess is that Rick probably considers this `acting' move a dumb choice from his past, but I think it's a cool little piece of his history…even if it is a cartoon. It's really bizarre though, seeing a cartoon of Rick. 

It's no wonder many of the songs from MM sounded somewhat familiar to me when I bought it a few years ago. I vaguely recall seeing this show as a child. The memory is very faint for me though. Of course I was only 4 at that time. And I don't think I got to watch it much, as my mother controlled my TV viewing and I'm guessing if she saw a cartoon with a `rock star' she probably changed it over to something else, like a Disney show. It's amazing though how Rick has been a `part of our lives' for so long. He's embedded in my psyche from way back, long before I had a clue who Rick Springfield was, or before I was old enough to even care. 

Miss Tickle is a magic teacher who has a group of students called the adventurers' club. From what I can gather, the principle of the school doesn't realize that Miss Tickle has magic powers. Miss Tickle has a magic cat called Tut Tut who `travels' with her on the adventures. The children fly through a magic door with Miss Tickle and Tut Tut, taking them into another world. This show reminds me a bit of the more recent children's show called The Magic School Bus. Even the names of the teachers are similar---Miss Fizzle/Miss Tickle. Both shows revolve around a teacher and her students who go on magical adventures. There is even music in the Magic School Bus, but not a lead character who's a musician. Another difference in them---The Magic School Bus is more about scientific adventures, whereas this show is not. 

The show opens with the song "The Theme from Mission Magic" with Rick singing away and strumming his guitar---"Do you believe, you believe in magic. `Cuz I believe, I believe that I do. Yes, I can see I believe that it's magic. If your mission is magic, your love will shine through." I think the song was a good choice lyrically, considering the show is about magical adventures and mysteries. 

In the opening and throughout the show there are plenty of psychedelic visuals and swirling colors. Rick is wearing his white outfit with the "R" and the lightening bolt on the shirt and his has his long black `70`s hair.' Pretty cute, but it really doesn't look THAT much like him in the face. Let's just say, it doesn't do him a lot of justice. He was much better looking than the cartoon drawing portrays him. The cartoons from back then were so much different that what they've become today. The movements and facial expressions of the characters are almost robotic, lacking expression in a lot of ways. In a sense (artistically), cartoons have improved due to computers and other technologies. 

And what is up with the blonde-haired girl? LOL Pretty funny how every time she says Rick's name it comes out in a breathy voice--- "Riiiiick!" like she's swooning over him. Hmmm…I guess this young girl had a crush on the magical Mr. Springfield! I have to admit, it's kind of freaky hearing cartoon characters calling out the name "Rick Springfield." 

In this first episode (and all the rest) we find a cute little blue owl hanging out with Rick during the show, mostly perched on his shoulder. I'm not sure why, unless it's because owls are usually considered mystical, magical creatures. The owl's name is Ptolemy, with a silent "P." 

The coolest "Rick thing" about this show for me is getting to hear Rick speaking constantly in his Aussie accent. I could totally listen to that Australian tongue all day long! 

This was a pretty cute episode about a place called the Land of Backwards. The adventurers take off into this land to solve mysteries, with the help of Rick.   - Kelley Pearson