Television’s Urban Legend: As per the story, Darkwing Duck was set to be titled Double-O Duck, but, a trademark owned by James Bond movie makers came in the way.
A while back, we listed some of the shockingly racy jokes featured in the Disney Afternoon cartoon shows, and one such joke pertained to the DuckTales episode titled “Double-O Duck.”
The episode showed Launchpad McQuack being mistaken for a spy and getting trapped in the espionage game. A female spy (inspired by Pussy Galore) tried to seduce him. It was quite strange for a cartoon show aimed at kids..
Nonetheless, it was a well-made episode, and it became quite popular at Disney, who believed that it was managed very well.
With DuckTales being successful, Disney started contemplating other concepts for a syndicated series, and a couple of DuckTales episodes were selected to inspire the potential spin-off ideas. One of them was “Masked Mallard,” which showed Scrooge become a superhero.
The other was Double-O Duck.
The famous Disney concept artist, Michael Peraza, created a pitch which was a merger of two ideas fused together to create a mask-wearing super-spy. He was named “Double-O Duck.” You can check some of the designs done by Peraza (he had also done a stunning write-up about the show’s development here).
But, there was a tiny winy problem – “Double-O” was already a registered trademark of the people who owned the rights to James Bond.
They realized that it wasn’t going to be possible that those guys would let them use such a name for their TV show, so they went on to choose a name which reminded people of Batman instead of James Bond..Darkwing Duck!
As is the saying, the rest is history.