Most of the dirt about this came from Dan Drazen's Sonic FAQ. Since I don't have access to a 'news server' or the slightest clue about Usenet, I cannot verify the posts mentioned. Blue text indicates -my- opinions and/or notes.
From Drazen's "Sonic FAQ"...
Q: Who was that red-eyed figure at the very end of the "Doomsday Project" (SatAM episode)? And what would have happened during the third season?
A: The identity of the figure accompanying Snively at the end of "Doomsday" has been the subject of quite a bit of speculation. The most popular guesses have included Knuckles and Mecha-Sonic. To get the straight dope, longtime Sonic fan Alessandro Sanasi in Germany managed to track down none other than Ben Hurst, writer of the episode in question and (with Pat Allee) one of the key writers for the second season of Sonic. Here is the result of their exchange of e-mail:
"The red eyes you saw were NAGUS, the sorcerer trapped in the Void."
In addition, it turns out that Robotnik indeed survived the destruction of the Doomsday device: "At the moment the Doomsday machine was destroyed, [Nagus] was able to exploit the energies [released by the destruction as well as by the Deep Power Stones,presumably] and pull Robotnik into the Void."
Funny, I don't remember Nagus' eyes glowing red like that in "The Void". And from the way Snively was talking at the end of "The Doomsday Project", it sounded like the entity behind him was his lackey ("…and I am NOT alone!") Besides, it would have been way cool if it had been Mecha-Sonic! (Well, I think so!) I seriously doubted that it was Knuckles, especially since we didn't see him on the Floating Island during "Blast to the Past". Come to think of it, I don't ever recall seeing Knuckles' eyes glow red, either.
Hold onto your seats for a thumbnail outline of the third season:
"Snively takes over...Robotropolis...during the first two episodes, he battles the Freedom Fighters. Without Robotnik's cunning, however, he finds himself on the brink of losing everything. Meanwhile, Nagus is having a delightful time 'torturing' Robotnik [cf. the malicious shape-shifting Robotnik underwent in "The Void"] while plotting his...escape.
He's... discovered the magic which will enable him to leave the Void without turning to crystal...But...Robotnik has found a means to communicate with Snively--telling the little guy his location. Snively...tells Robotnik where he can get off. "
"But then, as the Freedom Fighters are on the brink of taking over Robotropolis, Snively opens the Void, releasing Robotnik-- and accidentally releasing Nagus and Sally's father.... Now Nagus is in charge, Robotnik is his "Snively" [i.e., lackey], and Snively becomes a nobody. Nagus uses the King to bait a trap to catch Sally. Robotnik plots to regain his power and Snively defects to the Freedom Fighters."
fanfic makes a little sense now! ;)
Such a pity that we never got to see this. It would have been cool to see the Freedom Fighters storm Robotropolis (and see Snively throwing a fit about it J ). Hmmm. Snively would have to be extremely desperate to resort to releasing Robotnik. Afterall, Snively obviously resented the way he was treated--Sniv called his uncle some interesting things behind his back! ;)
The thought of Nagus in charge might be reasonable--he certainly has the power to take over. But I got the impression that he was more interested in escaping the Void and getting his revenge on Robotnik than conquering Mobius.
Anyway, the Freedom Fighters certainly wouldn't welcome Snively with open arms after all he's done. Even if he rescued Sally, they'd be suspicious. It would have been a kick, though, to see Snively assist the very group he sought to eliminate. I get the feeling it would gall him like heck to crawl to the Freedom Fighters for help. J
Q: Why didn't ABC renew Sonic for a third season?
A: There are now three answers to this question -- one appears to be definitive, but the other two are more fun. Believe what you like..
1) ABC got clobbered in the SatAM ratings of the November sweeps because the show was up against the "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers" on Fox. Despite the fact that ABC shifted Sonic to an earlier time slot (doing so without warning just before the first airing of the "Doomsday" episode), Fox jazzed with its schedule so that MMPR was once more up against Sonic. This 1-2 punch was enough to do it. Source for this item: someone from within the offices of Archie Comics, as posted to alt.fan.sonic-hedgehog.
I didn't get to see the post in question, but I'll take your word for it, Dan. As a fan of the Rescue Rangers, I already had several good reasons to hate the MMPR. This one, however, makes the other reasons pale in comparisson!!
2) DiC allegedly screwed the pooch by releasing StH animation cels onto the market without clearing it with Sega. Upon learning of this, Sega took umbrage that its property was being sold without its consent or agreement to a cut of the action (can you say "anal retentive"). Words were exchanged and the show was effectively cancelled.
I have found nothing to support it this theory, but it -is- amusing. If this had been the case, the USA Network wouldn't have been able to air the first two seasons as part of their "Cartoon Express". BTW, I saw the first episode Heads or Tails for the first time while the series ran on USA.
3) ABC's kidvid programming has lately been adhering to a policy of "two seasons and out" for shows. Though it's possible that some ideas only last two seasons because they're kinda bankrupt to begin with.
If you mean
that ABC had a habit of airing some crappy shows, I'm inclined to agree.
Well, Reboot was a notable exception. Hmm. Come to think
of it, ABC didn't air the 3rd season of Reboot, either (but it -did-
air in Canada, so Mainframe Productions -did- make the episodes)...
[Kat wanders off to think about this]
<---Back to "Shades of Mobius".