Scooby Doo Was Very Different in Pre-Production

Velma was named Linda, and she was Shaggy’s sister.

Shaggy was nicknamed “W.W.”

Fred was two different guys, Geoff and Mike. (Network executive Fred Silverman begged to have the new combination character named after himself.)

Daphne’s name was Kelly.

And Scooby’s name was “Too Much.”

Iwao Takamoto deliberately designed Scoob to have funny conformation for a Great Dane, just so he wouldn’t look like Marmaduke.

And they were all in a band called The Mysteries Five, which was why they kept driving around the country in a van.

The show was originally designed to be a fairly serious mystery/horror show for kids, but parents were becoming concerned about violence on Saturday morning with all the action cartoons. So Hanna-Barbera reworked the show to be a comedy, and got rid of the band concept (but kept some Archies-style music in the show).

Fred Silverman didn’t work for Hanna-Barbera, but he worked fairly closely with them and their huge slate of kids’ animation shows. He loved the old live-action comedy show, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, and encouraged Hanna-Barbera to copy that show’s mix of personalities. So if you’ve ever wondered why Shaggy acted a lot like Bob Denver’s Gilligan and his Dobie Gillis character, Maynard Krebs, that’s why

So yes, that makes Fred into Dobie Gillis. And Fred Silverman wanted to have his self-insert _be_ Dobie Gillis.

So yes, the original concept for Velma was that she was a version of Zelda Gilroy, a nerdy girl who was in love with Dobie Gillis, much to his obliviousness. (And in fact, one of the show concepts was that Dobie actually was in love with his childhood friend Zelda, but just wasn’t smart enough to realize it yet; and in the show universe, they eventually were happily married.)

Fortunately for Velma, she didn’t end up hopelessly in love with Fred.

And Daphne actually isn’t like any of the girls who were Dobie Gillis objects of desire, although her name apparently was supposed to remind people of the first season rich, mean blonde girl he liked, who was named Thalia. (And Daphne’s family is rich, but Fred’s family isn’t badly off, either.)

That said, when you look at it, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is also reminiscent of Thalia, Zander is reminiscent of Dobie, and Willow was clearly Zelda, much more than Daphne or Velma ever were. And Dobie Gillis featured a mentor teacher who snarked at the kids but also helped them out, so I guess we know where a certain librarian/Watcher came from. They were never the Scoobies so much as the Dobies.

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