Episode 018 – Creatures From the Tar Swamp

In which Skeletor takes some dinosaurs to lunch at the Palace.

At the Palace, Adam’s haughty cousin Edwina arrives for a visit. One of Edwina’s first lines carries more than a whiff of incest, giving the impression if the camera wasn’t on her, she’d be jumping Adam’s bones right there in the courtyard. Luckily, Adam distracts her by introducing her to Orko, who takes an unaccountable shine to her and offers her a brooch, which she rudely rejects. Adam tries to patch things up by reminiscing about how Orko saved his life many years previously. And so begins the exciting story of Orko’s arrival on Eternia.

Creatures

It seems that young Adam and Cringer were hanging out in the Tar Swamp, but got lost in a storm. This same storm opened a doorway between Eternia and Trolla, Orko’s world, through which Orko came and got stranded. At the cost of his magic medallion, Orko saved Adam and Cringer, who were knee-deep in tar, and as a reward for his bravery, he was allowed to come and be a right pain at the Palace for ever. And so ends the exciting story of Orko’s arrival on Eternia.

Creatures 2

Edwina is unimpressed, and frankly so was I. But Orko takes it rather badly, and determines that he must retrieve his magic medallion from the Tar Swamp. Once Man-at-Arms and Teela work out where Orko must be, they set off in the Wind Raider to find him, leaving Adam to “get in touch with He-Man”.

Unfortunately, Skeletor, Evil-Lyn and Beast-Man are also mucking about in the Swamp, with the rather unusual aim of restoring to life any prehistoric monsters that perished in the Swamp. Perhaps they’re going to open their own Jurassic Park. But no: the purpose of said monsters is for use in the conquest of Palace Eternia (not Castle Grayskull this week, presumably for the sake of variation). Orko is captured and forced to watch as two blue and purple spotted birds and a big grey dinosaur emerge from the Swamp.

Creatures 3

Once our heroes arrive in the Swamp, with Stratos showing up as well, Skeletor reveals his plan: taking the dinosaur to “lunch at the Palace”. He leaves the giant birds to attend to He-Man and co., which they manage pretty quickly. They then all head back to the Palace, where they find that King Randor has surrendered to Skeletor without a second thought, and has been slapped in jail with Marlena, Edwina and Orko.

Inside the Palace, Skeletor and Evil-Lyn are lounging about on the King and Queen’s thrones, while Beast-Man stands vacantly on the floor before them. Naturally, they are congratulating themselves on a job well done, overlooking the fact that they haven’t really attended to He-Man. Of course, they are interrupted by Teela, Man-at-Arms and Stratos, who actually prove capable for once and dispose of the villains.

Creatures 4

Out in the Palace courtyard, Orko and Edwina have escaped from jail, and Orko spots his magic medallion stuck to the dinosaur’s back. He retrieves it and starts trying to use it to send the dinosaur back to the Swamp, but Edwina simply wants him to use it to teleport her to safety. Orko refuses, and casts a super spell to undo everything that’s happened, again at the cost of the medallion. Finally, Edwina is publicly shamed for being so dreadful, and banished from the Palace.

 

In today’s adventure…

A perfectly sensible moral this week: you can’t buy friends with presents. Adam demonstrates how the only thing Edwina was interested in was material possessions, and she didn’t like Orko for himself. This is true, but understandable. Nobody likes Orko for himself.

 

Characters appearing

This week features Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Orko, Man-at-Arms, Teela, Stratos, King Randor, Queen Marlena, Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, Beast-Man and Edwina.

Creatures 5

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance:

No excuse per se, but Teela does comment that Adam’s bumbling wouldn’t be any help in the Tar Swamp anyway, while Man-at-Arms suggests that maybe Adam will be going off to find He-Man. And what do you know, he does.

 

Insults

Edwina is pretty insulting in the opening scene, referring to Man-at-Arms and Teela as “the help”, which pleased me very much. Stratos gets in a “flying creep” at one of the giant birds, which seems a tad hypocritical coming from him. But once again, it’s Skeletor who takes the lead. Beginning with “furry fool” and “oaf” directed at Beast-Man, he also contrives to call Man-at-Arms a “fool”. His crowning glory is perhaps calling He-Man “He-Fool”, an insult of which he sounds distinctly proud.

Creatures 6

 

Does it have the Power?

Definitely. There was a worrying moment towards the start when I thought the whole thing was going to be a flashback about Orko’s arrival on Eternia, but that was a mercifully brief scene before we got into the real business. Skeletor seemed particularly on form today, gleefully shrieking out his plan to anyone who happened to be passing by, and then completely failing to do anything except sit on a throne and have a drink once he’d actually managed to take over the Palace. Edwina was also pretty entertaining, and the moral was relevant and could actually be seen being demonstrated throughout the episode. It’s a very fun episode which I think you should all watch now.

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