In which I reveal perhaps more about my psyche than I should.
As this week’s instalment opens, King Randor (who, incidentally, sleeps in a separate bed from Queen Marlena) is having a nightmare, in which a gentleman called Darkdream claims to be back. Man-at-Arms, Teela, Prince Adam and Cringer all have similar nightmares, leading Adam to conclude that Darkdream must have escaped the chamber where he was sealed by Man-at-Arms at some indiscriminate point in the past.
This does not prove entirely true. Darkdream is indeed active again, but for now he cannot leave the chamber. He has plans to amend this, and since he is unable to survive in light, he has called on the aid of Evil-Lyn and some sort of gnome called Tabor to forever darken the Eternian sun. Tabor’s powers extend to messing with the orbit of Eternia’s moon, and his plan is to cause a neverending eclipse, allowing Darkdream to go where he wishes.
Back at the Palace, Adam, Teela and Man-at-Arms are sitting about debating how Darkdream’s chamber could have been opened. It does not appear to have occurred to any of them to go and have a look, and it takes Orko – of all people – to suggest that some recent explosions in the Crimson Valley might have something to do with it. Only at that point do Adam and Teela decide to check on the seal.
There’s then an indication that the episode was running a little short, since we’re treated to a good 90 seconds of footage of Adam and Teela flying along, without saying anything. Finally, Teela falls asleep at the wheel, prompting Adam to casually comment, “Darkdream has taken over Teela’s mind again,” making it sound like this sort of thing happens every day and is only a minor inconvenience.
Luckily, Adam becomes He-Man for a few seconds, prevents a crash landing, then becomes Adam again before waking Teela up. After a quick investigation, they determine that the seal is cracked but not fully open. They then inexplicably return to the Palace and waste time talking about how they have to close the seal quickly. Idiots.
This delay gives Tabor time to carry out his spell, and he moves the moon in front of the sun. For some crazed reason, this makes the gravity in the Palace go haywire – everyone floats up to the ceiling, then become pinned to the floor. Man-at-Arms tries to claim this is because of the eclipse (well, actually, first he tries to blame Orko, which did make me chuckle), but we all know this sort of thing doesn’t happen in eclipses. The real explanation is that the writers thought it would be funny.
Just because things aren’t desperate or insane enough, Man-at-Arms now reveals that the moon is going to crash into Eternia, so they’d better get along to Castle Grayskull with all due speed. On arrival, they discover that Darkdream, Tabor and Evil-Lyn are already there, having captured the Sorceress in falcon form, as well as Stratos, who is putting in a somewhat random appearance.
Man-at-Arms informs Darkdream of the impending collision between Eternia and the moon, and rather surprisingly, Darkdream concedes that this would be a bad thing. He demands that Tabor reverse the spell, but Tabor cannot do so. Man-at-Arms’ alternative plan, therefore, is for He-Man to detonate a vast quantity of explosives in Eternia’s upper atmosphere. Just to give you an idea of precisely what a “vast quantity of explosives” consists of, He-Man describes it as “enough to blow this whole planet to bits”. I’m sure I can’t be alone in thinking this is a bad idea.
But as it happens, after the detonation, the moon returns to its normal orbit, as if nothing had happened. This means that the sun reappears, which in turn means that Darkdream and Tabor fade away. Where they go to is unexplained, because the writers instead chose to finish the episode with a hilarious Orko sequence.
In today’s adventure…
Teela takes the time to explain that bad dreams aren’t real, so it’s fine to talk them over with your parents or friends. This is good, because I recently had a dream where Helo from Battlestar Galactica was in the middle of a messy break up with Zooey Deschanel, and it was my job to bring them endless supplies of coffee, which they didn’t like. It was quite a scary dream, but now I’ve talked it over with you guys, I feel so much better.
Lots of people parade around the screen for our amusement today, including Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Teela, Man-at-Arms, Orko, the Sorceress, Stratos, King Randor, Queen Marlena, Darkdream, Evil-Lyn and Tabor.
Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance
Adam turns into He-Man twice this week, but doesn’t see fit to explain himself either time.
Darkdream leads the field this week, reasonably enough calling Tabor a “fool” when he reveals he cannot undo his spell, and also calling Evil-Lyn a “cowardly witch” when she does a runner.
Egg on your face?
This category is a bit resurgent of late: the episode ends with Orko conjuring up a rain cloud right over Man-at-Arms’ head. Did I laugh? Hell, yeah.
Does it have the Power?
This one’s a bit unfortunate, really, because it did have potential to be really quite good. The idea of Darkdream having the power to cause nightmares is quite creepy, and in the early stages he seemed pretty threatening. The episode then completely undermined itself with its stupid excursion into gravity problems, and then overegged the pudding by veering off into an essentially unrelated story about the moon crashing into the planet. The solution to this conundrum – which boiled down to setting off an enormous bomb – seemed particularly unimaginative.
Other questions abounded: why was Evil-Lyn allied to Darkdream, and why was she in the episode at all, given she contributed nothing? Why did Adam and Teela go to check out Darkdream’s prison without any means of sealing him back in? How did Evil-Lyn get into Darkdream’s prison in the first place if it was still sealed? And finally, what on earth was Stratos doing in this episode? He got about two lines and didn’t do anything other than get tied up. He’s an incompetent clown.
So no, it doesn’t really have the Power. But in its early stages, it looked like it might, which just makes it more frustrating.