Episode 058 – The Once and Future Duke

In which four characters lose their memories, but regrettably I can’t forget about this episode.

An amnesiac boy rescued from a carnivorous plant turns out to be David of Abra, an old childhood playmate of Adam and Teela. What is odd here is that David is still 8 years old, while Teela and Adam have matured into however old they’re meant to be. The royal family take it in turns to ask David questions to which he clearly cannot remember the answers, so he responds every time with a whinging “I don’t know” which quickly becomes very annoying.

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King Randor: “Adam, do you have to look quite so much like a child molester?”

Adam contacts the Sorceress, who helpfully explains the entire plot. David did grow up properly, but just as he was about to become Duke of Abra and become the new Keeper of the Ring of Remembrance, his evil uncle Count Marzo cast a spell to revert him to childhood and erase his memory. Marzo now is in possession of the Ring of Remembrance, and David can only be restored to his proper age if the Ring is recovered.

Man-at-Arms uses his dementedly-named Eterniascope to detect the Ring’s current location: the Lake of the Lost. Adam and Teela set off to recover the Ring, while Orko plays hide and seek with David. But tragedy strikes – Marzo teleports into the Palace, kidnaps David, and erases Man-at-Arms’ memory. Orko opts not to bother with Man-at-Arms, and instead stows away in the Marzomobile as it departs the Palace. (I don’t know why the Marzomobile is even at the Palace; Marzo teleported in, if you’ll recall.)

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Man-at-Arms: “A spanner is unquestionably the right tool for getting a post-it note off my helmet.”

Once safely ensconced in Chateau Marzo, Orko overhears Marzo’s cunning plan to doctor the water of the Lake of the Lost so that anyone who swims in it will have their memory erased. Orko manages to escape on a friendly dragon, but moronically falls into the Lake himself and loses his memory. This is He-Man’s perfect opportunity to get rid of Orko once and for all, but does he take it? Does he buggery.

Instead, He-Man deduces that Orko’s memory has been lost as a result of his dip in the Lake, so he empties the Lake of water. He and Teela then discover that the Lake bed is covered in fake Rings, but for absolutely no reason whatsoever the real Ring is attracted to He-Man’s sword like a magnet, thus rendering this entire scene completely pointless.

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He-Man: “Who needs H. Samuel when there’s loads of rings just lying around here, eh, Teela?”

He-Man puts the water back in the Lake by a method which I’m not even going lower myself to discuss, then restores Orko’s memory with the Ring, and Team He-Man then all hurtle off for Count Marzo’s castle. Marzo arranges for some fog to appear, causing Teela and Orko to lose their way and head into a tunnel, while He-Man gets momentarily frozen in a giant ice cube.

Luckily, Teela and Orko’s tunnel leads directly into the castle, allowing them to rescue David. This is nice for a few seconds, before the whole incompetent bunch of them are recaptured by Marzo. Of course, He-Man shows up at precisely the right moment to rescue them all, and as an added bonus, he arranges for Marzo to fall into the Well of Forgetfulness where he consequently forgets to be evil, however that works.

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Count Marzo: “I may have forgotten who I am and what’s going on, but I imagine I can say with certainty that I despise the four of you.”

As the episode ends, Man-at-Arms’ memory is restored (ironically, I’d forgotten that he’d lost it), and David gets his memory and adulthood back. Then Orko manages to transform himself into a giant draughts board, which is just plain mental.

 

In today’s adventure…

He-Man takes time out from his busy schedule to reassure us that we won’t lose our memory if we go swimming (so thank Christ for that), but it is important to remember the rules of water safety, which he specifies, in order of importance, as: 1) don’t play jokes in the water, 2) swim near adults, 3) never swim alone, and 4) don’t drown.

 

Character checklist

We’re lucky enough to catch glimpses of Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Teela, Orko, Man-at-Arms, King Randor, Queen Marlena, the Sorceress, David, Count Marzo and some weird muscular grey monster with a bowl haircut.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

On being confronted by the afore-mentioned grey monster with the bowl haircut, Adam legs it, saying, “I’ll see if there’s a way around it.” The monster is no bigger than your average inhabitant of Eternia, so this does sound a little crazy.

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Teela: “Didn’t you used to be in the Stone Roses?”

At the end of the episode, Adam also offers, “Looks like I missed all the fun.” Don’t worry, Adam. It wasn’t fun.

 

Insults

It’s pretty quiet on this score today, the only insult being Orko rather enigmatically calling his friendly dragon a “buzzhead”.

 

Does it have the Power?

I thought this episode was drivel from beginning to end. I didn’t care about David, and still less about Marzo. I didn’t really follow what Marzo was trying to achieve: I assume he wanted to be Duke of Abra himself, but he never specified this, and his plot was a stupid way of going about it. It quickly degenerated into endless scenes of Marzo trying increasingly tedious methods of capturing our heroes, though again what he intended to do with them when captured went unexplained. Marzo also rubbed me up the wrong way by having a really unsettling animation effect on several occasions when the camera transitioned to him: the picture goes fuzzy and then spins round and round in an epilepsy-inducing spiral. Definitely don’t bother with this episode.

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4 thoughts on “Episode 058 – The Once and Future Duke

  1. Review was hilarious!! Yeah I must admit this was one of my least favourite season one episodes, altho there was plenty of magic (which usually I like an what makes eternia so special) I just didn’t feel the love for this episode at all the setting had a different feel to it which was nice but it was quite boring actually to sit through, don’t like count marzo much anyway an teelas line at the end always really bugs me “he’s forgotten to be evil”!! Overall a fairly uninspiring episode that imo was lacking in entertainment ultimately one of the worst episodes for me near the bottom end of the barrel 4/10

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  2. “(I don’t know why the Marzomobile is even at the Palace; Marzo teleported in, if you’ll recall.)”

    Maybe his minion drove the Marzomobile? And maybe Marzo can only teleport TO places and he can’t teleport away, like a cat that climbs up a tree but didn’t think ahead and can’t get down so it just sits there and cries until some guy with a ladder climbs up and gets it and it’s angry the whole way down

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  3. It’s a fair comment and an interesting argument you com up with regarding matzo only teleporting to places, yeah I too found it alittle odd but the same could be said with skeletor, some episodes he’s trying to escape from he man shouting out his usual “they’ll be another day he man” and other episodes you just simply see him teleport himself and disappear begging the question why doesn’t he just do this all the time but I think it goes back to what we’ve all said many times before there’s always been that lack of continuity in the he man episodes it never usually bothered me too much and if the episodes a classic it doesn’t matter one bit one and future duke sadly I have to confess isn’t one of my favourites!

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