In which He-Man tries to dig to the centre of Eternia, for no particularly apparent reason.
The episode begins with a short sequence in which Orko distracts a young Palace Guard called Philip from his duties by doing rubbish magic. Unfortunately, this seems to have been the moment Whiplash has been waiting for, as he springs out of hiding to steal the new Ice Raider. Not a moment too soon, He-Man shows up and demonstrates Whiplash’s design flaw: he’s really easy to grab by the tail, swing round, and throw away.
Glowing with self-righteousness, Teela hauls Philip in front of the King and Queen, detailing everything he did wrong in this encounter. Philip defends himself with a variety of relatively feeble excuses, but when both Teela and Adam join forces to harangue him, there’s nothing he can do to dissuade Randor from transferring him to a no-hope job guarding a weather station in the frozen wastes. Man-at-Arms tries to convince Philip that this is an important job, but he doesn’t buy it, and frankly neither do I.
Becoming aware of this development on his spy-globe, Skeletor gets on the phone to his old mate Icer, who has apparently been trying to break through a protective shield around the weather station for some time. When Philip arrives to take up his new job, he deactivates the shield to allow himself entry – and Icer slips through as well.
Icer wastes no time in using the weather station to mess about with the weather, causing an enormous glacier to flow as fast as a river towards the Palace. On discovering this development, Adam, Teela, Cringer and Orko take the Attack Trak to the foot of the glacier. There they meet a bunch of trolls, necessitating a second appearance for He-Man and Battle-Cat, who dispose of the trolls in a not very entertaining fight.
On reaching the weather station, He-Man defies the laws of physics once again by cutting a hole in the protective shield, which is composed of energy. Entering by this impossible method, our heroes encounter Philip, who is very quick to point out that he’s not responsible for Icer getting inside. He-Man now decides not to bother looking for Icer, but instead claims that the important thing is to descend to the lower levels and get as close to the centre of Eternia as possible. He gives no reason for this, and I can only conclude that he’s gone completely off his head.
Philip locates the stairs, and He-Man determines that Icer is hiding inside a wall nearby. Showing further evidence of his impending insanity, he delegates to Orko the responsibility for stopping Icer, in which task Orko predictably fails. At the bottom of the stairs, He-Man drives his sword into the ground and occupies himself making a big hole, while Icer stands around beating his chest and making inexplicable noises which are suggestive of a difficult bowel movement.
Having dug a really deep hole by using his sword as a drill, He-Man then leaps in. Standing in a cave, he cuts some rocks up, producing geothermal energy and thus making the glacier recede. This seems a frankly long-winded way of doing things. Summing matters up at the end, Teela does attempt to justify it by saying that the control room was all iced over so they couldn’t get rid of the glacier that way, so I suppose it makes some vague sense after all, but it would have been nice if they could have referenced this problem before He-Man started wittering about getting to the centre of the planet.
In today’s adventure…
Adam, Teela and Philip explain how you can become a “winner” – it’s by being responsible and dependable. This is a lesson that Philip learned this week, having stopped trying to shift the blame for his mistakes. Lucky Philip. I bet he’s a winner now.
Well, it’s not as extensive as last week, but there are still a fair number of Eternia’s finest presenting themselves for inspection today. You won’t be surprised by the inclusion of Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Orko, Teela, Man-at-Arms, King Randor, Queen Marlena, Skeletor and Whiplash. The characters-of-the-week are the trolls, Icer and Philip. I nearly typed Prince Philip then. I wish he’d been in it.
Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance
We are blessed with two transformations this week. The first time, we get no excuse, but the second time, we get two: when confronted by the trolls, Adam says, “I’ll go and see if there’s a way round them.” Reappearing seconds later as He-Man, he dismisses Adam by saying, “We’d better not wait for him.”
Teela calls Icer a “cubeface”, which is nice. Skeletor encompasses every single inhabitant of the Palace with the succinct “fools”, but then surpasses himself by calling Whiplash “Wimp-lash”, which, it has to be said, is sheer genius.
Does it have the Power?
This is one of those odd episodes that really feels like it should be good, but just somehow isn’t. The writing was slightly off, especially in the first few scenes – it felt like it was an episode written very early on, when the writers hadn’t quite got a handle on the characters yet. In addition, the failure to mention the ice in the control room was a serious blooper – it made He-Man look like he’d gone mad when he decided he had to get to the centre of the planet. Philip’s storyline was fine but not enthralling. To be honest, it’s only Skeletor’s “Wimp-lash” quip that makes this one worth watching.