Episode 123 – Mistaken Identity

In which Modulok builds Eternia’s first railway.

Out in the forest, a young lady – apparently called Korea – is passive-aggressively berating her boyfriend Ferrin, because he’s not as awesome as He-Man. Ferrin eventually decides he’s had enough of this, and heads off to get some water. While he’s gone, Korea is attacked by a bird known as a Shrieker, and is saved by He-Man’s convenient presence. Observing this, and knowing Korea thinks that He-Man has a secret identity, Ferrin decides to pretend that he is He-Man.

Mistaken 1
He-Man: “No need for Battle-Cat anymore!”

Shortly thereafter, Ferrin concocts a stupid plan to lend credence to his pretence. He lures He-Man into a cave, then does a very creditable impersonation of Prince Adam by commenting, “You go on ahead, I’ve, uh, got some things to do.” It’s so creditable, in fact, that I’d conclude it’s performed by the same voice actor. He then ensures that Korea sees him going into the cave. When she subsequently sees He-Man emerge, she falls for the trick.

In the meantime, Modulok – who appears to be doing time in Eternia’s top prison – escapes. He runs straight to a scientific lab and gets on Skype to Skeletor, asking to be allowed to join Skeletor’s band of incompetent fools. Skeletor rejects him on the basis of being too rubbish, which frankly is a little bit rich, considering the track record of Skeletor’s gang.

Mistaken 2
Skeletor: “We’re not recruiting at the moment, but tell you what, drop your CV in and I’ll take a look.”

Modulok wanders sadly through the forest, hoping to do something super to prove his abilities to Skeletor, but unsure what. He comes across Korea and Ferrin, and listens in as Ferrin “admits” that he is in fact He-Man. Modulok instantly captures Ferrin and carts him off to a jail cell, and then spends a considerable amount of time trying to persuade him to become He-Man.

Korea runs to the Palace and tells Adam that He-Man is in terrible trouble. Adam thinks she’s a moron, but once he’s heard the whole story, he amiably transforms into He-Man and then tells Korea that Ferrin is a lying bastard. They then troll off to rescue Ferrin, which is achieved with considerable ease. This is thanks in no small part to a really odd moment in which Modulok builds a railway and then boards a train which leads directly into a prison cell. Finally, Korea tells Ferrin that she appreciates him just the way he is, without him having to pretend to be He-Man. The whole thing ends with He-Man reviving his demented winking-at-the-camera trick, which I thought he’d abandoned long ago.

Mistaken 3
Modulok: “I suppose Skeletor’s got a point, if I am stupid enough to arrange for myself to go to jail on a train.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Adam embarks on a muddled definition of the difference between pretending and lying. Apparently, if you say you’re He-Man, it’s lying, not pretending, which must have made the school playgrounds of the 1980s full of liars.

 

Character checklist

Well, well, well, here we go again, with appearances from Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Ferrin, Korea, Teela, Orko, Modulok, Skeletor, and lots of Palace guards.

Mistaken 4
Ferrin: “For God’s sake, Korea, you’ve eaten everything, and you won’t even let me sit on the blanket.”

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

The first time there’s a transformation, Teela is good enough to provide a readymade excuse, telling Adam to “go for help”. Adam does so, and astoundingly manages to find He-Man. The second time is less noteworthy; there’s no one around when Adam transforms. On the third occasion, Adam tells Korea to “wait here”, and then idly ambles off.

 

Insults

Skeletor gets in a double whammy on Modulok this week, saying, “You are a wimp scientist and you could be a wimp villain.” Poor Modulok. I’d feel sorry for him, if it wasn’t for his later unpleasantness in referring to a big brown monster as a “fool”.

Mistaken 5
Modulok: “Frankly, I’m surrounded by fools.”

 

Does it have the Power?

I wouldn’t rush to recommend it, but it’s not dreadful. It seems to be supposed to be Modulok’s first episode, since it starts off with him being a scientist called Galen Nightcroft, who transforms himself into Modulok. It would be quite good, if it weren’t for the fact that we first met Modulok in Happy Birthday Roboto, about 10 episodes ago.

Otherwise, I can’t help but feel the writer was poking fun at the whole ridiculous double identity business, especially when Modulok says, “A secret identity for He-Man? I never thought of that. Can it be possible?” Korea is a cut above most of the inhabitants of Eternia, since she’s worked out that He-Man must have a secret identity, but just doesn’t know who. The main problem with Korea is that she sounds like she’s close to orgasm every time He-Man is mentioned, which is a little distracting.

 

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Episode 122 – Search for a Son

In which we learn that Man-at-Arms has ripped Mechaneck’s head off.

This episode opens with a blatant and, dare I say it, desperate piece of advertising. Mechaneck is in the Palace courtyard, playing Frisbee with a child called Derek, and Derek says, “It’s fun to play with Mechaneck.” Clearly the Mechaneck figure wasn’t selling well (can’t think why not) so the writers inserted this not particularly subliminal message in a transparent attempt to boost sales.

Son 1
Mechaneck: “Please buy my figure. It’s great. Please.”

Anyway, with very little provocation, Man-at-Arms shows up and tells Derek about Mechaneck’s past. Apparently, Mechaneck has a son called Philip, but on a visit to Dragon Mountain at some indeterminate point in the past, a massive storm blew up and Philip flew away in the wind. Mechaneck hurt his neck in the storm and fainted, at which point Man-at-Arms found him.

Man-at-Arms now gets on to a more interesting part of the story: because Mechaneck had hurt his original neck, Man-at-Arms gave him a bionic one – a procedure which almost certainly involved ripping Mechaneck’s head off and then reattaching it. This explains why Mechaneck has this ridiculous feature. It doesn’t explain why he was called “Mechaneck” before Man-at-Arms started doing experimental and possibly illegal neck replacement surgery on him. Frankly, Mechaneck is the sort of name you’d only have if you also already had a mechanical neck. The coincidence is almost too much, and I for one have become a firm believer in predestination as a result.

Son 2
Mechaneck: “What have you done to me, you crazed experimentalist?”

And now we learn what happened to Philip. He’s somehow fallen into the clutches of Count Marzo, who has previously appeared in both The Once and Future Duke and The Eternia Flower, and who in both these less-than-classic episodes was the hatcher of evil plots that involved children. Marzo is a little bit icky. I’m not sure why Philip doesn’t just run away from Marzo, because there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly compelling him to stay. Maybe this will be explained later. Probably not.

Back at the Palace, preparations are afoot for Randor, Marlena, Man-at-Arms, Teela and Mechaneck to go on an outing somewhere. Shortly before they leave, Mechaneck receives a visit from Marzo, who offers to return Philip in exchange for Mechaneck delivering Randor and Marlena. It seems Marzo wants to be King, and thinks that taking Randor prisoner is the way to achieve this. Mechaneck rejects the offer and runs off to tell Man-at-Arms, who instantly adds Adam and Cringer to the ranks of those unfortunate enough to go on the outing.

Son 3
King Randor: “Get out of my way, everyone. You’re standing between me and my throne.”

As they cross the desert, Mechaneck discovers an old fort containing an oasis, and recommends that the party stop for a rest. Would you believe it, the fort is a trap, and Marzo pops in for a little gloat. This doesn’t last long, since Adam turns into He-Man and opts for the standing-there-looking-stern approach, which is not very effective, given Marzo manages to successfully kidnap Randor and Marlena.

Marzo takes the King and Queen to his mountain fortress, where Philip is also imprisoned. He-Man and his gang – now featuring an unnecessary and unwelcome appearance from Buzz-Off – engage in all manner of silly shenanigans trying to break in, and finally succeed. Once they are inside, the episode gets no more exciting, featuring lots and lots of time-wasting until Philip falls down a pit and has to be rescued by Mechaneck, who extends his neck down the hole and allows Philip to hold onto it to come back up. What’s interesting here is that Philip says, “It’s good to be in your arms again, father!” rather than a more prescient comment like, “What the hell happened to your neck?” If I didn’t see my father for a matter of months, and when I finally did, he was able to extend his neck to at least 10 foot in length like Inspector Gadget, I’d definitely have a few things to say.

Son 4
Philip: “Father, hi …. is there something different about you?”

 

In today’s adventure…

Teela explains that we should always look where we’re going, and take care not to trip over. This draws inspiration from two completely irrelevant bits of the episode, in which Teela and Philip weren’t taking care. I think a more obvious moral is if you get caught in a storm and hurt your neck, you should absolutely insist on seeing a doctor, rather than a lunatic in a green and yellow body suit who wants to try twisted experiments on you. There is a chance that this moral was in the original first draft, but was rejected on the basis of being overly specific.

 

Character checklist

A very large contingent of our favourite idiots pops up today, including several who definitely didn’t need to be involved. There’s Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Mechaneck, Man-at-Arms, Teela, Buzz-Off, King Randor, Queen Marlena, Orko, Philip, Derek, Count Marzo, and Count Marzo’s big pink boring sidekick. There’s also loads of other Buzz-Offs, which is lovely.

Son 5
Count Marzo: “Stop right now, thank you very much, I need somebody with a human touch.”

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

“He’s safe, Teela. I don’t think we’ll need his help,” says He-Man. It turns out that He-Man is right. He didn’t need Buzz-Off’s help either, or Orko’s, or Teela’s. None of these people should have been in this episode.

 

Insults

It’s Marzo with a chip on his shoulder this week, especially in an early scene in which he variously calls Philip a “fool”, a “foolish boy”, an “ungrateful wretch” and a “scoundrel”. Marzo also has a “fool” for Mechaneck and another “fool” for his big pink servant, whose name escapes me. He-Man does address the big pink servant as “Blinky”, but I’m not sure if this is his name or just a completely irrelevant insult.

Son 6
Prince Adam: “Look how manly I am when I pose like this, Cringer!”

 

Does it have the Power?

Not really. It’s admirable, I suppose, for trying to fill in the blanks and explain why Mechaneck has his bionic neck, but the explanation raises more questions than it answers, and frankly, Eternia is so full of freaks as it is, I wasn’t really crying out for an explanation concerning Mechaneck. Nor was I particularly bothered in an exploration of his past, and I certainly wasn’t keen to see Count Marzo again. That being said, this is definitely the best of Marzo’s appearances, but that’s hardly high praise. As so often these days, this isn’t a classic, but it’s equally perfectly watchable.

Episode 121 – The Magic Falls

In which Orko loses his magic, and we’re all expected to give a toss.

Today’s episode opens on Eternia Day, a day of special celebration on which King Randor invites the needy amongst his people into the Palace and does whatever he can do to help them. At Snake Mountain, Skeletor and Evil-Lyn hatch a diabolical plot to steal the Sceptre of Power, an artefact of immense power which is wielded by Randor only on Eternia Day. Evil-Lyn uses her magic to disguise Kobra Khan as a needy citizen of Eternia, and off he pops to the Palace.

Magic Falls 1
King Randor: “Tell me honestly, Adam, is this sceptre a bit tacky?”

This is all well and good and pretty much in line with every other plan Skeletor and Evil-Lyn have ever come up with, but it suddenly varies from the norm when Evil-Lyn claims that Orko will probably be able to see through the disguise. This is despite the fact that Orko has been completely oblivious every single other time one of Skeletor’s cronies has disguised themselves to come into the Palace. This lapse in logic notwithstanding, Skeletor and Evil-Lyn ambush Orko out in the forest, and remove his magic powers.

Magic Falls 2
Skeletor: “We’ve been waiting here hours, Evil-Lyn. Are you sure this is a bus stop?”

Man-at-Arms gleefully claims that he can’t do anything to restore Orko’s powers, but Orko himself suggests that they visit a legendary magic waterfall, the gateway to which is somewhere beneath the surface of Eternia. That’s pretty vague, though Adam optimistically claims it’ll only take a few hours to find. He turns into He-Man, and takes Orko on an expedition to find the falls.

They very quickly find a magic door, which refuses to let them in until they say “please”. Orko manages this simple feat, but He-Man instead succumbs to a fit of temper and tries to wrest the door off its hinges. He is consequently denied entry, and so turns back into Adam to get round the “no He-Man” rule. Once inside, he smugly transforms into He-Man again, flicking Vs at the door as he does so.

Magic Falls 3
He-Man: “Whoa, that was some party last night. Now, where am I?”

The two of them navigate a number of stupid hazards in the caves, eventually meeting a loopy old man who identifies himself as the Gatekeeper. He’s really annoying, so we won’t dwell on him too much, but suffice it to say that he transports He-Man and Orko (after a great deal of time wasting) into another dimension, where they find the magic waterfall. Orko submerges himself in its waters, sadly doesn’t drown in the process, and gets his magic back.

In the meantime, Kobra Khan has assumed his disguise, and barged his way to the front of the queue of the needy people of Eternia. The Eternia Day ceremony begins, and Kobra Khan is just about to do something nefarious, when Orko arrives and immediately unmasks the villain. The episode ends with Kobra Khan being sent off to the tender mercies of the Gatekeeper, which I think is a far worse fate than he deserves.

Magic Falls 4
Kobra Khan: “Let’s not overreact, Orko.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Man-at-Arms and Orko conclude that they learned all about cooperation today. This is largely due to a very short scene in which Adam and Orko had to work together to defeat some tentacles. We’ve had this lesson eight billion times before, so it doesn’t really seem necessary. My pick for moral would have been the importance of persistence: there was a point in the episode when Orko despaired of ever getting his magic back, and had to be persuaded not to give up. I don’t recall that theme ever being discussed in the morals before.

 

Character checklist

A nice wide-ranging cast today brings us Prince Adam, He-Man, Orko, Man-at-Arms, King Randor, Queen Marlena, Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, Kobra Khan, Beast-Man, Trapjaw, the Gatekeeper, and some random unnamed Eternian citizens.

Magic Falls 5
He-Man: “Gotta say, I’m not a massive fan of this latest addition to the National Portrait Gallery.”

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Despite two transformations, we aren’t lucky enough to get an excuse for either.

 

Insults

It’s fairly thin on the ground today, the only offerings being “cowards” from Kobra Khan to Beast-Man and Trapjaw, and a gratuitous “meddling fool” from Skeletor in reference to Orko.

 

Egg on your face?

I didn’t think we’d get anything in this category, but suddenly – in the moral segment, no less – we were treated to the familiar and hilarious sight of Orko accidentally throwing an egg into Man-at-Arms’ face. It was no more and no less amusing than usual.

Magic Falls 6
Orko: “Laugh, go on. You know it’s funny.”

 

Does it have the Power?

It must have been getting very difficult for the writers at this stage in the series. After 120 episodes of He-Man, they were clearly running out of possible storylines, and were forced to borrow from everything that had gone before. This one helps itself liberally to Orko’s Missing Magic and The Shaping Staff, and I’m pretty confident we’ve had one previously that contained a concept similar to the Gatekeeper as well. This repetition is understandable, but it does give episodes such as The Magic Falls an air of tiredness. It’s perhaps unfair, but if this episode had come a lot earlier in the show’s run, it would have been much more enjoyable. As it is, it’s fine, but not a must-see.

Episode 120 – Monster on the Mountain

In which He-Man deliberately doesn’t do anything to help.

We open this week with a cutesy nice village called Roxtown, where a cutesy nice woman is going about her business, singing inanely and yammering to herself about how cutesy and nice her life is. It therefore comes as something of a relief when she is frightened by a creature known as the Tingler. The Tingler has the same animation as the friendly giant from way back in The Heart of a Giant, and consequently I expect he will follow the same plotline. But we shall see. As it stands, let’s just say how glad I am that the dimwit woman stopped talking and singing.

Monster 1
Stupid woman: “I am going to wind you up for the next 20 minutes without stopping.”

At the Palace, King Randor receives a communication from Roxtown, begging for help against the evil Tingler. Randor obligingly sends Teela, Adam, Cringer and Orko, but not before he says that the inhabitants of Roxtown are a bit “naive” because “they believe in superstitions and such”. On a planet like Eternia, where absolutely anything can happen – no matter how insane – I would simply call this common sense. But if Randor wants to unnecessarily take the piss out of his subjects, who am I to intervene?

On the way to Roxtown, Adam points out Mount Fear, where the Tingler lives. He claims that Mount Fear is the most dangerous mountain in all of Eternia. Er, excuse me, what about Snake Mountain? It seems Adam is getting a bit complacent. Skeletor may be easily defeated every single day, but he’s still at least a bit dangerous. Anyway, our team land on the mountain, where they see the Tingler in silhouette, and He-Man prevents an avalanche.

Monster 2
Prince Adam: “What’s that coming over the hill? Is it a monster? Is it a monstaaaaa?”

After this unnecessary and unexciting diversion, our heroes arrive in Roxtown to find that the inhabitants are an angry mob bent on getting rid of the Tingler. Seemingly forgetting that he’s literally just seen the Tingler on Mount Fear, Adam puts in an impassioned case for the Tingler not actually existing. He is embarrassingly out-argued by the hugely irritating Roxtownians, who in between talking complete drivel, reasonably point out that Adam has seen the Tingler himself.

The episode then meanders around pointlessly for absolutely ages, until it finally gets to the point. The Tingler is, of course, not evil, but just misunderstood. He’s actually a really lovely guy, whose hobby is amateur veterinary medicine, which is handy because Cringer has hurt his leg. Big surprises all round, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Monster 3
The Tingler: “I may look like I’m doing an exceptionally camp dance routine, but I’m actually healing Cringer.”

Unfortunately, the episode doesn’t end there. The villagers decide to head up to Mount Fear and “do something about the Tingler”. They don’t specify what, but that’s possibly because mentioning lynchings on He-Man was frowned upon by the production team. Adam tries to persuade the villagers that listening to rumours is a bad thing, but they already think he’s an idiot because of the earlier “no such thing as the Tingler, even though I’ve seen it” fiasco, so they ignore him.

I think we’re expected to think the lynch mob situation is a problem, but frankly, though the Tingler may not be evil, he is really annoying. Anyone who says things like, “The birdies and the trees are my friends” deserves anything he gets, and his voice is clearly supposed to be endearingly goofy, but it just comes across as incredibly sinister.

Thanks to their own idiocy, the villagers get themselves trapped on a narrow ledge. He-Man shows up and builds them a bridge, but that fucktard woman from the start of the episode is too slow to get on it before the ledge starts crumbling away. He-Man just stands there and maintains he can’t do anything to help, which in his mind evidently means he’s freed from the obligation of even trying. So it’s down to the Tingler to save the woman, and believe it or not, this results in all the villagers no longer being afraid of him. The episode ends with a slightly bizarre moment in which a donkey tries to initiate an interspecies breeding programme with Cringer.

Monster 4
Teela: “This is perhaps the smuggest face ever, with the sole exception of Nigel Farage’s on 23rd June 2016.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Teela and Orko come along to hammer in the message that people like to exaggerate and spread rumours, and therefore we must use our common sense and not believe everything we hear. I suppose, if we are going to be subjected to tripe like this episode, we might as well get some sensible moral lessons from it.

 

Character checklist

Oh, shall I even bother with this? I suppose I better had. It’s Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Teela, Orko, King Randor, the Tingler, the idiot woman, and about 8 billion annoying villagers.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

We get two transformations this week. The first comes at the avalanche stage, after which Teela asks where Adam and Cringer are. He-Man replies, “I think you’ll find them back in the Wind Raider.” This is an unwise comment, since Teela is herself going back to the Wind Raider, which means He-Man has to suspiciously leg it in order to make his transformation before Teela arrives.

Monster 5
He-Man: “Yeah, maybe I should have thought that excuse through a bit more.”

The second transformation comes when the villagers get themselves stuck on the ledge. Adam doesn’t give an excuse, and moreover happily transforms into He-Man in full view of the entire lot of them, not that they seem to notice.

 

Insults

The inhabitants of Roxtown are described as “ninnies” by the miller and “silly villagers” by the Tingler. Both of these comments seem fair enough to me, though I’d probably have gone for something stronger, like “twats”.

Monster 6
Idiot woman: “Welcome to the 25th Annual Moron Convention.”

 

Does it have the Power?

When I was four, my family acquired a BBC computer with a very basic word processor on it. I say “acquired”, which makes it sound like they stole it. Maybe they did, I don’t know, but I imagine they bought it. I could go back and replace “acquired” with “bought”, but I’ve invested too much in this paragraph to want to delete all this hard work now.

Anyway, on this basic word processor, I wrote a He-Man story. I don’t want to brag or anything, but it was very good. It was essentially a list of all the characters I could think of having a massive fight outside Castle Grayskull. The fight was resolved when He-Man took leave of his senses and offered to let Skeletor have the victory if he could successfully answer the sum 18 + 2. Skeletor may be many things, but a mathematical dunce he is not. He correctly answered “18 + 2 = 20” and He-Man was forced to give up the power of Grayskull to him. The story was called SKELEWIN because a file name could only be 8 characters long and had to be in capitals, and I think you’ll agree SKELEWIN pretty much sums up what happens in the story.

Now, this story was, I suspect, influenced by two things. One, that I had recently learned that I could do basic addition, and two, that I had looked all over the keyboard on the BBC computer and was insanely taken with the fact that the + and = symbol were on the same key. I remember loving that key, God knows why, and so I wanted to write a story that involved pressing that key as often as possible. I think we can probably conclude that I was mental.

The point of this anecdote is – and I think you can probably all see where I’m going with this – that SKELEWIN was a much, much better He-Man story than Monster on the Mountain is. Unfortunately, SKELEWIN never made it to screen, but I am confident that anyone in their right mind would prefer to watch an episode about Skeletor and He-Man jointly presenting an arithmetic class than watching Monster on the Mountain. And so it is that I must sadly conclude that Monster on the Mountain does not have the Power.

Episode 119 – Visitors From Earth

In which He-Man gets a nice walk in the vacuum of space.

ADMIRAL PATRICK: Tape on. Interview commences 10:00 hours 23rd November 1984. Present: presiding officer Admiral Patrick, and pilots Colonel Mark Blaze and Major Andrea Steele.

MAJOR STEELE: Good morning.

COLONEL BLAZE: Good morning.

PATRICK: Right, I’d like to get some things straightened out here. Obviously, your mission was successful, somehow, and that’s a great relief, but there’s a lot in your official report which has given the upper echelons … cause for concern, shall we say.

STEELE: That’s understandable. I can barely believe it really happened.

PATRICK: Could you please just take me through it again, for the benefit of the tape?

BLAZE: Very well. As you know, the two of us launched in a small vessel equipped with a nuclear warhead, with a mission to destroy the meteor that was headed straight for Earth. It was imperative that we succeed, or all life on Earth would be wiped out.

STEELE: But before we could get to the meteor, we were pulled off course by a blue, red and orange stripey wobbly space tunnel. That isn’t the official designation for such a thing, but that’s definitely what it looked like.

PATRICK: I see.

Visitors 1
Figure 1: The stripey wobbly space tunnel

STEELE: We reappeared in a strange solar system, which for no apparent reason I described as “some sort of other galaxy”. There was a planet below, and instead of trying to get back to Earth and complete our mission, we decided to land to check out some life readings.

BLAZE: Once we got through the atmosphere though, we suddenly changed our minds and decided we couldn’t possibly land near the life readings. I made a slightly odd decision and insisted that Andrea use her ejector seat. This was for no purpose whatsoever, but in my defence Andrea didn’t object.

STEELE: That’s true. So I ejected out and Blaze flew off. We were clever enough to leave our locator beacons turned on, so that after this unnecessary separation, we’d be able to find each other again. I landed in a place called the Palace of Eternia, surrounded by a bunch of very exciting people.

Visitors 2
Figure 2: The inhabitants of the Palace of Eternia

PATRICK: This would be the King Randor, Queen Marlena, Prince Adam, Teela, Man-at-Arms and Orko mentioned in your report?

STEELE: That’s right, and Queen Marlena identified herself as Marlena Glenn, the astronaut who disappeared from Earth many years ago. I explained the situation about the meteor – just in case anyone wanted to know – and then begged them to help me find Colonel Blaze. I admit, I wouldn’t have needed their help if I hadn’t pointlessly used my ejector seat, but you know how sometimes these things happen.

Visitors 3
Figure 3: Major Steele explains the situation with the meteor

BLAZE: In the meantime, I found myself flying towards a scary looking establishment which I later discovered was called Snake Mountain. I realised I couldn’t fly over it, so I decided to land. In retrospect, I should have just flown round it. I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me at the time, but the suggestion that I’m completely out of my head does spring to mind. Anyway, I was met by some massive freaks called Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, Beast-Man, Two-Bad and Spikor, who took me prisoner.

PATRICK: Ah yes, of course. Your report indicates that they put you in a giant cylinder, which they described as a “truth scanner”.

Visitors 4
Figure 4: The truth scanner

BLAZE: That’s right. And I told them everything about the missile. Skeletor wanted to use the missile to blow up a castle, which the others thought was a great idea. Except Two-Bad, who didn’t seem to know what he thought about the situation, since he had two heads and thus two brains. Though neither brain seemed particularly effective.

PATRICK: Yes, well, I’ve been beginning to get a bit concerned about certain peoples’ brains myself.

STEELE: Back at the Palace, Teela was out looking for Colonel Blaze, while I was dossing about with Prince Adam and Cringer, his giant green and yellow talking tiger. Then a signal came on the location beacons, showing me where the colonel was. I instantly leaped on a vehicle I’d never seen before and drove it off without needing to learn how to use it. Prince Adam watched me go, and seemed to have some kind of clever plan up his sleeve.

PATRICK: Almost as if he might be going to help in some way?

STEELE: That’s right, but I was wrong, because by the time I got to Snake Mountain, Prince Adam was nowhere to be seen, and this big dude called He-Man was there with Battle-Cat, who is a green and yellow talking tiger with armour. We sneaked into Snake Mountain together and rescued Colonel Blaze by means of some really stupid tricks that ultimately ended in Two-Bad getting buckets stuck on both of his heads. It’s worth noting that during this procedure, He-Man had a really ridiculous smirk on his face.

Visitors 5
Figure 5: Two-Bad and Beast-Man

PATRICK: I don’t think that is worth noting. What about the missile?

BLAZE: Skeletor had removed it from our ship, and damaged the firing mechanism too. Fortunately, Man-at-Arms arrived at that point in a Wind Raider, beaming all over his stupid moustachioed face, and helped me to fix the ship.

STEELE: In the meantime, I went with He-Man to Castle Grayskull, where Skeletor was trying to use the missile to blow the doors down. When we got there, we had a quick fight with Skeletor and Evil-Lyn, in the middle of which I rather irrelevantly explained to He-Man that my father had taught me how to cook. After that, Skeletor idiotically knocked the missile down into the abyss, and then just buggered off.

Visitors 6
Figure 6: He-Man and Skeletor

PATRICK: I must confess, I am quite caught up in this exciting story. What happened after that?

STEELE: He-Man took the Wind Raider and flew down into the abyss, where he caught the missile and brought it back.

PATRICK: Bit of an anti-climax, that one. But anyway, what next?

STEELE: Well, He-Man did a pretty stupid fly-by in his Wind Raider, waving happily to me with the nuclear warhead in the back. But once he’d finished showing off, we found out that not only had Man-at-Arms not managed to repair our vessel, he had inexplicably made it at least double in size.

BLAZE: Skeletor had set the missile to explode in 49 minutes, and we were pretty despondent, because we didn’t think there was any way to get back to Earth and blow up the meteor in that length of time. Everyone else was coming up with solutions, and I was blundering about shooting holes in their ideas. I’m quite annoying, if you want the honest truth.

STEELE: Luckily, Queen Marlena figured out how to get back to Earth, which essentially boiled down to “go back the way you came”. I don’t know why we didn’t think of that, but it’s probably because we’re nuts. Anyway, He-Man came with us. Because the firing mechanism was damaged, He-Man decided to pop out into the vacuum of space and throw the missile at the meteor. In case you’re interested, He-Man can talk in space, though as usual he didn’t say anything sane.

Visitors 7
Figure 7: He-Man in space

BLAZE: Then we went back to Eternia, dropped He-Man off, and came back to Earth.

PATRICK: Right, good. I think I’ve heard enough. You two are dismissed from the Space Service on grounds of complete mental collapse. However, I will be putting in a good word for you at a company called Filmation, where I think you’ll fit right in.

 

In today’s adventure…

Queen Marlena explains that today we learned that helping others is really good. I don’t recall particularly noticing that, but there wasn’t a more obvious moral to be learned, so okay.

 

Character checklist

This episode is well-populated, featuring Prince Adam, He-Man, Cringer, Battle-Cat, Man-at-Arms, Teela, Orko, King Randor, Queen Marlena, Major Steele, Colonel Blaze, Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, Beast-Man, Two-Bad and Spikor.

Visitors 8
Figure 8: Spikor

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Adam doesn’t feel the need to explain himself, since he’s all alone in the courtyard at the time.

 

Insults

It’s mostly between Beast-Man and Two-Bad today, with the former calling the latter a “two-faced practical joker”, and the latter retaliating with the business-as-usual “furface” and the slightly odder “furry fossil”. He-Man also gets a rare burn in by referring to Skeletor’s brain as “a nice, safe, empty place”.

 

Does it have the Power?

This one’s noteworthy for me primarily because it’s one I recorded off ITV when I was little, but the tape finished just as the missile was hurtling down the abyss. I remember spending a lot of time puzzling about how He-Man was going to get the missile back, which is odd, because it’s obvious that he’d just fly down far enough and catch it. No one ever said I was that bright a child. Besides that none-too-interesting reminiscence, I haven’t got much to say about this episode, other than that it’s all right and that you could do much worse, especially at this stage in the series.