Episode 18 – Horde Prime Takes a Holiday

In which She-Ra’s arse nearly catches fire.

Hordak’s boss, Horde Prime, has summoned Hordak and Mantenna aboard his flagship, where we learn that they are to be left in charge of the Horde’s most powerful warship while Horde Prime goes on holiday to a planet called Tropica. Since Horde Prime appears to be an amorphous cloud of gas with robotic arms, it seems unlikely that he would particularly enjoy a fortnight on the Costa del Sol, but that’s what’s presented to us.

Horde Prime 1
Hordak: “No, I don’t think I will try a bout of fisticuffs with you, thanks, Horde Prime.”

Horde Prime boards his transport ship to Tropica, pausing only to inform Hordak that under no circumstances whatsoever should he actually use the warship for anything. Of course, once Horde Prime has gone, Hordak – being a complete tool – immediately voices an intention to use it to conquer both Etheria and Eternia. Luckily, the Sorceress has got wind of this dastardly notion, and sends He-Man to Etheria to resolve the situation.

Hordak takes the flagship on a very casual fly-by over the heads of some rebels, provoking Adora into turning into She-Ra. He then fires the flagship’s freeze ray at the Whispering Woods, and it’s so powerful that even He-Man and She-Ra combined cannot stop it. It’s fortunate, therefore, that Skeletor shows up at this juncture, and not wanting to be left out of the fun, decides to steal the Horde flagship himself, which rather distracts Hordak from firing the freeze ray.

Horde Prime 2
Skeletor: “I do appreciate the effort gone into drawing me from beneath to make me look imposing… but it does seem to have had the unintended side effect of making my head look really small.”

Skeletor and Hordak engage in a lengthy duel, in which they do a fair amount of cosmetic damage to the flagship whilst shrieking alliterative insults at one another. Skeletor eventually gets the better of Hordak, but in the meantime, He-Man has thrown a grappling hook onto the ship, allowing She-Ra to climb all the way up through the atmosphere, into outer space, and on board. She makes a slight concession to realism by putting on a space helmet to allow herself to breathe, but this just somehow makes the whole thing more ludicrous because she doesn’t consider putting a spacesuit on over her skimpy dress.

She-Ra finds Skeletor merrily chuckling away and crowing “Hail Skeletor!” to himself as he starts the ship’s engines. Down on the surface of Etheria, He-Man is dragged along by the end of the grappling line, until he eventually brings the ship to a halt. Skeletor pumps even more power into the ship’s engine, hoping to drag He-Man up into space, but this proves his undoing; when the moment is right, She-Ra cuts the grappling line, sending the ship flying at full speed into an asteroid.

Horde Prime 3
He-Man: “This will make a lovely shot for my 2019 calendar.”

Horde Prime’s flagship is reduced to rubble, which upsets Skeletor mightily. He’s wise enough to know when he’s beaten though, and when he spots that what remains of the ship is about to explode, he teleports back to Snake Mountain and out of our lives. Notably, he doesn’t attempt to save Hordak, but She-Ra – being completely mental – does.

There’s then an unexpected moment where She-Ra’s arse nearly catches fire as she and Hordak plummet through the atmosphere. This being a cartoon for children, she manages to resist all the obvious puns about having a hot ass, so I’ll let you substitute your own. Even without such jokes, the episode ends on a reasonably funny note as Hordak attempts to explain the destruction of the flagship to Horde Prime.

Horde Prime 4
She-Ra: “Yeah, this is one of those pictures that defies description.”

 

In today’s adventure…

I feel completely cheated this week. Despite me looking really hard for Loo-Kee – especially after I actually found him last time – at the end of the episode, it turns out he wasn’t in it at all! Instead, we get He-Man and She-Ra delivering the moral. If Loo-Kee isn’t going to be there, they need to warn us of that at the start! Otherwise it’s completely unfair! I am literally shaking with rage.

He-Man and She-Ra’s moral is that our bodies are our own, and no one should touch them without our permission. There’s also an unwelcome cameo from Orko, who threatens to punch anyone who touches us. She-Ra recognises that Orko’s contribution is less than helpful, and tells him to shut up, while He-Man points unnervingly at the camera and says that we shouldn’t feel ashamed if someone touches us in a bad way, but should tell someone we trust. He lists some bizarre suggestions of people we might trust: our parents, teachers, doctors, counsellors, ministers or rabbis. These latter two seem to be something of an afterthought, and have the air of an ad-lib, if it were possible for cartoon characters to ad-lib.

Horde Prime 5
She-Ra: “Er, He-Man, you’re coming across a bit strong, what with the finger pointing and all.”

Anyway – great message, and one we haven’t heard before from He-Man, but with zero relevance to the story, unless we’re supposed to consider Horde Prime’s flagship is his body, and Skeletor and Hordak were touching him inappropriately? And also – where the Jesus Christ was Loo-Kee?

 

Character checklist

This fantastic crossover episode features Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Prince Adam, He-Man, Bow, Kowl, the Sorceress, Horde Prime, Hordak, Skeletor, Mantenna and a new boy called Multibot. As noted above, there’s also a brief appearance from Orko, though it would have been better had it been even briefer.

 

Excuse given for Adora and Adam’s disappearances

Adam doesn’t give an excuse, being only in the presence of the Sorceress. Adora, on the other hand, gives the plausible explanation that she is going “to find She-Ra”.

Horde Prime 6
Bow: “Jesus, I’m stoned again.”

 

Insults

It’s another of those episodes with a real wealth of stingers. Hordak addresses Horde Prime as “slime”, allegedly accidentally, and Horde Prime surprisingly lets him get away with it. Mantenna is called a “bug-eyed buffoon” by Horde Prime and a “bug-eyed boob” by Hordak, but the real joy is to be found when Hordak and Skeletor start slagging each other off. Hordak tells Skeletor he’s a “treacherous turncoat two-faced traitor”, a “boneface” and a “blasted blue bungler”, while Skeletor counters with “bat-ears”, “blasted Horde bully boy” and the possibly misheard “conniving claim-jumper”.

He-Man refers to Skeletor and Hordak as “evil monsters” and also might call them “a gaggle of evils”, though the sound seemed a bit funny at this point, so it’s quite likely that’s not what he said. Finally, what He-Man/Skeletor showcase would be complete without Skeletor calling He-Man a “pitiful fool”?

Horde Prime 7
Skeletor: “Loving my new wheels.”

 

Oh No, Bow!

Bow has a very minimal contribution to this episode, and that’s observing that the flagship “looks like some sort of spaceship”. Yes, of course it does, Captain Obvious. That’s because it IS a spaceship.

 

Does it have the Power?

This episode is essentially an episode of He-Man and his battle with Skeletor, with She-Ra and Hordak along for the ride – so of course it gets a hearty thumbs-up from me. We’ve seen He-Man often enough in recent episodes that it’s actually not all that special for him to show up, but to see Skeletor again, especially with him being at his most maliciously evil, is an absolute treat. The whole thing is just an excuse for everyone to have a massive barney with each other while hollering insults, and it’s a total romp.

Horde Prime 8
She-Ra: “This helmet will definitely stop me from freezing to death.”

I was particularly fond of the return to the bizarre and insane feats of strength that featured so often in the He-Man cartoon – He-Man throwing a grappling hook into outer space is mental, as is She-Ra climbing through the atmosphere and through the vacuum of space to reach the ship. The concessions to reality (including She-Ra putting on a space helmet, and her starting to burn up on re-entering the atmosphere) just made the mental bits seem even crazier.

In short, I very much enjoyed this episode, and I’m sure you will too.

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22 thoughts on “Episode 18 – Horde Prime Takes a Holiday

  1. “She-Ra: “This helmet will definitely stop me from freezing to death.””

    Not particulary a problem if she isn’t in planetary shadow. Actually, overheating under direct sunlight would be bigger problem. And a bunch of vacuum-created problems, not immediately fatal, but clearly unpleasant.

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    1. Either way, this is surely going to be a problem for her!

      To be honest, what’s most incongruous about it is that she bothers with the space helmet, when later in the series she’s tooling around in space all the time without any protective gear at all…

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  2. I’ve got to say I find dilandu spellcount on Madame razz very interesting, I too have been following it an I’d have to agree at the moment Madame razz is doing pretty well, with 5 successful spells to just 2 fails so far I think you’d have to say she is doing rather well at the mo! It’ll be interesting to see the final totting up at the end how many of her spells are successes and fails if we get to see how it finishes up! Anyway I could put loads about this episode an what I think makes it special but to be honest you pretty much covered everything Owen Morton! I will say I don’t know exactly how many episodes but there were a few episodes where there was no loo-kee hiding Owen but don’t ask me how many!! As you correctly added in your review too it was nice that they took care of things like she-ra having a helmet on so she can breath (unlike some episodes as we know where there just flying around in space without nothing lol) good to see this attention to detail, I’m willing to forgive the episode assault on the hive cos that episode like this one is awesome! I wanted to ask you Owen Morton your feelings on horde prime himself with the huge metal claw hand, do you wish we the audience should of actually seen his identity just once or dyou think it adds to the mystery we never did?? I donno I just would like them to of done one episode where horde prime revealed himself? But that’s just how I feel personally.. top review an top ep tho..

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    1. Personally, I’m happy not to have seen Horde Prime’s full form – I think it keeps the mystery alive. To illustrate this point, Shadow Weaver is quite a good example – we don’t know what she really looks like, but it’s hinted in a later episode (possibly A Lesson in Love, but I can’t remember) that her appearance is horrifying. If Filmation had shown Shadow Weaver’s face, I don’t imagine it would have been very scary, but our imaginations can fill in the blanks. I think the same applies to Horde Prime.

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  3. Yeah maybe your right, an yes probably didn’t reveal prime for that exact effect- the mystery! Err regarding shadow weaver I agree completely with her (just like we never saw orko) im wondering if the episode your thinking of Owen is the price of power, ie in that episode she shows her face to the boy apprentice (wanting to learn magic) and yes it terrified him but absolutely the audience tho we still never got to see her!! Keeps the mystery I guess funny enough as a personal wish I always wanted shadow weaver to of originated from trolla as one of the trollas but the price of power ends that theory as that episode shows she originally was just a normal person like castaspella..

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    1. Yep that’s the one, Price of Power. Knew it was something alliterative!

      Interesting theory about the Trollans, she does look very vaguely like one!

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      1. agreed owen! lets just say Im preety confident im not completely alone on this either!! I mean she looks sooo similar, it kind of makes me wonder was that there original intention, if not then thev made shadow weaver to look very similar to orko an his trollan species! yep in the price of power shadow weaver was just an ordinary girl like castaspella there were both the old man magician apprentices, I cant think of his name off hand but you learn in this ep that weaver was originally a regular person just like any of the villagers, personally I thought the price of power was still a very good episode but they still could of given us a bit more on shadow weavers background than they did, anyhow the price of power was still while not quite a classic imo but still well worth watching takecare..

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  4. It seemed a very serious end of episode morale that didn’t have any real bearing on the story but they got the message across pretty well! I know the scene you mean from colossal awakes as well yes it certainly looks that way! An same could be said for teela she at times seems at times also one for inappropriate touching in return of the gryphon ep she was giving that young boy Thad a massage it seemed! I’m sure there’s others but that’s one that seem to stand out in my mind lol. Anyway a good morale imo if a bit serious with an important message.. Micheal schynski wrote horde prime takes a holiday this ep and into the dark dimension were my personal favourite 2 episodes by this writer.

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  5. Would have been great if, in Colossor Awakes, He-Man had said something like, “In today’s adventure, we saw Skeletor groping Beast-Man. Now, in real life, animated skeletons don’t sexually harass ape-men, but…” and then segued into the inappropriate touching moral…

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  6. Owen morton, agreed. Morale like that if done write mite actually work lol a serious message with a touch (excusing me the pun) of humour! Anyway very true, different example but reminded me of teelas odd end of message morale after the dragons gift when she says something like it trees could talk we haven’t learnt to hear them… yet!! No lie check it out!

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  7. If that episode were an He-man episode, I would say that “Horde Prime Takes a Holiday” is a slightly above average He-man episode. In particular, it was a space episode, which I liked. Also, there was some supense, which I liked too.

    For me, this episode was really entertaining. The action was good (even if some situations were silly.). I mean: There was a lot of action: The fight Shera and He-man vs the freeze canon was rather good. The fight Skeletor vs Hordak was good and funny. Also, the scene where He-Man throws a grappling hook onto the ship and holds it is entertaining. Also, Shera finding a way to destroy the flag ship and saving Hordak entertained me.

    Also, there was a little bit of serious character development and characterization in this episode. It was somewhat a lore episode.
    It was interesting to see Shera cooperating with He-man in this episode. For me, it was a combo episode. Also, Shera was rather smart when she decided to attack the ship while Skeletor and Hordak were fighting each other. She also was smart when she cut the rope and made the ship crash on an asteroid. But also, in my own opinion, she was too nice to Hordak (like she was with prince Zed.). Also, the changing sword was too convenient and silly. Also, it was too convenient that she could get a mask for Hordak at the end.
    He-man had the idea to grab the ship with his grapnel,and his idea was a rather good one. Also, He-man was strong enough to stop Skeletor’s ship at the end. Also, we had a very little of Prince Adam in this episode.
    Also, the Sorceress explained He-man clearly what he had to do and gave him her special grapnel. She acted like He-man and Shera’s leader. Still, I would have liked to see some cooperation between Shera and the Sorceress (Like He-man and the Sorceress cooperated in “tHe taking of Grayskull”.
    Also, He-man and Swiftind had some interesting cooperation.
    Also, Bow and Glimmer did nothing in this episode, which was a bad thing. Also, I liked that Lokee was absent from this episode.
    Also, it seems to that we saw Horde prime such as he is. Also the name of his flagship (“The velvet glove”) hints that Horde prime has som sense of humor. Also we saw Horde Prime summoning Hordak about the rebellion and to take care of his flagship. Still, Hordak was not impressed and Hordak desobeyed Horde prime’s orders.
    Hordak was a litle overambitious, because he wanted to conquer both Etheria and Ethernia. Also his idea to use the freeze ray on Whispering woods wasa good idea. Finally, his fight with Skeletor was entertaining. Also,
    Skeletor was more cunning than he was in the He-man series and he efficiently managed to steal Horde prime’s flagship. But he had no reason to turn off the beam during his fight wit Hordak, thus, for me, it was a plot device. Also, as usual with Skeletor, Skeletor was a bit overconfident and his plan failed in the end.
    Also, Shadow Weaver was absent from this episode and Mantena and Multiboat did nothing.
    To finish, I have one issue about this episode:
    How could Shera reenter into the atmosphere of earth? Her shield was clearly not enough to potecte her ass. Plus, since she was falling very quickly in the end, her parachute should have dismembred when it oppened.

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    1. Lots of points to address here, as ever – always find your thoughts interesting, Jean-Paul!

      Agree that this episode is a cut above many He-Man and She-Ra episodes. For me, it’s probably the most successful of all the crossovers, though Sweet Bee’s Home possibly gives it a run for its money, though that one doesn’t have Skeletor. I’m not sure how many there are with the “Big 4”: He-Man, She-Ra, Skeletor and Hordak, but I know it’s not many.

      Multibot and Mantenna: pretty much action figure adverts, I think! (Which is odd, as I don’t remember there actually being a Multibot action figure? Correct me if I’m wrong, as ever!)

      Agreed on She-Ra’s re-entering the atmosphere: it is by no means realistic! It’s funny that I can accept a lot of implausibilities in He-Man and She-Ra, but the one thing that really gets my goat is people surviving in outer space without protection!

      I don’t mind Bow taking a back seat this week: he’s been pretty well-developed in other episodes to this point. Glimmer’s continuing absence, though, is really not good for her character.

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      1. @owenmorton

        Yeah, I liked a bit Sweet Bee’s Home too.
        There is no Skeletor in it, but Shadow Weaver is the cunning one in this episode.
        But I didn’t really like the Frosta part. I mean: Why did He-man have the courage to say Frosta that he wasn’t interested? I didn’t get it.

        Also, when I was a child, I was only interested in the He-man and Shera TV shows. I never bought the action figures. I prefered GI Joe and transformers action figures and vehicules.

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  8. Correction:
    When I said: “Also, it seems to that we saw Horde prime such as he is.”, I meant
    “Also, it seems to me that it was the first time that we saw Horde prime such as he is.”

    Also, when I said: “How could Shera reenter into the atmosphere of earth? Her shield was clearly not enough to potecte her ass. Plus, since she was falling very quickly in the end, her parachute should have dismembred when it oppened.”
    I meant: “How could Shera reenter into the atmosphere of earth? Her shield was clearly not enough to potect her ass. Plus, since she was falling very quickly in the end, her parachute should have dismembred her when it opened.”

    Finally, I forgot to mention that I didn’t like that an asteroid was too conviently placed in front of Skeletor’s ship in the end.

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  9. Episodes like this remind me of all the reasons why we love skeletor so much.. he’s just like a big kid really I found skeletor taking the ship at his humorous best quotes such as “yes I’ve done it the most powerful ship in the galaxy is mine, now it’s off to eternia to conquer the planet” you’ve just gotta live skeletor he was really in his element here! My favourite skeletor line in this episode was straight after she ra destroyed horde primes ship and Smashed it into an astroid he said “aaah no my beautiful fresh stolen ship ruined” lol the best! Regarding Jean Paul what you asked re Larry di tillio and strazynski (may of spelt wrong) I have no idea but your right no season two episodes, I have no idea why tho, Larry di tillio s last episode was the last episode of season one the greatest magic that I personally wasn’t that keen of the only weak episode Larry di tillio did imo in she ra, it isn’t a bad episode as such but I just found it alittle too wacky for me.. this ep tho was one of the very best horde prime, hordak, he man she ra all in the same episode when I first watched this ep I was thinking episodes like this is why we adore these characters like we do particularly skeletor you’ve just gotta love the lines he comes out with and also the way it’s delivered by Alan Oppenheimer..absolute classic for the series thus one in my honest opinion fully recommended!..

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    1. Agreed – this is a very fine Skeletor outing!

      Re The Greatest Magic: I’m amazed you say it isn’t a bad episode as such! For me, it was one of the lowest points of the entire series….

      I don’t know either why Larry DiTillio and Michael Straczynski left She-Ra after the first season. I seem to recall reading somewhere that Straczynski’s episode Magicats was intended as a kind of pilot for a Magicats series, so maybe he went off to develop that concept? I don’t know though, I might have just made that up in a fevered dream!

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      1. owen Morton, been away for few days but seen just now your reply, I think you are right owen regarding the magicats series no I don’t think you made it up in a fevered dream I have heard this somewhere too! This is the only explanation I too that can come up with why straczynski and di tillio left after season one- its a good job bob forward hanged around for season two he probably saved it to be honest from total collapse! for example bob forwards last she ra episode in season 2 was assault on the hive which I personally feel is every bit as good as sweet bee`s home but just different (there both by forward) but my point is assault on the hive minus the heroes not wearing any helmets out in space it is a fantastic romp cos it was skeletors last hurrah as it were you cant get better than a he man skeletor episode in space, also this episode is currently right now top of the imdb rankings of all the 93 episodes it is number one at the top so that isn’t by accident! it isn’t my personal number one she ra ep but it comfortably makes my personal top 10 along with sweet bee`s home thank goodness bob forward hanged around and didn’t leave season 2 as well!! regarding the greatest magic yep im sorry, but no I don’t hate it! its really interesting tho what you say about it, as I said I still class it as a weak episode and alittle under average but not awfal no, probably for me on par with orkos favourite uncle but imo no where near as bad as dree ells return and the return of orkos uncle – hmmm interesting! id like to know now owen if they did do a magicat series that would be fantastic! I love the cats episodes too, i wouldn’t quite put it on the level of the he man classic the cat and the spider but i too think magicats is a terrific episode and obviously one of catras strongest!! takecare…

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  10. @owenmorton
    correction:
    When I said: ” Why did He-man have the courage to say Frosta that he wasn’t interested?”, I meant:
    ” Why did He-man have not the courage to say Frosta that he wasn’t interested?

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    1. I think it was a quite fun humanising bit of characterisation for He-Man: even the Most Powerful Man in the Universe doesn’t know how to act around women!

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      1. @owenmorton

        Understood. I guess it was a good idea to show that He-man didn’t know how to act around Frosta. But, my personal opinion is also that the “Frost&He-man comedy” part was too long.

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