Episode 02 – Quest for the Crystals

In which He-Man gets a fancy new spaceship.

Master Sebrien begins the episode by taking He-Man to an underground city, known as Onnor. While there, he introduces He-Man to the other inhabitants, including the scientists, and it’s so very nice to see them again. There is widespread scepticism among the people that He-Man is capable of doing anything against the Mutants, so helpfully the Mutants launch an attack ship to give He-Man the opportunity to prove himself.

Crystals 1
Elcon: “With my dress sense, I aim to hit that sweet spot right between medieval jester and sex offender.”

The attack ship contains a green Mutant called Slush Head, who is – rather surprisingly – given to composing poetry about how evil he is. It’s not very good poetry, admittedly, but it still must be noted that this is intelligence beyond anything of Skeletor’s former minions. The poetry doesn’t help, of course: He-Man shows up mighty quick, and sends Slush Head packing.

Slush Head returns to the Mutant base, where despite his defeat, he reveals that he has at least fulfilled the main part of his mission: to take some reconnaissance photos of various locations on Primus. Skeletor examines the photos, and forms a plan with Flogg: they will destroy some crystals from a power generator. Once the crystals are gone, the temperature on Primus will rise to an unmanageable level.

Crystals 2
Skeletor: “So, Slush Head – read any good books lately?”

The Mutants are successful in this exciting plan, which prompts a discussion between He-Man, Master Sebrien, Mara, Hydron and Flipshot. The only place to get replacement crystals is Gorn City, which is incidentally on the Mutants’ home world Denebria. It’s nice to see that a complete and total lack of forward planning is not limited to Man-at-Arms. In order to get to Denebria, our heroes dust off an ancient starship.

The starship is crewed by He-Man, Hydron, Flipshot and a robot called Gleep. In addition, the young boy Caz stows away on board, even though his sister Drissy threatens to “whip” He-Man if Caz goes with him. Once on Denebria, He-Man and Gleep head to the market in Gorn City, and bloody Caz follows him. I’m getting a bad feeling that Caz is going to be the Orko of this series, but let’s keep an open mind.

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Drissy: “Might whip He-Man with this stick. Might whip you, Caz. I’m not choosy.”

Of course, this whole business with the stolen crystals is an elaborate trap. Once He-Man starts asking around trying to buy replacement crystals, he comes to the attention of a bunch of Skeletor’s thugs, led by a Cyclops called Meliak, who try to take him prisoner. Interestingly, Meliak has a degree of morality: he refuses to harm Caz and lets him go.

He-Man defeats Meliak pretty easily, at which point Skeletor turns up for a more interesting duel. It’s not a duel that lasts particularly long, however; He-Man soon contrives to hurl Skeletor into a pit of water. Once that’s achieved, He-Man grabs some crystals, which are suddenly on the scene. I’m not sure where they came from, but never mind. He re-boards the starship, which he finds that Hydron and Flipshot have decided to name Starship Eternia. He-Man tries to make out that he’s impressed, but I suspect he’d rather Hydron and Flipshot had actually helped in this mission, rather than sit around thinking up names for their ship.

Crystals 4
He-Man: “Yeah, thanks for your contribution, you pair of twats.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Hm. Weird. Last week there was a moral lesson, this week there’s not. I’ll admit, I’m watching these on YouTube, so it’s not necessarily complete. In the absence of an official moral, though, I’ll supply my own, which is that if you’re building an energy system on which your planet depends, you should definitely make sure that it’s fuelled by something which can’t be found on your planet. It’ll be even more sensible if the fuel is something which can only be obtained from your enemy’s planet. That definitely makes sense.

 

Character checklist

Right, let’s try and take stock. There’s Prince Adam, He-Man, Master Sebrien, Hydron, Flipshot, Caz, Drissy, Gleep, Gepple, Meldock, Elcon, Krax, some other dudes, Skeletor, Flogg, Slush Head, Meliak, and several other Mutants, whose names I didn’t get.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Adam makes his transformation with only Master Sebrien around, so he doesn’t need to give an excuse. That’s probably just as well. Until he’s got to grips with what’s normal on Primus, he probably doesn’t want to be giving excuses. Imagine if he said, “Oh, Adam’s just gone down to Asda to buy some crumpets,” then everyone else would say, “What’s Asda? What are crumpets? What the hell are you talking about, you loon?” Then He-Man’s reputation would be damaged. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

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Master Sebrien: “This is the most important Portaloo on Primus.”

 

Insults

No one makes any outright insults this week; the best we have is Skeletor implying that Slush Head is a moron by saying, “Too much brain strain?” when Slush Head fails to comprehend a simple plan.

 

Does it have the Power?

Again, this is a nicely watchable instalment. There’s nothing wrong with it, and we’re beginning to get to know our characters reasonably well now. Our heroes are the more well-developed group so far; Master Sebrien, Caz and Drissy all have discernible personalities. Hydron and Flipshot have the same personality so far, but it’s early days yet. On the Mutant side, Flogg comes across as the most evil, while Slush Head looks likely to be the idiot of the group, despite his bizarre poetry.

Plotwise, it’s all fairly standard for He-Man, and at this stage it’s nice to see familiar storylines playing out, rather than the series trying to be too different. One nice touch is that He-Man actually takes some currency to Gorn City with which to pay for the crystals, which is very pleasing. Filmation He-Man may have been a stout moraliser on many subjects, but his personal ethics seemed a little less clear-cut when it came to nicking things (rainbow quartz, for example).

So let’s call it another win for the New Adventures of He-Man. Who’d have thought it?

8 thoughts on “Episode 02 – Quest for the Crystals

  1. *The only place to get replacement crystals is Gorn City, which is incidentally on the Mutants’ home world Denebria. It’s nice to see that a complete and total lack of forward planning is not limited to Man-at-Arms.*

    You are too harsh here. Let’s not forget: Primus is basically the humanity last redoubt in He-Man future. They are just one besieged world, with no external support, against significant industrial power (mutants). They are forced to use whatever resources they still have available and if the choice is between “we use the irreplaceable crystal” and “we all die”, it’s obvious that long-therm planning is not exactly the top priority.

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    1. I take the point. But it’s astonishing how often these “only possible energy sources” crop up. Man-at-Arms does it at least twice in Filmation and here it is again in NA. You’d think that with this sort of reliance on rare resources, there’d be a lot of R&D into alternatives.

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      1. Eternium was supposedly rare in “Double-Edged Sword”, but then, in a later episode, ‘Lord Todd’ has an entire maze built out of it. Perhaps he was hording it all.

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      2. In general I agree, but Primus situation was from the very beginning established to be extremely desperate: they are basically running on the very last shadow of fumes, and the absolute majority of their resources went into preventing the planetary bombardments. They could not even strike back at Skull Moon – which is essentially the main mutants supply base in direct proximity.

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  2. *but I suspect he’d rather Hydron and Flipshot had actually helped in this mission, rather than sit around thinking up names for their ship.*

    Flipshot: “Sorry, pal, but we are the last remaining pilots who could fly anything spaceworthy Primus still have. We basically conscripted you from the past exactly to serve as our sword-wielding cannon fodder. So would you be to kind not to annoy the highly trained specialists, demanding that they fought infantry actions?”

    (Sorry, I could not resist)

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