Episode 14 – The Seeds of Resistance

In which we meet two new Mutants.

Skeletor and Flogg begin the episode by having an argument over who’s responsible for last week’s debacle, and their conclusion is that they must capture He-Man. By this stage, I’m rooting for them. If they captured He-Man, they could then shoot him, which would bring this series to a timely end. Perhaps in pursuit of this noble goal, they take the Mutant mother ship to Zaphor, then have another argument over who’s in command.

Resistance 2
Skeletor: “Temper, temper.”

Two new Mutants, a lady called Critta and a walking eyeball called Optik, report that Zaphor is now empty. This prompts Skeletor to suggest the use of the new tractor beam, a proposal which Flogg accepts. They use the tractor beam to lift Zaphor off the ground, while He-Man and the villagers watch from the safety of the nearby forest. For no particularly apparent reason, He-Man decides that this tractor beam changes things so dramatically that the battle can only be won if Master Sebrien, Hydron and Flipshot are rescued.

The rescue mission is carried out by Prince Adam and Mara; it seems that He-Man doesn’t come along purely so that Adam and Mara can do some important flirting. Unfortunately for this developing relationship, Slush Head and Critta show up, which means Adam has to disappear and He-Man has to get involved. Once the rescue mission is complete, however, Skeletor reveals that the whole thing has been orchestrated, and that Master Sebrien has a homing device in his gown.

Resistance 3
Master Sebrien: “A homing device isn’t the only thing I have in my robe, Mara.”

This is a very nice try on Skeletor’s part, and I must extend my compliments to him on coming up with quite a good plan. Unfortunately, Master Sebrien is somehow aware of the homing device, so removes it and plants it on the robot Gleep. Then there’s a great deal of convoluted double-bluffing, which ultimately leads to our heroes and villains having a massive confrontation at a frozen lake.

This confrontation ends in the defeat of the Mutants, with Skeletor, Flogg and Critta flying over a waterfall on an iceberg. He-Man and his cohorts zoom off in the Starship Eternia, spouting some overexcited gibberish about needing to reclaim the planet of Primus. It seems pretty much reclaimed already, so I presume this is the end of this multi-part story, but next week might be an epilogue. Who knows? I certainly can’t wait to find out.

Resistance 4
He-Man: “Three cheers for us, and especially me.”


In today’s adventure…

Master Sebrien and Gleep dispense the moral today, advising us to always keep a vast quantity of fire extinguishers around our homes. Zero relevance to the story, of course, and I have to say I don’t know anyone who has a fire extinguisher at home. Maybe me and my friends are just daredevils, but I doubt it. This smacks of overkill.


Character checklist

Right then, cast list enthusiasts: today you’ve got Prince Adam, He-Man, Mara, Master Sebrien, Hydron, Flipshot, Meldock, Gepple, Elcon, Krax, Gleep, Skeletor, Flogg, Slush Head, Critta and Optik.

Resistance 1
Critta: “Take that weirdly lecherous smirk off your silly purple face, Flogg.”


Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

After the jailbreak, Mara wonders what happened to Adam. Master Sebrien leaps in to explain, “Adam fled through the hole after me. I’m sure he’ll join us later.”



Once again, the only contribution is “fools” from Skeletor, this time directed at Adam, Mara, Master Sebrien, Hydron and Flipshot.


Does it have the Power?

It’s got absolutely oodles of Power compared to last week’s complete atrocity. In fact, I’d say it’s the first episode that is relatively satisfying for quite a long time, managing to bring this multi-part story to a reasonable conclusion. It’s not an amazing 20 minutes of television, but it isn’t annoying, and I’m beginning to think that’s as much as we can ask from this series. If I’m being generous, which right now I’m not exactly inclined to be, I’ll grudgingly grant it the status of ‘worth watching’, if you’re not expecting anything brilliant.

Episode 13 – He-Man in Exile

In which He-Man finally clocks that he’s got to defeat the zeps.

Slush Head arrives in Zaphor and starts loading prisoners into a transport to take them to Leviton; there’s presumably a purpose to this, but it isn’t mentioned, and is thus a bit reminiscent of Hordak’s regular prisoner-taking exercises. I never thought I’d be nostalgic for that snorting pig boy, but I really am. Anyway, once He-Man gets wind of this, he ambushes the transport, rescues the prisoners, and sends Slush Head back to Skeletor and Flogg to inform them that the rebellion has begun. He and Mara then make some infuriating speeches, just so we can hate them.

Exile 3
He-Man: “Don’t tell anyone about us hiding in the bushes together. They might get the wrong idea.”

After a fair degree of time-wasting scenes involving He-Man and the scientists attacking Mutant soldiers, we are introduced to a blue-haired individual called Vita, who is terrified of the zeps. This leads He-Man to pronounce that the zeps must be defeated, which is jolly good thinking on his part. Here we are, with zeps marauding all over Primus, maintaining Skeletor’s reign of terror, and it only takes He-Man two episodes to conclude that he must defeat the zeps. I don’t know how he thinks of these things. Genius, I tell you.

He-Man and the scientists make an attack on the Mutants and retake the village of Zaphor – but we quickly learn that this was only possible because Skeletor allowed them to do so, as part of some larger scheme. This larger scheme becomes immediately apparent: once He-Man is in Zaphor, a vast array of Star Wars rip-off machinery emerges and surrounds the village.

Exile 4
He-Man: “Well done, lads. We’re well clever to take this village back.”

Despite the presence of all this Mutant hardware, the village elder – a man called Matham – decides that he needs to indulge in a pointless debate with Mara and Prince Adam about whether Skeletor and Flogg are baddies or not. When the Mutants advance on the village, Vita comes under attack from a Mutant machine and He-Man saves her. This ends the tedious debate over who’s the goody and who’s the baddy, but gives rise to an even more tedious discussion about the need to fight to preserve peace. Listen, He-Man: we’ve heard inspirational speeches of this kind before, from your sister She-Ra, and they seemed just as hawkish and distasteful then.

Obviously, the villagers eventually decide to fight against the Mutants, so the scientists chime in with a brilliant plan, which has something to do with a mirror, which somehow baffles Skeletor when he enters Zaphor to confront He-Man. I have to say, sheepishly, that I haven’t got the foggiest idea what happened with the mirror, and must conclude that either it was so convoluted and subtle that my brain couldn’t cope with it, or it was just completely fucking insane and made no sense at all.

Exile 5
Skeletor: “My brain hurts.”

Whichever of these options it was, Zaphor is saved, and Skeletor runs away. The animation of him running away seems familiar in a half-remembered sort of way, so I would imagine I saw this episode when I was little. I don’t blame the younger me for not remembering it very well, especially since it ends with yet more jingoistic little speeches. Jesus Christ.


In today’s adventure…

He-Man advises us to always wear goggles when we’re using hammers. Putting aside the fact that I’ve genuinely never considered this to be necessary, who does He-Man think is watching this programme? I may be doing the fan base a grave disservice here, but I reckon that if I were to draw a Venn diagram of New Adventures of He-Man fans and DIY enthusiasts, the overlap would be small to the point of negligible.

Exile 1
Elcon: “Oh yes, thanks for that advice, He-Man. Do I need goggles when I use the hammer on your head?”


Character checklist

Okay, lads, the cast list today is Prince Adam, He-Man, Mara, Gepple, Meldock, Elcon, Krax, Vita, Matham, the Sorceress, the villagers, Skeletor, Flogg, Slush Head, Quake, and another Mutant or two.


Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

He doesn’t bother; instead, he just waits for everyone else to leave the room when the news arrives that the Mutants are attacking the village. I don’t know what he’d have done if everyone else hadn’t left the room, and frankly I don’t care.



We were looking like we were going to get our first insult-free outing for ages, until at the 16-minute mark Skeletor ruins everything by calling Quake and various other Mutants “fools”.

Exile 2
Skeletor: “Gotta say it, Flogg, your dress sense may be a tad suspect but you’ve got great taste in furniture.”


Silence, Scientists!

It doesn’t take long for Elcon to wind me up this week; mere minutes into the episode, he’s invented a stupid device which seems to have no purpose other than to winch Gepple around pointlessly. So it’s an idiot point for Elcon, and he gets another one a few minutes later for shrieking incoherently and incessantly. Krax – who is his partner-in-crime in this moronic venture – also earns himself a point. Krax and Meldock also get an idiot point each for bickering infuriatingly over who gets to talk the villagers through the plan. I’m inclined to also give Gepple a point for looking like a massive numpty, and since I’m the one making the rules here, and I’m not in a good mood, I’m going to do so.

Meldock: 13

Gepple: 6

Krax: 7

Elcon: 8


Does it have the Power?

Oh my god, no it doesn’t. Like last week, it’s the middle part of a story, and like last week, it didn’t progress the plot at all; unlike last week, it was excruciatingly, teeth-grindingly awful. He-Man was annoying, Prince Adam was annoying, the stupid cameo appearance from the Sorceress was annoying, Matham was annoying, every single other villager was annoying, the scientists were annoying, and even Skeletor was annoying. I’m sure the business with the mirrors must have made some kind of sense, but I couldn’t for the life of me work out what it was. In summary, there is nothing that could induce me to watch this drivel ever again. Definitely the worst of the series so far, and possibly the worst thing I’ve seen since The Wizard. Dreadful.

Episode 12 – Skeletor’s Victory

In which Drissy fails to do the simplest thing.

Six days have passed since the devastating events depicted in The Gift. Pretty much everyone on Primus has been hypnotised by the zeps and is under Skeletor’s control. He-Man and Mara appear to have spent their time walking through a forest, and it’s the scientists who’ve actually been doing something useful, though I can’t quite work out what. Their conclusion, however, is that they need to go out into the wilderness and capture a zep, in order to do some experiments on it.

Victory 1
He-Man: “It’s a nice forest to be sure, Mara, but I’ve seen some better ones in my day. The ones on Trolla are… interesting.”

Despite it being six days since the zeps took over Primus, the Mutants have only just now got round to actually descending to the planet. Skeletor takes Hydron and Flipshot captive, before escorting Flogg into Onnor and arranging for him to be declared ruler. Flogg’s first act is to order the destruction of Primus’ shield, but Master Sebrien points out that an attempt to do so would trigger a failsafe device that will destroy half of the galaxy. This sounds a little excessive, but it does serve to discourage Flogg.

The only other way to disable the shield is, of course, to simply turn it off, but that can only be achieved with the key, and the key is in He-Man’s possession. Flogg therefore orders a planet-wide search for He-Man, much to Skeletor’s delight. Skeletor’s aim at this point in the series appears to simply be to defeat He-Man, rather than domination of anything.

He-Man and Mara have now reached the village of Zaphor, where they are expecting to find Drissy with a message from Master Sebrien. He-Man leaves Mara outside the village with the key, then turns back into Adam and enters Zaphor. He finds Drissy quickly, but she’s uncommonly useless at relaying messages and simply wastes time until the two of them are spotted.

Victory 2
Adam: “Come on, Drissy, have you got something to tell me or not?”

Adam turns back into He-Man and makes mincemeat of the Mutant patrol, which is a good temporary fix. Unfortunately, due to some completely incomprehensible rubbish about a flock of birds, Skeletor is able to work out where He-Man is, and he sends some more Mutants off to finish the job. Perhaps because he knows how useless the Mutants are, he also heads to Zaphor himself.

In the meantime, He-Man meets up with the scientists, who have succeeded in their aim to capture a zep, but naturally, they’re now under attack from it. Once that’s dealt with, He-Man has to contend with Quake, Stackhorn and another Mutant who thus far remains nameless. This goes as tediously easily for He-Man as you would expect, and with that, the episode ends.

Victory 3
He-Man: “Who shrunk you lot?”


In today’s adventure…

Today we learned about how if you’ve got a message from Master Sebrien, you should just say what the message is, rather than messing about asking irrelevant questions. Drissy didn’t exactly distinguish herself on this score today.


Character checklist

Ah, well, let’s see – there’s Prince Adam, He-Man, Mara, Drissy, Master Sebrien, Gepple, Meldock, Elcon, Krax, Gleep, Hydron, Flipshot, the Sorceress, Skeletor, Flogg, Stackhorn, Quake, the nameless Mutant, and various other Mutant soldiers.

Victory 4
Skeletor: “Guys, why do you have pretzels round your wrists?”


Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

“You go now, we’ll talk again later,” Adam says to Drissy, when the Mutant patrols spot them in Zaphor. Drissy runs off, evidently without giving Adam’s safety a second thought.



Flipshot calls a zep a “bag of bolts”, but gets his comeuppance mere moments later when Skeletor refers to both him and Hydron as “weaklings”. Flogg seems to be beginning to get the hang of He-Man style insults, since he says that He-Man and other resistance leaders are “fools”. There’s no greater insult in the He-Man lexicon.


Silence, Scientists!

Elcon can have a point this week for doing the clichéd cartoon thing where he refuses to listen to someone telling him something important; in this case, he won’t listen to Gleep warning him that there’s a giant zep behind him. On the other hand, I’m also going to deduct a point from Elcon’s score, because he comes up with an outstanding plan and actually saves He-Man from a zep. The scores are therefore still as follows:

Meldock: 12

Gepple: 5

Krax: 5

Elcon: 6

Victory 5
Elcon: “A zep? Where?”


Does it have the Power?

It’s very much a middle part of a story. I don’t think anything happened here that actually advanced the plot, nor did it even feel like there was much setup for later events. The only thing that can be said in its favour really is that it developed the scientists’ characters a little bit; they proved they are capable of being brave when they want to be, and also that they don’t have to be annoying even when they are onscreen for some time. Otherwise, we’re pretty much exactly where we left this tale last time, and I feel things wouldn’t go amiss if you skipped this one. I’m beginning to feel things wouldn’t go amiss if you skipped this entire series and moved on to He-Man: 2002, but that’s another matter.

Episode 11 – The Gift

In which the sound engineers discover the echo effect button and use it on He-Man’s closing speech for no readily apparent reason.

Another day, another Mutant attack on Primus. As usual, the Mutants are repelled, so easily that He-Man doesn’t even have to get involved. Skeletor welcomes the Mutants back to the mother ship with a sarcastic victory party, but once he’s finished mocking them, he details his own latest plan. This plan involves androids and attacking “from the inside”, but the full details are not as yet revealed to we lucky viewers. I for one am on the edge of my seat.

Gift 1
Flogg: “This is pushing it, even for you.”

The next scene finds Master Sebrien telling Adam that Flogg has been in touch to request some peace talks. Sebrien, not having learned from the experience of three episodes ago, is well up for this, but Adam advises caution. I’m with Adam on this one. Anyway, Flogg is good enough to send the people of Primus a gift as a goodwill gesture: some small fluffy animals known as zeps.

Now, I’m all for seeking peace, but Master Sebrien is just far too credulous. Drissy – who has the ability to telepathically communicate with animals – cannot get any answer from the zeps, but Sebrien just dismisses her concerns. Nonetheless, He-Man examines the zeps, but ultimately can’t find anything suspicious about them. Consequently, the zeps are released into Primus’ ecosystem, which is a ridiculous thing to do. Even if the zeps aren’t part of a hostile plan (and frankly, I’m utterly convinced that they are), they could cause untold damage to the current ecology of Primus. Can you say “rabbits in Australia”? Or “tribbles on Space Station K-7”?

Gift 2
Zep: “I wholeheartedly assure you that I am not evil.”

Mere days later, the zeps have spread across the entire planet, distracting everyone from their jobs. Master Sebrien has changed his tune, grumbling about the presence of the zeps, but everyone else is delighted with them. We are treated to a seemingly endless sequence of scenes demonstrating this development, before finally Skeletor and Flogg get to the point, and press a button which makes the zeps quadruple in size and grow massive teeth and claws.

This is clearly up to He-Man to sort out. Unfortunately, the Sorceress also sees the need to get involved, and chirps up with some useless advice before allowing He-Man to get on with it. The rest of the episode is taken up with loads of very exciting footage of He-Man throwing the giant zeps around, a lot of which is animated excruciatingly badly.

He-Man eventually discovers that the zeps are androids, which means he’s free to carve them into bits, and that’s what he does for quite a long time. Genuinely, the majority of the dialogue in this second half of the episode consists of people shouting “help!” and the zeps shouting “raaaaarrrrr!” I don’t expect He-Man to be Shakespearean, but this is barely literate.

Gift 3
Zep: “Well, okay – maybe I’m a BIT evil.”

After He-Man does an awful lot of boring fighting, Master Sebrien suddenly and randomly decides that the zeps are winning. He therefore gives He-Man the key to Primus’ defensive shield and tells him to go with Mara to the “secret place in the wilderness”, to fight there until it is safe to return. This comes completely out of the blue, and I can’t help but feel that if this is where the episode wanted to go, it could have spent the last five minutes developing this theme rather than just having He-Man fighting endless quantities of zeps.

But anyway, that’s where we end for this week, with He-Man and Mara on the run, and Skeletor and the Mutants in charge on Primus. I do hope He-Man can sort this out. Right now, his method of sorting it out seems to involve shouting, “For freedom!” in a weird echoey voice, and as such I think his plans need a bit of work. Presumably a more sensible plan will emerge next week. I can’t wait to find out.

Gift 4
Mara: “Oh, put a sock in it, He-Man.”


In today’s adventure…

Once again, there’s no moral attached to my copy of the episode, but I think we can all draw the obvious conclusion that you should be a little bit suspicious if your enemy wants to give you a present.


Character checklist

This episode features Prince Adam, He-Man, Master Sebrien, Mara, Caz, Drissy, Hydron, Flipshot, Sagittar, a new boy called Spinwit, Elcon, Meldock, Gepple, Krax, the Sorceress, Skeletor, Flogg, Slush Head, Quake, and of course all the zeps.


Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Despite being good enough to treat us to the transformation animation twice, Adam and He-Man don’t offer an excuse on either occasion. I’ll use this opportunity, therefore, to comment that he doesn’t say, “By the Power of Grayskull” in this series; he says, “By the Power of Eternia.” I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, it’s a minor change that barely seems worth complaining about; on the other, I cannot see why it was deemed necessary to change it at all. It seems like pointless meddling for the sake of it.

Gift 5
Prince Adam: “What was my catchphrase again?”



Spinwit addresses the Mutants as “Mutant bums”, or at least something that sounds like that. Hydron calls a zep a “furball”, shortly after appearing to gratuitously poke it in the eye. Skeletor also has some unkind words for the zeps, referring to them as “fools” and “stupid androids”.


Does it have the Power?

I can’t really say that I enjoyed this one. Nothing about it really seemed to work. While it was good of Master Sebrien to be open to the Mutant peace overtures, I feel this would have been more believable if the Mutants hadn’t tried the exact same trick three episodes ago. The people of Primus come across as complete spoons for being so enamoured of the zeps so quickly, and the final scene in which He-Man suddenly has to go on the run comes out of nowhere. It’s obviously Part 1 of a greater story, so maybe it’ll hang together better later, but for now, I’d have to say that this episode is towards the bottom end of the scale.

Episode 10 – Festival of Lights

In which He-Man goes bullfighting.

Adam, Mara, Drissy and Caz are preparing for an event called the Festival of Lights, which is a celebration of the return of the sun after an eclipse. Adam states that he believes the return of the sun is a sign that “someone is watching over us”, a statement that veers dangerously close to touching on religion, a subject that He-Man has hitherto avoided studiously, even to the point of ludicrousness in the Christmas Special.

Festival 1
Mara: “If someone’s watching over you, Adam, shouldn’t they be having a word with you about your ridiculous hairstyle?”

Part of the celebration for the Festival of Lights will involve He-Man, Drissy, Mara, Caz and Sagittar going to see a rodeo show on another planet called Westar. This seems odd, since presumably the eclipse being celebrated can only be seen from Primus. This apparent lapse in logic notwithstanding, our heroes set off in the Starship Eternia, and en route encounter Skeletor and the Mutants, who have decided that it would be a great idea if they go to the rodeo show too.

Ah, it makes sense now. Our heroes have actually come to ask if the rodeo show can perform on Primus at the Festival. That’ll teach me not to leap to conclusions. While Caz, Mara and Sagittar watch the show, Drissy and He-Man go off to see the owner, a gentleman called Buck. Unfortunately, Buck has already made friends with Skeletor, who has given him some new bulls as a present. Even so, Drissy successfully negotiates for the rodeo to appear on Primus, while He-Man stands around snarling impotently at Skeletor.

Festival 2
Drissy: “Communicating telepathically with this bull is much more rewarding than communicating with He-Man.”

Once the negotiation is complete, He-Man and Drissy rejoin the others in the arena to watch the show, at which Skeletor’s bull is performing. Naturally, the bull is a complete maniac, programmed to attack He-Man, so we get a rather surprising interlude in which He-Man becomes a matador. Even more surprisingly, Drissy, Mara, Caz and Sagittar do nothing to help him, and continue to sit in their seats and watch as if this was a planned part of the show.

Not particularly put out by the inevitable failure of his bull, Skeletor moves on to a loopier plan. He, Flogg, Slush Head, Quake and another Mutant called Stackhorn all join the rodeo show and go to Primus to perform at the Festival of Lights. This seems to be little more than an excuse to dress up in silly costumes though, since they don’t actually perform. Instead, they simply take lots of prisoners, and fail to capture He-Man.

Festival 5
Stackhorn: “I must admit, my outfit does seem a bit… gimpy.”

This oversight, as usual, is Skeletor’s undoing. Drissy and Mara release all the rodeo’s bulls, and He-Man leaps on Sagittar’s back and leads the bulls in a charge. This is unexpected. Sagittar hasn’t appeared very often in this cartoon to this point, but he’s never given the impression that he’s willing to be ridden like a horse before. Perhaps freaked out by this weird behaviour, the Mutants all run away, and as a thank-you to He-Man, Buck presents him with a robotic bird called Clawber. Clawber has the look of a piece of junk that Buck has had lying around for ages, trying to pawn off on someone, but maybe I’m just being unkind.


In today’s adventure…

No moral on my YouTube version today, but I expect it was something to do with it being okay to ride your friends like horses, so long as it’s all between consenting adults.


Character checklist

Today’s little outing features Prince Adam, He-Man, Mara, Caz, Drissy, Master Sebrien, Sagittar, Hydron, Flipshot, Buck, Clawber, Elcon, Meldock, Gepple, Krax, Skeletor, Flogg, Slush Head, Quake and Stackhorn, as well as plenty of Festival spectators.


Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

When the Mutants attack at the Festival, Adam runs off shouting, “I’ll look for Sagittar.” I wasn’t sure at this stage why Sagittar was required, but I certainly wasn’t expecting He-Man to mount him.

Festival 4
Sagittar: “Er, He-Man? This is not normal.”



The insults didn’t exactly fly thick and fast, but Skeletor did make a few choice comments, including calling Buck a “rodeo rat” and reserving the ever-popular “fool” for Stackhorn.


Silence, Scientists!

Elcon gets a point for inventing a device which overloads the electricity supply at the Festival, causing various hilarious problems. One such problem is in a kitchen, where food and drink goes flying, but unfortunately doesn’t hit anyone, robbing me of the opportunity to bring the Egg in your face? category back.

Meldock: 12

Gepple: 5

Krax: 5

Elcon: 6

Festival 3
Elcon: “This will inevitably go wrong, so you may as well run away now.”


Does it have the Power?

I don’t think I’d ever say it was one of my favourite pieces of television, but it wasn’t dreadful. I could have done without the oblique references to religion, which just seemed out of place, and Skeletor’s plan this week seemed pretty half-baked. On the other hand, I’m enjoying the growing romantic entanglements that are developing between He-Man, Adam, Mara and Drissy. I can’t quite work out who’s meant to be interested in who, but there’s some surprisingly good animation work with Drissy and Mara looking jealous of each other. This series seems to be pretty good with its internal continuity, so hopefully that storyline will develop a bit. In conclusion, I’ll call this episode a reasonable but not groundbreaking effort, which is enjoyable enough.