Episode 25 – Planet of Junk

In which Skeletor arranges an interstellar circus.

After a vicious dogfight with the self-styled Galactic Guardians, the Mutant mother ship is forced to land on a desolate asteroid to make repairs. By good fortune, this asteroid happens to be the junkyard of an advanced alien civilisation, and Skeletor and co. waste no time attempting to reactivate the ancient technology – especially the weapons. Unfortunately, their efforts prove to be in vain, but they do discover a device that allows its user to alter their appearance. Seemingly for their own entertainment, Skeletor and Flogg unexpectedly make themselves look like crocodiles, before getting back to business.

Planet of Junk 2
Flogg: “Give me that remote control, Skeletor. And make it snappy.”

Their next step is to set up a space-faring circus company and land on Primus pretending to be performers, using the image-alteration device to disguise themselves. I honestly think they only do this because they think it’s funny, since they abandon the disguise almost immediately, in favour of kidnapping the scientists. With this achieved, the Mutants return to the asteroid and set the scientists to work repairing the ancient weapons.

While the other scientists work, Gepple surreptitiously contacts He-Man to give their location, which brings our heroes charging to the rescue. Unfortunately, repairs on some of the weapons are now complete, allowing Skeletor to entertain himself trying to shoot down the Galactic Guardians’ ships. This is unsuccessful, of course, and our heroes land, treating themselves to an energetic hand-to-hand battle with the Mutants. I’ve never seen He-Man look more like a street thug than he does in this fight.

Planet of Junk 1
He-Man: “Thug? Me? Say that again and I’ll smash your face in.”

Skeletor and the Mutants eventually gain the upper hand, and bundle He-Man into one of the newly repaired technological devices. Gepple assures Skeletor that this device will drain all the power from a living being, but this is a clever bluff. Instead, the machine drains the strength of anyone standing near it, and that just happens to include all the baddies and none of the goodies. With this reversal in fortunes achieved, our heroes rescue the scientists, blow up all the alien technology, and depart.

 

In today’s adventure…

Adam and Sagittar helpfully inform us of the best steps to take to avoid our bikes being nicked by Skeletor and the Mutants. I’ve had my bike for 20 years now, and frankly, if Skeletor did nick it, he’d be doing me a favour by saving me the trouble of getting rid of it myself.

Planet of Junk 3
Adam: “Sagittar, you look nice and sane today.”

 

Character checklist

Well whoop-de-do, it’s Prince Adam, He-Man, Sagittar, Artilla, Icarus, Gepple, Meldock, Elcon, Krax, Skeletor, Flogg, Slush Head, Quake and Stackhorn.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Adam’s on his own, just making his way to the circus, when he realises that He-Man is required. He thus ducks out of sight and doesn’t waste his time making excuses.

 

Insults

It’s a bad day for Slush Head, who gets called a “coward”, an “idiot” and “stupid” in rapid succession by Flogg. He’s also included in Skeletor’s description of the Mutants in general as “idiotic” and “clowns”. Otherwise, it’s the scientists who come off badly: Skeletor refers to all four of them as “cowardly scientists”, Flogg calls Gepple a “little egghead”, and Stackhorn calls the other three “nerds”. Finally, Gepple indulges himself in an uncharacteristic outburst of viciousness by calling Krax an “amoeba-brain”.

Planet of Junk 4
Gepple: “It’s a worrying moment when I’m the most sensible person in the room.”

 

Silence, Scientists!

Despite focussing on the scientists quite heavily, they don’t do anything dreadfully infuriating. Both Gepple and Elcon can have a point for stammering ridiculously when they try to say “Mutants”, and Krax and Meldock get one for nearly blowing themselves up with an alien device. However, I’m also going to reward them all by taking a point away from them, because they all sabotage the devices they’ve been working on, actually demonstrating the character trait of ‘bravery’ rather than ‘annoying’ for once. Consequently, the scores remain as last week, at:

Meldock: 20

Gepple: 12

Krax: 13

Elcon: 17

 

Does it have the Power?

It’s certainly got a sense of humour, with some excellent lines given to Skeletor, and also to Slush Head, surprisingly. (Admittedly, there are also some appalling lines given to Slush Head, just to balance things out.) The plot is incredibly simplistic, but I did like the discovery of an alien junkyard, with the implication that it’s a big, mysterious galaxy, with many treasures just waiting to be found.

All in all, it’s an entertaining episode that doesn’t go wrong, and I can’t help but applaud it for including what I’m choosing to interpret as a passive-aggressive swipe at She-Ra: the scientists tell Skeletor that “space is a vacuum, and it’s very cold. It’s freezing, and there’s no air. And humans need air to breathe.” Yeah, She-Ra. So stop going out into space without a suit.

Episode 24 – Collision Course

In which He-Man just floats around.

Gepple and Meldock report to Master Sebrien that the defensive shield is going to collapse shortly, so they need to turn it off temporarily while they fix it. To prevent the Mutants from attacking while the shield is off, they have invented a device called a reverse gravity generator, which will repel anything that attempts to approach Primus. So if I’ve understood this properly, the rubbish shield is going to be temporarily replaced with something that sounds infinitely better, but there’s no long-term plan to install the reverse gravity generator permanently?

Collision 1
Meldock: “And this reverse gravity generator can be yours, for the bargainous price of £17.99.”

There follows an inordinately lengthy sequence in which BH and Stackhorn are sent to Primus to steal the plans for the reverse gravity generator, a task which they surprisingly achieve. Once they return the plans to Skeletor, the Mutants’ scientists set to work building their own version of the device, which I’m sure will form the centrepiece of some grandiose and stupid scheme.

And so it proves. Skeletor decides to use the reverse gravity generator to push Primus out of its normal orbit, a surprisingly intelligent plan that rapidly begins to cause havoc on the planet’s surface. Gepple and Meldock attempt to rig up their own reverse gravity generator, but of course, it doesn’t work, so this particular crisis is up to He-Man to solve.

He-Man gathers up the troops (this week involving Sagittar, a guy called Icarus, and that Egyptian dude from last time) and takes the Starship Eternia to Denebria, where they quickly track down Skeletor’s reverse gravity generator. Unfortunately, they also find Skeletor, who puts on a party hat and does a loony little dance. I don’t know why and I suspect the episode’s writer didn’t either.

Collision 3
Flogg: “Yeah, sorry about Skeletor, lads. He’s been under a lot of strain lately, and I think it’s getting to him.”

I should possibly mention at this point that there’s a tedious subplot going on at the same time, in which Caz learns that just because he’s a shepherd and not a fighter pilot, it doesn’t mean his job is any less important. It’s pretty boring and I won’t bring it up again, not least because Caz will have forgotten about it by the time he next appears.

Stackhorn is incompetent enough to fiddle with the controls of the reverse gravity generator without understanding what he’s doing, prompting a none-too-amusing sequence in which He-Man and Skeletor are alternately pinned to the floor and fly up to the ceiling. He-Man seems content to spend the rest of the episode shooting at Skeletor, but Sagittar reminds him that they actually have a job to do. After this reminder, He-Man uses the gravity generator to return Primus to its original orbit.

 

In today’s adventure…

Great advice from He-Man this time, who suggests that we should never get into the fridge. Obviously Boris Johnson never saw this episode.

Collision 4
He-Man: “Hey, Caz, why don’t you hide in this coffin?”

 

Character checklist

The gang today consists of Prince Adam, He-Man, Master Sebrien, Mara, Sagittar, Icarus, the Egyptian dude, Gepple, Meldock, Elcon, Krax, Gleep, Caz, Skeletor, Flogg, Stackhorn and BH.

Collision 2
He-Man: “Decided to take a few of the less prominent characters out for a spin today. There are toys to be sold, you know.”

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

No excuse today, but to compensate, we are treated to an inexplicably lengthened version of the transformation sequence, which features He-Man shouting, “I have the Power!” twice, just in case we didn’t hear him the first time.

 

Insults

Caz addresses no one in particular as “slimy Mutants”, which is nice for him and must have made his day go much quicker. Elsewhere, Skeletor calls Stackhorn an “imbecile”, which seems fair enough, and he also describes Flogg, Stackhorn, BH, Sagittar, Icarus and Egyptian boy as “party poopers”.

Collision 5
Stackhorn: “Yeah, okay, I deserved that.”

 

Silence, Scientists!

Meldock gets a point this week for indulging himself in a melodramatic faint when Gepple admits that Meldock was right about something. I’m pretty certain that Meldock is going to win the ultimate award for most irritating scientist, though it is a hard-fought battle.

Meldock: 20

Gepple: 12

Krax: 13

Elcon: 17

 

Does it have the Power?

Well, there’s nothing too much wrong with it, but it’s not overly good either. In fact, it’s almost wilfully average; the only thing you can really say in its favour is that Skeletor gets some pretty amusing dialogue. I’m still not sure about his decision to throw a party though; that just seemed weird. I’d probably skip this one, to be honest.

Episode 23 – Adam’s Adventure

In which Skeletor comes this close to Working It Out.

As is pretty customary for this series, the episode begins with a short segment on board the Mutant mother ship, in which Skeletor outlines his latest crazy scheme to Flogg. This time, he’s invented a brainwave scanner, which he intends to use to destroy He-Man in some no doubt convoluted way. The first stage of this plan is to get a scan of He-Man’s brain, and so consequently Skeletor asks Flogg to attack Primus in order to draw He-Man out.

Adam's Adventure 2
Skeletor: “I’ve got great muscles, for a skeleton.”

In the course of a fairly epic space battle, Skeletor successfully takes a reading of He-Man’s brain patterns, and crows that he will now be able to track He-Man wherever he goes. With this achieved, the Mutants retreat, leaving He-Man to wonder what they were up to. He returns to Primus, where he transforms back into Adam, and flies back out into space on board the Starship Eternia with a wide range of our heroes to witness a special eclipse.

Adam's Adventure 3
Hydron: “Thanks for the cheap Ray Bans, Adam.”

Once they’re out in space, though, the Mutants attack, vastly outnumbering the Starship Eternia, and demand that it land on Denebria. Adam determines that he cannot become He-Man because there are far too many witnesses around, so instead he and Master Sebrien decide to comply with the Mutants.

Things take a turn for the interesting, however, when Skeletor looks over his captives, and realises that his brainwave scanner indicates that one of them is He-Man. Now is the Moment. Surely, finally, Skeletor can deduce that Prince Adam – who he knew on Eternia but did not come in the time machine in A New Beginning – must be He-Man. Admittedly, this version of Adam doesn’t look as much like He-Man as the Filmation versions, but the similarity is still pretty uncanny.

But no. Now is not the Moment. Skeletor intends to use the brainwave scanner to narrow down exactly who is He-Man in disguise, but fortuitously, Slush Head breaks the scanner. Instead, Skeletor puts all our heroes in an ore-crushing chamber, turns it on, and waits for He-Man to reveal himself. He even makes some jokes while this is going on. That’s pretty dastardly, Skeletor. Boo, hiss.

Adam's Adventure 4
Slush Head: “It’s a tough gig, but someone’s got to be The Incompetent One.”

Luckily, Flogg seems to have no stomach for casual murder, so he calls a halt to the ore-crushing proceedings. This is a crushing disappointment for Skeletor. I’m so funny sometimes, I make myself cry with laughter. Anyway, Skeletor and Flogg begin new investigations into finding out He-Man’s identity, but this is halted when Gepple throws some growth pills at the neighbouring vegetation, which makes the plants grow very large and entangle everybody in vines.

Safely concealed in the vines, Adam is able to make his transformation into He-Man, and from this point onward it’s the usual tits-up business for Skeletor and the Mutants. Our heroes make their escape with ease, while Skeletor ends up with a slightly surprising sneezing fit from his hitherto unmentioned allergy to flowers.

Adam's Adventure 5
Flogg: “Why are you sitting there like a rabbit?”

 

In today’s adventure…

Today, Adam and Drissy come across some walls with slogans such as “Skeletor rules” graffitied on them, and they advise us that vandalism is a bad thing. While I agree, I have to admit I sniggered a bit at the thought of Skeletor doing something as mindlessly petty as spray-painting his name on a wall. He isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but his plots usually have greater ambition than this.

 

Character checklist

A nicely efficient cast today: it’s Prince Adam, He-Man, Master Sebrien, Mara, Hydron, Flipshot, Drissy, Grot, Meldock, Gepple, Krax, a vaguely Egyptian new boy, Skeletor, Flogg and Slush Head. Caz usually appears with Drissy, but I didn’t spot him today; nor did I see Elcon, thank Christ.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Realising that Mara is close to figuring out the secret identity business when He-Man shows up, Master Sebrien intervenes, by running behind a vine and pretending to be Adam. It appears that Sebrien is a master of impersonation, since this is enough to fool Mara and Hydron, at least temporarily. Nonetheless, I can’t help but feel that this cartoon is building up to Mara finding out about Adam and He-Man.

Adam's Adventure 6
Mara: “Probably shouldn’t have put ‘bondage’ on my Tinder profile.”

 

Insults

The Egyptian-like new goody refers to the Mutants as “cowards”, and Flipshot tells Skeletor that he’s “crazier than usual”, but as ever, it’s Skeletor who walks the field with the insults. He addresses Flogg as an “imbecile”, describes He-Man as a “coward”, and refers to the vines as an “overgrown houseplant”.

 

Silence, Scientists!

I’m going to award Meldock a point this week, because it’s been ages since he’s had one and I wouldn’t want him to lose the lead. This time, he gets his point because there’s something seriously wrong with his animation; it looks like the usual animator was on holiday, and been replaced by someone who could barely draw at all. If anything, he looks like a Poundland version of Varys from Game of Thrones.

Meldock: 20

Gepple: 12

Krax: 13

Elcon: 17

Adam's Adventure 1
Meldock: “Just hope I don’t end up the same way Varys did.”

 

Egg on your face?

A surprise return for this category here. For all its other faults, this cartoon doesn’t tend to go for the side-splitting joke of people getting food thrown at them. This week, however, Gepple suffers the indignity of having an enormous tomato land on his head.

 

Does it have the Power?

This one’s a good one, involving a welcome return to the theme of the Adam/He-Man dichotomy. It’s perhaps not explored in as much depth as it was in Prince Adam No More, but in its favour, I think this is the closest Skeletor has ever been to realising the truth. His Filmation incarnation never even seemed to give the matter much thought, so it’s interesting that this version is the one that nearly got to the bottom of the situation.

The episode itself is a good mix of action and decent dialogue (apart from one pretty lame joke from Slush Head), and no one was particularly annoying. It was perhaps a little too reliant on lucky coincidences – Slush Head breaking the brainwave scanner was a bit too convenient, and Gepple’s plant growth pills were pretty handy, though in fairness, the growth pills were introduced in an early scene, so they didn’t come out of nowhere.

All in all, this one’s a nicely constructed, mildly interesting exploration of the secret identity malarkey, with added danger and peril for our heroes. Recommended.

Episode 22 – The Mind Lens

In which our heroes give themselves a cool-sounding name.

Skeletor, Quake and BH are busy digging a big hole on Denebria, looking for ancient magical artefacts. Luckily and predictably enough, they find one – the Mind Lens, a device that allows its user to take over someone else’s mind. In an intelligent world, Skeletor would choose to take over He-Man’s mind, and then it would be Game Over; naturally, of course, Skeletor goes for the much less sane option of taking over the mind of Grot the Gardener.

Mind 1
Adam: “Give me the permanent marker. I’ll draw a moustache on his face while he’s unconscious.”

Grot dutifully goes mental, alerting Prince Adam, Drissy and Caz to the fact that something fishy is afoot. Before they can investigate, though, Skeletor turns the Mind Lens onto Hydron, who proceeds to ruin a surefire victory by ordering the Starship Eternia to retreat. He then trundles into the Council Chamber and preaches peace – or, at least, the laying down of arms on the understanding that the Mutants will do the same.

Master Sebrien’s fallen for this one several times before, and to his credit, he doesn’t fall for it again. He tells Hydron to shut the fuck up, which results in Hydron exclaiming, “Right! Well, if you won’t disarm with words, I’ll make you disarm by force!” He then struts out of the Council Chamber, and everyone just watches him go. Master Sebrien casually comments, “There’s something wrong with Hydron.” You think, do you, Sebrien? There’s something wrong. Well, I’m glad we’ve got you around to figure things out. I’m not sure we’d have got there on our own.

Mind 2
Flipshot: “Is this odd behaviour for Hydron? I can’t quite decide.”

Hydron’s next Skeletor-induced move is to nick off with the Starship Eternia and attempt to pilot it directly into the Floating City of Leviton. Luckily, He-Man and Flipshot manage to get on board; Flipshot is – of course – no use whatsoever, but He-Man averts disaster. Unfortunately, just in time for the commercial break, Skeletor finally goes for the sensible option and takes over He-Man’s mind.

Released from Skeletor’s control, Hydron helps Flipshot to land the Starship Eternia safely, while He-Man staggers about whinging that Skeletor has got inside his mind – which I’d have thought would be fine, since He-Man barely uses it. Realising that he’s become a danger to society, He-Man runs off into the forest, hoping to “get to Skeletor before it’s too late”. Given He-Man is on Primus and Skeletor is on Denebria, it would appear that He-Man has forgotten that you can’t actually run to another planet.

Mind 3
He-Man: “Arrrggghhh! Turn that bloody John Denver music off!”

Skeletor now has the upper hand. There are numerous, entirely safe ways he could dispose of He-Man. He could make He-Man walk off a cliff, or into a volcano. He could make He-Man draw his magic sword and cut his own fool head off. He could make He-Man eat steak and kidney pie until his stomach explodes. He could do pretty much anything, all from the safety of Denebria. So what does Skeletor do? He gets in his ship and flies to Primus, to “finish He-Man off in person”. It’s sometimes blindingly obvious that Skeletor doesn’t even want to win; it’s the only explanation for such blunderingly stupid moves.

Master Sebrien and the other goodies all join hands in some hippy-dippy ceremony to break the power of the Mind Lens, and to turn it on Skeletor. There’s no explanation of how this is achieved, obviously, but He-Man is able to take over Skeletor’s mind and orders him to attack Primus. I’m not sure why this is such a great idea, but it seems to work: Skeletor and the Mutants are defeated, and go flying home. He-Man and his mates finish up by standing around in Leviton bellowing rubbish about how they are the Galactic Guardians. First I’ve heard of it.

Mind 4
Flipshot: “Maybe having a cool new name for our gang will compensate for the crushing emptiness in our souls.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Hydron advises Caz to never run while carrying a sharp object. Instead, you should walk with it, making sure that it’s pointed down. Or, in the case of the animation in this little segment, pointed at your crotch. Hydron is also good enough to wink at the camera, which is something which always unaccountably gets my goat.

 

Character checklist

Plenty of characters to choose from today: Prince Adam, He-Man, Master Sebrien, Mara, Hydron, Flipshot, Sagittar, Spinwit, Caz, Drissy, Grot, Werban, Skeletor, Flogg, Quake, and BH (i.e. Evil Ram-Man).

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Even under Skeletor’s control, He-Man is able to come up with a plausible excuse for Adam’s absence: “He jumped out of the escape hatch as the ship landed.” Surely this is final, incontrovertible proof that Skeletor has known about the secret identity claptrap all along?

Mind 5
He-Man: “Don’t think about the secret identity. Don’t think about it.”

 

Insults

Skeletor’s in a filthy mood this week, coming up with all sorts of imaginative insults. He starts off by calling Quake and BH “mud-brains”, then tells BH that he is less intelligent than a “nitwit”. He refers to Grot as a “nature-boy” and a “pea-brained lummox”, to Flogg as an “idiot” and a “mutton-headed Mutant”, and rather mildly, to Flipshot as “that nasty Flipshot person”.

While under Skeletor’s control, Hydron calls Flipshot a “fool” and what sounds something like a “stupid wet sock”, though I suspect I’ve misheard that one. He also refers to Master Sebrien and the Council as “moss-bound old fogies”. Also under Skeletor’s influence, He-Man describes Leviton as a “hunk of cosmic slime” and Flipshot as a “joke”.

Finally, and not under anyone’s influence, Werban describes He-Man as a “dangerous madman”. I’ve been saying that for years.

Mind 6
He-Man: “I may be a dangerous madman, but you’ve got to admit that Flipshot is a dick and deserves this.”

 

Does it have the Power?

I’ll say this for the New Adventures: while it does sometimes (last week, for example) recycle episode plots from the Filmation series, that’s pretty rare. By the end of She-Ra, the storylines really were beginning to get a bit tired, since it was being produced by essentially the same core of writers and they seemed to be running out of inspiration. The New Adventures, by contrast, tends to feel fairly fresh. It’s not always a success, but the storylines do seem different.

This week is a good example. It’s not a pinnacle of high culture, but it is a pleasingly entertaining way of spending 20 minutes, and I can’t recall a single time Skeletor managed to take control of He-Man’s mind in the old series, thus making it a fresh story. It has a few flaws, of course – why does it take everyone an absolute age to realise that Hydron is not acting on his own initiative? Why doesn’t Skeletor just make He-Man shoot himself in the head? – but if we’re willing to ignore those logic gaps, I think we have ourselves a winner here.

Episode 21 – Skeletor’s Revenge

In which Skeletor tries to derail a tram.

At the unveiling of a new supercomputer, Master Sebrien explains proudly that the computer links all of Primus’ systems – including the defensive shield – into one network. I am sure that I can’t be the only one who thinks that’s a bad idea. If Skeletor manages to hack one system, he’ll have control of them all. I’m going to award myself another bag of Fruit Pastilles if that’s what happens in this episode.

And it’s another bag of Fruit Pastilles for me. The next scene introduces a gentleman called Micros, a computer hacker working for Skeletor. He creates a “computer creature” called an Argazoid, and introduces it into the supercomputer’s system. Naturally, it immediately begins causing chaos by hijacking a bus, prompting He-Man’s speedy intervention. (It also prompts some appalling animation of He-Man running along a large glass tubeway, so badly that it looks like he’s running backwards.)

Revenge 1
He-Man: “I am running forwards! I am!”

With the immediate crisis averted, Master Sebrien realises how stupid it is to network every single computer system together. He doesn’t, however, suggest simply turning the supercomputer off and downgrading to the previous computers. That would be too sensible. Instead, they decide to rip off the plot to Day of the Machines by converting He-Man, Gepple, Elcon and a new boy called Artilla into digital signals and beaming them into the computer to capture the Argazoid.

Rather surprisingly, Elcon manages to neutralise the Argazoid very quickly – which is lucky, because the Argazoid is given to shrieking “Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah” and is thus really annoying. Unfortunately, before its capture, the Argazoid has already managed to sabotage the shield, allowing Skeletor, Flogg and the other Mutants to land on Primus and take over.

Revenge 2
Artilla: “Rather surprisingly, I feel like I’m the best dressed person here.”

Skeletor extracts Elcon and Gepple from the computer, but decides the most intelligent thing to do is to leave He-Man on it. Personally, I’d have burned He-Man to CD and then snapped the CD in half, but maybe Skeletor’s getting round to that. Anyway, for whatever reason, with He-Man and Artilla still inside the computer, they for no readily apparent reason opt to team up with the Argazoid to effect an escape.

This is achieved by the Argazoid turning the computer systems against Skeletor, and playing all sorts of amusing tricks on him. How we laughed as robots started throwing mud at Skeletor. How we chortled as mechanical arms grabbed Flogg and Micros. How the tears of mirth streamed down our cheeks as Micros himself was digitised and sucked into the computer. The hilarity only stops when Skeletor realises the whole invasion is a write-off, and he and Flogg make their escape.

Revenge 3
Skeletor: “Run away!”

The scientists reverse the digitisation process, and He-Man and Artilla emerge from the computer, much to Mara’s apparent delight, who eyes He-Man with ill-concealed lust. The Argazoid is left inside with Micros, who is set to work repairing the computer systems that were damaged in the hacking. Then, for no particular reason, everyone starts clapping as the episode mercifully fades to black.

 

In today’s adventure…

Gleep instructs one of his idiot robot friends about the correct way to cross the road. I suppose a lesson on the importance of not over-relying on one computer system would be too much to ask.

 

Character checklist

Today’s selection includes Prince Adam, He-Man, Master Sebrien, Mara, Artilla, Elcon, Gepple, Gleep, Skeletor, Flogg, Micros, the Argazoid, and I’m pretty sure I spotted Slush Head at one point. There are also very brief appearances for lots of locked up goodies, including Meldock, Krax, Hydron, Flipshot, Sagittar, that tusked dude from The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword, and possibly Spinwit.

Revenge 4
Tusky: “Just biding my time until the right moment to be introduced properly.”

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Adam’s on his own this week when he needs to transform, so reasonably enough he doesn’t mess about explaining himself to people who aren’t there.

 

Insults

Skeletor obviously enjoyed his confrontation with Dukan last week, since he recycles the insult of “old-timer” for use on Master Sebrien. He also addresses He-Man as his “erstwhile enemy”, which is alliteratively pleasing, if not particularly insulting.

Revenge 5
Skeletor: “Just popping along for a quick gloat. Don’t mind me.”

 

Silence, Scientists!

Jesus, when will the writers realise these guys aren’t funny? Elcon and Gepple earn themselves a point each within 30 seconds of the episode’s start by repeating that tiresome old bickering about who’s invented something. They also get another point each at the end for fighting over who gets to undigitise He-Man. So the scores now stand at:

Meldock: 19

Gepple: 12

Krax: 13

Elcon: 17

 

Does it have the Power?

It’s like a slightly more plausible but somewhat less entertaining remake of Day of the Machines. The plot is basically the same, but a little bit more time is spent on explaining how He-Man gets into the computer; as I recall, in Day of the Machines, he simply shrinks himself and walks in, whereas this time he actually converts himself into digital energy, which is far saner. Making the conceit a bit more realistic doesn’t help to make the story more enjoyable, though it has to be said that this episode doesn’t adopt the overly earnest tone that this series sometimes has. I’m happy to describe this one as a reasonably successful episode, though I do have to wonder why it’s called Skeletor’s Revenge.

Episode 20 – Fading Star

In which Skeletor obligingly plays cowboys with some old dude.

Primus receives a distress call on an ancient frequency, so He-Man, Hydron and Flipshot take the Starship Eternia out to investigate. They find a very old spaceship, containing a stasis pod – inside which is a dude called Dukan, a cowboy hero from Primus’ relatively recent past. He-Man and Hydron rescue Dukan just in time, since Skeletor and Flogg show up and blow the spaceship to smithereens. On learning that he has failed to destroy He-Man as well, Skeletor inexplicably erupts into paroxysms of demented laughter, which goes on for a good 15 seconds too long.

The scientists and Master Sebrien revive Dukan, at which point it emerges that Dukan and Sebrien are old mates from way back. Nonetheless, Sebrien assigns Adam the task of reacquainting Dukan with Primus, which just goes to show how pleased he is to have his friend back. Giving Adam this job is also a little odd; surely someone native to Primus would be a better pick?

Fading Star 2
Master Sebrien: “Great to see you again, Dukan. Now, why don’t you piss off with Adam for a while?”

Adam doesn’t take his job very seriously; the very next scene shows that he’s abandoned Dukan with Caz and some other kids. Dukan tells stories of his past, swiftly proving to be an arrogant moron, and then develops the stupid idea of attempting one last heroic venture: defeating Skeletor. I’m going to make a bet with myself at this stage: if the remainder of the episode features Dukan failing to beat Skeletor and requiring rescue from He-Man, I will buy myself a big bag of Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles.

I feel entirely justified in ending this review right here, right now, by simply saying that I am off to Sainsbury’s for the Fruit Pastilles. If you want further details, I’ll briefly summarise by saying there’s a stupid cowboy gunfight, in which Skeletor cheats (surprise, surprise), after which He-Man, Hydron and Flipshot intervene to both save the day and make Dukan feel good about himself again. I wish I could summon up enough enthusiasm to type “hurrah”, but I just can’t.

 

In today’s adventure…

Before laughing in an entirely insane way, Meldock and Caz lecture the audience on the importance of getting a balanced diet, which should include “protein, grain, fruit and vegetables”. But what about Fruit Pastilles?

Fading Star 1
Caz: “Answers on a postcard, please.”

 

Character checklist

This fairly well-populated episode involves Prince Adam, He-Man, Hydron, Flipshot, Master Sebrien, Mara, Caz, Drissy, Dukan, Meldock, Elcon, Gepple, Krax, Gleep, Skeletor, Flogg and Slush Head.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Adam ushers Drissy and Caz out of the room at the beginning of the episode, saying, “You go on ahead,” before transforming into He-Man.

 

Insults

This episode hits as many cowboy clichés as it can, and a large part of that is regular nonsensical insults. Consequently, I think we may have a new record for number of insults. Dukan is the main perpetrator of these. Starting relatively sedately with calling Caz a “varmint”, he swiftly moves on to refer to Skeletor as a “bag of buzzard bones”, a “varmint” and a “lying sidewinder”, before describing He-Man as a  “young whippersnapper” and Gleep as his “bucket-of-bolts-buckeroo”.

Fading Star 3
Skeletor: “At least I’m getting into the spirit of this.”

Skeletor retaliates strongly, addressing Dukan as “Grandpa”, an “old-timer”, a “crazy old fool” and a “walking antique” in rapid succession. Caz describes Dukan as a “phoney” and Skeletor as the “most evil, rotten, no-good villain in the whole universe”, while Skeletor refers to He-Man as a “goody two shoes”. In terms of imagination, however, Skeletor rather lets the side down by telling Flogg and the other Mutants that they are “fools”.

 

Silence, Scientists!

Aside from a very minor role for Meldock in the moral segment, the scientists show admirable restraint today by appearing but not speaking. They are thus absolutely perfect. I wish other characters this week had had a similar attitude toward speaking.

Fading Star 4
Adam: “If any one of you four says a single word, I will murder you.”

 

Does it have the Power?

I’m half wondering about starting a new section to detail the number of things in this series borrowed from Star Trek: The Next Generation, which was airing around about the same time. Just this week, there’s at least one thing, and three if you want to be pedantic and geeky, which I do. Firstly, Caz and Drissy have a holodeck at the start of the episode. Secondly, Dukan has a laser whip, just like the Ferengi do in their first appearance, The Last Outpost. Thirdly, and perhaps most unfairly, the episode A Fistful of Datas unnecessarily adopted a Western setting, just like this episode does. (That latter one is unfair because A Fistful of Datas didn’t air until 1992 or 1993, two or three years after The New Adventures of He-Man finished.)

Otherwise, I’m at a loss as to whether to describe this episode as predictable and boring, or massively irritating. Both apply to one degree or another. It’s predictable in terms of plot and Dukan’s characterisation, but I think it’s irritating that wins out: the cowboy theme pasted onto this episode is just incredibly grating. Either way you want to look at it, though, it’s not a winner.

Episode 19 – Juggernaut

In which Mara decides she hates a child.

While out patrolling for Mutant incursions, Hydron and Flipshot put in a late bid to be the most annoying characters in the series by suddenly developing an inexplicable obsession with reading stupid ghost stories. Luckily, they are distracted by the arrival of a spaceship piloted by a girl with really freaky eyes, which is being chased by Mutant fighters.

Assisted by Prince Adam in the Starship Eternia, Hydron and Flipshot successfully guide the girl through a hole in the shield to safety. This scene is accompanied by some outstandingly tacky music and goes on for a ridiculously long time, but once she’s finally landed, the girl introduces herself as Vedora. I thought for one moment that she said Adora and that we were about to be treated to a New Adventures interpretation of She-Ra, but thankfully we are spared such an atrocity.

Juggernaut 1
Werban: “Ladies and gentlemen, I present Adora. No, wait, Vedora.”

Vedora is the only survivor of a planet called Tetchwan, and she is sickeningly sweet. Everyone on Primus instantly decides she’s adorable, with the exception of Mara, who stands around with an expression indicating that she thinks Vedora smells like a rotting carcass. Rather than let this mystery play out, however, the episode instantly reveals that Vedora is an android. Pleasingly, this is revealed when Vedora beats Adam up, which he’s had coming.

Since it’s now around about time for the commercial break, we cut to Skeletor, who explains the whole plot for the benefit of the viewers. Vedora’s spaceship is equipped with a massive drill, which she will use to burrow underground to destroy Onnor, and then she’ll drill back up again to destroy the other cities on Primus. In the meantime, Skeletor and the Mutants will destroy the Floating City of Levitan, having presumably got through the shield by some very plausible but unfortunately unspecified method.

Vedora immediately begins to put this plan into action, so it’s He-Man to the rescue once more. This involves an awful lot of running around, posing heroically and making dramatic statements, but it eventually culminates in a hand-to-hand duel between He-Man and Vedora, which ends when He-Man cleverly electrocutes her. By this stage, Vedora has abandoned her disguise, presumably because the writers anticipated potential disapproval if they wrote a scene where He-Man electrocutes a sweet little girl.

Juggernaut 2
He-Man: “Take that, you child impersonator.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Flipshot and Gleep tell us about the wonders of recycling today. I don’t think I need to say that this hasn’t got even a tenuous link to the episode. I do, on the other hand, need to comment that this moral ends with Gleep saying, “I recycle,” and then Flipshot laughs like a loon, as if this was a joke. I am completely baffled.

 

Character checklist

Another short list today: Prince Adam, He-Man, Hydron, Flipshot, Master Sebrien, Mara, Gleep, Werban, Vedora, Skeletor, Flogg and Slush Head.

 

Insults

Hydron refers to Flipshot as “boring”, and though this is usually correct, today “irritating” would have been closer to the mark.

Juggernaut 3
Hydron: “Boring, irritating… you could be both?”

 

Does it have the Power?

This one’s got a very Filmation-y feel to it, which in my view makes it one of the most successful of this series so far. Skeletor’s whole plan seems like something his former incarnation would have come up with, and the writing for He-Man in the second half of the episode as he challenges Vedora is very much in the style of his Filmation character.

On the other hand, it’s fair to say that if this had been a Filmation episode, it wouldn’t have been a very good one. A great deal of time was wasted with Hydron and Flipshot being annoying, followed by the landing of Vedora’s ship, time which could have been used to develop some of the ideas that were thrown at us in the early stages which ultimately went nowhere:

  1. Vedora’s introduction scene gives the impression that she’s got the power to hypnotise our heroes into liking her, an idea which doesn’t last beyond that scene.
  2. Similarly, Mara not liking Vedora doesn’t develop into anything of interest.
  3. Finally, when Adam discovers that Vedora is an android, she runs off and complains to Master Sebrien that Adam has attacked her. This too is instantly forgotten; it might have been interesting if Adam had actually had to defend himself against such accusations.

All these ideas – especially the last – could have been quite unusual routes for the episode to take, but its chosen direction is pretty standard. Still, as mentioned above, it feels so much like a Filmation episode in parts that I can’t help but pronounce it a winner.

Episode 18 – He-Man Mutant

In which He-Man becomes a troll. Not a Twitter troll, luckily.

Hydron and Spinwit are cruising about in the Starship Eternia, and soon come across a Mutant fighter containing Quake and some other dude. We’ve seen this dude before, but I don’t know his name. If it helps, he bears a passing resemblance to Ram-Man. Anyway, due to bad luck or stupidity, the two ships crash into each other and make a forced landing on Primus.

And that’s He-Man’s cue to make a grand entrance, in a machine that looks like a giant, pissed-off hen. As part of some clever master plan, Quake and Evil Ram-Man surrender their fighter ship and allow themselves to be captured and escorted to Onnor Prison, where they immediately make it obvious that they’re up to something by laughing excessively while they’re being locked up.

Mutant 1
Quake: “Oh, He-Man, you’ve caught us. Please don’t take us to prison.”

Suspicious of the Mutant captives’ weird behaviour, He-Man decides he’d better infiltrate Mutant HQ on the moon of Nordor. To do this, he entrusts himself into the hands of the scientists, who have invented a machine called a Mutator. The Mutator does exactly what it says on the tin, and transforms He-Man into a mean-looking troll. Lord alone knows why the scientists have invented this thing, unless they were planning on creating their own Mutant army to take over Primus.

Unfortunately, in being turned into a troll, He-Man loses his memory, and starts acting like a bit of a dick. His first act is, of course, to destroy the Mutator, which means that we are soon treated to a hilarious scene of the scientists working like billyo to repair it. In the meantime, He-Man decides to rescue Quake and Evil Ram-Man from the prison, and teams up with them to hijack the Starship Eternia.

Mutant 2
Quake: “He-Man, you look different. Have you done something with your hair, perhaps?”

In the stolen Starship, Quake, Evil Ram-Man and He-Man return to Nordor, taking Hydron and Flipshot with them as prisoners. He-Man is welcomed into the Mutant army, after which point Skeletor gets on with the other plan (you know, the one from the beginning of the episode which relied on Quake and Evil Ram-Man getting captured). The other plan involves triggering a remote control on the fighter ship that Quake was flying, which lowers the shield around Primus.

Once the shield is down, the Mutants attack in full force – and seeing as He-Man, Hydron and Flipshot are all absent, there’s no one to defend Primus! The Mutants achieve an easy victory, and it looks like we’re heading for a repeat of that tiresome five-part story about the Mutants occupying Primus. Luckily, Drissy and Clawber the robot bird (last seen in Festival of Lights, if you care) manage to sort things out by making He-Man pick up his magic sword.

Mutant 3
Drissy: “Don’t worry guys, I’ve got this one.”

Once He-Man’s holding his sword, Master Sebrien and Drissy start shouting, “You are He-Man!” until eventually He-Man remembers who he is and what’s going on. Or possibly just pretends he does to make them shut up. Either way, he transforms back into his usual appearance, raises the shield, and expels Skeletor and the Mutants from Primus. Finally, Drissy subjects He-Man to a lecture about not judging people by their appearance, a lesson which I think He-Man is exceedingly well familiar with from his days on Eternia.

 

In today’s adventure…

He-Man sits in a chair and proclaims, “Reading is fun!” I don’t wish to be unkind, but there’s just something about the animation at this point that makes me suspect He-Man can’t read at all.

Mutant 4
He-Man: “What is this thing? Do I eat it?”

 

Character checklist

Okay then, character list enthusiasts: today you’ve got He-Man, Hydron, Flipshot, Spinwit, Master Sebrien, Mara, Drissy, Caz, Meldock, Gepple, Krax, Elcon, Clawber, Skeletor, Flogg, Quake, and of course Evil Ram-Man.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Either I wasn’t paying attention, or Prince Adam didn’t appear this week at all.

 

Insults

Evil Ram-Man gets a tough time of it today, being referred to as a “lamebrain” by Quake, and a “dimwit” and “stupid Mutant” by Skeletor, both of which insults are also extended to Quake. Finally, Quake calls Hydron and Flipshot “flyboys”. I don’t know if this is an insult or not, but Quake didn’t sound like he was being nice.

Mutant 5
Evil Ram-Man: “Do you think I’ll get an actual name anytime?”

 

Silence, Scientists!

Krax proves himself eager for a point today, by repeating his stupid inability to say the word “Mutant”. Elcon also achieves a point pretty early on, by trapping himself in the Mutator and getting mutated into a hideous freaky monkey thing. So the scores are now as follows:

Meldock: 19

Gepple: 10

Krax: 13

Elcon: 15

 

Does it have the Power?

I hate to damn things with faint praise, but the best I can really say is that though there’s not much wrong with this episode, there isn’t a whole lot right with it either. The idea of He-Man turning evil is good; off the top of my head, I can’t remember a time when we’ve seen that before, unless you want to count the time Skeletor invented his silly robot Faker, all the way back in The Shaping Staff. Unfortunately, the execution of He-Man being evil in this episode just isn’t all that interesting, somehow, so the whole thing falls a tiny bit flat. This episode is, however, much better than a lot of other recent efforts, and if you’re keen to persist with this series, it’s probably worth giving this one a go.

Episode 17 – Escape from Gaolotia

In which Skeletor shows his true colours.

Prince Adam, Hydron and Flipshot are undertaking some battle drills in the Starship Eternia, when they receive word that the prison ship Gaolotia has entered Primus’ airspace. This in itself isn’t a particular problem, but since Skeletor has hijacked Gaolotia and released some of the most dangerous prisoners in the galaxy, there’s a slight degree of peril here.

Gaolotia 2
Skeletor: “Nice duds, man.”

Skeletor has also lured Drissy and Caz into stealing a space shuttle and flying out to Gaolotia, where they become the bait in a trap. Prince Adam returns to Primus, where he transforms into He-Man and flies off into space again. Once he’s gone, the scientists bring news to Master Sebrien that an enormous comet is shortly going to collide with Gaolotia, which means He-Man now has a ticking clock if he wants to rescue Drissy and Caz before the comet hits.

After receiving some useless advice from the Sorceress (“the way of the magic will point the direction; may the power of the good be with you”), He-Man occupies himself with wrestling the escaped convicts, which is a really sensible use of time. Drissy and Caz manage to release themselves from their jail cell, which means that He-Man might as well have not bothered coming at all.

Gaolotia 3
Sorceress: “He-Man, have you got something in your eye?”

Luckily, Flogg realises that Skeletor is deliberately drawing the comet towards Gaolotia with a magnetic generator, not only to rid himself of He-Man, but of Flogg and the rest of the Mutants as well. Once Flogg figures this out, he tells the convicts to stop fighting He-Man, and heads off with his new convict army to attack Skeletor.

In the meantime, He-Man, Drissy and Caz run off to disable the magnetic generator. Since the magnetic generator is on the exterior hull of the ship, this necessitates a trip for He-Man into outer space. Guess what He-Man can do in outer space? Yes, that’s right. He can talk. He can breathe. He can remain warm. I remember fondly that one time She-Ra slightly embraced reality by putting a space helmet on, if not a suit. Those days of gritty realism are long gone.

Gaolotia 4
He-Man: “Ah yes, the old unprotected space walk. Everyone’s favourite.”

Anyway, the whole thing comes to a sorry conclusion when He-Man attaches the magnetic generator to Skeletor’s escape ship, and the comet follows him instead. He-Man, Drissy and Caz return to Primus, and – presumably – Skeletor doesn’t die, and manages to talk his way out of trouble with Flogg and the Mutants.

 

In today’s adventure…

This section is called “In today’s adventure…” because the moral is supposed to spell out a lesson that we learned in today’s adventure. This seems a pretty simple concept, but it’s becoming less and less relevant every week. Today, we get a lecture from Caz and Drissy about the importance of brushing our teeth. This is helpfully illustrated by some animation of Caz laughing, in which his teeth seem peculiarly over-emphasised.

Gaolotia 1
Caz: “Drissy, be honest, do I have a really odd mouth?”

 

Character checklist

Prince Adam, He-Man, Caz, Drissy, Hydron, Flipshot, Master Sebrien, Mara, the Sorceress, Meldock, Elcon, Gepple, Krax, Skeletor, Flogg, Quake, Critta, Slush Head, Skeletor’s dog thing Kerr, the prison ship captain, and various criminals.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

As is becoming standard procedure, Adam makes his transformation with only Master Sebrien around, so doesn’t need an excuse. Later on, however, Mara asks Adam where he’s been, to which Adam simply replies, “Oh? Was something going on?” In any reasonable world, Mara would have replied, “Yes, there was. Where were you?” Instead, she simply puts her hands on her hips and huffs.

Gaolotia 5
Mara: “I refuse to engage with this topic in a sensible way.”

 

Insults

Flogg’s the only person this week with sufficient courage to insult anyone to their faces, telling the convicts that they are “dim-witted jailbirds” and making a thinly veiled reference to Skeletor being a “fool”. Otherwise, it’s all behind-the-back-bitching today: Hydron refers to Caz as a “squirt”, while Skeletor says that He-Man is a “big softie” and that Flogg is an “idiot”.

 

Silence, Scientists!

All four scientists get a point today for messing about pointlessly tripping each other up instead of delivering the news about the comet being on a collision course with Gaolotia. They’re on screen for all of 30 seconds this week, and still manage to be appalling. God, I hate them.

Meldock: 19

Gepple: 10

Krax: 12

Elcon: 14

 

Does it have the Power?

This one feels quite important; it’s the first time that Skeletor’s shown his true colours and attempted to betray Flogg and the other Mutants. Whether we’ll see any repercussions from this in the coming weeks is another matter, but just for that bit of character development, I suppose we can award it a pass. The first half of the episode chunters along at a glacially slow pace, but once we get to Gaolotia it picks up a bit and even manages to be reasonably entertaining. Let’s say it’s a slightly above average affair.

Episode 16 – Crack in the World

In which we get a Scientist Special.

It’s back to business as usual today, after the conclusion of the recent five-part story that – on reflection – didn’t make any changes whatsoever to the status quo. This week, Skeletor has found an alien computer and is convinced that it contains the secret of intercom – a massively destructive chemical element that for some reason appears to have the name of a telephone company. Unfortunately, none of the Mutants can decode the alien computer, so Flogg comes up with the worst idea ever: make the scientists of Primus do the work.

Crack 1
Skeletor: “Flogg, old chap – are you feeling all right?”

As part of this plan, the Mutants send letters to each of the scientists, inviting them to come to a ceremony at the Intergalactic Foundation space station to be recognised as a Mind of the Millennium. This ought to set alarm bells ringing, because no one in their right mind would invite these divs anywhere, except perhaps into a Disintegrating Machine. Perhaps mindful of this, Master Sebrien has forbidden the scientists to attend, presumably suspecting that it must be a trap.

Not to be deterred, the scientists nick the Starship Eternia and take it on a joyride with Gleep at the helm, intending to reach the Foundation space station. Rather to my surprise, they actually get there, and are greeted by a sinister robot who informs them that before they can receive the Mind of the Millennium prize, they must solve a scientific puzzle. Naturally, the puzzle is the equation that will result in the creation of intercom.

Crack 2
Robot: “Even an emotionless machine like me is getting angry at being in the same room as these four.”

The scientists solve the equation and create a glowing ball of intercom. The robot takes the ball, hides it inside a trophy, then presents the trophy to Elcon, Krax and Meldock. Gepple is excluded, simply because Skeletor is feeling mean. The scientists return to Primus, unwittingly bringing the intercom with them, and it doesn’t take long for the intercom to start imploding; Gepple realises that before long, it will destroy the entire planet.

With this sort of problem going on, it’s up to He-Man to show his chiselled face and save the day. This is, of course, extremely difficult, but I found it equally difficult to care, so you’ll forgive me if I don’t summarise the remainder of this drivel as thoroughly as I sometimes do. Suffice it to say that there’s a lot of bollocks about positive and negative energy, as well as a stupid little sequence in which He-Man gives himself up as a hostage to Skeletor. He’s been doing this a lot lately, and I’m beginning to wonder if he simply enjoys being chained up.

Crack 4
He-Man: “Come on, big boy.”

If so, he’s disappointed this time. Skeletor doesn’t chain him up, instead choosing to have a tedious fight with him, and thus it is that a good percentage of the dialogue at the latter end of the episode consists simply of He-Man and Skeletor grunting at each other, so enthusiastically that it frankly sounds a little bit sexual. Eventually, thanks to some well-timed gibberish from the Sorceress, He-Man realises that only Skeletor’s power can stop the intercom, so he arranges for that to happen. I can’t be bothered to explain how. Let’s just say it’s a good job, He-Man. Well done.

 

In today’s adventure…

We get a short comic scene this week, in which Gepple comes across a house on fire, but can’t remember the fire brigade’s phone number. Then He-Man appears and bellows at Gepple in a really intimidating way that he ought to have written down the phone number. The moral here is that we should always keep the fire brigade’s number handy, and have free licence to be a complete dick to anyone who hasn’t.

Crack 5
He-Man: “Gepple, how FUCKING DARE YOU not have the fire brigade’s number with you?”

 

Character checklist

We’ve got a pretty small cast list today: it’s just Prince Adam, He-Man, Master Sebrien, Hydron, the Sorceress, Gepple, Meldock, Elcon, Krax, Gleep, Skeletor and Flogg.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Adam’s on his own when he makes his transformation, so I’ll let him off not making an excuse this time.

 

Insults

Skeletor quite accurately describes the scientists as “fools” twice, and as “egotists”. Elcon tells Gepple that he is a “sore loser”, and He-Man briefly ducks back into his Filmation persona by calling Skeletor a “bonehead”.

Crack 6
He-Man: “Bye bye, bonehead.”

 

Silence, Scientists!

Well, as you can perhaps imagine, pretty much everything that happens in this episode comes under this category, so I’ll try to keep it brief as I describe this points bonanza:

Elcon gets a point for poncing about boasting about his invitation, and another point for panicking in a really irritating way when the intercom starts causing trouble.

Meldock gets a point for being the moron who comes up with the plan to steal the Starship Eternia. He also gets a point for arguing unnecessarily when He-Man is trying to save them.

Krax can have a point for being unable to say “Mutant” without having a panic attack.

Gepple gets an idiot point for recognising that the intercom equation is dangerous and thus refusing on principle to take part, then being persuaded to change his mind with minimal effort. I think he also deserves a point for stating the bloody obvious when Master Sebrien and the scientists are formulating a plan for combating the intercom.

Krax, Elcon and Meldock all earn another point for being really insensitive around Gepple when he’s upset that he didn’t win the prize. These three also get a point each for just being massively infuriating when they realise they’ve created some intercom.

All four of them get a final point for having an apoplexy-inducing argument at the end.

So, the final scores are now as follows:

Meldock: 18

Gepple: 9

Krax: 11

Elcon: 13

Crack 3
Gepple: “I’m genuinely sorry we’re so annoying. I honestly wish we weren’t.”

 

Does it have the Power?

Well, it has its moments. Skeletor is really on form this week; his dialogue is great, and his voice actor really conveys a sense of borderline insanity. I enjoyed his scenes with Flogg; for quite some time, he’s been playing a subordinate role, flattering Flogg’s ego, all the while working to undermine him. I wasn’t expecting to like Skeletor in this series, but I really do.

Unfortunately, pretty much everything else about the episode lets down the good work with Skeletor. I’ll grudgingly admit that the scientists are okay in small doses, but when they form a pivotal part of an episode, we really run into trouble. They wind me up an absolute treat. The Sorceress’ brief cameo appearances in this series do likewise, and He-Man is just too perfect in his current incarnation.

I also can’t really understand what the baddies stand to gain by this plan; if they’d won, they’d have dissolved Primus into nothingness. I thought they wanted to conquer it, not destroy it? On the other hand, I must confess I’m not entirely au fait with the Mutants’ motivation, nor do I especially want to be.

So, it’s a very mixed bag of an episode. Ultimately, I don’t think I can really recommend it, but if you skip through it looking for Skeletor’s scenes, they’re worth a watch, if you really are bored and can’t think of anything else to occupy you.

And we’re already a quarter of the way through The New Adventures of He-Man! I feel like I can do this. It’s going to be trying, but I can do it.