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.
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.
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.
Another short list today: Prince Adam, He-Man, Hydron, Flipshot, Master Sebrien, Mara, Gleep, Werban, Vedora, Skeletor, Flogg and Slush Head.
Hydron refers to Flipshot as “boring”, and though this is usually correct, today “irritating” would have been closer to the mark.
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:
- 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.
- Similarly, Mara not liking Vedora doesn’t develop into anything of interest.
- 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.