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.



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.



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.”



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.



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.

Episode 15 – The Battle for Levitan

In which Skeletor poses a genuine threat to life and limb.

It seems that I was wrong. Last week did not end this multi-part epic story. After his defeat at the frozen lake, Skeletor has retreated to the Floating City of Levitan, from which he issues an ultimatum: either He-Man gives himself up, or Levitan will be destroyed. To prove that he is serious, Skeletor encircles Levitan with his tractor beam and begins towing it towards outer space.

Levitan 1
Skeletor: “This is one of the best things I learned in the 1987 movie.”

Prince Adam concludes that He-Man must surrender, but Master Sebrien has another plan. The scientists have been working on a reverse particle enhancer, which will counteract the effect of the tractor beam, but they need some readings taken directly from the Mutant mother ship. Adam is therefore tasked with getting on board and taking the readings.

Adam displays a hitherto unsuspected talent for Jedi mind tricks, and in a scene plagiarised from the “these aren’t the droids you are looking for” business, manages to waltz his way past Quake into Levitan’s spaceport, from which he nicks a Mutant fighter and flies onto the mother ship. Once there, he takes the necessary readings, causes a bit of havoc, and departs.

Armed with the readings from the mother ship, the scientists are able to resume their work – which is fortunate, as Levitan has almost reached outer space by now. To buy some time, He-Man contacts Skeletor to offer his surrender, and is instructed to come to Levitan the following day. Skeletor appears not to conceive of the notion that He-Man may be bluffing, since he turns off the tractor beam and spends the intervening time planning a fireworks display to celebrate He-Man’s final surrender.

Levitan 3
Skeletor: “Sure, I lie all the time. He-Man’s a goody though, so he wouldn’t.”

When He-Man arrives, he is paraded before the populace, while Skeletor and Slush Head make some demented speeches, which contain some of the most excruciating attempts at humour I’ve ever had the misfortune to witness. Once that’s finally over, Skeletor prepares to destroy He-Man, and is only prevented from doing so by Drissy, who leaps forward and knocks the staff from Skeletor’s hands.

In retaliation, Skeletor throws Drissy to the ground, which prompts Grot the Gardener to get involved. And so begins an almighty rumble, in which the scientists lead the charge and destroy all the zeps by hurling mud at them. I don’t think I mentioned it last week, but the scientists discovered that mud from Zaphon village has the convenient if unexplained capability of short-circuiting zeps, so that explains that.

Levitan 4
Zep: “I thought ‘mudslinging’ was a metaphorical term.”

While this is going on, Mara, Hydron and Flipshot lead an attack from the air in the Starship Eternia and various other flying machines, while the inhabitants of Levitan tackle Skeletor, Flogg and Slush Head. He-Man doesn’t appear to do anything during this fight at all, which is rather odd given it’s the climactic scene of an epic story in which he is the star.

Skeletor and the other Mutants retreat onto the mother ship, and decide to counterattack by making good on their threat to tow Levitan into space. They reactivate the tractor beam, but the scientists are ready with their reverse particle enhancer, with the result that Levitan is saved and the mother ship is catapulted back out into space. He-Man then returns the key to the defensive shield, and makes another of his trademark “we must fight for freedom” speeches, though I doubt anyone’s still listening by this stage.


In today’s adventure…

It’s Gleep and Master Sebrien dishing the dirt on the moral again, this time assisted by Caz and Drissy. Caz has left his skateboard lying around, and Master Sebrien nearly trips on it. I kind of wish he had. Anyway, this little incident teaches us that we should always tidy up our toys. I am becoming resigned to the distinct possibility that the morals in this series will never bear the slightest relation to the story.


Character checklist

Loads of characters today, including but probably not limited to Prince Adam, He-Man, Master Sebrien, Mara, Caz, Drissy, the Sorceress, Hydron, Flipshot, Gepple, Meldock, Elcon, Krax, Gleep, Grot, Skeletor, Flogg, Slush Head, Critta, Quake, Karate,

Levitan 2
Gleep: “Just having a quick browse through Playrobot.”


Excuse for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Adam doesn’t need to give an excuse this time, since he transforms while he’s on the Mutant mother ship with no one else around.



Flogg addresses some Mutant troopers as “fools”, and Skeletor says the same thing about the inhabitants of Levitan, adding “cowards” into the mix as well. He also refers to He-Man as “Mr Goody-Goody”, and punctuates this by doing a loopy little dance.


Does it have the Power?

Apart from the crushingly unfunny scene in which Slush Head makes a speech, this episode is pretty decent. It’s exciting, and has a good sense of threat with Levitan being towed into space. This is one of the most evil things Skeletor’s ever done, since it is clearly aimed at killing the inhabitants of the city; it’s been a very long term – perhaps all the way back in Disappearing Act – since Skeletor has genuinely posed a threat to anyone’s life before. Add to this his casual violence towards Drissy, and he’s more reprehensible here than possibly ever before, which is something of an achievement.

Levitan 5
Grot: “You’ll pay for that, Skeletor.”

He-Man is still pretty irritating, and I think it’s because this incarnation doesn’t have the slight undertone of good humour that his Filmation counterpart does: he just seems resolute and stern. He does occasionally laugh, but it feels like he doesn’t really find the joke funny and he’s only laughing to blend in with society, like a psychopath would.

Anyway, I’m happy enough with this week’s effort, and concede that it’s a decent episode and a good conclusion to this longer story. The story as a whole could have been tightened up, and could stand to lose two of the middle episodes, but I don’t want to even think about He-Man in Exile ever again, so we won’t go there.

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.