05 September 2010

TWENTY-SEVEN years ago at 4.20pm...

It's hard to believe, but at 4.20pm today on the 5th September 1983, some TWENTY-SEVEN years ago, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe had its WORLD premiere in the UK! Oddly the series wouldn't premiere in the USA until September 26th. The first episode aired was naturally the pilot episode "Diamond Ray of Disappearance". In celebration of that day I thought it would be cool to not only show off some very interesting storyboard pages from the episode, but also a bunch of deleted scenes, and random pieces of information about the episode from my recently published He-Man and the Masters of the Universe book!

Firstly, I present the first twelve pages of Robby London's draft script. You will notice that the Diamond Ray of Disappearance is merely called the "Diamond of Disappearance" throughout. No mention of the word "ray", even in the title! Also, in these pages you will discover where Prince Adam lost King Randor's Zoom Chariot! Oh, and Orko is still Gorpo at this point in production...




(click on the images to see them at full-size)

Next are some storyboards, illustrated by the fantastic Bob Kline. You will notice the numerous additional scenes during the fight between He-Man and Trap Jaw. And check out the incredibly cool rendering on the art during the brief fight between He-Man and the rock beast.



(click on the images to see them at full-size)

Here are some interesting pieces of trivia that you may or may not know.

* In one of Robby London's earliest drafts the Diamond Ray of Disappearance was called the Lost Stone of Souls.

* In this script the Evil Warriors are referred to as the "Masters", harkening back to the early notion that the villains were the "Masters of the Universe"; a phrase that pops up in the original pilot introduction, and the episodes "Like Father, Like Daughter" and "Colossor Awakes".

* At some point the original master of this episode was damaged. Subsequently all video and DVD releases throughout the last few years are missing the scene in which a vase falls on Orko's head, deflecting the Diamond Ray's blast, enabling him to escape.

* When He-Man first enters Castle Grayskull he stands silently before the Window of Spirits. If you listen carefully you can hear him say in reference to the Sorceress, "Maybe we can reach her in the Window of Spirits!" The line is present in the storyboard, but the volume of the vocal track is too quiet.

* This episode is one of three that was used in the direct-to-video movie, "The Greatest Adventures Of All", which it should be noted was shown as a premiere at the Mann's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles.

And finally I present two images of Trap Jaw deleted from the episode which were to take place during his fight with He-Man. The first image which shows him frowning is an animation cel with matching background that I proudly own. The second illustration I took the original line art, colored it, and positioned it over a sky background so you can see how the shot would've looked in the episode.


(click on the images to see them at full-size)

I hope you enjoyed this little tribute to the episode that started it all!

6 comments:

Chris said...

Really interesting "easter eggs" there.

Kevin Martinell said...

The goodies! James, I think that a vacation to "Fun Island" is just what all of us hard-working youngsters need. :) The title, "Master of Disaster" is classic! The descriptions of the alternate moments that first feature each of Skeletor's warriors are interesting. I get a kick out of how "The Doom Buster" is the actual title used for the Sky Sleds that the villains use! The illustration of Teela laughing looks more cute in the story board. :) Finally, the two images of Trap-Jaw are magnificent ... Would have been great to have seen the first of the two images used somewhere in the series, and topnotch job coloring and assembling the second image! If you hadn't mentioned it, Busta, we all probably would have thought that it was another finished animation frame! Outstanding work, Sir ... You should be very proud of yourself. :)
Thanks for reading! God Bless!
~"KevyGuy" :)
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kelly said...

It hard to believe it been that long. I still remember running home and putting on tv at 4 pm to watch He-Man.

But thank you for sharing these great pieces of history!

jasonxe9 said...

I knew I remember a vase falling on Orko's head. I searched Youtube and everywhere, I thought I was crazy! I am glad someone mentioned what happened.

HB Potlood said...

Great tribute, Busta Toons! I for one would be thrilled if you did one of these every Sunday to coincide with the original UK airdates.

Vash said...

I actually have a Video Disc that has this episode and a few others on it. Would this help if they release the Blueray?

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