01 June 2012

A brief review #026 - "Ordeal in the Darklands"

As many of you will know, in 2010 I published The unofficial cartoon guide to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. At 300+ pages the book features 700+ pieces of trivia, 460+ deleted scenes, 360+ examples of animation reuse, 380+ quotes, 50+ abandoned episodes, and a LOT more! It is the book that NO fan of the Filmation series can live without! BUY IT NOW!

As an incentive, here is my brief review and rating (as they appear in the book) for "Ordeal in the Darklands"...

This episode is surprising in that the elements that make the story are not all that impressive. What Marc Scott Zicree successfully does is bring all the familiar faces into a new location and has their characters develop through conflict and misunderstanding. Kor is a well-rounded character, not once feeling overplayed in his impulsive actions. Though it is brief there are some very good scenes between Man-At-Arms and Teela; and He-Man seems to be having fun in this episode with John Erwin getting to spout some amusing pieces of dialogue. At times the pace of this episode is quite slow, but the story and sub-plots keep us entertained until the threat of the Crimson Scourge has ended. 6/10

Now, may I ask; what is YOUR rating?

2 comments:

Kevin Martinell said...

A near perfect episode for me ... The only major criticism for me was that Evil-Lyn, who played a major role in the episode, vanished from the entire second half of the episode, beginning with Act Two. On the other hand, the first time that we see He-Man is actually in the second half of the episode (An image of He-Man appears in Act One, courtesy of Evil-Lyn's "false image" that she shows to Kor, in order to fool him, but that does not count, as it is not the real He-Man!). Also, when approaching Kor and making him think that He-Man was the enemy, had Evil-Lyn disguised herself as an old woman, like she did in "Curse of the Spellstone" and "The Royal Cousin," she would have come across as more mysterious and Kor would have believed her more easily (Especially if he already knew who Evil-Lyn was!). Good points in the episode included the relationship between Man-At-Arms and Teela, the sword fight between He-Man and his "shadow" (Which reminded me of the early "Legend of Zelda" video games where Link had to fight his own shadow as one of his obstacles!), Tri-Klops firing dangerous blasts from his eyes in an attempt to stop Teela and Orko from escaping with Mira (He does not display this ability in any other episode!), and He-Man's battle with the Crimson Scourge ... I agree with James on He-Man's humorous dialog as he tries to escape the Scourge ("I like getting a tan, but this is ridiculous!"), although He-Man's joking comes to an end when he finally states, "I can't take much more of this!" It was also a visual treat to see the beautiful underground jungle scenery that was used for this episode, and I had to laugh at when I saw the very first appearance of Mira through the view screen, at the beginning of the episode ... After watching "Song of Celice," Mira looks like a carbon copy of Celice, and James mentions this in one of his earliest posts on this Blog. :) Thanks for reading and God Bless! ~"KevyGuy" :)

thenicochan said...

I think my biggest problem is the King Sorcerer guy looks like Dr. Strange's estranged (heh) cousin.

Also! When will your book be back into print? I am psyched to purchase it and get my grubby little mitts on it. :) I've a recent He-Man fan, actually I fell in love watching it on Netflix (working through She-Rah, now, and just purchased the new 2000s series as well!)

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