23 September 2013


On the 5th of September 1983 the animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe received its WORLD premiere in the UK! To celebrate 30 YEARS since this historic day I am counting down (on a daily basis) what I believe to be the 30 GREATEST MOMENTS of the Filmation series.

Prince Adam realizes how to transform into He-Man on Trolla!
"Dawn of Dragoon"

When a female Trollan named Dree Elle appears on Eternia warning of danger on Orko's homeworld of Trolla, Orko hurriedly travels with her to confront the menace. At Castle Grayskull the Sorceress creates a portal to Trolla. He-Man and Battle Cat enter, but walk out on Trolla as Prince Adam and Cringer. Attacked by a large serpent Prince Adam finds that he is unable to transform into He-Man, so defeats the creature through trickery. Dragoon manages to capture Dree Elle, but Orko is unable to save her. At his lair Dragoon explains that he is draining all the energy from the inhabitants of Trolla, so that it can be given to his master, Skeletor. Dragoon begins to drain Dree Elle's energy, as Prince Adam and Cringer, still unable to transform into their other selves, stand outside the villain's fortress...

As Prince Adam grows increasingly frustrated with Cringer's reluctance to enter Dragoon's fortress, the cowardly cat is attacked by a lizard-like creature. Cringer narrowly avoids a confrontation, and races over to Prince Adam and Orko. Cringer is clearly angered at recent events and begins a lengthy tirade, "I've had about enough of this world...crazy beasts...upside down trees...Fire Rays that shoot water." Cringer continues his rant by comically emphasizing, "Even Orko's magic works! Everything's backwards here!" Prince Adam's face lights up with delight, "That's it!", as he realizes that Cringer has just solved the mystery of why he has been unable to invoke the power of Castle Grayskull. Adam begins to explain to his comrades, "Things are backwards here...", before continuing, "If I say "By the power of Grayskull" backwards--" Before he can finish his sentence a surprisingly excited Cringer continues, "--maybe then, it will work!" Prince Adam unsheathes the Sword of Power and commands, "Grayskull of power the by!" The power of Grayskull explodes from the sword and the transformation of Prince Adam and Cringer into He-Man and Battle Cat begins!

"Dawn of Dragoon" is often remembered as being the episode that shows Orko at his very best. And rightly so. However, the sub-plot featuring Prince Adam's inability to summon the power of Grayskull is just as entertaining. The idea that everything on Trolla is backwards beautifully reminds us that He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is a Saturday morning cartoon with a degree of innocence to its storytelling. As an audience, if truth be told, not for one second do we suspect that in order to bring fourth He-Man Prince Adam must utter his familiar phrase in reverse! There's something incredibly pure about the moment when Adam solves the mystery as to why he cannot transform. And in that moment we all cheer and rejoice!


Kevin Martinell said...

Agreed and one of my earliest and fondest memories of the series ... I just wish that He-Man would have said, "I Have the Power" backwards too, just for fun! :) ~"KevyGuy" :)

Mosquitor said...

I have an interesting story regarding this scene... The only scene from this episode that stuck in my mind from when I was a kid was the scene where Orko and Dree Elle show one another their faces. But I used to write loads of MOTU stories as a kid, and one of them had Prince Adam going to Orko's homeworld and finding everything worked backwards there, and having to change to He-Man by saying "By the Power of Grayskull" backwards. When I read these stories back when I was older thought I could easily have made this story up myself, as I had a pretty vivid imagination as a kid, but soon after I came online in the early days of the He-Man community, I read the synopsis for this episode and realized it had been a scene from an actual episode! So clearly it must have made its impact on my mind as a kid :)

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