14 September 2013

30 YEARS - Top 30 GREATEST MOMENTS #21

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.

GREATEST MOMENT #21
Skeletor reluctantly aids He-Man in order to save Eternia.
"Evilseed"



When large vines begin overrunning the planet, both the heroes and villains of Eternia find themselves in a dangerous situation. From their bases of operation He-Man and Skeletor are mystified by the events, and watch as their respective allies are captured by the vines. After being rescued by the Sorceress, He-Man decides to contact Skeletor, presuming that it is he that is in control of the vines. Just as Skeletor denies all knowledge of the attacks their communication is interrupted by a being known as Evilseed. He claims that the vines are his doing, and reveals the captured allies of He-Man and Skeletor bound to an oversized vine. He-Man, the Sorceress, and Orko realize that the only way to stop Evilseed is to make it snow. After much resistance Skeletor agrees to aid the heroes, as He-Man journeys to the Ice Mountains in an effort to procure a large chunk of ice. With an impressive show of strength He-Man manages to throw the ice into the skies of Eternia and in the direction of Castle Grayskull...

He-Man returns to Castle Grayskull and is immediately called into action; saving Skeletor from a vine that has him bound. Sat on the floor, a slightly humiliated and frustrated Skeletor asks He-Man, "Don't you get awfully tired of being a hero all the time?" As He-Man smiles back at his foe, Orko alerts everyone gathered that the large block of ice is closing in towards Castle Grayskull. He-Man, Skeletor, the Sorceress, and Orko head to one of the two towers. As they ascend the tower Skeletor comically asks the most powerful man in the universe, "Don't you ever feel like doing something evil?" He-Man, now atop the turret, responds, "Don't you ever feel like doing something good?" The large block of ice comes into view and all concerned realize that they must act fast. He-Man draws his Sword of Power, and alongside the Sorceress, and Orko, they fire at the ice. However, the ice fails to explode, and Skeletor merely observes the events taking place. Looking out of the corner of her eye the Sorceress pleads, "We need more power." He-Man with the sword still raised turns to Skeletor commanding him to raise his Havoc Staff. Skeletor's voice is incredibly unsure as he replies, "I don't know..." He-Man moves closer to his foe, reminding him, "If you don't, everything will be destroyed!" Skeletor is clearly torn over the decision to help the heroes, and looks down helplessly towards his Havoc Staff. At the very last second Skeletor raises his Havoc Staff. All four individuals fire at the large block of ice, and it explodes, beginning a heavy flurry of snow, and the end of Evilseed's threat!

Firstly, it has to be said that with this episode Barney Cohen wrote one of the best characterizations of Skeletor that the series ever saw. He is both comedic and evil, without being over the top. Throughout the episode we see the way in which Skeletor operates, opportunistically waiting for his moment to strike! This scene in which Skeletor really struggles to aid the heroes is the culmination of the Skeletor-related character events that have taken place during the episode. The dialogue between He-Man and Skeletor is perfect. Surprisingly, the way in which this final scene is written almost makes us feel sorry for Skeletor, because we see that for him, aiding the heroes is a truly harrowing experience! The image of He-Man, Skeletor, the Sorceress, and Orko all firing their blasts into the sky is one of the most iconic images of the series. The story of good and evil having to team up is nothing new in storytelling. But this scene showcases that this episode does it better than most!

2 comments:

Kevin Martinell said...

James, you have described EVERY detail to this scene to perfection! Even Skeletor gives a frustrated moan when he raises his Havoc Staff like it is too emotionally painful to help the heroes, though he knows that he has to do it. :) What makes the scene interesting is that Skeletor has to repeatedly have some sense talked into him rather than just simply be immediately ready and willing to help the heroes! Thanks for reading and God Bless! ~"KevyGuy" :)

Grimbot said...

Strange that they all go outside to climb on top of the tower, rather than simply use the stairs.

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