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 #22
Castle Grayskull is overthrown by the Evil Lord of Destruction!
"The Dragon Invasion"
In the area known as Dragonmount, Skeletor and Beast Man succeed in stealing the Mother Dragon's eggs. The villains subsequently relocate the individual eggs, fused with Skeletor's growth serum, across the planet of Eternia. Those at the Royal Palace are surprised to see an oversized dragon egg show up in the palace grounds. The gathered few are shocked when the baby dragon emerges and quickly grows into a furiously angry adult dragon! He-Man and his friends manage to stop the dragon from destroying the palace and soon discover that many locations across Eternia have also fallen victim to dragon attacks. The group of heroes decide to split up in an attempt to help those in need throughout the various locations. With the heroes distracted, Skeletor and his Evil Warriors step through a magical gateway inside the confines of Snake Mountain, and emerge outside of Castle Grayskull...
As the magical gateway fades away Skeletor and his Evil Warriors find themselves on the bone bridge that leads up to Castle Grayskull. Skeletor declares, "Our new home...Castle Grayskull!" Evil-Lyn is quick to point out that they won't be able to enter, given that each time they have tried both He-Man and the Sorceress have thwarted their attempts. As he gazes towards the mystical sphere, Skeletor rebukes that not even the Sorceress can resist the power of the Dragonpearl. He then turns to Castle Grayskull, raises his Havoc Staff to the heavens, and screams, "Sorceress! I will control Castle Grayskull!" before issuing a challenge, "Stop me, if you dare!!" The Sorceress appears within one of the castle's turret windows almost confused by Skeletor's actions. Skeletor orders Evil-Lyn to focus her magic on the Dragonpearl, as it will dramatically increase her abilities. Evil-Lyn unleashes a continuous blast of energy that shoots into the mystical sphere, and emerges from the other side greatly increased. The Sorceress attempts to stop the blast, but is overcome by the magic, and pulled into the Dragonpearl itself! Skeletor proceeds to enter Castle Grayskull, shortly after He-Man receives a telepathic distress call from the Sorceress. Inside the castle Skeletor gleefully observes his conquest, "At last...Castle Grayskull and all its secrets are mine." Utilizing the Dragonpearl once more Skeletor creates a force field around it. He-Man and his friends race to the castle only to realize that they are too late. A fallen He-Man questions, "What in Eternia is going on?" The grim visage of Skeletor appears over the face of Castle Grayskull as he proudly informs his ever-present enemy, "Grayskull has fallen, He-Man - To me!" The villain continues, "The Sorceress is my prisoner - and with her power added to the Dragonpearl, all of Eternia will be mine!" He-Man and his friends are helpless, as Skeletor laughs maniacally.
"The Dragon Invasion" is one of the all-time best action/adventure episodes of the series. There is no deep character-driven writing, as the episode has absolutely no need for it. In one of Skeletor's best laid plans we see him steal the Mother Dragon's eggs, distract He-Man and his allies, defeat the Sorceress with the aid of the Dragonpearl, and succeed in conquering Castle Grayskull. Very few of his future plans would ever be as perfect as this one! The way in which this specific scene ends is incredibly memorable, with a fallen He-Man looking upwards towards the eerie image of Skeletor's laughing skull over Castle Grayskull!