02 October 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.

Whilst in the abyss, Teela witnesses the power of Grayskull!
"Into the Abyss"

In an effort to encourage Prince Adam to train, Teela decides to combine work with fun and take him on a picnic, prompting him into a game of hide and seek. Teela gives Prince Adam a homing device so that if he gets lost, she can track him with her device. During the game, Teela finds a creature she names Pooki that follows her to Castle Grayskull. Pooki wonders close to the edge of the abyss, and when Teela picks him up, the ground crumbles and she falls into the abyss, knocking herself unconscious during the fall. Prince Adam returns to the Royal Palace, unable to locate Teela. Teela awakens to find that she has landed on a ledge deep within the abyss. Prince Adam, Man-At-Arms, and Orko manage to locate Teela thanks to the homing device, and when they realize she has fallen into the abyss. As Orko unsuccessfully attempts to save Teela, Prince Adam realizes that they must climb down into the abyss...

Prince Adam, under the gaze of Eternia's two moons, reaches for the Sword of Power, and raises it aloft. Deep down in the abyss, stood on a bony pedestal, Teela notices that the abyss appears to be stirring, rumbling with a strange sense of activity, "That's strange. I wonder what..." Far above, Prince Adam, stood by the edge of the abyss, calls upon the power of Castle Grayskull, and lightning explodes from the sword. A wide-eyed Teela looks on as large white hot bolts of magical energy dangerously descend past her, and into the nothingness below. As the last of the energy descends into the abyss, Teela is clearly perplexed as to what she has just witnessed. For a second or two the abyss falls eerily silent. Then, without warning, Teela once again hears the abyss stir, and an increasing threatening rumbling sound is all that can be heard. Peering over the edge of the bony pedestal Teela sees an incredibly bright wall of light slowly rising from out of the darkness below. To protect themselves from the blinding light, Teela and Pooki close their eyes, as the wall of light is revealed to be large white hot bolts of magical energy now ascending the abyss! Back above ground Prince Adam is bathed in the power of Castle Grayskull and transformed into He-Man, "I have the power!"

In an episode that relies solely on character development, the action sequences are thankfully few and far between. Although we are aware that Prince Adam must transform into He-Man in order to save Teela, none of us are prepared for the moment that the Sword of Power is raised to the heavens. The moment we see Prince Adam dramatically stood in front of the Eternian moons we know that something special is about to happen. More so because Adam does not utter a single word. Earlier in the episode He-Man states that the abyss is the source of Castle Grayskull's power. Thus when the abyss begins to react to Prince Adam's unsheathing of the sword, we realize we are about to witness something special. The idea that the mysterious abyss reacts to the transformation sequence is a genius piece of writing on the part of Robert Lamb. And the visuals in which we see the Sword of Power send surges of energy into the abyss, with it responding in an eruption of power is absolutely spine-tingling! It makes one fully realize the grand powers of He-Man and Castle Grayskull. With regards to Teela's part in the scene, the fact that Adam's transformation into He-Man practically occurs in front of her eyes is just a wonderfully beautiful concept. And the visuals in which we see the tiny figure of Teela surrounded by the power of Grayskull is an awesome sight to behold. Over the course of the series, as beautiful as it is, the transformation sequence would often be taken for granted. This scene reminds us how miraculous He-Man's powers are and how brilliant the transformation sequence is. No scene would ever again give us such an appreciation for the magic of Castle Grayskull! Particular mention has to go to Bob Forward who storyboarded this episode. He took it upon himself to make the opening scene of the transformation sequence incredibly memorable. It was clear that he understood the grandeur that the script required and deserved. Steve Clark's direction cuts no corners either, delivering a plethora of complicated special effects in order to show the connection between the transformation and the abyss. In his storyboards Bob Forward requested that everyone involved should "go all out on this one", implying he knew that if done right, this could be a very special scene indeed. Fortunately, everyone did go all out, and created one of the most memorable scenes in the history of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

1 comment:

Mosquitor said...

I had a good chat with Rob Lamb about this scene at Power-Con! An amazing scene and it's great how Teela passively witnesses Adam's transformation here. Perfect directing as well!

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