He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe (1983-1985)
This is a cartoon from the 80s that I have a particular fondness for because it is one of the earliest that I can remember watching when I was younger (much younger), and one of the main reasons for this is because when He-Man introduced himself in the opening sequence I would get rather excited and have a “he’s named like my name” moment.
This is because of course the real name of He-Man is Prince Adam, the star of the cartoon that featured more action and adventure than most, which was based on a series of dolls. It was shown on CITV in various slots throughout the 80s, and it’s no surprise really that it went on to become one of the most popular children’s shows of its era.
He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe is set on a mythical planet called Eternia, which is somewhere rather far away. Adam is the son of the planet’s rulers. The main villain is Skeletor, who wants to take over Castle Grayskull, although that’s just the beginning really, because as is always the case with these characters, they won’t be satisfied until they rule the entire universe. And there were plenty of other enemies who liked to cause trouble.
After a while young Adam begins to get rather annoyed by all this, and he decides that he has to interfere and whip out his Sword Of Power and say “by the power of Grayskull, I have the power!”, which transforms him into He-Man, the strongest man in the universe, with his muscles rippling everywhere (it also seemingly adds a huge amount of echo to his voice). And not long after his new-found ability to throw people through the air saves the day.
There were many other regular characters, including He-Man’s pet tiger Cringer who turned into Battlecat, and Orko the floating thing. What with all these talking animals and magic swords, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Thundercats a little. I was surprised at how many of the old silly cartoon sound effects featured too, did they ever record any more? Episodes would also end with He-Man explaining the moral of the story to viewers, so stay safe out there.
There were 130 episodes of He-Man in two series, and they were all packed into only two years on American TV, that’s the equivalent of showing more than one a week! And of course there has been a huge amount of merchandise, beyond the dolls there have been comics, computers, just about everything. There has also been a live-action film, and sequel cartoons in the 90s and beyond. The rest of the family decided to join in with the action too, when He-Man’s sister She-Ra got her own spin-off series, and I will review that one soon too.
One thought on “CITV Memories – He-Man.”
Hey Adam Beckwith, i’m glad you like the original 1983 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Also, did you know that when Hallmark bought Filmation in 1995, only PAL-format copies were made, with the original film negatives and print rolls apparently being discarded, as well as the original sound masters and other archival material belonging to Filmation, I think it could be due to Hallmark’s previously unstated (but long-suspected) short-sighted policy of only distributing Filmation’s in-house shows outside of the United States. As a result, many of Entertainment Rights’ DVD releases (distributed by BCI Eclipse LLC in the United States prior to the latter company’s folding) were based on the international versions (which have PAL prints). That could also explain why this show, and She-Ra: Princess of Power and the majority of the library has PAL speedup and in high pitch due to being in the PAL format as compared to NTSC. However, some of the lucky few to escape this included Ghostbusters (both the 1975 live action and 1986 animated versions), several of their little-known live action series like Ark II, and Star Trek: The Animated Series (the latter being held by Paramount, then CBS), and likely other series held by other companies, like their DC Comics cartoons such as Filmation’s The Adventures of Batman (distributed by Warner Bros.).
Hope this helps and i’m glad you and i like the show Adam Beckwith, if only this and She-Ra: Princess of Power should’ve be in the original NTSC pitch and speed.