Dungeons & Dragons Review – S1 E2 “The Eye of Beholder”

I decided to continue watching Dungeon and Dragons TV series and needless to say it was an experience just like last time. Again the episode stats with its origin story intro which if they just made it longer would have been a proper pilot episode. Okay, I complained enough about that last time. Time to move on.

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Three writers worked on this…no joke just an observation.

The episode opens with the kids wandering through a desert again and under the light of four suns! Honestly how are they not dehydrated. Then we also figure out that they have not seen Dungeon Master for 2 days. Some guide he turned out to be! He leaves children to wander around in a desert with 4 suns in the sky without giving them directions or water. To make matters worse they come across and a giant scorpion and they all are forced to make a run for it.

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Thank you for saving us us even though we didn’t see you save us.

A rotund knight appears around the same time and ends up being trapped between the scorpion and a blue scaled dragon. But this is a good thing for both creatures become distracted from their prey as they decide to duel each other. The kids come out of cave they were hiding in and mistakingly believe that the knight had saved them, and of course he accepts their praise. After introducing himself as Sir John and exchanging pleasantries the knight goes on his way.

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Eric: “Why would you do that?” Dungeon Master: “I thought it would be funny.”

It is in this moment, Dungeon Master chooses to appear once again, scaring the crap out of Eric in the process. He gives the kids their new mission in which they need to defeat a monster known as the Beholder in order to return the valley it resides in, back to its natural beauty and an extra bonus is that it will open a portal so they can return home to the 1980s. Dungeon Master also explains that “Only beauty can beat the eye of the Beholder.” (Sigh) With a title like “Eye of the Beholder” I should have known where this was going to go.

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Would you please try to do your job?

We then switch focus to Sir John and he faces some unhappy townsfolk. It is confirmed that he is rather cowardly and the town is unsatisfied with his work. He is given one more chance to commit an act of bravery otherwise they will fire him and cast him from the village along with his son. I am guessing the reason for his hesitance to risk his life because he is a single father having to raise his son alone. This would be forgivable if was the first time, but as we are told they have been kicked out of other towns for the same reason. Seriously Sir John if you so bad at being a knight, maybe you should seek a new line of work that doesn’t involve risking your life.

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The image speaks for itself.

We return to our young heroes as they make their way to the Valley of the Beholder, but unfortunately they encounter “Snailmen” creatures who capture them and place them in bags. Uni the unicorn is the only one that escapes and he just so happens to bump into Sir John as he searching for some brave act to commit. Sir John is afraid go further and Uni has to force him to follow him come by snatching away his torch. By sheer luck they encounter the “Snailmen” and Sir John frantically waves his torch which scares them away (it was established before they are sensitive to light). Kids praise Sir John again (much to Uni’s chagrin) and Diana picks a flower and gives it to him as a symbol of their gratitude.

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Uni knows what’s up with Sir John.

The kids then ask him to help them find and face the Beholder, and Sir John of course is hesitant for it would require great bravery. They reply saying that he is the bravest person they have met since they have been in this world, which is ironic since we the audience know he is not. As they reach the valley Sir John decides to volunteer to scout ahead so he can gather his thoughts. Venger appears to him and using his son as leverage forces the knight to lead the kids an ambush so that he could take their magical items.

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Poor kid, to be the son of a secondary character and used as a pawn for the series’ villain to gain the main characters’ magical items of power…
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The Eye of the Beholder…no literally it is the eye of the Beholder.

Eric, who is getting more more suspicious, calls Sir John out when he says he is not joining them in their fight with the Beholder. But the knight still leaves and the kids are captured by the evil one eyed monster. Venger holds his end of bargain and gives Sir John his son back making the comment that his son is braver than him. However Sir John’s son inspires him to go back and save the young heroes. In the process it is discovered that the beauty of the flower that Diana gave to Sir John is the key to defeating the Beholder and at its defeat the portal back to Earth is opened.

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Drat my only weakness…BEAUTY!!!!

Despite being anxious to go back home, Bobby can’t bare to part with Uni. This hesitation is further amplified when Venger comes back to take his revenge on Sir John for betraying him and kids decide to stay behind to come to his aid. To Eric’s credit (being the spoiled prick of the group), he does come and help too even though he could have easily gone back home. In the end Venger retreats and the valley becomes beautiful. Before the episode closes Dungeon Master who is unseen by the kids scares Eric again when he attempts to sit down on a rock only to leap out of his skin at hearing an unexpected honk of a horn.

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Wow, Eric can be heroic if he stops acting like a jerk!
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Dungeon Master…more like Troll Master.

Again like last time this episode still very cheesy, but still not too bad. There was a good lesson about how not judging people by appearances, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There was some humorous moments especially between Eric and Dungeon Master as well Sir John and Uni. Maybe this series is getting to me despite myself. Anyway we’ll see what happens when I review the next episode. Thank you for reading.

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Dungeons & Dragons Review – S1 E1 “The Night of No Tomorrow”

Now just as I promised here is my first review series and the TV show I will be reviewing is…Dungeons & Dragons. When I saw this Dungeons & Dragons DVD collection at a local bargain retail store for a dollar (yep seriously it was one dollar) and I thought I’d give it a shot. I guess I shouldn’t have expected much, but then again I was hopeful that it might be entertaining. And what you know it had a lot of 80s cheese and was also more confusing that I thought it was going to be. So this is my summarization of my initial impressions on Dungeons & Dragons‘s pilot episode “The Night of No Tomorrow.”

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Ahhh, title screen.
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Pilot episode? What’s that?

First we have the introduction to the story and characters that is done in the span of 2 minutes. Talk about suspension of disbelief…or not in the case of 6 teens and pre-teens ending up in a world of magic just from riding a theme park ride. Probably my major compliant about this episode is that they don’t take time to set up the story and characters. I would have loved to see what the kids were like in our world and then see their adjustment to the fantasy world right after it happened. However this first episode seems more like a follow-up and you feel like you are missing something when you are watching it for the first time. Despite this I will do my best to summarize the plot.

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Purpose…this Dungeon Master says. There is no purpose for this series. Well other than further promote the game Dungeons & Dragons.

After the kids trap a multi-headed dragon creature called Tiamat, the Dungeon Master (who looks like a more human version of Yoda) appears and tells them that they might find something that will help them return home in the village of Helix which is having a millennial celebration the magician Merlin’s banishment of fire-breathing dragons that had plagued the town. But he warns the kids that they might come across Venger (the enemy of the series and voiced by Peter Cullen of all people) and they will know him by his white hair. Or is hare?

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Castles in the sky…now where have I heard that before?

After he vanishes the kids make their way through the desert and come across Merlin’s floating castle. After they climb up a ladder leading up to the castle they are greeted by Merlin himself who holding a white rabbit. They initially were suspicious of him due to his white hair but it’s soon revealed to be a toupee. He tells them the story of Helix again and one of kids Eric (the annoying jerk of the group) says he’s had enough and proceeds to leave only to encounter Tiamat again. How she got into a floating castle in the sky? She flew of course. The kids and Merlin trap the multi-headed dragon in the castle’s dungeon.

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Cast coming across a dungeon while being chased by a multi-headed dragon. Well at least it fits with the title of the series.
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The Magician’s Apprentice…not what I was expecting.

The kids are about to leave for Helix but the magician Presto (I can’t believe that’s his name) decides to stay to learn more about magic from Merlin as his apprentice. Merlin instructs him to stir the cauldron, but while he is out of the room Presto takes a look at the book he’s instructed not to look at in order to find a spell that will help him and his friends return home.

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Oh great Presto! You unleashed hell!

Unfortunately the spell that Presto casts unleashes the dragons that Merlin had imprisoned. It is soon after that he discovers that Merlin is not Merlin at all but Venger (remember the white hare aka rabbit) who used Presto to release the dragons because only his “good” magic could undo the original Merlin’s spell. This begs the question: Why did the original Merlin cast a spell that could be undone? Anyway while Presto stands there dumbfounded Venger takes his hat and Presto doesn’t do anything to stop him. Come on man, you can at least struggle with Venger for your hat. You might not succeed in getting it back but you can still try can’t you?

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Don’t just stand there you idiot! Get your magic hat back!

After the dragons commence their attack on Helix the kids quickly figure out what happened and head back to the sky castle to find Presto. They face Venger who says if they hand over their magical items and he would let them go. It is actually really surprising having a villain whose initial goal does not involve hurting or killing the heroes/heroines. The rest of the kids refused to so, at least they don’t just stand there and let Venger take their weapons like Presto.

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Evil Magic…
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Good magic.

 

 

 

 

 

They come up with a plan to counter Venger by releasing Tiamat from the dungeon they trapped her in while Presto casts the spell to seal the dragons again, saving Helix in the process. The kids escape from the castle where Dungeon Master appears again and returns Presto’s hat. How did Dungeon Master get Presto’s magic hat back? No time for that, the kids are now off on their next adventure as they try to find their way back home to the 1980s.

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To borrow from Nostalgia Critic, explain D&D! Explain!

While it is not the worse show ever I realized after watching this first episode that there was a lot I did not understand. I think it’s due to the fact that I am not the intended audience; it was intended for the young people who grew up during the early 80s. That’s all well and good but this prevents it from being universally understood and only serves to date the series even more. To those you have fondness for Dungeons & Dragons I am glad you can enjoy it for what it is. As for me the only enjoyment I had was in awkwardly chuckling at it. I plan to watch all the episodes on the DVD despite my cringing and convey my thoughts on them for future posts. Who knows maybe it’ll get better or perhaps I am glutton for punishment but we’ll see how long I last.

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One thing we all can agree is that Eric deserved to be left with a cow.