Thursday, April 2, 2009

Forgotten Toons: Defenders of the Earth

Kids shows are often rife with ridiculous characters, silly writing and crazy scenarios. What I find amazing is how even in shows like this, some things can still stand out as strange. Let's start off strong with a favorite of mine...
Defenders of the Earth
I love this show, but it has one of the most patently ridiculous premises ever. Before I get to the two crazy moments, let me put it all in perspective.
*Flash Gordon- Earth-man who goes to Mongo to save his planet from the evil Ming.
*The Phantom- One of a clan of men who keep the jungle safe from evil men.
*Mandrake- a famous stage magician who also keeps evil magic at bay.
*Lothar- a large, black adventurer who is very strong.

These men formed a team- alongside their children- to battle Ming the Merciless who had resumed his attacks on the Earth. Does this sound normal to anyone? I didn't think so. So, with that in mind, here are the two craziest things.

1) In a late episode, it begins with a scientist explaining a world-wide warning system. He explains that if it ever goes off, it means that a great danger is loose. About ten seconds later, the alarm goes off. His companion shouts "What is that?!?"
Were you even listening? What is the point in giving you expositional dialogue if you aren't listening? Aargh!

2) In the pilot episode, the heroes unite to save Flash's wife Dale from Ming's clutches. They stop him, but it is too late to save her life. With her life energy sucked out and placed into a crystal, Lothar's son suggests that they use the crystal to power their computer.
Seriously? You are going to use a dead woman's life energy to power your computer. Who do you think you are- Doctor Venture?!? But wait, there's more.
Flash, rather than slapping the kid in the face, says that it is a great idea. Wow, you're stone cold harsh, man. To summarize, a woman is killed, her life energy is placed in a crystal and she is used as a power source. This show is marketed towards children. Wow...just, wow.
More freaky stuff from our youth coming up. Stay tuned...

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