DVD Review: DEFENDERS OF THE EARTH - THE COMPLETE SERIES (1986)

PrintE-mail Written by Robin Pierce

Review: Defenders of the Earth – The Complete Series / Cert: U / Director: Various / Screenplay: Various / Starring: Adam Carl, Ron Feinberg, Buster Jones / Release Date February 18th

The '80s have come to be regarded as a golden age of cartoons. It was the decade of He-Man, She-Ra, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, The Real Ghostbusters, Thundercats, TMNT and The Transformers. But as superhero team-ups are currently box office gold, with their animated counterparts soaring high in the ratings, there has never been a better time to revisit Defenders of the Earth.

DC Comics has the Justice League, Marvel has the Avengers, and in response, King Features Syndicate brought together their most successful newspaper comic strip characters in a group for this 1986 series.

The Defenders are comprised as follows: Flash Gordon, saviour of the universe – need we say more? The Phantom – 'the ghost who walks', hero of the African jungle, able to summon the power of the jungle animals (though someone should tell him that tigers are indigenous to India, not Africa). (This is the 27th Phantom, by the way, as the title has been handed down from father to son for over 400 years – although you wonder what's going to happen next, since the present incumbent has a daughter). The dapper Mandrake the Magician, resplendent in top hat, tails and opera cape is a master illusionist able somehow to hypnotise robots and establish a mental contact with computers. Rounding off the roster is Mandrake’s assistant, super-strong African American Lothar, along with their respective children who don’t really contribute much, except to get into trouble – often.

The gang come together in the opening episode where Flash, in the near future of 2015, escapes from the planet Mongo (in a departure from previous established continuity, now a frozen planet), but has to return to free his wife and son who are Ming the Merciless’ prisoners. Flash mounts a rescue mission with his new allies. Alas, Gordon’s wife is killed. However, her essence lives on in a crystal and is incorporated into the Defenders’ supercomputer, Dynak-X.

Plotting to conquer Earth for its resources, Ming builds a secret base in the Arctic, but as the episodes unfold, his master-plan soon take second place to his schemes to create global mischief and vanquish the Defenders – particularly his arch-nemisis, Flash Gordon. To this end, he enlists the help of all manner of villains, demons, monsters and aliens over 65 entertaining episodes.

Though aimed firmly at a juvenile audience in its day, there’s no doubt that this 7-disc set will attract the attention of nostalgic older viewers, the more observant of whom will notice names like The Big Bang Theory co-creator Chuck Lorre among the show’s writers. Speaking of writers - the theme song lyrics are credited to the supervising story editor, Stan Lee. For the sheer audacity of the maddeningly catchy lyrics, Stan should’ve won a Grammy that year.

All in all, wonderfully addictive - you can never watch just one episode.

Extras: None


Suggested Articles:
Sean is a young American kid dealing with the usual array of teen problems: does the girl of his dre
After the mayor of small town Louisburg dies during a driving-sex-drugs mishap, it opens up the need
Richard Kelly is a director with a questionable back catalogue; Donne Darko was a film that brought
The vast and ongoing world of film releases is populated, for the most part, with a considerable amo
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN’S APOCALYPSE 10 December 2016

THE BURNING 09 December 2016

THE GUYVER (1991) 08 December 2016

SECOND NATURE 08 December 2016

DONNIE DARKO (2001) 08 December 2016

COHEN AND TATE (1988) 08 December 2016

HOTEL OF THE DAMNED 08 December 2016

ORION 08 December 2016

TALES OF POE 08 December 2016

KILL THE KING 08 December 2016

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner

Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144