“We pick up where the 80s-era show left off, so all of your toys are right where you left them,” said Kevin Smith when promoting his latest endeavour, and he's absolutely right – as a direct continuation of the 1983 Masters of the Universe series, Revelation is just what any fan of the shows original run could possibly have wanted.
Episode one kicks things off in grand style, with Teela being appointed the new Man at Arms. During the ceremony, Prince Adam gets word that Skeletor and his minions have launched an attack on Castle Greyskull (because of course they have), and the ensuing cataclysmic battle results in the Guardians of Greyskull being scattered across a fractured Eternia. Over the next four episodes (five in total are due for release this week, with five more to follow at an as-yet unconfirmed date), the story centres on Teela's quest to reunite the Guardians, restore Eternia and prevent the end of the entire universe.
Those who hold the 80s version close to their hearts will be pleased to hear that Revelation looks exactly the way you'd hope a modern take on the classic series would look, right down to the occasional slightly strange camera angle and a few frames here and there in which characters might not be quite as well drawn as they are the rest of the time (it happened at least once in every episode, didn't it?). The all-star voice cast, which includes Mark Hamill as Skeletor, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Teela and Lena Headey as Evil Lyn, generally ham things up to just the right level (make no mistake, Revelation's script is just as cheesy and corny as the original ever was), and there's even an appearance from Alan Oppenheimer, the original Skeletor himself, albeit not in the guise that you might expect. With excellent voice acting, bright and flashy animation, creative fight scenes and tons of references that give many a nod and a wink to the wider Masters universe, there are certainly plenty of pleasing sights and sounds to enjoy. The story, though, can be a bit jumbled at times – zone out for just a few seconds and you're quite likely to miss some sort of important detail that can really throw you off track and bring about all sorts of confusion.
Keeping in mind the fact that we're only getting the first half of the story, it makes sense that things don't quite go all-out during these five episodes. Everything's certainly set up for a titanic battle in the second half which, if the overall quality of these episodes are anything to go by, should be immensely enjoyable to watch, but with no release date in sight for the remaining episodes, it's hard to shake the feeling that it might be worth saving this for a time when you can immerse yourself in all ten episodes at once. A promising start for sure, but at just under an hour and 45 minutes in total, Revelation currently feels a bit like an appetiser to a much more exciting and delicious main course.
Where to watch: Netflix, from July 23rd