Thursday, June 20, 2013

Moral of the Story: Don't Ride Roller Coasters

In 1983, TSR and Marvel Productions started a cartoon called Dungeons & Dragons, based on the role-playing tabletop game.  Yes, long before other game-to-movie abominations like Battleship hit the screens, TSR and Marvel already thought it was a good idea to turn games into TV shows.  As the show was canceled after twenty-seven episodes, leaving the finale (which would have wrapped everything up) un-produced, I'm going to say no, it's not a good idea.  And sorry, hard-core RPG fans, there are no dice, characters sheets, or hit points in this show.

A group of kids, aged 7-15, go on a "Dungeons & Dragons ride" at an amusement park.  Where are their chaperones?  Who lets kids just run amok at an amusement park??  D&D the cartoon may actually be a commentary on laissez-faire parenting.

As you can see from the opening credits, this roller coaster of doom transports the children into a scary, magical land, complete with unicorns who jump into your arms.

In each episode, the kids would have a "quest" thrown at them, and at some point they would have to choose between helping other denizens of this realm or going home to the real world.  Invariably, the good-hearted children would help the others, sacrificing their chances to return home.

I remember thinking these children were idiots when I watched it.  In one episode a character could only make one wish:  go home (alone) or save his companions.  I thought, "You moron.  Simply say 'I wish to go home with my friends'!"  (Even at this tender age, Leonard was all about semantics.)

As mentioned earlier, there are only twenty-seven episodes.  The series was canceled in 1985, leaving the finale episode unfinished, although word on the street is that you can find the script floating around on the Interwebs.

The moral of this story, of course, is don't ride roller coastersI didn't ride roller coasters until I was at least fifteen or so; I'm pretty sure this show is what instilled the fear in my young mind.

Here's the first part of Season 1 Episode 1 "The Night of No Tomorrow."  Enjoy all the 1980s animated feathered hair.

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