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Thread: Olesker's Thread: "You've Got Questions, I've Got Answers"

  1. #51
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    Adam of Grayskull is in effect a title like Robin of Locksley. The transformation cry changes to reflect the fact that he is so far removed from Castle Grayskull, the source of He-Man's power, that he must call upon the magical power of his entire planet, making him more powerful than ever before.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagar View Post
    Adam of Grayskull is in effect a title like Robin of Locksley. The transformation cry changes to reflect the fact that he is so far removed from Castle Grayskull, the source of He-Man's power, that he must call upon the magical power of his entire planet, making him more powerful than ever before.
    Precisely...and I mean precisely.

  3. #53
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    Grayskull/Eternia

    I don't know. I understand the concept and idea behind it, it just sounds pretty naff and confusing as a big fan of the Filmation shows.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sword of Power View Post
    Jack,

    First, I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the cartoon. I have enjoyed all the original MOTU DVD releases, but it was all material I had seen before, so other than the interviews on the last disk of each set, there was nothing new, and I mainly enjoyed the sets just for nostalgia.

    However, I wasn't aware of the New Adventures cartoon until it was almost at the end of its run. So I have probably only seen about 30 of the 65 episodes. This set is particularly enjoyable for me because I get the nostalgia of having seen some of the episodes back when I was a kid, but also I get to see episodes that are brand new to me. And Skeletor delivers some lines that are laugh out loud funny.

    My questions are:
    1- Who is supposed to be the love interest for He-Man? Is it Mara or Drisee?

    2- Flogg is clearly the boss. Skeletor is the brains behind the boss. But is there a next in command? It seems like Hoove gets put in charge a couple of times.

    3- I just watched a 5-part story where the Mutants take over Primus. (EXCELLENT STORY, BTW) They used little creatures who turned into monsters, which is similar to a G.I.Joe cartoon where Cobra used that plan to take over a space station. Did you have certain shows or movies that inspired you while writing this series?

    Hope you feel better from your food poisoning soon.
    Here's the answer to your questions:

    1. Who says it has to be one or the other -- he is, after all, the Strongest Man in the Universe.

    2. I'd go for Crita -- not because of her relationship with Flogg, but because of her realtionship with Skeletor. Look, Flogg's no dummy. He understands that on some level Skeletor is a threat to him. He also understands that Crita and Skelly are on the same page. So, by extesion, she is also a potential threat. Maybe Flogg never read Sun-Tsu's "The Art of War", but he understands the concept of "Keep your friends close; keep your enemies closer."

    3. No, I really didn't have shows that inspired me 'on a conscious level'. Clearly, however, every writer, artist and creative person is inspired on a subconscious and subliminal level. Films that are important in my memory files include ROCKY, PATTON, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, GASLIGHT (great old film -- rent it sometime) RUDY, STAR WARS, THE USUAL SUSPECTS, every film noir film ever made and, of late, THE PRESTIGE. For television it's DALLAS, SEINFELD, CSI:MIAMI, COPS, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, JERRY SPRINGER and every soap opera ever made. Take from that what you will. Obviously, the artists in Japan were influenced by the STAR WARS franchise and I have to tell you, until last night I have always been more than a little peeved to see N/A characters in Galactic Storm Trooper garb. But last night I'm watching the DVDs and my seven-year old says, "Gee, Dad, Levitan looks just like Cloud City in Star Wars." I gulped hard, thinking kids are brutally honest. So sometimes 'influence' can unintentially creep over into 'borrowing'. The issue is one of intent. If you consciously intended to do it, then you're denigrating the very gifts of creativity you've been blessed with. If it's a matter of honest subconscious influence, then you blush a bit and say, from the heart, that you hadn't intended to do it.

    Thanks for your kind thoughts on my food poisoning. It was one heck of a way to lose the pounds I put on over the holidays.

  5. #55
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    I just noticed on the cover of the series bible that there is a name that doesn't turn up anywhere else in the bible or the series; Talon. I was just wondering who that was supposed to be. Was it maybe a first draft name for Clobber, He-Man's bird?

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagar View Post
    Seeing as it was brought up earlier, how come Crita was the only character from the first five episodes who wasn't in the series bible?
    Simply because I didn't create her until after I wrote the series bible and had begun writing the series. That sometimes happens -- a new character blasting onto the scene and demanding that you give life to them -- and when it does it's extremely exciting. So it was with Crita. BTW, I like Crita a great deal. I've always been drawn to strong, confident women -- Lucy Lui, Lucy Lawless and my Irish wife -- so when Crita came knocking on my creative door she would not be denied.

    By the way -- and I think this is very important -- I'm not sure if the series bible in the DVDs is the series bible I wrote for Mattel or if it's an earlier internal piece of development material they created. If they did create an earlier document, then I never saw it. And to answer the question some of you might be thinking, the reason I haven't taken a look at the documentary materials in the DVDs is because it's a bit difficult for me to look at it since I'm not in there. (It's not a question of ego, just that it's strange for me to look at documentary material by others when I was so intimately involved with the creation of the series, which is, of course, why I'm so very grateful to he-man.org for letting me find this place to express myself.)

    Let me immediately say that I don't bear anyone at BCI ill feelings about my not being in the docs. My recollection is that I e-mailed them and I didn't get a reply, but that I completely understood because I felt I was probably too late getting onto the forum for them to include me in the docs. However, I recently read a post by Andy saying he had a conversation with me about that a long time ago and I then vaguely recalled such a conversation. I certainly take Andy at his word and, thus, stand corrected. In any event, it's been an incredibly busy production year for me, so I wouldn't have been able to fly out to L.A. anyway.

    Still, it's kind of tough for me to look at the docs. I will do so because I want to have a look at the series bible and let everyone know whether or not it was mine.

  7. #57
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    Two Qs

    Was the Sword of Power's new abllites created due to Censorship issues?

    and which Skeletor form did you prefer? His first NA look or the Disks of Doom one?
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  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by musclor.fr.st View Post
    Hi Jack !

    First I would like to thank you for creating this thread and answering everyone's questions , and thank you also for all your work and involving on NA.

    I realy love NA !!! I discover this serie 5 years ago , I knew about it but never could watched an episode before. When I watched the first episode 5 years ago I was totaly blew out by NA. I'm NA addicted since.

    My first question is , is there some scenarios of unproduced episodes ? And is there also some part of these episode that were animated but not complete ?

    Second question , did you create some new characters and MATTEL refused you to introduce them in the episodes ?

    Best regards
    It's my pleasure to be here, and thank you for your kind words.

    To answer your questions, there were no unproduced episodes. There may, however, have been some parts (scenes) of episodes that were produced and not included. I've a strong hunch that this is precisely what happened in Episode 5 when He-man goes from being on the asteroid to suddenly popping up inside the statue. I can tell you there is absolutely no way I would have made that kind of an ellipse in a script without at the least an explanation -- and a very logical one at that. I can tell you I'm positive I wouldn't have done it because I never did it in any of the over 1,000 episodes of television I've written. And if I sound a bit emphatic on this point it's because I am irritated to see this (leap of logic) occur in an episode that has my name on it. What does occasionally happen is that between the point of a script being written and the episode being animated, the show ends up with too long of a running time and cuts have to be made. However, cuts should NEVER be made when they impact upon the structural integrity and logic of the plotline. Generally, the director of the series understands the importance of this, and I rarely saw this kind of error anywhere else in N/A. But stuff does happen and it seems to me that this is what happened in this case.

    As to your other question, I never suggested a character that Mattel or Jetlag refused to put in the series -- and I put in quite a few that were not in my original series bIble as the series evolved over sixty-five episodes. I think it laudable on their part that they allowed me that kind of creative latitude and speaks highly of the strong relationship of mutual respect that I had with Mattel and Jetlag in general and executives like Kaaren Lee Brown, Debra Galliani and the incredibly talented Jean Chalopin and Mark Taylor in specific.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Horde Supreme View Post
    Thanks for answering my first question. I am really enjoying the series even more than I thought since buying the dvd set. I know you discussed the second season in going back to Eternia, but I wanted to know if you planned on bring a good amount of the cast to Eternia. If some of the Galactic Guardians or Mutants would accompany He-Man and Skeletor back home. If the you had gotten the chance to continue the series, what characters besides Man-At-Arms would you have given a good treatment (bad and good guys)?
    That's an interesting question, and one I'm surprised no one has asked before -- given its tantilizing possibilities.

    First, although I had definite thoughts I will get to in a moment, if Mattel had decided to go along with my plan to return to Eternia in Season Two, I would have strongly urged them to involve N/A fans in the decision process about which characters to bring back there. I believe the fans should have a say in that process, since it is the fans who decide which characters they like and don't like. And second, I just think it would be an awful lot of fun to have fan involvement.

    On the bad side on Eternia, I think it would have been interesting to have one of the Snake Men come to the good side. Wow, imagine that! Of course we'd never know if that shift was made just for the sake of expediency -- i.e., in opposition to Skeletor -- for more malevolent reasons or out of sincereity, which would, of course, make for interesting viewing.

    For me, on the evil side on Primus I would have brought all of the evil characters back to Eternia. Skeletor would naturally feel they would be an asset in his plans to conquer Eternia. For creative reasons, I think it would be great to have all these new evil characters on Eternia. Can you just imagine the internecine battles between the classic MOTU bad guys and N/A's mutants?! Hoo-boy!

    On the good side, I'd leave almost all of the good characters on Primus. With Skelly leaving, He-man's job is done and Primus is safe. The good characters I'd take along would be Staghorn, Sagitar and -- ready for this? -- Sebrian!

    I'd choose Staghorn and Sagitar because I like their aggressive fighting style -- and Lord knows they'll need it when they walk into the battlefield that Eternia has become in He-man's absence. My reason for taking Sebrian is that I feel it would be interesting to take a man of science and thrust him into a world of sword and sorcery and fantasy. I believe there is much that science can learn from that world and much that world could learn from science. I can see interesting plot developments coming from the meeting, friction and coming together of those worlds.

    It's a shame it didn't have a chance to play out.

  9. #59
    Heroic Warrior GR81's Avatar
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    GR81 says:

    Hi
    i am new to this NA of He-man world, but knew it existed.
    Not sut if this was answered since i still dont have my copy of NA and dont want to be spoiled by reading this thread...
    But why was this series called "The New Adventures of He-man" ?
    Also, do u you have any clue as to why Mattel never used the full cartoon name to title their toys?

    Cartoon: He-man and the masters of the universe
    Toy : Masters of the universe

    Cartoon: She-ra: princess of power
    Toy : Princess of power

    Cartoon: The New Adventures of He-man
    Toy: He-man
    GR81 says : You're role... read what GR81 writes!!!

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagar View Post
    I just noticed on the cover of the series bible that there is a name that doesn't turn up anywhere else in the bible or the series; Talon. I was just wondering who that was supposed to be. Was it maybe a first draft name for Clobber, He-Man's bird?
    I dob't recall creating a character named Talon, which leads me to believe the bible was not mine, but an earlier piece of internal developmental material for and by Mattel. I've still not had a chance to look at the series bible in the DVDs as I'm in post-production. But I'll get to it over the weekend and report back.

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    Was the writer of each episode also responsible for writing the life lesson at the end of each episode, or was one person responsible for all of them? Was there any kind of mandate about what kind of lessons/values the show was supposed to pass along to kids?

    I always liked how in the original series, they would draw upon what happened in the episode to make broad points about being a good person, helping others, etc. In New Adventures, it seemed a bit random and overly specific... now kids were getting tips like, "Check the thickness of the ice before going skating" or "Volunteer at your local Red Cross." I don't mean that as a knock against the show; I just found the closing segments to be a bit peculiar.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by JagwarKnight View Post
    Two Qs

    Was the Sword of Power's new abllites created due to Censorship issues?

    and which Skeletor form did you prefer? His first NA look or the Disks of Doom one?
    I started off the Series Bible by saying this was a "kinder, gentler" He-man. While there were no overt censorship issues, it was my own personal feeling that violence was starting to get a bit carried away with children's TV -- this from the guy who went on to create the original development work for POWER RANGERS!!! So I wanted to back-pedal a bit and use a softer filter. That sort of overflowed into all areas of the series.

    Regarding your second question, I favored Disks of Doom, but that's a subjective opinion.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    I started off the Series Bible by saying this was a "kinder, gentler" He-man. While there were no overt censorship issues, it was my own personal feeling that violence was starting to get a bit carried away with children's TV -- this from the guy who went on to create the original development work for POWER RANGERS!!! So I wanted to back-pedal a bit and use a softer filter. That sort of overflowed into all areas of the series.

    Regarding your second question, I favored Disks of Doom, but that's a subjective opinion.
    Thats interesting to me because while i think don't think it was as violent He-man is much more edgey and grouchy I guess then before. Definitily wouldn't call HIM kinder and gentler... maybe the series...

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by GR81 View Post
    GR81 says:

    Hi
    i am new to this NA of He-man world, but knew it existed.
    Not sut if this was answered since i still dont have my copy of NA and dont want to be spoiled by reading this thread...
    But why was this series called "The New Adventures of He-man" ?
    Also, do u you have any clue as to why Mattel never used the full cartoon name to title their toys?

    Cartoon: He-man and the masters of the universe
    Toy : Masters of the universe

    Cartoon: She-ra: princess of power
    Toy : Princess of power

    Cartoon: The New Adventures of He-man
    Toy: He-man
    That's an interesting question.

    I do know the series was so named because 1) the episodes and concept was 'new' and 2) Mattel wanted to distance the series from MOTU. As for the toy-line, I confess I was not aware that they were not called New Adventures until I read your post.

    If this is the case, then I can only speculate as to two possibilities 1) Mattel wanted to keep the original MOTU brand on the toy-line to draw MOTU consumers to it or 2) by the time the toy-line was released Mattel realized their error in disenfrancising the MOTU consumers and this was done in an attempt to appease them.

    Either way, as I said, it's speculation on my part and I'd be interested to hear opinions from other fans. Conspiracy theories are always entertaining.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    Either way, as I said, it's speculation on my part and I'd be interested to hear opinions from other fans. Conspiracy theories are always entertaining.
    I'm thinking that retailers still had a sour taste in their mouths over getting way too much MotU product from Mattel (During the year 1986...they had to offer heavy discounts for quite awhile), and so Mattel wanted to disassociate it from MotU a bit.

    By the way, did you ever pick up Roger Sweet's 2005 book entitled: "Mastering the Universe: He-Man and the Rise and Fall of a Billion-Dollar Idea?" It's not very well written in my opinion, but there's a little New Adventures stuff in there.

  16. #66
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    With regards to Skeletor and the Mutants returning to Eternia in season two, the Sorceress states in "A New Beginning" that "Eternia will be a land without Skeletor."

    Also, with regards to He-Man and the Galactic Guardians returning to an Eternia ruled by a despotic Man-At-Arms in season two, the Sorceress states in "A New Beginning" that "Eternia will be a land of peace."

    How do you reconcile this with your plans for season two?

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Prince of Eternia View Post
    With regards to Skeletor and the Mutants returning to Eternia in season two, the Sorceress states in "A New Beginning" that "Eternia will be a land without Skeletor."

    Also, with regards to He-Man and the Galactic Guardians returning to an Eternia ruled by a despotic Man-At-Arms in season two, the Sorceress states in "A New Beginning" that "Eternia will be a land of peace."

    How do you reconcile this with your plans for season two?
    Which just goes to show you that anyone -- including Sorceresses -- can be wrong.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    I know there's been a lot of debate about this prior to my coming onto the forum. In one of my earliest posts, I gave the definitive answer and I'll give it here: Primus and Eternia are two entirely different planets. That's the way I created them and I did it that way because I didn't want the idea to be derivative of PLANET OF THE APES.

    So that's really the final word on some very interesting conjecture from a lot of N/A fans.
    OK jack, here we go again about Eternia and Primus being one and the same.

    1.) Did you write the bible? I just read it and it says that the remains of Castle Grayskull are located in ruins outside of Levitan.

    So, indeed it seems that Primus and Eternia was meant to be one and the same and makes clear the sequence in the first episode.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanwalker View Post
    OK jack, here we go again about Eternia and Primus being one and the same.

    1.) Did you write the bible? I just read it and it says that the remains of Castle Grayskull are located in ruins outside of Levitan.

    So, indeed it seems that Primus and Eternia was meant to be one and the same and makes clear the sequence in the first episode.
    As I said, I haven't had a chance to look at the Series Bible yet -- I've been recording and editing a mystery/romance novel I'm going to have available for download to MP3 and ipod players next week.

    But I'm almost certain that it is not only not written by me but also not a series bible. I believe it is an early internal development document from Mattel. (BCI, btw, is to be highly commended for having secured this difficult to obtain document. It's certainly a collector's item.)

    Now there's nothing wrong with that document. The development of a television series is a long and serpentine process that can take several years. At the point I was brought in to create the series bible, write thirty-seven episodes and story edit still more, the process had probably been going on at Mattel for over a year. Understand that the development process contains several aspects, from prototypes and finals for the toy-line to development of the creative elements for the television series.

    As in the toy-line, where some action figures may be discarded because they don't test well, similarly in the creative elements, some concepts from the early written development work remains and some are discarded.

    Mattel hired me because I had, even at that time, a long history in the industry. To their credit (at least in my book) they gave me tremendous creative latitude. I kept what I liked, tossed (with their permission) what I didn't and developed all new elements.

    While I don't recall having ever seen anything that said Eternia and Primus were one, it obviously was suggested at some early point. If I had seen that suggestion I would have argued strongly against it because I feel that concept is derivative of PLANET OF THE APES and I don't like the idea of a series I'm working on to be a pastiche.

    In any event, when I worked on the bible I had Eternia and Primus be two separate planets, in keeping with the concept of distancing the N/A line from MOTU...always with the idea of returning to Eternia in Season Two.

  20. #70
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    Agreed.

    I think that is a silly concept as well, just almost Fan-Fiction really.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fsmiler View Post
    I think that is a silly concept as well, just almost Fan-Fiction really.
    Whooooa. Slow down there. There's a lot of excellent writing going on in Fan Fiction. Take a look at Riika, for one, by a very talented writer named Katrina. And there are other interesting entries there. For that matter, even if some of the writing there isn't up with top professional writing, I appreciate the vein in which it is offered -- writings by fans in homage to series they are loyal to. There's a big difference between trying to write an original series and having it be derivative, and writing something that deals with a series you love because you love that series and wish to express that love. In that sense, I take that kind writing as love letters to those series, and anyone associated with those series should be grateful to them. They are a way of keeping the essence of those series alive, the level of expertise notwithstanding.

  22. #72
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    I don't think this question has been asked, but if it has, apologies:

    How much did the live action Masters of the Universe movie influence the New Adventures, if at all?
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  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobubott View Post
    Was the writer of each episode also responsible for writing the life lesson at the end of each episode, or was one person responsible for all of them? Was there any kind of mandate about what kind of lessons/values the show was supposed to pass along to kids?

    I always liked how in the original series, they would draw upon what happened in the episode to make broad points about being a good person, helping others, etc. In New Adventures, it seemed a bit random and overly specific... now kids were getting tips like, "Check the thickness of the ice before going skating" or "Volunteer at your local Red Cross." I don't mean that as a knock against the show; I just found the closing segments to be a bit peculiar.
    Gotta use the old Watergate conspirators' line: "I don't recall at this point in time." It was a long time ago. Of course having written thirty-seven episodes, I do recall writing a lot of them, but I'm not sure if I wrote all of them or the other writers were responsible for their own. So the question is best posed to one of the other writers, like Francis or Kevin or Misty. They'll certainly recall whether or not they wrote their own. Sorry I can't be of more help on this one.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    Gotta use the old Watergate conspirators' line: "I don't recall at this point in time." It was a long time ago. Of course having written thirty-seven episodes, I do recall writing a lot of them, but I'm not sure if I wrote all of them or the other writers were responsible for their own. So the question is best posed to one of the other writers, like Francis or Kevin or Misty. They'll certainly recall whether or not they wrote their own. Sorry I can't be of more help on this one.
    I believe, and I may be wrong, that when I spoke to Steven J. Fisher a couple of years ago (he wrote "Fading Star"), he said that he didn't write a PSA for the episode, just the episode itself.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cringe View Post
    I don't think this question has been asked, but if it has, apologies:

    How much did the live action Masters of the Universe movie influence the New Adventures, if at all?
    No apologies necessary. Take a look at Post #54, part 3 in this thread and Post #47 in the NA He-man Volume One DVD Official Talkback thread.

    It's a dicey question -- and a good one. While I certainly try not to be influenced by other work to the point that I become imitative -- the laziest thing a writer can do and demeaning to one's craft and disrespectful of one's blessings -- it is equally important to be aware of the history of writing in general and the history of the franchise one is dealing with in specific.

    Thus, there's a fine line to be walked between knowing about the background of your characters, yet also trying to make them fresh and new -- otherwise what reason is there for adoing a new series in the franchise?

    I tried to achieve that in my writing on N/A. The decision as to whether or not I succeeded rests, as it should, with the audience. An argument could be made that the fact that the show did not continue beyond sixty-five episodes means it was a failure. On the other hand, sixty-five episodes is equivalent to five seasons (13 episodes each) of a network show, so in a sense it had a five-season run, albeit in one year.

    Yet the reality is that the series was not well received by fans at the time. I've gone into lengthy explanations in other threads as to why I felt this was (justifiably) so and also what I had hoped to do in Season Two. Sadly -- at least for me -- we'll never know how it all would have played out if Mattel had embraced loyal MOTU fans before N/A appeared, told them He-man was not deserting for all time his family and friends, that he would change somewhat because of new challenges, but that we would return to Eternia in Season Two and to please give the new characters a chance.

    However, I must say it is heartening, after all these years, to see some loyal MOTU fans not only giving N/A a chance, but even feeling that it was a pretty good show. I worked very hard on the series, brought my best efforts to bear, and I'm pleased I don't have too many folks out there who still want to string me up by my thumbs.

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