View Poll Results: How do you rate "The Gamesman" out of 10 (with 10 being the highest)

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Thread: "The Gamesman" classic episode review thread

  1. #1
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    "The Gamesman" classic episode review thread

    Argh. I must catch up with posting my own reviews to the review threads that I start!!
    Anyway, this week's selection is another early season two episode, "The Gamesman", a non-Skeletor story that seems liked by some, loathed by others.

    Brief plot overview:
    At the Royal Palace, the visiting Lord Todd impresses the Heroic party with his charm and magic. His visit over, he asks Teela to accompany him back to his desert home, Castle Star. As He-Man is sorting out a giant creature that Orko and Cringer mistakenly believe to be a menace, Teela finds that Lord Todd is not as nice as he makes himself out to be, and wants her to take the place of Queen in his intergalactic, life-size chess set...

    Let's here what you have to say on this episode.
    I might even get around to review it myself when I've waded through the reviews that I'm behind on!
    And whether you post your thoughts or not, don't forget to rate the episode in the poll!
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  2. #2
    80s cartoon guru manny's Avatar
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    all i can say is that this is one of the eps i hate with a passion and those r not many thankgoodness. i give it a 0
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  3. #3
    Hun
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    One of my all time favourite episodes. I like Lord Todd. I love the fact that he doesn't consider himself evil, but an artist. That was so twisted when he said that and that he wanted Teela to be a part of a chess game. I remember when I was a kid i thought it was so creepy when he removed his face and we saw his alien look. I still remember the lines: You broke your word, what kind of a man are you? I am not a man at all!!! So creepy. I consider this episode one of the darkest of one season two. It's well written and great in so many ways. I also felt so much for Moak, even as a kid... SO this episode is memberable. 10 out of 10.

  4. #4
    ***ern Antiquarian Mosquitor's Avatar
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    I like this episode... at first glance it would seem to have 'average episode' written all over it (it's a non-Skeletor episode, features a one-shot villain who we know we're not gonna see in any more episodes, the basic plot of 'supposedly good guy turns out to be evil' seems cliched) yet it's just handled so well that it comes across much better than most of the series. The villain is much more well-rounded and developed than most other one-shot villains, the regular cast are on top form, the action sequences never become boring and there's a real sense of drama and suspense throughout the episode. I remember Zadoc Angell saying in his review of this episode that if all episodes of MOTU had been handled this way, the whole series would have been much better. I totally agree. There were far too many 'average' episodes of the show that had a potentially dramatic premise but were completely wasted due to lazy writing and directing... with this episode you just get the feeling they really put in the effort to make something good, and did a fantastic job. 9/10.
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  5. #5
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    "The Gamesman" review

    Woah, two reviews from me in one evening, *finally* catching up with them. Now if I can just type this one out and then now accidentally lose it all (as with my review of "The Huntsman"!)

    "The Gamesman" is what at first seems a rather average early second season, non-Skeletor episode, but has a number of things that make it more enjoyable than it might first appear to offer.

    The episode begins with what is most probably the corniest opening of the entire series, with Adam, Teela, Orko and Cringer rushing to the aid of King Randor, who is in "a dangerous position" with certain defeat... blah blah blah... and turns out to be engaged in a game of chess.

    He is playing against the visiting Lord Todd, whose design is recycled from the Sideshow Master in the tail-end season one episode "The Heart of a Giant", making the design recycled very close to it's original incarnation. Almost straight off, out MOTU instincts tell us that Lord Todd is not all he seems.

    Lord Todd takes off for his desert home, Castle Star, with Teela as his guest, in a Talon Fighter. This is rather confusing - Normally it appears that only the Heroic Warriors have access to Talon Fighters, not to mention that Lord Todd is later revealed to be from another dimension. The conclusion that I came to was that it was on loan from the Royal Palace, but as Lord Todd knew the way and Teela was his guest, he took the controls. But then, I have way too much time to think about such trivial matters! Either way, it is one of just a very few instances when the Talon Fighter appears in the series.

    Meanwhile, He-Man investigates the giant underground 'monster' that 'attacked' Orko and Cringer, who turns out to be the harmless, mole-like Moak, who is short sighted. You know, by this point, Orko had met a number of beings who appeared to be monsters but turned out to be nice, yet ol' Orko was still very judgmental!

    By this time, the series was maybe overdoing it with "cutesy" characters as opposed to MOTU's barbarian origins, but I have to confess, I like the way Moak is presented. You really feel that he is a gentle giant. I also like that he communicates telepathically, as talking out loud might have seemed a bit cartoon-y.

    I like how, at this point in the story, the two plots, of Lord Todd and Moak, are unrelated, making Eternia seem a more fleshed out world, not just streamlined around one adventure.

    There is a nice moment when He-Man comments to Battle Cat that there are some that might find him (Battle Cat) pretty frightening, to which Cat replies "Who, me??".

    When Lord Todd has revealed his sinister intent to Teela and Man-At-Arms, tipped off by the Sorceress, tries to come to the rescue, Lord Todd unleashes his robots on him... which are identical to Skeletor's robots! First a Talon Fighter, now Skeletor's robots... okay, my solution for this one - Lord Todd must have stolen the design, or reprogrammed a stray squad. Either way, Man-At-Arms tries to fend them off with his occasionally seen light saber. No other name for it, it's a direct light saber rip off!

    From the start we knew there was more to Lord Todd than met the eye, but it is still somewhat of a surprise when he removes his mask, revealing himself to be a hideous being from another dimension. The only thing that niggles me about this reveal is that the head of Todd's true form is much larger than the mask that he pulls off, making it physically impossible.

    With Lord Todd taking off with Teela, leaving He-Man and Man-At-Arms trying to get through a door made of Eternium, too strong for the Power Sword to get through, Moak accidentally surfaces in Lord Todd's castle, and there is some nice dialogue as the gentle giant humbly apologises are tries to patch up the damage; But he has arrived at just the right time, as He-Man gets him to tunnel under the door. Of course, in other episodes, He-Man would have done this himself, with one of Filmation's "silly He-Man feats" (tm), but I find the solution presented here FAR more satisfying.

    The background(s) of Todd's dimension are taken from the first season episode "The Taking of Grayskull".

    Once He-Man has rescued Teela from Lord Todd's dimension and the Heroic trio are outside, the castle disappears. It would have been better if it had just disappeared around them when they were inside in my opinion, but I'm being picky now.

    At the end of the story, Moak is celebrated for his bravery, even if we do have to endure him with a pair of glasses on!

    I really like this adventure. It seems at first to be an average, non-Skeletor story, but it is very enjoyable. I like how the two plots, of Lord Todd and Moak, eventually tie in to each other (even if it is a bit of a coincidence); and the episode presents a good contrast, of Moak, who appears to be a monster but turns out to be kind hearted, and Lord Todd, who at first seems nice, but turns out to be evil. It also has a "beware of strangers" tone. I rank it as one of the best non-Skeletor episodes of the second season.
    All-in-all, I give this one... the upper end of the 8 scale --- no, dammit, I've got to give it a 9.
    Last edited by Spacedust; March 5, 2007 at 09:10pm. Reason: missed a word, d'oh
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  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior discoman800's Avatar
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    I like episodes in things where they come up with another idea for the villian rather than the standard villian in the series. I think it shows creativity and keeps the show interesting rather than going what stupid thing is skeletor or mummra or whoever going to do now that results in them getting there butt whopped. I would give it an 8ish or so

  7. #7
    MOTUC fan! Evil_Horde's Avatar
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    I like this episode but it is nothing exceptional, voted 7

  8. #8
    Heroic Italian Warrior PaoloKr's Avatar
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    Just a good episode. Nothing special.
    The gleam of the Power Sword lights your way as you enter the fantastic world of Eternia...

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