The bible was given to the freelance and staff writers for the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series at Filmation Animation Studios in 1983. It is the most fascinating, eye-opening literature you can read about He-Man.
A Series Bible?
Yes, it is a bible. Can you name the first five books of the Bible? Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy? Nope. Wrong bible. The first five books of this bible are Locations, Heroes, Origins, Villains, and Themes. And every television show ever produced has its own bible. The bible, often penned by the series creator, is the foundation of its program. It clearly states the original vision for the new fictional world, and it establishes the principal characters and problems of the show. Bibles are used as guidelines by everyone else involved inproduction to guide them as they try to execute the founding vision. Series bibles are extremely difficult to obtain since they are never released to the public and always remain company property.
How did the He-Man bible come about?
Michael Halperin wrote the Masters of the Universe series bible back in December of 1982. Michael was approached by someone at Mattel who had read a sword and sorcery screenplay he had written. They called Michael in, and this was his first introduction to the toys. Up until this point, Mattel's vision was limited to its two introductory figures, He-Man and Skeletor. Mattel, upon releasing the action figures, received a number of calls and letters from kids who wanted to know who these characters were, where they came from, and who were the bad guys and who were the good guys. Mattel requested that Michael Halperin write the origins of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe as a bible for the television show and for merchandising purposes. Up to that point, all that existed were the toys.
What did Michael Halperin do?
Mr. Halperin basically took two toys, a couple of storylines introduced in mini-comic books, and produced an entire universe out of them. Halperin states, "I read and studied mythology for years, often using it, as well as biblical stories, as the basis for much of the material I wrote for TV and screen--and later in books and plays. I drew on that research in writing the bible. I created the planet Eternia and its geography; the backgrounds of all the characters; how Marlena arrived at Eternia; the Mystic Wall; the transformation of Grayskull; and created the notion of Snake Mountain. Everything you see in the bible (except for the vehicles and weapons) was my creation." Pretty amazing, huh?
What's in the bible?
Read it. This is the most intense and important reading you will ever do from the Masters of the Universecanon. It charts out the geography of Eternia, maps the histories of its inhabitants, and establishes the good versus evil scenario in breathtaking clarity. These are the original ideas that fashioned the series--not to mention the toys, books, and memorabilia--that we loved as children and continue to enjoy as adults. The bible will reveal concepts that were never expressed to the public, including the moment when Adam first accepts the Power Sword from the Sorceress. You'll also learn what the Secret of Castle Grayskull is, and you will discover the evil world of Infinita. So much that is unknown is revealed to us by the series bible. Did you know that Evil-Lyn, Beast Man, and Tri-Klops were originally astronauts on Queen Marlena's space ship?
What happened to the bible?
This bible was given to the freelance and staff writers for the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series at Filmation Animation Studios in 1983. It was originally meant as a guide so they knew how the characters were supposed to act. The obvious similarities in this bible with the first few episodes are noticeable. It is also strange to see that some stories never made it to the actual series. The origins of He-Man, Skeletor, and the early origins of Castle Grayskull were all left to the imaginations of the show's audience. Of course, these origins did make it to some of the books produced under Mattel's name, but Filmation never really attempted to make episodes of these great origins. Also, origins such as Cringer's are obviously very different, as Filmation turns the bible's simple origin into an entire episode focusing on how Cringer and Battle Cat came to be in the 1985 episode "Battlecat." At times it is good that the series broke away from the series bible, but you cannot help feeling that this bible is what the cartoon should have been more like. Almost definitely, He-Man's second season was not really linked to the series bible, and the first season episodes were now the bible for the show.
So what now?
Read it!! This is the most fascinating, eye-opening literature you can read about He-Man. This is one treasure the law ought to require every He-Fan to read.
December 1, 1982
|In the beginning, God created Eternia...||and He said it would have the Vine Jungle...||and the Plain of Perpetua and the Sands of Time...||and the Mystic Mountains and the Harmony Sea...||and, of course, royalty.||There are portals and pure goodness,||but there lies the evil planet Infinita.||The Infinitans invade the Hall of Wisdom.||The Council of Elders discusses a hero.||The Council becomes a flashing light...||that forms Castle Grayskull.||Each generation has its own Man-At-Arms.||On Earth, a cast of characters board a space shuttle.||Blastoff!||The ship hits a rip in space, and Marlena crashes.||Marlena meets Randor.||Marlena's fellow astronauts mutate on Infinita, where Skeletor emerges.||Snake Mountain, my humble home.||Prince Adam is born.||Zoar summons Man-At-Arms.||Call her Teela.||Teela and Adam grow up together.||Adam and Teela's 18th birthday party.||Skeletor opens a portal on Infinita.||Adam toasts Duncan and Teela.||Sorceress beckons Man-At-Arms again.||Man-At-Arms takes Adam to the mythological Castle Grayskull.||Skeletor, Beast Man, Evil-Lyn, Tri-Klops, and Mer-Man invade Eternia.||Adam and Duncan go through the Evergreen Forest to find Grayskull.||They enter the castle's jaw-bridge.||The Sorceress explains about the destined champion.||Behold, the Sword of Power.||Sorceress tells Adam his awesome responsibilities.||"By the Power of Grayskull!"||He-Man emerges.||Sorceress leads He-Man into a secret chamber.||The secret of Grayskull.||Skeletor attacks The Royal Palace.||He-Man and Man-At-Arms race to the rescue.||Captain of the Guard Teela joins them.||The heroes speculate about the dangers.||A battle royal ensues.||He-Man versus Skeletor for the first time.||Victory is ours, but not for long.||Fighters for justice include Gorpo (the pre-Orko),||Stratos, Ram Man, Man-E-Faces,||Lizard Man, Spy Man (pre-Mekaneck), and Bugoff (pre-Buzz-Off).||Vehicles include the Wind Raider, the Battle Ram, the Attak Trak,||Talon Fighter, Tri-Trak (pre-Road Ripper), and the Roton.||The villains include Trap Jaw, Faker,||Black Widow (pre-Webstor), Fang Man, and Chopper (pre-Jitsu). The vehicles; Tornado Traveler, War Sled,||and Grinder (pre-Land Shark). Conclusion.|