On the 5th of September 1983 the animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe received its WORLD premiere in the UK! To celebrate 30 YEARS since this historic day I am counting down (on a daily basis) what I believe to be the 30 GREATEST MOMENTS of the Filmation series.
GREATEST MOMENT #18
He-Man reveals that he is blind, thus ending the first act.
"Not so Blind"
Having spoken to a group of children about He-Man, Prince Adam meets Loos, a young blind boy. Loos reveals that he has always wanted to meet He-Man, having heard many stories about the most powerful man in the universe from the storyteller. With this in mind Prince Adam decides to have Loos accompany He-Man on an adventure. A short while later in the hangar of the Royal Palace, Loos meets Ram Man, who takes great delight in hearing from Loos that he is often talked about. He-Man introduces himself to the excited Loos, and proceeds to tell him that they are going on a journey to find the Singing Crystals; and that Loos will be the only boy in Eternia to have touched them. Along the way Loos' heightened other senses are showcased, revealing how he can effortlessly walk to and from any location despite being blind. He-Man, Ram Man, and Loos soon arrive at the Crystal Caves and locate the Singing Crystals. Loos delights in their music, touching the beautiful stalagmites. However, Loos can hear something that the other two cannot...
As the Singing Crystals continue to output a cacophony of beautifully harmonic sounds, Loos' heightened senses pick up on a specific noise. "Do you hear a cracking sound?", asks Loos. Ram Man answers that he doesn't, with He-Man musing that it may have been an echo. Loos hears the sound again, commenting on it once more. This time He-Man looks up and sees a stalactite precariously positioned above all three of them beginning to crack. He-Man grabs Loos and pulls him away, as Ram Man also leaps for safety. The stalactite breaks off and strikes the ground creating an intensely bright flash. Recovering from the experience Ram Man opens his eyes revealing that his pupils have been burned away. A clearly confused Ram Man asks "Hey! Who turned out the lights?" Ram Man begins to panic when he realizes the awful truth, "That flash! It blinded me! I can't see a thing!" He then announces with great terror, "I'm - I'm blind!" Loos, upset by Ram Man's loss of sight, turns to He-Man. Even though the child is blind he senses that something is wrong with the most powerful man in the universe, who is oddly silent. "He-Man, you're all right, aren't you?" When He-Man doesn't answer, a frightened Loos presses his hand against He-Man's chest, pleading for an answer, "He-Man, what's wrong?" He-Man opens his eyes, and much like Ram Man, his pupils have also been burned away. He-Man quietly answers, "Loos, I'm afraid I'm blind, too." And with that chilling revelation, act one comes to an end.
There are many fantastic pieces of writing in this season two episode. However, this dramatic end to the first act of the episode is by far one of the episode's most memorable moments. Cliffhangers are supposed to prevent the audience from changing channel. This cliffhanger not only succeeds in keeping the audience glued to their screens, but also has our minds racing with many questions. Here we have a situation in which the lead character is now blind, along with his allies, in a location they are all unfamiliar with. How will they get home? Will He-Man and Ram Man ever get their sight back? The voice acting from John Erwin as both He-Man and Ram Man, and Erika Scheimer as Loos, is near-perfect. The animation direction also wonderfully gives us expressions appropriate for each piece of dialogue. When the characters look frightened, they really do look frightened! There is a real sense of overwhelming dread when, after a dramatic pause, He-Man reveals that he too is blind. The eerily strange music must be taken into consideration, as it too creates a disheartening atmosphere and a sense of loneliness. As endings to the first act of an episode go, this is one of the best.