TV Review – Masters of the Universe 200X – Episode 11: “Turnabout”
Original Air Date: 15th November 2002
Writer: Len Uhley
Director: Gary Hartle
“Are you saying… that I can never scheme again?”
Turnabout kicks off with a hilariously long opening ‘zoom’ sequence which lasts well over a minute, before taking us to Skeletor and the Evil Warriors trying to get their hands on the Diamond Ray of Disappearance (a neat callback to the very first episode of the Filmation series from back in 1983). Rather predictably, their plan is well and truly thwarted by He-Man and the Masters, but a throwaway comment by Ram-Man gives Man-at-Arms the idea of using the mystical waters of Lake Vortex to construct a belt which will weaken Skeletor every time he even thinks of doing an evil deed.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a little goofiness from time to time, but this episode lays it on a little too thickly for my tastes. The idea of Skeletor’s inherent evil being negated by what is effectively a magical belt is a solid one, but when the execution includes moments like the rest of the Evil Warriors making fun of him to get a reaction while he pretends to be super nice to avoid getting shocked, it all gets a little too silly for me.
Don’t get me wrong, there are few interesting themes here, such as the ongoing ‘tech war’ between Man-at-Arms and Tri-Klops as they continually go back and forth with their various inventions and innovations, and I particularly enjoyed the idea of a rival device being created to turn He-Man’s heroism against him – even if it does end up being unsuccessful simply because He-Mans goodness is just too good – but the central premise of this episode is way too hokey for this particular fortysomething MOTU fan. It also doesn’t help that the animation throughout is fairly so-so, without much in the way of real meat for the MYP team to sink their teeth into.
This is easily my least favourite episode of the series so far, although in fairness, it’s probably one I’d have absolutely loved if I’d seen it as a kid. Your individual mileage will definitely vary, and there are some admittedly funny moments along the way, but this is an emphatic thumbs down for me.
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The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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