TV Review – Masters of the Universe 200X – Episode 13: “Night of the Shadowbeasts”

Original Air Date: 22nd November 2002
Writer: Michael Reaves
Director: Gary Hartle

In this episode, Beastman proves his worth by offering up an army of Shadowbeasts to help Skeletor in his latest doomed attempt at seizing the secrets of Grayskull for himself. Assisted by a little volcanic manipulation which produces a massive ash cloud, blocking out the sun, The Shadowbeasts lay siege to both the Palace and the Castle, prompting the Masters – including Ram-Man, who we discover has an almost paralysing fear of the dark – to try and fend them off.

This is a solid enough episode that introduces a new threat in the form of the Shadowbeasts (who would make their return in the Revelation Netflix series almost two decades later), but the bulk of the actual conflict is fairly generic and uninspiring.  He-Man and Skeletor have their traditional showdown outside of Grayskull, which goes almost exactly like you’d expect, but for me, the most interesting part of this episode is the subplot with Ram-Man overcoming his fear of the dark to save Teela. While he’s often utilised as comic relief, it’s nice to see a little more depth to the character and his more heroic traits being given the chance to shine through.

Outside of this, and a brief, intriguing glimpse as Beastman’s menagerie in Snake Mountain, this episode never really kicks things into high gear. And, while it’s not awful by any stretch, it’s definitely one of the more forgettable episodes we’ve had so far. It isn’t really much to write home about visually either, mainly due to the fact that the bulk of the run time takes place in the dark, making the already washed-out colours appear even more drab than usual. The Shadowbeasts are hulking chunks of black and dark blue, and while the muted tones work well during Teela and Ram-Man’s underground exploits, the whole thing lacks the energy and vibrancy often associated with this show.

All in all, a fairly forgettable episode outside of a few fun moments and some intriguing Ram-Man character development. Solid, but nothing more.

Full Masters of the Universe (2002-2004) Review ArchiveCLICK HERE


The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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