Dungeons & Dragons TV


New Member
Dungeons & Dragons

This was made in a sudden burst of curiousity from my own side and interest. It is an old series I grew up with but remains to be fun when I saw pictures of it and read the script of the unproduced final movie. For those who already know the series but are unfamiliar with how it ended, scroll to the bottom until you reach red letters. For those who don't know the series and want to see it after reading this; don't read beyond the red letters.

Have fun reading

Dungeons & Dragons is an Animated television series, or a cartoon, if you please from the 80s. The series were immense popular in numerous countries with Brazil having the biggest fanbase. It started in 1983, shortly before I was born and ended in 1985 but remained popular in the late 90s and early 2000. The series started in the United States but quickly grew in reputation.


Dungeons & Dragons TV are one of the many TV series aimed at a younger audience which really caught my interest, as it did to my seven year older brother. As you may assume with the name of the series, Dungeons & Dragons is related to the board game which shares a similar name. There are numerous games that follow the (A)D&D (short for (Advanced) Dungeon & Dragons) rules. Somewhat well known titles of games would be Ice Wind Dale, Baldurs Gate, Neverwinter Nights and the game that competed Baldurs Gate for the title, Planescape: Torment. All four worthy of a slot of being games that could be considerd classics for their superb gameplay.

Despite that Dungeons & Dragons TV started in the early eighties, the series could be considerd a classic because most people know it. The series is focused on a younger audience, but offered more than the regular series in that time; which isn't very special now anymore. The actions and dialogs were of a different level compared to other shows and not always only focused on a younger audience. It was not unusual for members of the band to lose hope or break down in tears, only to be comforted by others, or reinvigorated through good works. The level of violence was controversial for children's television at the time and one single episode was nearly banned. In 1985 the National Coalition on Television Violence claimed it was the most violent show on network television.


Hank and his powerful magical bow.

Dungeons & Dragons follows six children from the age of 8 to 15 who are accidentally (or not; that's part of the show) transported to the realm of D&D by the use of a roller coaster at a fairground. When they appear in the fantasy world, they immediately face a giant dragon, which is well known in D&D style as possible the most fearsome creature that exists; and not just a dragon, possibly the strongest one that exists; one with five heads: Tiamat - named after the Babylonian mythology. Both Tiamat as the main characters from Dungeons & Dragons TV make a brief appearance in PC game, Baldurs Gate II Shadow of Amn where a poster can be found where it says that the characters of the show have been eaten by the fearsome dragon.
In order for the six children to survive in the fantasy world, the Game Master, a short old demi-god-like man aids them by each giving fitting armory and clothes to defend them selves. Each of these items reflects the personality somewhat of the character, which will be explained later. Just like every series that is focused on a younger audience, the adventures the six children face often involves helping others, but never will it be denied that their main goal is to return to their own world. With the aid of the Game Master, who shows up every now and then to give yet another hint which doesn't make sense until the quest is finished. From the first time the Game Master makes an appearance, it is already clearly shown that his powers has no equal and perhaps even Tiamat could not face him.
In D&D rules, the Game Master is the person who creates the game and therefore the strongest being; but in truth, that being does not exist. In the TV series, they materialized him and gave him a role to play - and a large one too. It is impossible to say how mighty the Game Master really is; but it is true that he is not capable of doing everything. During the adventures, it is proven several times that the Game Master could not help the children.


Venger on his flying horse.

The children are in a small group of six people who are all friends of each other and all with a completely different personality, which makes them all unique. Just like many series based on a younger audience, the main characters are all children with two boys of fifteen who lead the way - the youngest being eight. But living in extreme enviroments often force people to mature quickly and therefore it is often hard to say how old the characters are in truth. They all keep a childish touch throughout the series, though it is clear to see that the decisions they make mature as the show nears the end.
For those who are familiar with D&D rules will quickly conclude what kind of classes are necessary to form a good team. Unimportantly if you watch for entertainment, but every class has been adjusted fairly well to support the other. But where you can search or obtain items in D&D games, the children in the series only keep the powerful magical items given by the Game Master at the beginning of the series.


Dungeon Master

The party exists out of six children. One of them, named Hank, obtains a powerful bow and gains a class similar to the Ranger. The bow is able to shoot arrows of light (possibly lightning) and is used to harm the opponent. It could also burst into the air to create a flash of light to brighten the enviroment - a similar use as a flare. Hank also leads the group and is the oldest, and possibly most mature of six. The Ranger from the group is one of the two characters who makes an appearance in PC-game, Baldurs Gate II.
The second in the row would be Eric, the typical spoiled brat from a rich family and definitely not afraid to show it. Eric obtains the Cavalier class (part of the Paladin) and gains a powerful magical shield as equipment that can protect both himself and his party members by creating an immense forcefield that can even protect from powerful magic and dragon breath. Despite Eric's boasting, he is much of a coward and often cowers away behind his shield. But in truth, in particular situations he is able to step in at the front row and helps out in every way he can.
The third in the row would probably be Diane, a dark girl who is a year younger than both Hank and Eric. She is an acrobatic character who apparently is a olympic-level gymnastics practitioner. With a magical staff/javelin, she is able to make good use of her skills. She is not much of a leader like Hank and absolutely not a coward like Eric - as a matter of fact, she is quite brave - but makes a nice balance.
The fourth in the row would probably be Sheila, the Thief in the party. This caused quite a commotion at the network. A thief in a children show? But in truth, her class as a Thief is quite an overstatement. She doesn't live up to that class and often succumbs to pressure. The equipment she obtained is the famous Cloak of Invisibility which not only appears in nearly every D&D game, but also in non-D&D games. When she has the cape around her and the cap on, she is indetictable.
The fifth in the party is the wizard; a mage, Presto. The boy is of a similar age of Diane and lacks self-confidence, which is the most important part of his equipment - a magical hat. The hat is almost capable of everything but does not always appear to be useful. He is able to pull all sorts of items from it, but often these will be, or at least appear to be of little use. For instance, in one encounter, they are being plagued by giant hornets. His hat produced an electric fan, which he thinks is useless until it blows the malevolent insects away.
The last in the list is the younger brother of Sheila, Bobby, the Babarian of the team and his pet Unicorn, Uni. Bobby has a giant magical club is capable of causing earthquakes and shockwaves when used right. He is, by far, the most powerful of the group but lacks much because of being much, much younger than the others in the group on the age of eight.


Eric: Come on, the least I can do is find Venger's Key and get you two home.

The story unfolds nearly similar to many other children shows with the main characters helping other people in order to come closer to their goal. Or so it seems. With the Game Master's mysterious riddles, the hunting of the children's nemesis, Venger and the children's desperateness to go home the shows contains few surprises. But remains entertainable for a younger audience and a fair number of episodes which will even interest young adults. When I was seventeen or eightteen, I happened to watch an episode of the series again and was surprised by my own excitement of watching it.

One episode has had a lot of suffering in the series which was the reason it was nearly banned. In the episode The Dragon's Graveyard, the show starts that the main enemy of the children, Venger destroys yet another attempt for them to go home. In order to prevent this from happening, the children are bend on getting rid of Venger once and for all. To do this, they made a pact with the only creature Venger fears: Tiamat. The episode is a heavy one and would not be very fit for a younger audience because of the dialogs and action. For this - and that it was related to murder - it was nearly banned from TV. In the end, it got through.

Despite that I grew up with this series, several years ago I caught a few glimpses from it. Even though it aged and is not half as unique as modern series, it still is a reasonable series that deserves a fair piece of respect. Dungeons & Dragons is a classic and will always be.


The Roller Coaster which started the entire show.

From here on it is a personal opinion. For those who have seen the show before, read this; if not, I suggest to stop reading here now.

On the day this is written, I suddenly got a spark of interest in the series again. Despite that I have seen the series a hunderd times in the past, I could never recall how it ended - so I decided to search it up. I found out that the reason why I couldn't recall how it ended was because the ending was never shown on TV. The ending was a movie that was never broadcasted - it was on the radio, but on TV - on TV and never licensed. The final episode, or rather movie, is called Requiem and finishes the job it started.
It was never possible to really grab a hold of Dungeon Master's power because you could not see a limit to it. He was powerful enough to direct the children in the right direction all the time, but was it always in their benefit? Like Venger mentions in the final movie, "Seeing him as the good guy, and me as the evil guy, isn't it just beneficial to you?" and "Haven't you noticed he always got you into battle?" he also asks - for once - the aid of the children. Suddenly Venger is the good guy and Dungeon Master the bad guy. But what does Dungeon Master really know about the children going home? Was he powerful enough to bring them home himself with his tremendous power? I will answer those questions with facts shortly.

The question I just asked: "Can Dungeon Master return the kids home them selves," the answer to that is simple: Yes, he can. But that wasn't his intention. He tells them that in Requiem when the portal opens one last time.
Because final movie was never shown, no one ever knew what exactly happened and a lot was guessed. However, the creator of the final movie, Requiem has decided to put the final movie up himself. Or at least, the script. And after reading it, I understand why it wasn't shown on national television. The movie is different from the show and relates to the nearly banned episode The Dragon's Graveyard. With events that didn't happen before that; main characters attacking each other and possible deaths of the main characters (Eric, Hank, Presto, Sheila and Venger). Still, it remains a children series and these should be taken lightly. Main characters never die in children stories - this is no exception. But with slightly adjusted personalities of the characters in the final movie because of the events (Presto being able to perform well under pressure and saves the life of his companions several times; Eric overcoming his fear; Hank finally snapping; Dungeon Master and Venger finally showing their true nature; Eric finally showing that he can be more, MUCH more than just being a spoiled brat, but willing to sacrifice his life for his friends; and more) and with barely to no loose ends. The movie was perfect. The only thing that I left wondering was Tiamat, but that is not of importance. The story tells about the children (or actually, Venger, but that is only explained in Requiem), not about Tiamat. Besides that, Tiamat is a dragon (five headed!) and I don't even want to imagine how old those things can become. But I must admit being curious what would have happened with Tiamat.

Creator of the final movie, Requiem, Michael Reaves (also known from Batman) posted the script on his own site. This can be found here in a pdf file. For those who liked the series, the chance is likely that it will not be disappointing.