At last one of the best and longest running animated series from the 80's finally makes it to DVD and it's about time too. Jayce And The Wheeled Warriors ran for four seasons, encompassed 65 episodes in total and the first 33 are here on four discs for Volume One.
The story starts when a scientist called Audrick tries to create a plant that would end starvation in the universe. When a nearby sun goes nova and floods his lab with deadly radiation, it causes rapid mutation in all his genetically created plants which begin to change and transform into humanoid warriors.
Audrick escapes with The Root, a magical amulet in two parts which, when combined, could destroy these new plant warriors he calls Monster Minds. He gives one half to his Eternal Squire, the robot Oon, and sends him to find his son Jayce before the Monster Minds realise what Audrick has done.
The Monster Minds, led by the evil Saw Boss set up base in Audrick's lab and learn how to use the equipment there to allow them to transform into battle vehicles. Saw Boss has legions of Saw Troopers, K.O. Troopers, Terror Tanks, Gun Troopers and Meghasaurs which he sends after both Audrick and Jayce.
Oon finds Jayce waiting with his friends for his father but when he tells him what's happened Jayce vows to find his father to unite the Root and destroy the Monster Minds forever. The old wizard Gihlian creates vehicles for Jayce to battle the Monster Minds and helps where he can with his magic. Gihlian worked alongside Audrick to create Flora, a child with both human and plant DNA in her genetic makeup. This means she can communicate with plants and animals and can also talk to her flying fish Brock.
The team is rounded off with Herc Stormsailor, captain of the cargo vessel The Pride Of The Skies II, who is `encouraged' by Gihlian's magic to help them escape in the first episode.
Jayce and his crew take on the name of a heroic band of warriors from the past, The Lightning League, and head out to save the galaxy. With the ship, Armed Force, Drill Sergeant, Spike Trike, Quickdraw and Trailblazer at their disposal, they battle Sawboss' troops across countless planets.
The series has all the classic hallmarks of good sci-fi animation; a true and honest hero, a quest, an evil villain and tales of good versus evil amidst various fantastic planetary backdrops. There is a lot of medieval influences in the show, Gihlian's magic is used almost every episode, Oon is a Knight's Squire in robot form and there are a lot of knights in armour, castles and mythical creatures.
Many episodes have been written by the team behind Babylon 5, including series creator J. Michael Strazynski. In fact his episode Steel Against Shadow was reworked to become the script for the episode in Babylon 5's first season called Infection.
There are bonus features on disc four including original concept art for the show and there are the original scripts for Escape From The Garden by Haskell Barkin and Steel Against Shadow by J. Michael Strazynski.
The show also has a great soundtrack from the strong opening score to some really classic incidental music and great battle themes.
The only problem I have with the discs is that they have put the episodes in a seemingly random order which makes absolutely no sense. The actual order which came from the complete original television broadcasts I have from the 1980's means the list reads as below although the episodes Swamp Witch and Hive World are not on this volume and should be part of season one and two respectively.
The correct order is; 1) Escape From The Garden 2) Ghostship 3) Flora, Fauna And Monster Minds 4) Silver Crusaders 5) Critical Mass 6) Fire And Ice 7) The Sleeping Princess 8) Future Of The Future 9) Blockade Runners 10) Brain Trust 11) Deadly Reunion 12) Lightning Strikes Twice 13) Moon Magic 14) The Vase Of Xiang 15) Affair Of Honour 16) Space Outlaws 17) Frostworld 18) Hook, Line And Sinker 19) Bounty Hunters 20) Double Deception 21) Space Thief 22) Bloodstone 23) The Slaves Of Aldebaron 24) The Hunt 25) Sky Kingdom 26) Unexpected Trouble 27) Gate World 28) Doom Flower 29) The Purple Tome 30) The Stallions Of Sandeen 31) Underwater 32) Shadow Against Steel 33) Quest Into Shadow.
So why not relax and indulge yourself in some of the best sci-fi fantasy animation of the 80's and relive the magic again.
on 13 September 2009
This is pure nostalgia in a box, a slice of childhood given form. wonderful.
This box set contains the first 33 episodes of Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors. What more is there to say?
OK, Ok, there's more. This is a 4 disc box set comprising of 2 slim cases (each containing 2 discs), and a cardboard storage sleeve. To be honest the sleeve is a bit of a pain as it brings nothing to the box set and makes the DVD that little bit wider which squishes the other DVDs on the shelf and makes it harder to get off of a full shelf. I just dumped the sleeve at the back of my cupboard.
The DVD comes with the English language track only, and no subtitles, not even for the hard of hearing. The extras are also a little basic. There is some concept art a couple of episode scripts, but that is it.The DVD is well mastered. No artifacts, no jitters, no corruption.
The video and audio quality is good for the period. It's no Blu-Ray 7.2. But that's probably not what you're after anyway. It looks better than I remember and is better than most of the computer colored cell animation that you get today. Quality and colorwise it beats the pants off of pretty much any American cartoon on TV today, and most Canadian cartoon.
Now for the important part. The episodes are in broadcast order rather than production order so some things are a little bit confused, but otherwise the episodes are there in their full uncut form. No censorship, no silly 4Kids style edits or scene switches, just full unadulterated episode in all of their glory. Absolute gold.
There is no real violence, no nudity and no swearing, so this DVD is suitable for all ages.
on 13 November 2009
This cartoon MADE my childhood . I want to buy this item based on
love alone but i'm worried it'll spoil it . . i watched thundercats
recently and realised how things change !! Jayce was my all-time favourite
though as most kids didn't know about it because of the early weekend showing ,
i used to get up at 6 and watch all kinds of magic . .
on 30 March 2016
I loved this show as a lad! Back in the days when all T.V.s were 21 inches, colour was optional, remote controls were a fangled new thing for rich people and no one had ever heard of widescreen.
I used to scurry downstairs at stupid o'clock on a Sunday morning and watch this wonderful offering from the creator of Babylon 5.
Of course I didn't have a clue what the hell was going on, but it was colourful and noisy and had cool vehicles with things on them and that was enough for me. For a while I thought I just couldn't remember the plot being so young when I'd watched. I just read the plot on Wikipedia and no, I had NO idea what was happening.
But it was fun and I enjoyed it and isn't that point?
on 3 April 2008
Orderd mine a few days ago and arrived today, just looked at some of the cool stuff on the bonus disk.Let's start with the box art, with cartoon/anime styled graphics, and the reverse side has actual snapshots from the show/or particular episode. The bonus material includes the original title name drafts, with lightning league charcters draft/ with painted details, and most of the monsterminds, plus the printable via pc, the original scripts for the 1st and 3rd episode, how cool is that.
Now on to the dvds disc 1/2 cover is cool with a running shot of Jayce from the cover, the back of the cover reveals a shot taken from an episode as background. Those with eagle eyes, as i have just noticed myself if you look at the 4 episode ANIMATION STATIOn released dvd of the same title you will notice that Sawboss on disk 3/4 is the same on the cover but also on the disc, for disc 2. The cover on disc 3/4 has a large sawboss as of previous mentioned 4 episode set, however both discs have HERC/FLORA on them, with a background of Brock.
My personal review of the box set series.
Now the good stuff all 33 episodes of this spectacular and never bested series, the menu is pretty cool being in 3D, giving various visual options once selections are made, which only adds to the appeal of owning this series on dvd! Having watched some of the dvd for quality, it's great. I'm well informed that the final series 34-65, and (possibily) the written but unmade movie may be included when they have completed it, and is available to buy, also there was talk of a movie type cover as well for it's release. Three reasons to buy this series
1 it's got starwars/transformers/inhumanoids, all 70/80's classics,using elements from them, but giving them more character and setting the story out for you, with each episode, as well as the quotes given by each characters normally once per episode.
2 it's got great music in it as intro/end music, but throughout in music cues during and through each and individual episodes, which inhances it.
3 and finally it's got cool vehicles, and cool characters, so you can choose your personel favourite from that.
Overall the box 5/5
dvd covers 4.5/5
dvd contents 5/5
I hope this is use to you, and as Jayce would often say in, and through out the series "LIGHTNING STRIKES"