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Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light
Visionaries Visionaries title screen
Genre Sci-fi / Fantasy /Animation
Created by Flint Dille
Voices of Susan Blu
Peter Cullen
Jim Cummings
Roscoe Lee Browne
Jennifer Darling
Bernard Erhard
Jonathan Harris
Chris Latta
Michael McConnohie
Hal Rayle
Neil Ross
Beau Weaver
Narrated by Malachi Throne
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 13
Production
Running time 22 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Syndication
Original run September 21, 1987 – December 14, 1987

Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light was originally a range of action figures from Hasbro, released in 1987. This action figure range was promoted by two different media, telling the stories of the characters. The better known of the two was a half hour animated television series made by Sunbow Productions in the same year, but there was also a comic book series issued by Star Comics. The toyline was not a big success, which led to both the series and the comic being cancelled after a very short run. The comic lasted only 6 issues, and was cancelled halfway through a four-part storyline. The animated series lasted one season of 13 episodes, and was not picked up for a second. However, the series garnered enough retrospective popularity for a limited DVD release.

Contents

Characters

Set on the planet Prysmos, the Visionaries consist of two groups of knights — the Spectral Knights and the Darkling Lords, both of whom have their magical powers gifted from Merklynn after successfully completing a quest to reach Merklynn's shrine on Iron Mountain. Each character had a different animal totem power that reflects their personality by allowing the knight to temporarily transform into that animal.

Some knights have power staffs with different powers such as destruction and can be activated by reciting a special verse. Any staff-wielding knight can activate any staff, as long as he casts the spell properly. In one episode, Darkstorm made use of Leoric's staff, while in another, Cryotek used three different power staffs; his own, and those of Witterquick and Cindarr. In the comics, the staffs could be used as many times as needed, without any need to recharge them, but in the cartoon, only one use was permitted before they needed to return to Iron Mountain to recharge them - which caused a lot of tension, particularly on the part of Darkstorm.

The knights without staffs can infuse vehicles with magical powers, such as the Dagger Assault vehicle's magical dungeon (Darkling Lords). Unlike the power staffs, however, there is no limit on vehicle usage. Also, the spells given for the vehicles on the boxes of the toys were never used in either the comics or the series. In the comics, the female knights had shields which worked the same way as the staffs, but in the TV series they did not, and in "The Power Of The Wise", Virulina was seen piloting the Sky Claw. Galadria was also seen in "Horn Of Unicorn, Claw Of Dragon" doing some repair/maintenance work on the Capture Chariot. Any vehicle-driving knight can drive any vehicle, and both Feryl and Ectar have been seen operating the Dagger Assault.

When the Darkling Lords first discovered the vehicles, Darkstorm wanted the honour of piloting the Sky Claw himself, but it didn't work; he explained "the engine works but the magic avoids me!" Reekon's response was, "it appears that any Visionary can pilot a vehicle, but Mortdredd and I are your only knights who can breathe magic into the metal." In the case of the Dagger Assault, driven by Reekon, things are more confusing, as in some episodes it is not clear who is driving, or, if it is indeed Reekon, where he is driving it from. Normally, he drives it from one of the two frontal compartments, but in "Feryl Steps Out", he is in the Dagger Dart while Darkstorm and Virulina are in the frontal compartments, and stranger still is "The Power Of The Wise" in which Darkstorm and Cravex are in those two sections while it is Lexor in the Dagger Dart.

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Spectral Knights

Headed by New Valarak's leader Leoric, the Spectral Knights are magic users who use magic for the purposes of good; they are the protagonists of the series.

Character Description Totem Voice Performer
Leoric Leader of the Spectral Knights and prince of New Valarak. The first issue of the comic identifies him as originally being the mayor of that city during the Age of Science. He possesses the totem of the Lion and his Power Staff bestows the Power of Wisdom. Lion Neil Ross
Magical power: Wisdom - "Whispered secrets of a shattered age, I summon you: renew this sage!"
Ectar Leoric's lieutenant (within New Valarak). Before the Great Cataclysm, he was a policeman in the City of Valarak, often matching wits against a master thief named Reekon who later becomes a Darkling Lord. He possesses the totem of the Fox. He has no totem staff but is one of the knights able to power vehicles. His main vehicle of choice is the Lancer Cycle. In the comics, this held the Power of Protection. Fox Michael McConnohie
Magical power: Protection - "Shield this craft from one and all. Reflect, deflect, depose and fall!" - this spell was never actually used in either the cartoon or the comic.
Feryl The youngest of the Spectral Knights. Like Ectar and Leoric, he lives in New Valarak. He possesses the totem of the Wolf. He has no totem staff but boasts an additional ability to activate vehicles. His main vehicle is the Capture Chariot. In the comics, this held the Power of Fire. Wolf Beau Weaver
Magical power: Fire - "Draw upon the breath of stars, And scorch the sky with fiery scars!" - this spell was never actually used in either the cartoon or the comic.
Cryotek The oldest of the group. He hails from the northern city of Northalia which has a cold climate. He possesses the totem of the Bear and his totem staff bestows the Power of Strength. His main adversary among the Darkling Lords is Cindarr. Bear Bernard Erhard
Magical power: Strength - "Three suns aligned pour forth their light and fill the archer's bow with might!"
Witterquick Hailing from an unnamed city in the south, he possesses the totem of the Cheetah and his totem staff bestows the Power of Lightspeed. Although Ectar is Leoric's no2 within New Valarak, it is Witterquick giving the orders and keeping the others in line during Leoric's absence in the episode "Lion Hunt". One of the original scripts, and one of the comics, spells his name as two words, "Witter Quick", and in another episode, he is addressed just as "Witter". Cheetah Jim Cummings
Magical power: Light Speed - "Sheathe these feet in the driving gale, Make swift these legs o'er land I sail!"
Arzon "Arzon, when it was necessary to fly, you found wings" (Merklynn). He possesses the totem of the Eagle and his totem staff imparts the Power of Knowledge. He is one of the youngest Spectral Knights and can be quite impetuous, optimistic, and eager to help despite the danger. Eagle Hal Rayle
Magical power: Knowledge - "A whim, a thought, and more is sought. Awake my mind; thy will be wrought!"
Galadria The only female knight among the Spectral Knights, hailing from Androsia. She possesses the totem of the Dolphin. Galadria is the love interest of Cryotek. She never gained a spell staff, but in the comic books she gained a spell shield (a circular buckler), granting her the Power of Healing. Dolphin Susan Blu
Magical power: Healing - "By warmth of heart, your pain I feel. Grant me the power, your wounds to heal!"

Darkling Lords

Headed by Darkstorm, the Darkling Lords use their powers for selfish aims and are fittingly considered the antagonists of the series.

Character Description Totem Voice Performer
Darkstorm The leader of the Darkling Lords. Even before receiving his totem powers, he commanded the allegiance of Reekon and Mortdredd. He secures the allegiance of the other members of his group when finding them caught in a trap during the quest to Merklynn's shrine, having them swear loyalty to him in exchange for freeing them. He bears the totem of the Mollusk and his power staff holds the Power of Decay. The cartoon showed he also had a secondary power to reverse his own Decay. Mollusk Chris Latta
Magical power: Decay - "By what creeps, what crawls, by what does not, Let all that grows recede and rot!"
Decay Reversal - "Power of rot, obscuring truth, What once was old restore to youth!"
Reekon A career thief during the Age of Science, Reekon serves Darkstorm for primarily mercenary reasons. For his stealth and treachery, Merklynn awards him the totem of the Lizard. During both the Age of Science and the Age of Magic, Reekon finds himself engaging in a battle of wits against Ectar. They have a professional rivalry and mutual respect for one another. Reekon has no totem staff but has the ability to power vehicles. His main vehicle is the Dagger Assault, which features a containment cell that serves as a Magic Extractor. Lizard Roscoe Lee Browne
Magical power: Magic Extractor - "Flay the flesh, lay bare the bone. Upon this field, let grief be sown!" - this spell was never actually used in either the cartoon or the comic.
Mortdredd Darkstorm's most loyal Darkling Lord. An unapologetic sycophant, Mortdredd is utterly devoted to Darkstorm. He possesses the totem of the Beetle, and like Reekon has the ability to power vehicles. His main vehicle is the aerial vehicle known as the Sky Claw, which has the power of Flight. His name is likely based on Mordred Beetle Jonathan Harris
Magical power: Flight - "Wings of steel shall ride the breeze. Invade the air, the land, the seas!" - this spell was never actually used in either the cartoon or the comic.
Cindarr Previously a construction worker during the Age of Science, Cindarr is the oldest in the group and his main adversary is Cryotek. He is considered the most dim-witted of the Darkling Lords, occasionally displaying kindness toward others which exasperates his fellow Darkling Lords, which shows Cindarr not as evil, but following the oath he made to Darkstorm. Cindarr bears the totem of the Gorilla and his power staff invokes the Power of Destruction. For the record, the "reverse destruction" spell that used to be listed on this page was never used in either the TV series or the comic books. Gorilla Peter Cullen
Magical power: Destruction - "By nature's hand, by craft, by art, What once was one now fly apart!"
Cravex The most short-tempered of the Darkling Lords, Cravex bears the totem of the phylot (a dinosaur-like scavenging bird on the planet of Prysmos) and his power staff invokes the Power of Fear. Phylot Chris Latta
Magical power: Fear - "Oh mist-filled pits, dark, dank, unclear, Touch all before me with frost-fingered fear!"
Lexor He possesses the totem of the Armadillo and his power staff offers the Power of Invulnerability. Lexor is generally regarded as a liar and a coward. Armadillo Michael McConnohie
Magical power: Invulnerability - "The arrows turn, the swords rebel, Let nothing pierce this mortal shell!"
Virulina Prior to the Age of Magic, Virulina was a newscaster, and was also seen on a poster modelling clothes in a shop window during a flashback scene. She is the only female Darkling Lord, and possesses the totem of the Shark. Her main adversary is Galadria. She never gained a spell staff in the cartoon, but in the comic books, she gained a spell shield (a chevron shaped buckler) which granted her the Power of Disease. Shark Jennifer Darling
Magical power: Disease - "Wind of sickness, illness most vile, Strike down my enemy, with disease revile!"

Other characters

Merklynn - The wizard who occupies the shrine at Iron Mountain. Merklynn invites knights from across the land to compete in an obstacled race to his shrine, rewarding those who reach its hall with magical abilities. In exchange for recharging their power staffs at his magical cauldron, Merklynn contracts both the Darkling Lords and Spectral Knights to venture in other quests on his behalf. He sometimes offers magical devices in exchange for their services as well but Merklynn's "gifts" usually prove to be more trouble than they're worth. His name is based on Merlin. (Voiced by Roscoe Lee Browne)

Fletchen - A young woman from a village near New Valarak. In the episode "Lion Hunt", Darkstorm used her superstitious people as unwitting pawns in his plan to trap Leoric in his Lion form. She was the first to discover what had happened to Leoric, but, though she was able to convince his fellow Spectral Knights of the truth, her own people (urged on by Darkstorm) refused to listen and only stopped attacking the Spectral Knights once Leoric was freed from the spell which trapped him. Fletchen only appears twice in the series, but there is strong evidence of a romantic relationship between her and Leoric. (Voiced by Jennifer Darling)

Falkama - One of the wizards who inhabit Prysmos and a member of the same circle of wizardry as Merklynn. The Visionaries encountered him not long after they gained their magical powers; at the time, he was guarding the Dragon's Eye which Merklynn needed to replenish his magic pool. Later in the series, Darkstorm used him in his plot to depose Merklynn, before sending both wizards to the Wizards' Jail. In the wake of that episode, Falkama escaped but was later recaptured by the Spectral Knights. (Voiced by Chris Latta)

Bogavus - An enigmatic wizard. He was among those who escaped the Wizards' Jail, but Merklynn had never known him to commit evil and, when caught by the Spectral Knights, he denied knowing any real magic. Merklynn subjected him to a test which would cause him to be consumed by fire if he was dishonest - when Bogavus appeared to pass, he was allowed to go free. However, the question of whether he was genuinely innocent or had somehow evaded Merklynn's detection was never resolved in series canon, though the episode ended with him giving a sinister smirk to the camera. First mentioned (but not seen) in "Quest For The Dragon's Eye". (Voiced by Jim Cummings)

Wheezasqueezar - A wizard condemned never to tell the truth. He escaped from the Wizards' Jail at the same time as Falkama and Bogavus, remaining at large until the Spectral Knights captured all three rogue wizards. But, before they could take the wizards to Iron Mountain, the Spectral Knights were ambushed by the Darkling Lords, prompting them to release Wheezasqueezar as a diversion. Wheezasqueezar then joined forces with the Darkling Lords and led them to the Lost Shrine, where he betrayed them. When the Spectral Knights caught up with their enemies, they too came under attack from the Shrine's magical guards, eventually leaving only Leoric to thwart Wheezasqueezar's plans. First mentioned (but not seen) in "Quest For The Dragon's Eye", with a different pronunciation of his name. That section of the original script for that episode is missing on the DVD, but in "The Overthrow Of Merklynn" and "The Trail Of Three Wizards", his name is spelt differently in both episodes. However, the only spelling to really satisfy both pronunciations of his name is Wizasquizar. (Voiced by Jonathan Harris)

Gleering - Fletchen's father. Before the events of "Lion Hunt", he and the rest of his people feared all magic and would use lucky charms to ward off evil. Darkstorm exploited this to stir up hatred against the Spectral Knights by convincing them that they were "evil wizards" guarding a magical beast (which was actually Leoric, who spent most of the episode trapped in his Lion form). In the wake of that episode, however, Gleering and his people learned they had nothing to fear from magic, provided it was used for good. (Voiced by Peter Cullen)

Heskedor - An ancient crone living in a cave. Darkstorm, seeking a means to defeat Leoric, sought her aid and she gave him the potion which trapped Leoric in his Lion form. If the spell was not broken by the time all the Three Suns set, Leoric would never be able to revert to human form again, but the Spectral Knights found out what had happened and Witterquick went to confront Heskedor in her cave, forcing her to hand him the antidote. (Voiced by Susan Blu)

Orzan - The ruler of the Lost City of Khemir. Before the Cataclysm, he and his people relied on robots to do all their work and, even after their technology failed, many refused to change their way of life. Orzan's comment that "the only proper activity for a Free Citizen of Khemir is to command - or die in the attempt!" typifies this attitude. But, after being bitten by Cravex's Spider of Fear and having visions of his people's robot slaves turning on him, he realised that he was himself afraid of being enslaved. (Voiced by Peter Cullen)

Belizar - A young Khemirite man. He was the one who alerted the Darkling Lords to his people's plight and played a key role in Darkstorm's conquest of New Valarak. When told that, since he was not a Darkling Lord, he was ineligible to compete for the Spectral Knights' Power Staffs, he vented his frustration on Leoric and Ectar by forcing them to move furniture and repeatedly changing his mind about where he wanted a cabinet placed. Later, however, he and his fellow Khemirite, Mana, helped the Spectral Knights escape and regain their Totems powers. At the end of the episode, Belizar vowed to one day prove worthy of knighthood; in the meantime, he would stay in New Valarak and help the people rebuild. (Voiced by Jim Cummings)

Marna - A Khemirite woman. She suggested that her people should try farming for themselves, only to be vetoed because her ideas went against the Khemirites' culture. She went along with Darkstorm's plan to enslave the Spectral Knights but did not order them about to the extent of her fellow Khemirites; instead, on learning that Galadria was no good at sewing, she apologised, saying she had never had to handle human workers before. Later, when Arzon turned himself in rather than see his friends sent to the Vanadium Mines, she realised that freedom at the expense of others was wrong and freed the Spectral Knights. (Voiced by Jennifer Darling)

Sun Imps

The Sun Imps are six mischievous sprites who feature in the last of the thirteen episodes. Merklynn describes them as "nasty magical creatures who created so much havoc during the First Age of Magic that all of the forces in the old world joined to seal them into a tomb and then buried it". But later earthquakes have left this tomb exposed, prompting Merklynn to send the Visionaries to rebury it. However, Lexor tricks Cindarr into releasing the Imps.

Abraxas - The Wizard Imp. He took control of the Bearer of Knowledge when Arzon tried to consult him and, later, turned up at Iron Mountain. Merklynn tried to stop him with a spell, only to find that he could turn any magic used against him back on the caster. In the end, Merklynn outwitted Abraxas with a "Capture Thyself" spell, which, when reversed, caused the Sun Imp to be captured.

Gorge - The Pig Imp. He has the ability to turn ground to mud (a trick he used on Reekon, Lexor and Feryl) and can also cause pigs to stampede. His biggest weakness is his inability to see food without helping himself to it - the Visionaries later exploited this by tricking him into stuffing himself with cake until he became too fat to stand. Named Glutton in the original script.

Growl - The Cat Imp. He uses sonic waves to cause landslides and break windows. In addition, he can take control of all cats, including human-to-feline shapeshifters like Leoric and (possibly) Witterquick. He dislikes anything resembling a dog and was caught when Leoric lured him towards Cindarr, who used the dog-like Beast of Destruction to catch him. Named Fangar in the original script, and may have gotten the name Growl by accident in the recording.

Knightmare - The Dream Imp. He can send people to sleep by hitting them on the head and can also hypnotise people by waving his axe in front of their eyes. He used the latter power to take control of Mortdredd and make him give the contents of Darkstorm's treasury to the people living nearby. He was caught when Ectar (in his Fox form) made him so dizzy that he knocked himself out.

Mysto - The Fish Imp. He can turn ground to ice and also has the ability to take control of fish. During the episode, he sent the contents of a fishmonger's barrow flying around New Valarak. Later, Galadria and Virulina used their Totem powers to pursue him round a sunken wreck, where they trapped him in a treasure chest. Named Unctuous in the original script.

Shaggy - The Hair Imp. His favourite trick is causing people's hair to grow rapidly and tying them up with it. In addition, he can turn people into living marionettes, a trick he used to humiliate Darkstorm. However, he cannot use his powers if his hair is shaved off and the Visionaries later used this to trap him.

Unreleased characters

A second wave of characters was planned for release in 1988 but both the cartoon and the accompanying toy line were cancelled, so these new characters never made it beyond toy industry catalogues and it is not known what role they would have played in the series. Indeed, there is little canon information available for them, apart from their names and alliances.

There were eighteen characters in this unreleased set, nine Spectral Knights and nine Darkling Lords. The members of each faction were:

Spectral Knights Darkling Lords
  • Lazorslash
  • Slywire
  • Malitor
  • Ramazon
  • Hydron
  • Aquarrior
  • Craggor
  • Ramak
  • Cybron
  • Kabor
  • Braxe
  • Cerator
  • Cyclor
  • Lizar
  • Pyrok
  • Croil
  • Draculan
  • Osteon

The action figures

In 1987 Hasbro produced a set of figures in conjunction with the cartoon series. The figures had hologram stickers on both their chests and staffs, which resulted in their being expensive to produce The toy line only lasted one year, with 12 figures(all the male Spectral Knights and the male Darkling Lords complete with weapons and power staffs) and 4 vehicles produced. Each of the vehicles was packaged with an exclusive figure. A second series of figures, slated to be released in 1988, was never produced. It would have included 18 figures, 6 Sun Imps, 6 vehicles and the Iron Mountain playset. [1]

Visionaries episodes

There were only thirteen episodes in the television series, each of which was written by Flint Dille, Buzz Dixon or Douglas Booth.

# Title Writer DVD Continuity Original Airdate
01 "The Age of Magic Begins" Flint Dille 01 01 September 21, 1987 (1987-09-21)
When technology fails on the planet Prysmos, an Age of Magic begins. As the world descends into chaos, the knights of Prysmos embark on a quest to conquer Iron Mountain, lured by the wizard Merklynn's promise of magical powers. But only fourteen succeed and it soon becomes clear that several of them joined the quest for personal gain. 
02 "The Dark Hand of Treachery" Flint Dille 02 02 September 28, 1987 (1987-09-28)
Darkstorm and his fellow Darkling Lords, aided by magical vehicles, trap Leoric and his followers one by one. Imprisoned in the dungeon at Darkstorm's castle and stripped of their weapons, Leoric and his followers seem to be in a hopeless situation. Soon, however, Leoric realises they must unite and names them the Spectral Knights. 
03 "Quest for the Dragon's Eye" Flint Dille 03 03 October 5, 1987 (1987-10-05)
After escaping from Castle Darkstorm and acquiring magical vehicles of their own, the Spectral Knights capture the Darkling Lords and put them to work in a factory. Shortly afterwards, however, the Darkling Lords escape and ambush the Spectral Knights, who are heading to Merklynn's Shrine to have their Power Staffs recharged. But, in exchange for more magic, they must bring Merklynn the Dragon's Eye. 
04 "The Price of Freedom" Doug Booth 04 04 November 9, 1987 (1987-11-09)
The Darkling Lords encounter a city whose inhabitants are reluctant to give up their Age of Technology lifestyle. Lured by Darkstorm's promise to give them human slaves to replace the robots which used to do all the work in the city, the people infiltrate New Valarak and enslave the Spectral Knights. But the Spectral Knights find an ally in a woman who feels that freedom at the expense of others is wrong. 
05 "Feryl Steps Out" Buzz Dixon 05 05 October 12, 1987 (1987-10-12)
Dejected after getting into difficulties during a battle with pirates, Feryl leaves the Spectral Knights. Darkstorm tries to turn the situation to his advantage and, after an initial attempt to enlist Feryl in the Darkling Lords fails, lures Leoric into a trap by making him think Feryl's life is in danger. But Feryl soon learns what has happened and trails the Darkling Lords to Castle Darkstorm. 
06 "Lion Hunt" Buzz Dixon 06 07 October 19, 1987 (1987-10-19)
The Darkling Lords seek the aid of an old witch, who gives them a potion which will trap Leoric in his animal form. Unable to revert to human form, Leoric soon finds himself under attack from the Darkling Lords, a group of superstitious villagers and even his fellow Spectral Knights, who believe he has been killed. When the Spectral Knights discover the truth, they face a race against time to restore their leader to normal. 
07 "The Overthrow of Merklynn" Flint Dille 07 09 October 26, 1987 (1987-10-26)
Tired of constantly having to answer to Merklynn, Darkstorm deposes the wizard and seizes control of Iron Mountain. But he quickly becomes over-confident and unleashes a spell which triggers a series of violent cataclysms. Believing that Prysmos will be destroyed unless the spell can be broken, the Darkling Lords are forced to seek out Merklynn and free him from the Wizards' Jail to which Darkstorm banished him. 
08 "The Power of the Wise" Doug Booth 08 06 November 2, 1987 (1987-11-02)
The Spectral Knights are afraid of being rapidly aged by the power of Darkstorm's Staff and, when Merklynn refuses to help them, set off on a quest to find a magic spring whose waters have rejuvenating properties. During the quest, Leoric falls victim to Darkstorm's Staff and, to ensure he cannot be restored to his true age, the Darkling Lords destroy the spring. But the experience teaches Leoric (who is restored to normal by the end of the episode) that there is more to old age than being weak and feeble. 
09 "Horn of Unicorn, Claw of Dragon" Buzz Dixon 09 08 November 16, 1987 (1987-11-16)
A magical Plague strikes Prysmos, leaving Visionaries from both sides close to death. Their only hope of survival is a spell, the key ingredients of which are a unicorn's horn and a dragon's claw. Witterquick and Arzon must team up with Lexor and Cindarr and set off on a quest for these ingredients, but can they fulfil their mission without taking any lives? 
10 "Trail of the Three Wizards" Flint Dille 10 10 November 23, 1987 (1987-11-23)
Merklynn sends the Spectral Knights to the Anarchy Zone to round up three rogue wizards, but, just as they have completed their mission, the Darkling Lords ambush them. Releasing one of the wizards as a diversion, the Spectral Knights return to Iron Mountain, where Merklynn sends one of the wizards to the Wizards' Jail and (apparently) proves the second wizard is innocent. The Spectral Knights then return to the Anarchy Zone to recapture the remaining wizard, who is heading to the Lost Shrine with the Darkling Lords. 
11 "Honor Among Thieves" Flint Dille 12 11 November 30, 1987 (1987-11-30)
Merklynn gives the Spectral Knights a magic crystal which will warn them of impending danger. But Darkstorm soon learns that the crystal can be neutralized by an enemy who is wearing a "Cloak of Concealment". After Reekon (wearing such a cloak) infiltrates New Valarak and steals the crystal, Ectar and Arzon are forced into a dangerous game of subterfuge in order to get it back. 
12 "Sorcery Squared" Doug Booth 11 12 December 7, 1987 (1987-12-07)
Cryotek is captured by the Darkling Lords, who try to remove his Totem power. Instead, he ends up with Cravex's Totem in addition to his own and starts behaving strangely as the two Totems fight for control. Learning what has happened, the Spectral Knights and Darkling Lords decide to put their differences aside until he is found and Cravex's Totem can be removed from him. 
13 "Dawn of the Sun Imps" Flint Dille 13 13 December 14, 1987 (1987-12-14)
Learning that the tomb imprisoning six mischievous imps has been exposed, Merklynn sends the Visionaries to rebury it. But Lexor tricks Cindarr into freeing the imps, who then start playing tricks on both factions. As a result, the Spectral Knights and Darkling Lords are forced to work together in order to recapture the imps and return them to their tomb. 

DVD Releases

In the United Kingdom, the entire 13 episode series was released on DVD in 2004 in Region 2 format by Metrodome Distribution. The only special feature included is a set of PDF files of the complete scripts to each episode. So far, there has not been a Region 1 or Region 4 release.

Deleted Scenes

Included as a bonus feature on the DVD release, the original scripts of each episode contain some lines that were cut, presumably before they were animated, for time reasons.

For example, in the script of "The Dark Hand Of Treachery", Galdria says, "Gentlemen, I'm sorry to disturb your festivities but I bring grave news from the north. Cryotek has been captured by Darkstorm and his knights." But in the actual episode as broadcast, she says, "Gentlemen, I'm sorry to disturb your festivities but Cryotek has been captured by Darkstorm and his knights." You can actually hear the edit if you listen carefully.

Most of these cut lines and scenes don't have that much importance, and their omission from the final episodes is easy to understand. However, there is one notable exception, where the omission of a detail causes considerable confusion:

In "The Dark Hand Of Treachery" there are a couple of cuts, concerning a promise Darkstorm makes to Virulina when they are capturing some of the Spectral Knights individually. When Arzon is first captured, there's some deleted lines concerning Virulina claiming Darkstorm promised her the Spectral Knight's staff, but Darkstorm "conveniently forgets". Later, when they are attacking Cryotek, Darkstorm promises her his staff, but again disregards it. Unfortunately, the only line from all of this that makes it into the final episode was, "it would be madness to hand over a power staff to a shark who cannot destroy a dolphin!" - with no prior mention of the idea that Virulina will be given a power staff, it is a little random.

There's a couple of other edits that gave a little bit of identity to some of the characters:

In "The Overthrow Of Merklynn", the original script contains an extra scene at the very beginning, where the Darkling Lords attempt, unsuccessfully, to invade the domain ruled by one King Tazlon, identified as the father of Arzon.

In "The Dark Hand Of Treachery", when Witterquick arrives at his own domain, there's a cut line where the guard refers to him as "our prince". In the deleted scene listed above, Arzon's father is identified as a king, but in an actual line in the episode "The Price Of Freedom", Cryotek refers to Leoric with the title "prince", so whether Witterquick is the ruler of his domain (like Leoric and Cryotek) or the son of a ruler (like Arzon) is uncertain.

Adaptations

Comics

There was also a short-lived comic book series, Visionaries, published by Star Comics and eventually Marvel Comics - it lasted only 6 issues, and was cancelled mid-way through a 4-part adventure.[1]

References

External links


Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light
Visionaries title screen
Genre Sci-fi / Fantasy /Animation
Created by Flint Dille
Voices of Susan Blu
Peter Cullen
Jim Cummings
Roscoe Lee Browne
Jennifer Darling
Bernard Erhard
Jonathan Harris
Chris Latta
Michael McConnohie
Hal Rayle
Neil Ross
Beau Weaver
Narrated by Malachi Throne
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 13
Production
Running time 22 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel first-run syndication
Original run September 21, 1987 – December 14, 1987

Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light was originally a range of action figures from Hasbro, released in 1987. This action figure range was promoted by two different media, telling the stories of the characters. The better known of the two was a half hour animated television series made by Sunbow Productions in the same year, but there was also a comic book series issued by Star Comics. The toyline was not a big success, which led to both the series and the comic being cancelled after a very short run. The comic lasted only 6 issues, and was cancelled halfway through a four-part storyline. The animated series lasted one season of 13 episodes, and was not picked up for a second, possibly because all Sunbow cartoons came to an end after The Transformers Season 4 three parter; The Rebirth and G.I. Joe: The Movie, when Sunbow lost its contract and could not get it renewed. What's interesting about this series is that it's the only Hasbro property to be produced by Sunbow on their own, without the aid of Marvel Productions. Sunbow also used TMS Entertainment, in Japan for the overseas animation work for this show.

Contents

Characters

Set on the planet Prysmos, the Visionaries consist of two groups of knights — the Spectral Knights and the Darkling Lords, both of whom have their magical powers gifted from Merklynn after successfully completing a quest to reach Merklynn's shrine on Iron Mountain. Each character had a different animal totem power that reflects their personality by allowing the knight to temporarily transform into that animal.

Some knights have power staffs with different powers such as destruction and can be activated by reciting a special verse. Any staff-wielding knight can activate any staff, as long as he casts the spell properly. In one episode, Darkstorm made use of Leoric's staff, while in another, Cryotek used three different power staffs; his own, and those of Witterquick and Cindarr. In the comics, the staffs could be used as many times as needed, without any need to recharge them, but in the cartoon, only one use was permitted before they needed to return to Iron Mountain to recharge them - which caused a lot of tension, particularly on the part of Darkstorm.

The knights without staffs can infuse vehicles with magical powers, such as the Dagger Assault vehicle's magical dungeon (Darkling Lords). Unlike the power staffs, however, there is no limit on vehicle usage. Also, the spells given for the vehicles on the boxes of the toys were never used in either the comics or the series. In the comics, the female knights had shields which worked the same way as the staffs, but in the TV series they did not, and in "The Power Of The Wise", Virulina was seen piloting the Sky Claw. Galadria was also seen in "Horn Of Unicorn, Claw Of Dragon" doing some repair/maintenance work on the Capture Chariot. Any vehicle-driving knight can drive any vehicle, and both Feryl and Ectar have been seen operating the Dagger Assault.

When the Darkling Lords first discovered the vehicles, Darkstorm wanted the honour of piloting the Sky Claw himself, but it didn't work; he explained "the engine works but the magic avoids me!" Reekon's response was, "it appears that any Visionary can pilot a vehicle, but Mortdredd and I are your only knights who can breathe magic into the metal." In the case of the Dagger Assault, driven by Reekon, things are more confusing, as in some episodes it is not clear who is driving, or, if it is indeed Reekon, where he is driving it from. Normally, he drives it from one of the two frontal compartments, but in "Feryl Steps Out", he is in the Dagger Dart while Darkstorm and Virulina are in the frontal compartments, and stranger still is "The Power Of The Wise" in which Darkstorm and Cravex are in those two sections while it is Lexor in the Dagger Dart (Cindarr is the only Darkling Lord never to have sat in either the Sky Claw passenger seat with Mortdredd flying it or in the Dagger Dart).

Spectral Knights

Headed by New Valarak's leader Leoric, the Spectral Knights are magic users who use magic for the purposes of good; they are the protagonists of the series.

Character Description Totem Voice Performer
Leoric Leader of the Spectral Knights and prince of New Valarak. The first issue of the comic identifies him as originally being the mayor of that city during the Age of Science. He possesses the totem of the Lion and his Power Staff bestows the Power of Wisdom. He is the only Spectral Knight to have facial hair (a moustache) and his main adversary is most definitely Darkstorm. Lion Neil Ross
Magical power:Wisdom - "Whispered secrets of a shattered age, I summon you: renew this sage!"
Ectar Leoric's lieutenant (within New Valarak). Before the Great Cataclysm, he was a policeman in the City of Valarak, often matching wits against a master thief named Reekon who later becomes a Darkling Lord and his main adversary. He possesses the totem of the Fox. He has no totem staff but is one of the knights able to power vehicles. His main vehicle of choice is the Lancer Cycle. In the comics, this held the Power of Protection (which the hands enable whenever they show in the Lancer Cycle's window). Fox Michael McConnohie
Magical power:Protection - "Shield this craft from one and all. Reflect, deflect, depose and fall!" - this spell was never actually used in either the cartoon or the comic.
Feryl The youngest of the Spectral Knights. Like Ectar and Leoric, he lives in New Valarak. He possesses the totem of the Wolf. He has no totem staff but boasts an additional ability to activate vehicles. His main vehicle is the Capture Chariot. In the comics, this held the Power of Fire (the cartoon gave this vehicle the ability to produce arms that would throw balls of fire that usually did things like blow up walls). His main adversary is Mortdredd. Wolf Beau Weaver
Magical power:Fire - "Draw upon the breath of stars, And scorch the skies with fiery scars!" - this spell was never actually used in either the cartoon or the comic.
Cryotek The oldest of the group. He hails from the northern city of Northalia which has a cold climate. He possesses the totem of the Bear and his totem staff bestows the Power of Strength. His main adversary among the Darkling Lords is Cindarr (and, rarely, Lexor) [but Cindarr most of the time]. Bear Bernard Erhard
Magical power:Strength - "Three suns aligned pour forth their light and fill the archer's bow with might!"
Witterquick Hailing from an unnamed city in the south, he possesses the totem of the Cheetah and his totem staff bestows the Power of Lightspeed. Although Ectar is Leoric's no2 within New Valarak, it is Witterquick giving the orders and keeping the others in line during Leoric's absence in the episode "Lion Hunt". One of the original scripts, and one of the comics, spells his name as two words, "Witter Quick", and in another episode, he is addressed just as "Witter". Sometimes, his main adversary is Cindarr. Cheetah Jim Cummings
Magical power:Lightspeed - "Sheathe these feet in the driving gale, Make swift these legs o'er land I sail!"
Arzon "Arzon, when it was necessary to fly, you found wings" (Merklynn). He possesses the totem of the Eagle and his totem staff imparts the Power of Knowledge. He is one of the youngest Spectral Knights and can be quite impetuous, optimistic, and eager to help despite the danger. His main adversary is Cravex. Eagle Hal Rayle
Magical power:Knowledge - "A whim, a thought, and more is sought. Awake my mind; thy will be wrought!"
Galadria The only female knight among the Spectral Knights, hailing from Androsia. She possesses the totem of the Dolphin. Galadria is the love interest of Cryotek. She never gained a spell staff (or any replacement for a staff in the cartoon), but in the comic books she gained a spell shield (a circular buckler), granting her the Power of Healing. Her main adversary is Virulina. Dolphin Susan Blu
Magical power:Healing - "By warmth of heart, your pain I feel. Grant me the power, your wounds to heal!"

Darkling Lords

Headed by Darkstorm, the Darkling Lords use their powers for selfish aims and are fittingly considered the antagonists of the series. All the six male Darkling Lords have beards but, in some cartoon scenes, all six of them undergo those goofs where they lose their moustaches (and, as such, only have beards).

Character Description Totem Voice Performer
Darkstorm The leader of the Darkling Lords. Even before receiving his totem powers, he commanded the allegiance of Reekon and Mortdredd. He secures the allegiance of the other members of his group when finding them caught in a trap during the quest to Merklynn's shrine, having them swear loyalty to him in exchange for freeing them (after which they always double cross him). He bears the totem of the Mollusk and his power staff holds the Power of Decay. The cartoon showed he also had a secondary power to reverse his own Decay. His main adversary is none other than Leoric. Mollusk Chris Latta
Magical power:Decay - "By what creeps, what crawls, by what does not, Let all that grows recede and rot!"
Decay Reversal - "Power of rot, obscuring truth, What once was old restore to youth!"
Reekon A career thief during the Age of Science, Reekon serves Darkstorm for primarily mercenary reasons. For his stealth and treachery, Merklynn awards him the totem of the Lizard. During both the Age of Science and the Age of Magic, Reekon finds himself engaging in a battle of wits against Ectar. They have a professional rivalry and, surprisingly, mutual respect for one another. Reekon has no totem staff but has the ability to power vehicles. His main vehicle is the Dagger Assault, which features a containment cell that serves as a Magic Extractor (the emblem is a human skeleton which is usually the symbol of death; in the Dagger Assault's case 'death' goes to the totems of whatever Knights are put in the magical dungeon). Lizard Roscoe Lee Browne
Magical power:Magic Extractor - "Flay the flesh, lay bare the bone. Upon this field, let grief be sown!" - this spell was never actually used in either the cartoon or the comic.
Mortdredd Darkstorm's most loyal Darkling Lord. An unapologetic sycophant, Mortdredd is utterly devoted to Darkstorm. He possesses the totem of the scampering Beetle, and like Reekon has the ability to power vehicles. His main vehicle is the aerial vehicle known as the Sky Claw, which has the power of Flight (two giant mythical flying creatures - both are reptilian but one bears more resemblance to a giant bird of prey). His name is likely based on Mordred and his main adversary is Feryl. Scampering Beetle Jonathan Harris
Magical power:Flight - "Wings of steel shall ride the breeze. Invade the air, the land, the seas!" - this spell was never actually used in either the cartoon or the comic.
Cindarr Previously a construction worker during the Age of Science, Cindarr is the oldest in the group and his main adversary is Cryotek (and sometimes Witterquick). He is considered the most dim-witted of the Darkling Lords, though occasionally displaying kindness toward others (mainly small animals) which exasperates his fellow Darkling Lords, which shows Cindarr not as evil, but following the oath he made to Darkstorm. Cindarr bears the totem of the Gorilla and his power staff invokes the Power of Destruction. For the record, the "reverse destruction" spell that used to be listed on this page was never used in either the TV series or the comic books. Gorilla Peter Cullen
Magical power:Destruction - "By nature's hand, by craft, by art, What once was one now fly apart!"
Cravex The most short-tempered of the Darkling Lords, Cravex bears the totem of the phylot (a dinosaur-like scavenging bird on the planet of Prysmos) and his power staff invokes the Power of Fear. His main adversary is Arzon. Phylot Chris Latta
Magical power:Fear - "Oh mist-filled pits, dark, dank, unclear, Touch all before me with frost-fingered fear!"
Lexor He possesses the totem of the Armadillo and his power staff offers the Power of Invulnerability. Lexor is generally regarded as a liar and a coward. His main adversary is sometimes Cryotek (who is more Cindarr's main adversary). Armadillo Michael McConnohie
Magical power:Invulnerability - "The arrows turn, the swords repel, Let nothing pierce this mortal shell!"
Virulina Prior to the Age of Magic, Virulina was a newscaster, and was seen on a poster modelling clothes in a shop window during a flashback scene. She is the only female Darkling Lord, and possesses the totem of the Shark. Her main adversary is Galadria. She never gained a spell staff in the cartoon (or anything in place of a power staff unlike the male members who had never had power staffs), but in the comic books, she gained a spell shield (a chevron shaped buckler) which granted her the Power of Disease. As a female, her equivalent in one scene in the cartoon of a disappearing moustache goof was her hair changing position. Shark Jennifer Darling
Magical power:Disease - "Wind of sickness, illness most vile, Strike down my enemy, with disease revile!"

Other characters

Merklynn - The wizard who occupies the shrine at Iron Mountain. Merklynn invites knights from across the land to compete in an obstacled race to his shrine, rewarding those who reach its hall with magical abilities. In exchange for recharging their power staffs at his magical cauldron, Merklynn contracts both the Darkling Lords and Spectral Knights to venture in other quests on his behalf. He sometimes offers magical devices in exchange for their services as well but Merklynn's "gifts" usually prove to be more trouble than they're worth. His name is based on Merlin. (Voiced by Roscoe Lee Browne)

Fletchen - A young woman from a village near New Valarak. In the episode "Lion Hunt", Darkstorm used her superstitious people as unwitting pawns in his plan to trap Leoric in his Lion form. She was the first to discover what had happened to Leoric, but, though she was able to convince his fellow Spectral Knights of the truth, her own people (urged on by Darkstorm) refused to listen and only stopped attacking the Spectral Knights once Leoric was freed from the spell which trapped him. Fletchen only appears twice in the series, but there is strong evidence of a romantic relationship between her and Leoric. (Voiced by Jennifer Darling)

Falkama - One of the wizards who inhabit Prysmos and a member of the same circle of wizardry as Merklynn. The Visionaries encountered him not long after they gained their magical powers; at the time, he was guarding the Dragon's Eye which Merklynn needed to replenish his magic pool. Later in the series, Darkstorm used him in his plot to depose Merklynn, before sending both wizards to the Wizards' Jail. In the wake of that episode, Falkama escaped but was later recaptured by the Spectral Knights. (Voiced by Chris Latta)

Bogavus - An enigmatic wizard. He was among those who escaped the Wizards' Jail, but Merklynn had never known him to commit evil and, when caught by the Spectral Knights, he denied knowing any real magic. Merklynn subjected him to a test which would cause him to be consumed by fire if he was dishonest - when Bogavus appeared to pass, he was allowed to go free. However, the question of whether he was genuinely innocent or had somehow evaded Merklynn's detection was never resolved in series canon, though the episode ended with him giving a sinister smirk to the camera. First mentioned (but not seen) in "Quest For The Dragon's Eye". (Voiced by Jim Cummings)

Wizasquizar - A wizard condemned never to tell the truth. He escaped from the Wizards' Jail at the same time as Falkama and Bogavus, remaining at large until the Spectral Knights captured all three rogue wizards. But, before they could take the wizards to Iron Mountain, the Spectral Knights were ambushed by the Darkling Lords, prompting them to release Wizasqueezar as a diversion. The wizard then joined forces with the Darkling Lords and led them to the Lost Shrine, where he betrayed them. When the Spectral Knights caught up with their enemies, they too came under attack from the Shrine's magical guards, eventually leaving only Leoric to thwart Wizasquizar's plans. First mentioned (but not seen) in "Quest For The Dragon's Eye", with a different pronunciation of his name. The original scripts differ in the spelling of his name. "The Overthrow Of Merklynn" spells his name "Weezasweena", while "The Trail Of Three Wizards" spells it "Weazaskweaza". The section of the original script of "Quest For The Dragon's Eye" that mentions him is missing on the DVD extras, but the only spelling to satisfy both pronunciations of his name is "Wizasquizar". (Voiced by Jonathan Harris)

Gleering - Fletchen's father. Before the events of "Lion Hunt", he and the rest of his people feared all magic and would use lucky charms to ward off evil. Darkstorm exploited this to stir up hatred against the Spectral Knights by convincing them that they were "evil wizards" guarding a magical beast (which was actually Leoric, who spent most of the episode trapped in his Lion form). In the wake of that episode, however, Gleering and his people learned they had nothing to fear from magic, provided it was used for good. (Voiced by Peter Cullen)

Heskedor - An ancient crone living in a cave. Darkstorm, seeking a means to defeat Leoric, sought her aid and she gave him the potion which trapped Leoric in his Lion form. If the spell was not broken by the time all the Three Suns set, Leoric would never be able to revert to human form again, but the Spectral Knights found out what had happened and Witterquick went to confront Heskedor in her cave, forcing her to hand him the antidote. (Voiced by Susan Blu)

Orzan - The ruler of the Lost City of Khemir. Before the Cataclysm, he and his people relied on robots to do all their work and, even after their technology failed, many refused to change their way of life. Orzan's comment that "the only proper activity for a Free Citizen of Khemir is to command - or die in the attempt!" typifies this attitude. But, after being bitten by Cravex's Spider of Fear and having visions of his people's robot slaves turning on him, he realised that he was himself afraid of being enslaved. (Voiced by Peter Cullen)

Belizar - A young Khemirite man. He was the one who alerted the Darkling Lords to his people's plight and played a key role in Darkstorm's conquest of New Valarak. When told that, since he was not a Darkling Lord, he was ineligible to compete for the Spectral Knights' Power Staffs, he vented his frustration on Leoric and Ectar by forcing them to move furniture and repeatedly changing his mind about where he wanted a cabinet placed. Later, however, he and his fellow Khemirite, Mana, helped the Spectral Knights escape and regain their Totems powers. At the end of the episode, Belizar vowed to one day prove worthy of knighthood; in the meantime, he would stay in New Valarak and help the people rebuild. (Voiced by Jim Cummings)

Marna - A Khemirite woman. She suggested that her people should try farming for themselves, only to be vetoed because her ideas went against the Khemirites' culture. She went along with Darkstorm's plan to enslave the Spectral Knights but did not order them about to the extent of her fellow Khemirites; instead, on learning that Galadria was no good at sewing, she apologised, saying she had never had to handle human workers before. Later, when Arzon turned himself in rather than see his friends sent to the Vanadium Mines, she realised that freedom at the expense of others was wrong and freed the Spectral Knights. (Voiced by Jennifer Darling)

Sun Imps

The Sun Imps are six mischievous sprites who feature in the last of the thirteen episodes. Merklynn describes them as "nasty magical creatures who created so much havoc during the First Age of Magic that all of the forces in the old world joined to seal them into a tomb and then buried it". But later earthquakes have left this tomb exposed, prompting Merklynn to send the Visionaries to rebury it. However, Lexor tricks Cindarr into releasing the Imps.

Abraxas - The Wizard Imp. He took control of the Bearer of Knowledge when Arzon tried to consult him and, later, turned up at Iron Mountain. Merklynn tried to stop him with a spell, only to find that he could turn any magic used against him back on the caster. In the end, Merklynn outwitted Abraxas with a "Capture Thyself" spell, which, when reversed, caused the Sun Imp to be captured.

Gorge - The Pig Imp. He has the ability to turn ground to mud (a trick he used on Reekon, Lexor and Feryl) and can also cause pigs to stampede. His biggest weakness is his inability to see food without helping himself to it - the Visionaries later exploited this by tricking him into stuffing himself with cake until he became too fat to stand. Named Glutton in the original script.

Growl - The Cat Imp. He uses sonic waves to cause landslides and break windows. In addition, he can take control of all cats, including human-to-feline shapeshifters like Leoric and (possibly) Witterquick. He dislikes anything resembling a dog and was caught when Leoric lured him towards Cindarr, who used the dog-like Beast of Destruction to catch him. Named Fangar in the original script, and may have gotten the name Growl by accident in the recording.

Knightmare - The Dream Imp. He can send people to sleep by hitting them on the head and can also hypnotise people by waving his axe in front of their eyes. He used the latter power to take control of Mortdredd and make him give the contents of Darkstorm's treasury to the people living nearby. He was caught when Ectar (in his Fox form) made him so dizzy that he knocked himself out.

Mysto - The Fish Imp. He can turn ground to ice and also has the ability to take control of fish. During the episode, he sent the contents of a fishmonger's barrow flying around New Valarak. Later, Galadria and Virulina used their Totem powers to pursue him round a sunken wreck, where they trapped him in a treasure chest. Named Unctuous in the original script.

Shaggy - The Hair Imp. His favourite trick is causing people's hair to grow rapidly and tying them up with it. In addition, he can turn people into living marionettes, a trick he used to humiliate Darkstorm. However, he cannot use his powers if his hair is shaved off and the Visionaries later used this to trap him.

Unreleased characters

A second wave of characters was planned for release in 1988 but both the cartoon and the accompanying toy line were cancelled at the same time all 1980s Sunbow cartoons were cancelled (particularly Transformers after the episode Headmasters: The Rebirth and the G.I. Joe Movie and Sunbow was unable to renew their contract to keep their cartoons running), so these new characters never made it beyond toy industry catalogues and it is not known what role they would have played in the series. Indeed, there is little canon information available for them, apart from their names and alliances.

There were eighteen characters in this unreleased set, nine Spectral Knights and nine Darkling Lords. The members of each faction were:

Spectral Knights Darkling Lords
  • Lazorslash
  • Slywire
  • Malitor
  • Ramazon
  • Hydron
  • Aquarrior
  • Craggor
  • Ramak
  • Cybron
  • Kabor
  • Braxe
  • Cerator
  • Cyclor
  • Lizar
  • Pyrok
  • Croil
  • Draculan
  • Osteon

The action figures

In 1987 Hasbro produced a set of figures after the cartoon series ended; the toy line actually lasted somewhat longer than the cartoon series itself. The figures had hologram stickers on both their chests and staffs, which resulted in their being expensive to produce[citation needed] The toy line only lasted one year, with 12 figures (all the male Spectral Knights and the male Darkling Lords complete with weapons and power staffs) and 4 vehicles produced. Each of the vehicles was packaged with an exclusive figure. A second series of figures, slated to be released in 1988 and discontinued the following year, was never produced. It would have included 18 figures, 6 Sun Imps, 6 vehicles and the Iron Mountain playset. [1] It is unknown the exact reason this series went unreleased, but it is assumed that it was that Hasbro didn't want to continue with the first set after the thirteenth and last episode 'Dawn of the Sun Imps' which brought the cartoon series to an end at the same time the Transformers cartoon came to its demise after Headmasters: The Rebirth and when the G.I. Joe cartoon ceased production after the movie when Sunbow lost its contract to keep its cartoons running. The two female Knights - Galadria (Spectral Knights) and Virulina (Darkling Lords) were never made due to Hasbro feeling dubious at the idea of female figures in a boy's toy line. There was a competing toyline at the same time with a similar gimmick by Tonka called Supernaturals[1]

Visionaries episodes

There were only thirteen episodes in the television series, each of which was written by Flint Dille, Buzz Dixon or Douglas Booth.

# Title Writer DVD Continuity Original Airdate

01 "The Age of Magic Begins" Flint Dille0101September 21, 1987 (1987-09-21)
When technology fails on the planet Prysmos, an Age of Magic begins. As the world descends into chaos, the knights of Prysmos embark on a quest to conquer Iron Mountain, lured by the wizard Merklynn's promise of magical powers. But only fourteen succeed and it soon becomes clear that several of them joined the quest for personal gain. 
02 "The Dark Hand of Treachery" Flint Dille0202September 28, 1987 (1987-09-28)
Darkstorm and his fellow Darkling Lords, aided by magical vehicles, trap Leoric and his followers one by one. Imprisoned in the dungeon at Darkstorm's castle and stripped of their weapons, Leoric and his followers seem to be in a hopeless situation. Soon, however, Leoric realises they must unite and names them the Spectral Knights. 
03 "Quest for the Dragon's Eye" Flint Dille0303October 5, 1987 (1987-10-05)
After escaping from Castle Darkstorm and acquiring magical vehicles of their own, the Spectral Knights capture the Darkling Lords and put them to work in a factory. Shortly afterwards, however, the Darkling Lords escape and ambush the Spectral Knights, who are heading to Merklynn's Shrine to have their Power Staffs recharged. But, in exchange for more magic, they must bring Merklynn the Dragon's Eye. 
04 "The Price of Freedom" Doug Booth0404November 9, 1987 (1987-11-09)
The Darkling Lords encounter a city whose inhabitants are reluctant to give up their Age of Technology lifestyle. Lured by Darkstorm's promise to give them human slaves to replace the robots which used to do all the work in the city, the people infiltrate New Valarak and enslave the Spectral Knights. But the Spectral Knights find an ally in a woman who feels that freedom at the expense of others is wrong. 
05 "Feryl Steps Out" Buzz Dixon0505October 12, 1987 (1987-10-12)
Dejected after getting into difficulties during a battle with pirates, Feryl leaves the Spectral Knights. Darkstorm tries to turn the situation to his advantage and, after an initial attempt to enlist Feryl in the Darkling Lords fails, lures Leoric into a trap by making him think Feryl's life is in danger. But Feryl soon learns what has happened and trails the Darkling Lords to Castle Darkstorm. 
06 "Lion Hunt" Buzz Dixon0607October 19, 1987 (1987-10-19)
The Darkling Lords seek the aid of an old witch, who gives them a potion which will trap Leoric in his animal form. Unable to revert to human form, Leoric soon finds himself under attack from the Darkling Lords, a group of superstitious villagers and even his fellow Spectral Knights, who believe he has been killed. When the Spectral Knights discover the truth, they face a race against time to restore their leader to normal. 
07 "The Overthrow of Merklynn" Flint Dille0709October 26, 1987 (1987-10-26)
Tired of constantly having to answer to Merklynn, Darkstorm deposes the wizard and seizes control of Iron Mountain. But he quickly becomes over-confident and unleashes a spell which triggers a series of violent cataclysms. Believing that Prysmos will be destroyed unless the spell can be broken, the Darkling Lords are forced to seek out Merklynn and free him from the Wizards' Jail to which Darkstorm banished him. 
08 "The Power of the Wise" Doug Booth0806November 2, 1987 (1987-11-02)
The Spectral Knights are afraid of being rapidly aged by the power of Darkstorm's Staff and, when Merklynn refuses to help them, set off on a quest to find a magic spring whose waters have rejuvenating properties. During the quest, Leoric falls victim to Darkstorm's Staff and, to ensure he cannot be restored to his true age, the Darkling Lords destroy the spring. But the experience teaches Leoric (who is restored to normal by the end of the episode) that there is more to old age than being weak and feeble. 
09 "Horn of Unicorn, Claw of Dragon" Buzz Dixon0908November 16, 1987 (1987-11-16)
A magical Plague strikes Prysmos, leaving Visionaries from both sides close to death. Their only hope of survival is a spell, the key ingredients of which are a unicorn's horn and a dragon's claw. Witterquick and Arzon must team up with Lexor and Cindarr and set off on a quest for these ingredients, but can they fulfil their mission without taking any lives? 
10 "Trail of the Three Wizards" Flint Dille1010November 23, 1987 (1987-11-23)
Merklynn sends the Spectral Knights to the Anarchy Zone to round up three rogue wizards, but, just as they have completed their mission, the Darkling Lords ambush them. Releasing one of the wizards as a diversion, the Spectral Knights return to Iron Mountain, where Merklynn sends one of the wizards to the Wizards' Jail and (apparently) proves the second wizard is innocent. The Spectral Knights then return to the Anarchy Zone to recapture the remaining wizard, who is heading to the Lost Shrine with the Darkling Lords. 
11 "Honor Among Thieves" Flint Dille1211November 30, 1987 (1987-11-30)
Merklynn gives the Spectral Knights a magic crystal which will warn them of impending danger. But Darkstorm soon learns that the crystal can be neutralized by an enemy who is wearing a "Cloak of Concealment". After Reekon (wearing such a cloak) infiltrates New Valarak and steals the crystal, Ectar and Arzon are forced into a dangerous game of subterfuge in order to get it back. 
12 "Sorcery Squared" Doug Booth1112December 7, 1987 (1987-12-07)
Cryotek is captured by the Darkling Lords, who try to remove his Totem power. Instead, he ends up with Cravex's Totem in addition to his own and starts behaving strangely as the two Totems fight for control. Learning what has happened, the Spectral Knights and Darkling Lords decide to put their differences aside until he is found and Cravex's Totem can be removed from him. 
13 "Dawn of the Sun Imps" Flint Dille1313December 14, 1987 (1987-12-14)
Learning that the tomb imprisoning six mischievous imps has been exposed, Merklynn sends the Visionaries to rebury it. But Lexor tricks Cindarr into freeing the imps, who then start playing tricks on both factions. As a result, the Spectral Knights and Darkling Lords are forced to work together in order to recapture the imps and return them to their tomb. 

DVD Releases

In the United Kingdom, the entire 13 episode series was released on DVD in 2004 in Region 2 format by Metrodome Distribution. The only special feature included is a set of PDF files of the complete scripts to each episode. So far, there has not been a Region 1 or Region 4 release.

Deleted Scenes

Included as a bonus feature on the DVD release, the original scripts of each episode contain some lines that were cut, presumably before they were animated, for time reasons.

For example, in the script of "The Dark Hand Of Treachery", Galdria says, "Gentlemen, I'm sorry to disturb your festivities but I bring grave news from the north. Cryotek has been captured by Darkstorm and his knights." But in the actual episode as broadcast, she says, "Gentlemen, I'm sorry to disturb your festivities but Cryotek has been captured by Darkstorm and his knights." You can actually hear the edit if you listen carefully.

Most of these cut lines and scenes don't have that much importance, and their omission from the final episodes is easy to understand. However, there are two notable exceptions, where the omission of a little detail causes considerable confusion:

In "The Dark Hand Of Treachery" there are a couple of cuts, concerning a promise Darkstorm makes to Virulina when they are capturing some of the Spectral Knights individually. When Arzon is first captured, there's some deleted lines concerning Virulina claiming Darkstorm promised her the Spectral Knight's staff, but Darkstorm "conveniently forgets". Later, when they are attacking Cryotek, Darkstorm promises her his staff, but again disregards it. Unfortunately, the only line from all of this that makes it into the final episode was, "it would be madness to hand over a power staff to a shark who cannot destroy a dolphin!" - with no prior mention of the idea that Virulina will be given a power staff, it is a little random.

Similarly, in "The Trail Of Three Wizards", the original script has Merklynn promising the Spectral Knights gold if they can retrieve the three wizards, and another line in the middle of the episode references it again, but these were both cut from the final episode, leaving just one reference at the end of the episode, "it is time to reward you with the gold". Although not as serious as the Virulina incident, it is still nonetheless a problematic sequence of cuts.

There's a couple of other edits that gave a little bit of identity to some of the characters:

In "The Overthrow Of Merklynn", the original script contains an extra scene at the very beginning, where the Darkling Lords attempt, unsuccessfully, to invade the domain ruled by one King Tazlon, identified as the father of Arzon.

In "The Dark Hand Of Treachery", when Witterquick arrives at his own domain, there's a cut line where the guard refers to him as "our prince". In the deleted scene listed above, Arzon's father is identified as a king, but in an actual line in the episode "The Price Of Freedom", Cryotek refers to Leoric with the title "prince", so whether Witterquick is the ruler of his domain (like Leoric and Cryotek) or the son of a ruler (like Arzon) is uncertain.

In "Quest for the Dragon's Eye", when Darkstorm spots the released Spectral Knights in his castle and tries to use his power of decay on them (until he knows too late he already used it on a man when he was ranting and raving that he stole everyone's property), the deleted scene shows him losing his moustache (this is the scene where he loses his moustache and only has a beard).

In "The Price of Freedom", when Reekon and Mortdredd spot Belizar for the first time at the beginning of the episode, the deleted scene shows Mortdredd losing his moustache (and, of course, having only a beard) when he gets into the Dagger Dart and says "We'd better tell Darkstorm first!"

"The Overthrow of Merklynn" has lots of deleted scenes - when Reekon gasps at the sight of the sleeping dragon, his moustache disappears and only has his goatee in the deleted scene, when Lexor asks who the real fool is, the deleted scene shows him with him losing his moustache and only having a beard and Cindarr really does lose his moustache in the deleted scene (and only has a beard) when he asks where Merklynn and Falkama went. All these deleted scenes in this episode (and in "Quest for the Dragon's Eye" and "The Price of Freedom") show that the only Darkling Lord who's properly seen lose his moustache and only have a beard is Cravex (this happens in "Quest for the Dragon's Eye" when Darkstorm gets a tomato thrown at him) [Virulina's equivalent of this happens in "The Overthrow of Merklynn" when the Darkling Lords all arrive at Merklynn's shrine and she says 'We're not pleased!']

Adaptations

Comics

There was also a short-lived comic book series, Visionaries, published by Star Comics and eventually Marvel Comics - it lasted only 6 issues, and was cancelled mid-way through a 4-part adventure. The first issue was an adaptation of the first episode, "The Age Of Magic Begins", but the subsequent issues took the storyline in a different direction. There were a few differences in details - whereas in the cartoon, the staff-bearing knights had only one use of their staffs before needing a recharge, in the comics, they could use their staffs as often as they liked. In one issue, Witterquick and Cindarr crossed their staffs to combine their powers, the combination of light speed and destruction creating an earthquake. Another difference concerned the animal totems - the characters worried that they might lose control of their animal forms while in them.[2]

References

External links


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