SFX convenes to watch things with dragons in them. It is cause for many flame- breathing puns.
Roll your luckiest twenty sided die! Spend some gold on a new scabbard! Our dragon hunt commences with a spot of D& D – or at least the ’ 80s kids’ show that brought the classic roleplaying game to the screen in fizzy, brightly- coloured cartoon form. Think Scooby- Doo with Experience Points. Rich: I don’t know how much this had to do with the game. I don’t think there’s actually a 12- sided die in this. Jordan: I’m thinking of the Weezer song where he mentions his D20. Ian: I already know I’m going to die of boredom. The show’s title sequence delivers an instant hit of backstory. Six kids ride a wonky theme park ride and a health and safety nightmare ensues as they’re hurled across the dimensions into the realm of the Dungeon Master. Kitted out in medieval cosplay, they fight wolves and fire magic arrows and try to get home to their weeping, traumatised parents. Jordan: Is this a summary of the first episode? Why aren’t we watching that? Rich: No, this is what’s already happened when the show begins. Ian: They don’t have an establishing episode? That’s mental. Jordan: How come she’s got an invisible cloak? How come he’s super strong? How come there isn’t a child abduction investigation going on? Ian: This feels like episode ten. I remember this being on when I got home from school. I’m sure I understood it then.
V: Look at what she’s wearing. Boots above the thigh are not practical. You lose a lot of mobility. Nick: I shall rethink my wardrobe at once. It may not have any 12- sided dice but it does have a five- headed dragon. Behold the fearsome Tiamat, roused from her cave by the irritating bleat of a baby unicorn. “Who dares awaken me?” she demands. Nick: That was your early morning unicorn… Ian: They’re not mucking about. It’s here already. Jordan: That’s a pretty fine dragon. Ian: If you’re a dragon with five heads it must take ages to floss. Nick: She doesn’t need to floss. She breathes fire.
“How come there isn’t a child abduction investigation?”
V: I don’t think dental hygiene is high on a dragon’s list of priorities. Ian: Do you think if one head has a headache they all do? Rich: Just imagine the paracetemol budget for this show. Not unreasonably, Ian takes against the cute member of the show’s line- up. Ian: I already hate the baby unicorn. It’s just like Snarf in Thundercats. Rich: They all have one. Orco in He- Man. No- No in Ulysses 31. Always the cute, irritating one. Ian ( quietly): I quite liked No- No… Lo, the town of Helix is under dragon attack. It’s a plot hatched by the show’s sorcerous, batwinged villain, Venger – or Venger, Force of Evil, as he insists on telling people at parties. Ian: Why’s he only got one horn? It’s really annoying me. I bet if he had two horns he’d be a nice guy. He’d be balanced. V: Is he overcompensating for lack of horn? Ian: I bet he hates it if you toss a hoop on it. Look, it’s Merlin! He’s stroking a white rabbit. Ian: He’s like a short- sighted Blofeld. He must have picked up the wrong thing in the pet shop. Clearly no one’s had the heart to tell him. Merlin insists that the kids stay behind with him in order to “learn magic”. Ian: Okay, creepy old man alert. Rich: It was a different time. Nick: A different reality. “The answers to all your questions are contained in this book,” says the snowy- bearded spell- mutterer. Ian: Has he just printed out the whole of Wikipedia? Rich: Wiccapedia... Dragons are bubbling into life in a cauldron, ready to terrorise some peasants. Ian: Are these freeze- dried dragons, like Pot Noodles? Nick: I think they’re more like Sea Monkeys. Venger’s evil, dragon- brewing scheme is finally thwarted by the power of crudely animated magic. He tells our toon heroes “I won’t defeat you now, but I will defeat you sometime!” It may be the limpest supervillain sign- off in history. Ian: Did they do a knock- off cartoon called Tunnels And Trolls that was even worse than this? Nick: You’re thinking of Awkward Spaces And Orcs.
The world’s least efficient rollercoaster.
Five heads are much, much worse than one.
Tiamat: cross, angry, vexed, irate and livid.
Venger was a big hit at goth night.