Gargoyles—Season 1

gargoyles season 1 dvd episode guide
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Solid cartoon with continuing plots

Sometimes does fall into typical cartoon plots

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There’s something new in the city

When a group of gargoyles are cursed in 994 A.D. and wake-up in 1994, they find the world and their lives have changed.  Forced to hide in the shadows, Goliath, Brooklyn, Broadway, Hudson, Bronx, and Lexington find themselves forced to serve a businessman named Xanatos.  Xanatos has cruel intentions and the gargoyles must find a way to free themselves from his control.  With the help of a police officer named Elisa Maza, Goliath and his brood are going to have find a way to survive in the world in which they now call home.

Gargoyles was a syndicated animated series which ran as part of the Disney Afternoon cartoon block.  The first season aired from October 24, 1994 to February 3, 1995 and featured the five part origin storyline “Awakening”.  Over the course of the series, it received two Daytime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Performance in an Animated Program for Goliath’s vocal actor Keith David and Outstanding Music Direction and Composition.

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Meet the crew

I was “too old” for Gargoyles when it came out originally.   I enjoy cartoons but at that point, life was pretty much in the way of being able to watch any syndicated daily series regularly (and if not, a VCR was your only friend).  I occasionally saw the series and enjoyed it when I did.  It is nice to be able to go back and watch Gargoyles in its entirety (at this point minus the last season due to Disney’s continued poor mismanagement of its Disney Afternoon series).  Gargoyles was a bit different in that it did have some continuing plotlines.

Growing up, the cartoons were all one shots.  Events in one episode rarely affected things in another episode.  It was like there was a big reset switch every time the credits rolled (shows in general did that from sitcoms to dramas).  Gargoyles was more in the vein of Transformers, G.I. Joe, Batman:  The Animated Series, or X-Men with continuing storylines and character development.  There were a lot of basic cartoon plots (I get a real TMNT vibe), but overall, the stories are superior to most cartoons at the time.  A great example is the Demona character who takes a number of episodes to develop or the episode where Broadway accidentally shoots Maza which leads to a new partner which leads to more troubles.  It is forethought which helps this series.

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Like the Demona character and her set-up for a backstory

The series is also loaded with great voice actors.  It is known for having a number of Star Trek actors providing voices with this season featuring the voices of Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, and Michael Dorn.  In addition to these actors, they brought on real actors likes Ed Asner and John Rhys-Davies.  It adds credence to the quality of the series and makes it harder to dismiss as a kids show (which I do recognize it is).

I do however think that some of the Disney Afternoon series could have looked better.  Batman:  The Animated Series showed a lot of style at the time and Disney feels like it was playing catch up at points.  The art is solid, but sometimes the framing and composition of the shots could be better (though it is a bigger step up from even earlier Disney Afternoon shows).

Gargoyles is a fun series and it has endured due to a rabid fan base.  It is possible to believe that Gargoyles could be more popular now than when it was on TV due to the internet and nostalgia level of those who grew up with it.  I am just getting to rediscover the series and I’d love to see Disney sometime take a chance on continuing the storyline as a homage to a good show and fans.

Gargoyles—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

"Awakening—Part 1"

“Awakening—Part 1”

1.1       Awakening—Part 1 (Episode 1) Airdate:  10/24/94

Goliath and his band of gargoyles protect a Scottish in 994 A.D. from Viking raiders.  When the captain of the guard decides to betray the king and queen, Goliath and the gargoyles are caught in the middle.

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“Awakening—Part 2”

1.2       Awakening—Part 2 (Episode 2) Airdate:  10/25/94

Goliath has found his people destroyed and sets out for revenge with the remaining gargoyles.  When the Magnus curses the gargoyles to be stone until the castle rises above the clouds, Goliath and the gargoyles’ fates seem sealed until they are rediscovered David Xanatos in 1994…and the gargoyles could live again!

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“Awakening—Part 3”

1.3       Awakening—Part 3 (Episode 3) Airdate:  10/26/94

The transport of the castle to New York City by Xanatos has reawakened the gargoyles in modern day New York City.  Detective Elisa Maza investigates the attack on Maza’s base leads to the truth about the gargoyles…and a new ally in Goliath.

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“Awakening—Part 4”

1.4       Awakening—Part 4 (Episode 4) Airdate:  10/27/94

The gargoyles are being hunted and Goliath must find the source!  A trip out with Maza leads to danger when Goliath becomes trapped in Central Park by the morning.  The gargoyles realize they must have names, and Goliath finds that his former love Demona has survived…and joins the gargoyles on a mission for Xanatos.

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“The Awakening—Part 5”

1.5       Awakening—Part 5 (Episode 5) Airdate:  10/28/94

The gargoyles raid a lab for Xanatos’ disc but Goliath learns from Maza that Xanatos’ actions might not be honorable…but Xanatos and Demona have plans for the gargoyles.

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“The Thrill of the Hunt”

1.6       The Thrill of the Hunt (Episode 6) Airdate:  11/04/94

Maza warns Goliath and the gargoyles that they cannot remain at the castle with Xanatos still a threat.  The gargoyles learn that their favorite TV stars The Pack will be appearing at Madison Square Gardens, but the Pack also has orders to look for the gargoyles.

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“Temptation”

1.7       Temptation (Episode 7) Airdate:  11/11/94

Brooklyn’s motorcycle adventure leads to a reunion with Demona.  Demona reveals to Brooklyn the cruelness of humanity and reveals she has a mission to him that could turn Goliath against humanity.

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“Deadly Force”

1.8       Deadly Force (Episode 8) Airdate:  11/18/94

When Broadway accidentally shoots Maza with her gun, he’s afraid to tell anyone.  Goliath believes that a man behind a stolen shipment of lasers is responsible and goes after him.

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“Enter Macbeth”

1.9       Enter MacBeth (Episode 9) Airdate 01/06/95

Xanatos is about to get out of prison and Goliath refuses to face the facts that their castle is no longer safe.  When Xanatos hires a man named MacBeth to hunt the gargoyles, MacBeth reveals an ulterior motive.

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“The Edge”

1.10     The Edge (Episode 10) Airdate:  01/13/95

The gargoyles adjust to their new home in the police station clock tower as Maza learns she’s saddled with a new partner named Matt Bluestone.  When Xanatos sets out to expose the gargoyles by framing them for crime, the gargoyles realize it is time to fight back!

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“Long Way to Morning”

1.11     Long Way to Morning (Episode 11) Airdate:  01/20/95

Hudson and Goliath are led into a trap by Demona.  With an injured Goliath, Hudson takes to the sewers to lose Demona before the sunrise and recalls his encounter with the Archmage in ancient Scotland.

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“Her Brother’s Keeper”

1.12     Her Brother’s Keeper (Episode 12) Airdate:  01/27/95

Jackal and Hyena of the Pack are back and an attempted robbery of Xanatos leads Maza’s brother Derek to take a job with Xanatos.  As Maza tries to convince Derek that Xanatos is the enemy, Goliath realizes he might have expose the gargoyles to save Derek.

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“Reawakening”

1.13     Reawakening (Episode 13) Airdate:  02/03/95

Demona and Xanatos resurrects Goliath’s brother by combining magic and science.  With Stonecold working for Xanatos and Demona, the gargoyles could face their toughest challenge but also could find their place in the modern day.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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