Dungeons & Dragons: The Complete Series

dungeons and dragons the complete animated series dvd cover review episode guide
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 8/10

One of the best Saturday morning cartoons of all time

No ending

dungeons and dragons opening credits title card episode guide

It’s the Dungeons & Dragons ride!!!

Hank, Eric, Sheila, Presto, Diana, and Bobby go on the Dungeons & Dragons amusement park ride and find themselves transported to the Realm.  Gifted with magical weapons by Dungeon Master, Hank the Ranger, Eric the Cavalier, Sheila the Thief, Presto the Magician, Diana the Acrobat, and Bobby the Barbarian are joined by Uni the Unicorn.  The adventurers are targeted by Venger and the dragon Tiamat and seek a way to return to the home they have lost.

Dungeons & Dragons aired from September 17, 1983 to November 7, 1985 on CBS on Saturday mornings.  The series was based up on the TSR 1974 classic roleplaying game Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and faced criticism for its level of violence.  The series was accompanied by a line of toys which did not feature the main characters but supporting characters which were also featured in the game.  The three seasons were released as one set on DVD as Dungeons & Dragons:  The Complete Series.

Dungeons & Dragons was probably one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons of all time.  There were only a total of twenty-seven episodes so it was always exciting to see if it happened to be an episode you missed, or if it would turn out to be one of your favorite episodes of the series.  Rewatching Dungeons & Dragons, you can see that it is a bit ahead of its time in a period where more Saturday morning cartoons were short, not very story driven, and a lot less adult.

dungeons and dragons opening credits characters

Uni, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore…

The plots for the episodes were rather repetitive and kind of are reminiscent of Land of the Lost episodes with the characters desperately trying (and usually failing) to reach Earth.  Controversy occasionally surrounded the show due to episodes like “The Dragon’s Graveyard” in season 2 where the character debate killing Venger (but of course pass on the idea).  Like most children’s shows, the series never had an ending (though a scripted ending for the show was created for fans called “Requiem”).  It was a bit frustrating in this sense and one of those lessons as a kid…sometimes stories don’t have a real ending.

The series featured a strong voice cast.  Don Most was featured as Eric and Willie Aames had a mini-Eight Is Enough reunion with Adam Rich (they play Hank and Presto respectively).  Most noticed however might be Venger…played by Optimus Prime and cartoon voice master himself Peter Cullen while his Transformers enemy Frank Welker provides the voice of Uni and Tiamat.

dungeons and dragons opening credits tiamat

Tiamat rocked!

The animation for shows of this period really varies.  While the backgrounds are rather repetitive and there is a lot of reuse of animation, the core animation is bigger and better than a lot of animated series for Saturday morning.  It could just be the variety of the show, but there were some great sequences (and terrifying sequences) if you were a kid.

Dungeons & Dragons was a great show.  It fun and just what a kid wanted for Saturday morning, especially when it was surrounded by Muppet Babies, Smurfs, and other lighter entertainment.  If you’ve never seen Dungeons & Dragons you might be disappointed compared to more modern cartoons, but for a kids of the ’80s, you should definitely revisit Dungeon Master and the Realm.  I would actually be for a relaunch of this series on something like Netflix…maybe someday we’ll ride the Dungeons & Dragons ride again!

The Dungeons & Dragons Complete Episode Guide:

Season 1

dungeons and dragons season 1 episode 1 the night of no tomorrow first episode merlin presto

“The Night of No Tomorrow”

1.1            The Night of No Tomorrow Airdate:  09/17/83

Dungeon Master sends Hank the Ranger, Eric the Cavalier, Sheila the Thief, Presto the Magician, Diana the Acrobat, and Bobby the Barbarian to help a small city which was saved from Venger by Merlin.  When the group discovers Merlin’s castle, Presto must decide if he wants to remain behind to try to find a way home…but Merlin might have secrets of his own.

dungeons and dragons season 1 episode 2 eye of the beholder

“Eye of the Beholder”

1.2            Eye of the Beholder Airdate:  09/24/83

When the adventurers meet a cowardly knight named Sir John, they learn from Dungeon Master that Sir John could be their key to getting back home if they can defeat the Beholder.  Sir John’s son is held prisoner by Venger, and Sir John learns that he might have to betray his new friends.

dungeons and dragons season 1 episode 3 the hall of bones venger1.3            The Hall of Bone Airdate:  10/03/83

When the mystic energy powering the adventurers weapons begins to fail, Dungeon Master sends the group to re-charge the energy in the Hall of Bones…but Venger seeks to stop them first!

dungeons and dragons season 1 episode 4 valley of the unicorn kelek uni

“Valley of the Unicorn”

1.4            Valley of the Unicorns Airdate:  10/08/83

The adventurers find another unicorn under attack, but discover the wizard Kelek has kidnapped Uni in the process.  Uni is in danger, and the adventures must save him and the other unicorns before it is too late.

dungeons and dragons season 1 episode 5 in search of the dungeon master warduke

“In Search of the Dungeon Master”

1.5            In Search of the Dungeon Master Airdate:  10/15/83

Dungeon Master has been kidnapped by Warduke and Bullywogs and Warduke is trying to sell him to Venger.  When Eric leaves the group, he finds himself alone in the dangerous world as the other adventurers try to find a way to free Dungeon Master with a group of imprisoned dwarves.

dungeons and dragons season 1 episode 6 beauty and the bogbeast eric

“Beauty and the Bogbeast”

1.6            Beauty and the Bogbeast Airdate:  10/22/83

Dungeon Master reveals that a waterfall that flows upward could be the adventurers chance to get home, but the adventurers chances are threatened by a spell that turns Eric into a bogbeast.

dungeons and dragons season 1 episode 7 prison without walls lukion heart of the dragon

“Prison without Walls”

1.7            Prison Without Walls Airdate:  10/29/83

The adventures search for the heart of the dragon and learn that Lukion could contain the secret to the dragon.  When the adventurers are sent into the Swamp of Sorrow by Dungeon Master, Lukion must be discovered before Venger finds them.

dungeons and dragons season 1 episode 8 servant of evil strongheart

“Servant of Evil”

1.8            Servant of Evil Airdate:  10/05/83

It’s Bobby’s birthday, but when Bobby runs off into the forest, the rest of the adventurers are captured.  Now, Bobby and Uni are alone and learn from Dungeon Master that they must travel into the Prison of Agony to rescue their friends.  Despite help from Strongheart, the adventurers find escaping the prison could be impossible.

dungeons and dragons season 1 episode 9 quest of the skeleton warrior dekkion

“Quest of the Skeleton Warrior”

1.9            Quest of the Skeleton Warrior 11/12/83

The Circle of Power has been found in the Lost Tower of the Celestial Knights, and Venger realizes that only the adventurers he’s been pursuing can enter the Lost Tower to retrieve it.  A cursed skeleton warrior named Dekkion reveals he needs the Circle of Power…and the Lost Tower and the Circle of Power could be both the adventurers and Dekkion’s only hope.

dungeons and dragons season 1 episode 10 the garden of zinn bobby hank

“The Garden of Zinn”

1.10          The Garden of Zinn Airdate:  11/19/83

Bobby is poisoned by a dragon turtle, and Dungeon Master reveals that the only cure can be found in the Garden of Zinn.  Now, the adventurers are in a race against time to save Bobby before he is overcome by the sickness.

dungeons and dragons season 1 episode 11 the box zadora

“The Box”

1.11          The Box Airdate:  11/26/83

The adventurers find a locked box and learn from Dungeon Master that it is known as Zandora’s Box.  The adventurers find that the box has the ability to open portals to other dimensions and seek out Skull Mountain with the hopes that Zandora can provide them a way back to Earth.

dungeons and dragons season 1 episode 12 the lost children

“The Lost Children”

1.12          The Lost Children Airdate:  12/03/83

Dungeon Master tells the adventurers of a ship that can return them to Earth.  When the adventures meet a group of lost children, they learn the children are also looking for the ship and their elder Alfor who was trapped by Venger.

dungeons and dragons season 1 episode 13 p-r-e-s-t-o spells disaster presto uni

“P-R-E-S-T-O Spells Disaster”

1.13           P-R-E-S-T-O Spells Disaster Airdate:  12/10/83

Presto’s spell accidentally sends Eric, Bobby, Bobby, Sheila, Diana, and Hank into the hands of a giant.  It is now up to Presto and Uni to rescue them for they are killed.

Season 2

dungeons and dragons season 2 episode 1 the girl who dreamed tomorrow bobby terri

“The Girl Who Dreamed Tomorrow”

2.1       The Girl Who Dreamed Tomorrow Airdate:  09/08/84

The adventurers find another car from the Dungeons & Dragon ride and learn a girl named Terri and her dog Freddy have come to the world.  When Dungeon Master reveals that Terri has prophetic dreams, the adventurers learn they must navigate the Maze of Darkness to get themselves and Terri back to Earth…but Terri’s arrival has caught the eye of Venger, and Venger seeks to discover the secret of Terri’s powers!

dungeons and dragons season 2 episode 2 the treasure of tardos venger

“The Treasure of Tardos”

2.2       The Treasure of Tardos Airdate:  09/15/84

Dungeon Master reveals the Realm is in danger due to Venger and that the adventurers must ally themselves with their enemy to protect it.

dungeons and dragons season 2 episode 3 city at the edge of midnight

“City at the Edge of Midnight”

2.3       City at the Edge of Midnight Airdate:  09/22/84

Dungeon Master tells the adventurers that they must travel to the City at the Edge of Midnight where children from Earth and the Realm are being held.  Teamed with a caravan leader named Ramound who reveals his child Ayesha also was stolen, the adventurers realize the danger has increased when Bobby becomes the next victim of the kidnappers.

dungeons and dragons season 2 episode 4 the traitor eric presto hank sheila

“The Traitor”

2.4       The Traitor Airdate:  09/29/84

The adventurers find Bobby missing and learn that Hank might have betrayed them.  As Hank questions working with Venger to protect Bobby, the adventurers find new allies in a group of bears named Cloud Bears that live in the treetops.

dungeons and dragons season 2 episode 5 day of the dungeon master eric venger

“Day of the Dungeon Master”

2.5       Day of the Dungeon Master Airdate:  10/06/84

Eric questions why Dungeon Master won’t help the adventurers return home, and Dungeon Master gives Eric his power.  With new power, Eric realizes he has the power to return to the adventures to home and seeks out the Golden Grimoire to do it, but Venger is seeking the Golden Grimoire too.

dungeons and dragons season 2 episode 6 the last illusion varla

“The Last Illusion”

2.6       The Last Illusion Airdate:  10/13/84

The adventurers travel through the Swamp of Darkness, and Presto encounters a girl named Varla.  The adventurers learn from Varla’s parents that Varla disappeared into the swamp and the adventurers find the village turned against them.  Without their weapons, the adventurers must save Varla and save the village from Venger’s plans.

dungeons and dragons season 2 episode 7 the dragons graveyard tiamat

“The Dragon’s Graveyard”

2.7       The Dragon’s Graveyard Airdate:  10/20/84

Deciding they have grown tired of losing to Venger, the adventurers disobey Dungeon Master’s wishes and set out on a quest to slay Venger.  Learning they must team with Tiamat, the adventurers seek out the Dragon’s Graveyard and the key to killing Venger.

dungeons and dragons season 2 episode 8 child of the stargazer queen syrith

“Child of the Stargazer”

2.8       Child of the Stargazer Airdate:  10/27/84

The adventurers meet a man named Kosar and learn that he is wanted by Queen Syrith since he is predicted to end her rule during Starfall.  When Kosar and Diana are kidnapped by Queen Syrith, they learn their destinies might be intertwined.

Season 3

dungeons and dragons season 3 episode 1 the dungeon at the heart of dawn venger dungeon master

“The Dungeon at the Heart of Dawn”

3.1       The Dungeon at the Heart of Dawn Airdate:  09/14/85

When Eric and Hank accidentally unleash an evil into the Realm, both Venger and Dungeon Master find the magic sucked from the land.  Dungeon Master and Venger flee to the underground to restore their powers in the hopes the evil can be defeated.

dungeons and dragons season 3 episode 2 the time lost german pilot

“The Time Lost”

3.2       The Time Lost Airdate:  09/21/85

A portal to Earth brings planes to the realm.  Venger captures a World War II German pilot to destroy Earth’s timeline, and the adventurers must convince him to turn on Venger.

dungeons and dragons season 3 episode 3 odyssey of the 12th talisman dungeon master

“Odyssey of the 12th Talisman”

3.3       Odyssey of the 12th Talisman Airdate:  09/28/85

The adventurers seek the Stone of Astra and meet a boy named Lorne who possess the talisman they seek…unfortunately, a wizard named Korlock and Venger seek the Stone of Astra as well.

dungeons and dragons season 3 episode 4 citadel of shadow karena venger sister

“Citadel of Shadows”

3.4       Citadel of Shadow Airdate:  10/12/85

Sheila blames herself for failing and seeks a way to prove her worth to the other adventurers.  When she encounters a girl named Karena and learns Karena could be possess a means to return the adventurers to Earth, but a surprising tie to Venger could prevent it from ever happening.

dungeons and dragons season 3 episode 5 cave of the fairie dragons

“Cave of the Fairie Dragons”

3.5       Cave of the Fairie Dragons Airdate:  11/09/85

The adventurers stumble upon the cave of the fairie dragons and learn that a king seeks their treasure.  With the dragon queen a prisoner of the king, the adventurers must protect the cave of the fairie dragons.

dungeons and dragons season 3 episode 6 the winds of darkness darkling

“The Winds of Darkness”

3.6       The Winds of Darkness Airdate:  11/07/85

The adventurers meet a woman named Martha who reveals that the world is endangered by a being called the Darkling.  With Hank captured, Bobby, Eric, Sheila, Uni, Diana, and Presto team with Martha to try to free him…but Martha and the Darkling have a past together.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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