Erik Greystone in Vulkar's Revenge (8_115)

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Shales, Tom. "TV Preview: 'Wizards,' Nonmagic." The Washington Post 26 February 1983: C4.


'Wizards,' Nonmagic

by Tom Shales


Children with nothing better to do may have fun with "Wizards and Warriors," the new CBS fantasy series premiering at 8 tonight on Channel 9, but to be blunt, children should have something better to do.

Jeff Conaway, late of the late "Taxi," plays a mythical prince in a mythical land with a mythical fat slob for a partner. The villains are the wizard Vector, played by Clive Revill, and sinister Prince Blackpool, played by Duncan Regehr and his Hollywood Haircut. As the ditzy princess Ariel, Julia Duffy does a passable impersonation of Madeline Kahn in a Mel Brooks movie.

The tone is facetious, and of course the film attempts to cross-breed about a half dozen successful movies of recent years, from "Star Wars" to "The Dark Crystal." No real harm is done, and some of the visual effects are either cute or eye-catching, but it's difficult to invest any concern in the fates of the characters.

Before commercials, the action freezes and dissolves into comic-book stills, much as "Wild Wild West" did 15 years ago. But, one well may ask, is it really worth the trouble to unfreeze them again? Kids may feel the human beings in "Wizards" make poor substitutes for drawings on paper, which at least have a good excuse for being one-dimensional.


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