American Record Guide
|Phillips, Mark. "The Television Worlds of Hocus-Pocus."
TV Zone Special #40: 11.
The Television Worlds of Hocus-Pocus
by Mark Phillips
The Sword & Sorcery Blues
Slightly more dramatic was Wizards and Warriors, which debuted in early 1983. This series was set in the land of Aperans in the days of King Arthur. The Kingdom of Camarand was benignly ruled by King Baaldorf and Queen Lattinia. Their beautiful daughter Ariel was courted by a brave Knight, Erik Greystone (Jeff Conaway). Meanwhile, north of the border, Prince Blackstone (Duncan Regehr) and Wizard Vector (Clive Revill) did their evil best to destroy Greystone and the Kingdom.
Greystone never lost his good cheer, despite eight episodes of evil magic thrown his way in the forms of deadly powder shot by cannon, drinks of potent poison, unceasing storms, mystical daggers, amulets that fired flame, scaly demons and nasty warriors armed with daggers and swords.
In one episode, Greystone and Ariel were trapped in a cursed castle, full of ravenous spiders, a living skeleton, clanking suits of ghostly armour, maniacal laughter and evil doubles. Another episode had Greystone’s father felled by a evil spell that could only be cured by a bite of magical green fruit. Blackstone and Vector also conjured up monsters, including The Grox, a lizard with poisonous claws. Despite all of its snarling, Greystone handily dispatched The Grox with his sword.
One of Greystone’s allies was Belldonna, a forest apparition of stunning beauty. Unfortunately, her warnings to Greystone often came a cropper, since she spoke in poetic double-talk and Greystone was so dazzled by her beauty that he was just as confused after her appearance as he was before.
Meanwhile, the evil Blackstone had a magic monocle that he wore around his neck which would paralyze foes by shooting out beams of light. His sidekick, Vector the Wizard, wanted the monocle since it had once belonged to him. Vector secretly plotted, dreamed, schemed, begged, ranted and obsessed about getting the monocle away from the gloating Blackstone. However, the dark Prince was always one step ahead of his desperate flunky and Vector always reverted back to his sullen, second-banana self. Despite Blackstone’s and Vector’s conniving, they never destroyed Greystone.
Wizards and Warriors sank from low ratings and high production costs but it predated such well-documented magical shows such as Xena: Warrior Princess [1995-2001], with Lucy Lawless using her sword-wielding skills in ancient Greece, The Adventures of Sinbad [1996-19980 with Zen Gesner in the title role, and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys [1995-1999] starring Kevin Sorbo as the mythical superhuman. The history of magic on television has been a rocky one on network television, but in recent years has made a terrific comeback in syndication, a comeback that is worthy of Houdini.
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