Saturday, July 02, 2016

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Blackstar: "The Overlord's Big Spell" (November 21, 1981)

The Overlord conjures an evil and powerful spell, one which draws all the magic from all locations and beings on Sagar to his location, in the ice palace.  

This spell has an unfortunate effect on Mara, whose life force is sustained by magic. She starts to vanish, a little at a time, becoming intangible.

Blackstar understands the risk if The Overlord is successful: “evil things will run wild” on Sagar, and there will be no chance left to stop the Overlord. Mara will die.

Meanwhile, the ever-more-powerful Overlord summons a new minion, a devil creature called Brilerand.  The demon is so evil, even Overlord cannot control him.

Because of this development, Blackstar and Overlord agree to a temporary truce.

“The Overlord’s Big Spell” is another “my enemy, my ally” story in which sworn enemies must put aside their differences so as to vanquish a dangerous and immediate threat.  

Here, the Overlord’s magic-sucking spell allows him to summon a big, red, gargoyle-like monster that refuses to accept his dominion.  In one funny scene, the Overlord demands that Brilerand obey him, and Brilerand replies by shooting laser beams at him, repetitively.

Blackstar and the Overlord join forces, though for different reasons. Blackstar wants to save Mara before she vanishes all-together, and Overlord knows that he cannot defeat the demon alone.  As soon as Brilerand is vanquished, the Overlord is back to his old tricks and the truce is definitively off.

This is a good episode of Blackstar, even though it follows the series formula rigorously since it features yet another evil spell. Mara’s predicament adds an emotional appeal to the story, and it is rich indeed to see the Overlord forced to work with his nemeses.  “Helping trobbits…it pains me!” he croaks.

Next week: “The Crown of the Sorceress”

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