Let’s get barbaric with Thundarr the Barbarian! This early 80s Ruby-Spears Production centered on a warrior, a sorceress and a … Mok, which sounds like a straightforward fantasy series until you learn that it’s set in the year 3994 AD! That blew my mind as an adult, since the presence of skyscrapers and (sorta) rusted Volkswagen Beetles apparently escaped my attention as a kid. Regardless, we’ve put together a handy character guide below to get you better acquainted (via Wikipedia).
If you remember the series fondly and want to pick it up for yourself, please consider using our referral link to buy the complete series on DVD. Your purchase helps to fund our podcast. Thanks!
- Thundarr (voiced by Robert Ridgely) – The main protagonist of the series. He is a barbarian that was once a slave to Sabian until he was freed by Princess Ariel and given the Sunsword which he uses as a weapon in his fight against evil wizards and other villains. Thundarr was frequently uttering such pronouncements as “Demon dogs!”, “Lords of Light!”, and the Thundarr war-cry “Aaaaahh-ee!” Thundarr, along with his friend Ookla, are largely unknowledgable about the world and rely on Ariel’s guidance, but Thundarr is respectful of knowledge gained. When once asked what kind of man he was, Thundarr simply replied “Free!”
- Ookla the Mok (voiced by Henry Corden) – Ookla is a member of the Mok species, a leonine humanoid with fangs and yellow eyes. In Thundarr the Barbarian‘s back-story, Ookla and Thundarr were enslaved in the court of the wizard Sabian until Sabian’s stepdaughter Princess Ariel helped them escape. As a Mok, Ookla has great strength, usually fighting by ripping up a nearby sapling or piece of wreckage to club his enemies. On a few occasions he is shown to use a longbow that fires a type of paralyzing arrow. However, he is also the most likely of the heroes to charge right into an enemy attack or to be enraged by unusual nuisances or threats. Moks dwell in their own territory, ruled by a king; they fear and hate water, preferring to face overwhelming odds in battle rather than wade through a stream to escape. Both Thundarr and Ariel generally understand the howls that make up Ookla’s speech, but Thundarr seems to know more about Mok culture than Ariel, perhaps because he and Ookla met and worked together as slaves before either met Ariel. Whereas Thundarr and Ariel ride horses for transport, Ookla’s steed is another quadrupedal species called an equort.
- Princess Ariel (voiced by Nellie Bellflower) – Ariel is a beautiful and powerful sorceress. Not much was revealed about her past before she met Thundarr except that she was the stepdaughter of an evil wizard named Sabian. She learned of Earth’s history from his library. In the episode “Battle of The Barbarians”, Thundarr was once a slave of the evil wizard Sabian before being freed by Princess Ariel. It is also thought that she gave Thundarr his principal weapon, the Sunsword. It was never revealed exactly where she was a princess. Her most common feats of sorcery involved creating light constructs, ranging from throwing exploding spheres to levitating weights to summoning nets, shields, or bridges over chasms. She could also produce powerful energy blasts, blinding light and magically reanimate machines. At times she shows romantic feelings toward Thundarr. Though he never outwardly returns them, it is clear that he does care for her.
And here’s a bonus round for the villainous wizards, thanks to The Savage AfterWorld!
- Gemini: This Wizard had head with two faces – one good and one evil. When crossed or angered, his head would rotate, revealing the “evil” Gemini face (pictured). Gemini was the only Wizard to appear in two episodes.
- Mindok: The brain of one of the Ancients was placed into a mechanical robot body. Over the years, Mindok learned the ways of magic. It is said he is immortal.
- Argoth: The Wizard with One Thousand Eyes, Argoth can see in 360 degrees around him. His eyes are the sources of his power, as all of his spells come firing out of them.
- Skullus: This Wizard is nothing more than a head living inside of a glass dome. But don’t let that lull you into a sense of security as Skullus commands one of the largest armies in the world.