Hey folks, Valkor here. Whenever I talk 80's cartoons with a friend (namely one 2D-X head honcho Jeff Wilson), the name "Centurions" usually pops up. I think it all depends on who I talk to… or if I even remember the series at all. Regardless, I loved the cartoon and I loved the toys even more. And thanks to the folks at Warner Home, The Centurions are back to grace televisions screens once again in their latest DVD "The Centurions: The Original Miniseries" DVD as part of the Warner Archive collection.
The Centurions are a special team that utilizes suits called "exo-frames" that allows the team to be transported anywhere on the planet Earth. Not only can the team be teleported anywhere but each member can have weaponry teleported to them that matches their capabilities starting with their leader Max Ray (Sea Commander), followed by Jack Rockwell (Land Specialist), and Ace McCloud (Air Operations Expert). The team's main base of operations is a satellite that orbits earth called "Sky Vault" where Crystal along with her sidekick Orangutan named "Lucy" acts as Transporter, sending the team along with their equipment to wherever they're needed. And we can't forget the catchphrase whenever they fuse with their weapons – Power Xtreme!!
The Centurions protect the earth from the evil Cyborg Doc Terror, his assistant Hacker, and an endless supply of robot henchmen know as "Doom Drones". You'll also meet Terror's daughter in one ep and additional characters show up later in the series.
This single disc DVD runs 5 episodes long, with no additional extras. So, how about an episode rundown?
The Sky is on Fire - Doc Terror has unleashed a plethora of missiles into the Earth's atmosphere causing the planet to heat up. On top of that he's stolen a newly designed cryogenic ray, which could potentially save the earth. The Centurions have to retrieve the ray before life on earth is turned to ash.
Battle Beneath the Sea - Tired of being thwarted by the Centurions at every turn, Doc Terror decides to go after the underwater Sealab where the Centurion's weapons are made, using a new weapon called Mako. The Centurions retake the lab but not before Mako calls on Terror's biggest surprise – a giant Cyber-Squid.
An Alien Affair - The Centurions investigate a comet that's been sending out a mysterious signal. Upon closer inspection, the comet is shown to be hollow inside, but further investigation shows a feline creature with the ability to suck energy lurking about. Attempting to escape the beast, the team teleport out to Sky Vault, however the monster has hitched a ride with an appetite for destruction… and energy.
Found: One Lost World - While battling it out with Doc Terror, the team focuses on Terror's ship, which crash lands in an African Jungle. There Terror finds a cave that leads to a lost world filled with Dinosaurs, which he'd like to turn into evil cyborgs. The team finds Doc's location and attempt to thwart his plot, but now they have to contend with a lizard race also under Terror's control.
Sand Doom – When a convoy goes missing in the desert, the team go to investigate. They soon learn that General Amid is in cahoots with Doc Terror and also on their side – a giant Cyborg worm!
The Centurions series went on for 60 full episodes, plus a line-up of toys and a comic book. I actually enjoyed the toys more than I did watching the series because of the ability to swap weapons with the different characters. And how does it feel retreading on past cartoons? Find out in the TOV Breakdown.
The disc is only 5 episodes deep, but still a lot of fun to watch with plenty of action. Sure the animation is a bit sluggish, but it's a product of its time and wasn't really meant for today's youth who are used to having their animation fast-paced. But give it a try, you might find something worth watching. The mini-series has been given a nice remaster, taken from the show's original negatives, the colors are sharp and oh so bright, making it look brand new. Audio sounds great with crystal clear vocals and sound effects. Honestly? The Centurions is definitely one of the best series of the 80's and it still holds up well even today.
The Bad: Just like the Challenge of the Gobots, The Centurions disc is based on the first few episodes of the series. But unlike the Gobot's disc, each episode of The Centurions is stand alone not origin, so Warner could have added an extra episode or two to fill things out.
If you like your classic cartoons 80's style, then The Centurions: The Original Miniseries DVD is a definite pick up; it's dramatic, action packed, and loads of fun. The disc is available now and out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving The Centurions a 4 and it's been Valkor Viewed, TOV Approved.