An Episode Guide to Shadow Raiders

Chaos in Print

Almost two years ago now, I learned that one of the greatest cartoons ever made, Shadow Raiders, was on DVD. So, I resolved to get all 26 episodes on disc. I said that once I got every DVD, I’d have a marathon screening of every episode. Well, the final disc finally arrived just one week before I left for Japan, so I never got to do my marathon screening. I finally did my marathon screening four months ago, and while doing it, I wrote a complete episode guide to Shadow Raiders! But, this was during the one week I had my original laptop back, and wouldn’t you know it, it finally crashed for good just as I hit “save.” So, I’ve finally got around to re-typing the episode guide from memory.

Now, Shadow Raiders was one of the greatest cartoons ever made. It was produced by Canada’s own Mainframe Entertainment, the same folks behind ReBoot, Beast Wars: Transformers, and the new computer animated Spider-Man. Shadow Raiders was loosely based on the War Planets toys. Did you remember War Planets? Giant war machines the size of planets with all kinds of gizmos and weapons for destroying each other. Shadow Raiders told the tale of the people who lived on those planets and the lives that such an existence would lead to.

The series focused on a planetary system of four worlds: the planets of Fire, Bone, Rock, and Ice. For centuries, these four worlds have been locked in mortal combat as they raided each other for their natural resources. But then, one day, the lone survivor of Planet Tek arrives with a dire warning: the Beast Planet, devourer of worlds, is coming and will destroy the whole system! So now, it’s up to Graveheart, the lowly miner from Planet Rock, to unite the four worlds into a force to take a stand against the Beast. That was the plot for season 1. Season 2 entered into Battlestar Galactica territory, as the citizens of the four planets fled through space with the Beast hot on their trail.

And that, in a nutshell, was one of the greatest cartoons ever made. And since I have it all on DVD, here’s a complete episode guide!

Season 1 (1998 – 1999)

Behold the Beast
Written by Len Wein
Directed by Colin Davies and Phil Mitchell

On Planet Ice, a war rages between the soldiers of Ice and a raiding party from Planet Rock. Soon, Tekla, the last survivor of Planet Tek crash lands in the crossfire, and soldiers of the Beast Planet arrive. The Beast Drones wipe out everyone except Graveheart of Rock, Tekla, and King Cryos, the ruler of Ice. Once they have fought off the Beast drones, Tekla charges Graveheart with the task of uniting the worlds into an alliance to defeat the Beast just as she falls into a coma. After having fought side-by-side with Graveheart, Cryos announces the Ice is first in the Alliance. And thus the show begins!

On the Rocks
Written by Christy Marx
Directed by Mark Sawers

Graveheart and Cryos head to Planet Rock, hoping to bring Graveheart’s home planet into the Alliance. But, Lord Mantle, the ruler of Rock, is a stubborn man who wants to know why Graveheart is the sole survivor of a doomed mission, and why Graveheart now stands side-by-side with an enemy. Not buying Graveheart’s story about the Beast, Mantle throws Graveheart in prison! But when the Beast attacks Rock, Graveheart saves the planet. Mantel then offers Graveheart a choice: swear loyalty to Planet Rock, or be exiled. Graveheart chooses the Alliance…and exile. But Jade, Graveheart’s childhood friend and Mantle’s captain of the guard, tags along to watch over her friend.

Born in Fire
Written by Marv Wolfman
Directed by Mark Schiemann

Our heroes now try to bring Planet Fire into the Alliance. The ruler of Fire, the youthful Prince Pyrus, is eager to hear them out, but his advisor, the Vizier, is mistrustful, and orders Graveheart and Cryos to undergo the trial. As they go through the trial, Cryos’s daughter, the Lady Zira, tries to convince Prince Pyrus to join the Alliance. They defeat some Beast drones, Cryos and Graveheart complete the trial, and Planet Fire joins the Alliance.

Bad to the Bone
Written by Ken Pontac
Directed by Dwayne John Beaver and Phil Mitchell

Next stop: Planet Bone. But, when our heroes arrive, they find that Bone’s ruler, Emperor Femur, has already entered Bone into an alliance with the Beast Planet! But, this is soon revealed to be a ruse on the Beast’s part to destroy Bone, and with the help of our heroes, Planet Bone is saved, and Femur enters Bone into the Alliance.

Wolf in the Fold
Written by Christy Marx
Directed by Anthony Atkins

The Alliance sits down to have their first strategy session. But Lamprey, general of the Beast Planet, possess the lifeless body of Tekla in order to destroy the Alliance! Everyone welcomes back “Tekla,” but Jade suspects something. Will our heroes discover this ruse and save Tekla?

Mind War
Written by Ken Pontac
Directed by Owen M. Hurley

The battle now moves to the metaphysical plane, as Lamprey and Tekla fight it out for control of Tekla’s body. Meanwhile, in the real world, our heroes debate killing Tekla’s body. Yes, Tekla will die, but so will Lamprey. Will Tekla win the battle, or will the Alliance seek the…practical solution?

Written by Katherine Lawrence
Directed by Andrew Duncan

While scouring Planet Fire for Beast drones, Jade is accused of murdering a Fire citizen. While awaiting execution, Graveheart and Pyrus go looking for the real killer. Naturally, the real killer turns out to be Lamprey as all part of a plot to subvert the Alliance. Can Graveheart bring Lamprey to justice before it’s too late for Jade?

Blood is Thicker…
Written by Marv Wolfman
Directed by Vladimir Stefoff

Blokk, another of the Beast’s generals, kidnaps Lady Zira and holds the Alliance hostage. While King Cryos frantically searches for his daughter, the others battle off the latest wave of Beast drones. Will Cryos rescue his daughter? What price will the Alliance pay?

Rock and Ruin
Written by Christy Marx
Directed by George Samilski

The Alliance decides to make one last ditch effort to bring in Planet Rock. As they plead their case to Lord Mantle, Femur decides to take advantage of the situation and tricks Tekla into helping him steal the center of Rock’s defences: the battle moons. Soon, Tekla and Graveheart are on a desperate mission to recover the battle moons while the Beast drones attack the vulnerable Planet Rock. But, it’s still not enough to bring Rock into the Alliance. Will Rock ever join the Alliance?

Against All Odds
Written by Marv Wolfman
Directed by Raul Inglis

While on a diplomatic mission, Prince Pyrus and Lady Zira crash land on Remora, the Dead World. (The fifth planet in the system.) As they struggle to survive, they soon discover that the planet houses the Beast’s base of operations. Can they survive long enough to report the location of the Beast base to the Alliance?

Uneasy Hangs the Head
Written by Len Wein
Directed by Craig McEwen

As the Alliance prepares to launch their assault on Remora, Graveheart decides to relinquish leadership of the Alliance! This leads to a series of flashbacks to the various times that Graveheart has saved the Alliance. But, what starts as a clip show soon turns into a dramatic character piece as we learn why Graveheart is reluctant to lead.

Ragnarok part I
Written by Steve Cuden
Directed by James E. Taylor

The battle of Remora begins! What can I say? It’s just a 22-minute long space battle.

Ragnarok part II
Written by Len Wein
Directed by James Boshier

The Beast forces show their true colours: they’ve turned Remora into a planet-sized war machine. Upon seeing this, Planet Bone pulls out of the Alliance and returns to the safety of their home world. But, lo and behold, Jade shows up with the battle moons! She finally brought Planet Rock into the Alliance! The combined might of Fire, Rock, and Ice destroy Remora, but their victory is short-lived. The Beast Planet arrives!

Season 2 (1999 – 2000)

Worlds Within Worlds
Written by Christy Marx
Directed by Owen Hurley

The Alliance frantically tries to mount a defence against the Beast Planet, but it is a losing battle. Meanwhile, Tekla and Zira search the catacombs of Planet Ice, in search of an ancient technology that Tekla learned of when she and Lamprey shared minds. Can the ancient technology save the Alliance?

This is the Way the World Ends…
Written by Marv Wolfman
Directed by Steve Ball

The ancient technology turns out to be the World Engines; engines large enough to move the planet. With the world engines of Ice, Bone, and Rock safely activated, the race is on to find the world engines of Planet Fire. But, by the time they’re found, the Beast forces have already had their way with them. The people of Planet Fire evacuate to the battle moons of Planet Rock. Able only to achieve minimum thrust, the world engines can’t get Planet Fire out of the way in time. The Vizier stays behind and pilots Planet Fire on a kamikaze course with the Beast planet, but it’s not enough to stop the Beast.

Period of Adjustment
Written by Ken Pontac
Directed by J. Falconer

The people of Planet Bone are starting to turn on Emperor Femur for pulling Bone out of the Alliance. This leads to Femur’s silly attempts to bring Bone back into the Alliance. Meanwhile, there is a food shortage in the Alliance, because Planet Bone was the planet always raided for food. Will Bone get back into the Alliance? Will the food shortage be solved? Oh, if only there was a common solution!

A Blaze of Glory
Written by Dan DiDio
Directed by Andrew Duncan

General Blaze, Prince Pyrus’s captain of the guard, doesn’t like the current existence of the people of Planet Fire. Seeking to die a warrior’s death, he and several like-minded Fire soldiers swipe a battle moon and go off to fight the Beast. Can the Alliance talk them out of the wasteful death?

Written by E. Bull & W. Shetterly
Directed by Craig McEwen

While on their flight from the Beast, the Alliance comes across Planet Sand. The planet is dominated by two species: the Eric Idle-ish “Sun people,” and the large ape-like “Sand people.” The Sand people are regarded as little more than cattle, but Lady Zira believes that there’s something more to them. Zira soon uncovers the truth: the Sand people are actually powerful telepaths. With their help, an attacking Beast armada is destroyed, Sand’s world engines are found, and Planet Sand joins the Alliance.

Girls Night Out
Written by Brooks Watchel
Directed by George Roman Samilski

Jade, Zira, Tekla, and Zuma (of Planet Sand) are all starting to get on each other’s nerves. So, Graveheart gives them the night off. Joined by the effeminate Pelvis of Planet Bone, the girls head off to the Moon Over Mayhem, the roughest bar in the Alliance. Of course, Lamprey shows up with a gang of Beast drones and it turns into one big bar fight.

Written by Art Holcomb
Directed by Raul Inglis

The Alliance continues through space, and soon discovers Planet Jungle. Since the planet is deserted, they decide to rig Jungle’s world engines to explode, and thus set a trap for the Beast planet. But, on the planet’s surface, mysterious things happen, and soon it is discovered the plant life is sentient! Do they still sacrifice this world to defeat the Beast?

Embers of the Past
Written by Gillian Horvath
Directed by Mark Sawers

With no planet for his people to call their own, Prince Pyrus fears that the Fire people are becoming second-class citizens in the Alliance. And then, what should emerge from a dark nebula but Planet Fire! Lord Mantle is eager to move the Fire people back to their home world, but Pyrus feels this is too good to be true. Sadly, Planet Fire turns out to be little more than the leftover husk from its destruction at the hands of the Beast. Will the Alliance fall for this trap? Will the people of Fire be restored to their former glory?

Divided We Stand
Written by Christy Marx
Directed by Owen Hurley

The Alliance comes across the long-lost Prison Planet. Graveheart, Jade, Cryos, and Femur go to investigate, but as they land, the Prison Planet vanishes! The planet is divided into two factions. Graveheart and Cryos fall in with the camp led by Jewlia, and Jade and Femur fall into the one led by Sternum; the former emperor of Bone – and Femur’s brother!

Nor Iron Bars a Cage
Written by Marv Wolfman
Directed by Steve Ball and Sebastian Brodin

The Prison Planet gets from place to place by its teleport engines, which are currently under the control of Sternum. Jewlia wants them to control the planet, and with Graveheart convinced that Sternum killed Jade, Graveheart is eager to help. Meanwhile, back in the Alliance, we learn the price Jade had to pay to get Rock in the Alliance. With Graveheart gone, Mantel seizes control of the Alliance, and leads them into a final stand with the Beast planet!

Death of a King
Written by Christy Marx
Directed by James E. Taylor

Jewlia begins her assault on Sternum’s forces, but Graveheart and Cryos begin to see Jewlia as being somewhat…psychotic. And as all hell breaks loose, Sternum attempts to seduce Jade! Meanwhile, back in the Alliance, Lord Mantle’s gambit fails, and he soon finds his planet overrun with Beast forces. Will Graveheart and Jade be reunited? Will Jewlia defeat Sternum? Who will die?

The Long Road Home
Written by Marv Wolfman
Directed by Anthony Atkins

Graveheart and Sternum finally come face-to-face, and realize that the common enemy is Jewlia. They band together, defeat Jewlia, and use the teleport engines to get the Prison Planet back to the Alliance. But, the Beast is set to devour Planet Rock! Can Rock be saved?

Written by Dan DiDio & Ken Pontac
Directed by George Roman Samilski

With the Beast vanquished, the time has come to determine who will become the new ruler of Planet Rock. (Yup. Mantle died in Death of a King.) The people of Rock – Graveheart included – nominate Jade. As Jade undergoes the trials of leadership, Blokk commandeers Rock’s world engines and heads it on a collision course with the nearest star, demanding a final showdown with Graveheart. Will Graveheart defeat Blokk? Will Jade become the new ruler of Rock?

And that’s where it ended. Doing some research online, I learned that a third season was planned, but axed when the American distributor failed to meet their commitments.

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