At the destruction of Planet Tek at the hands of the planet-consuming Beast planet, Princess Tekla is the sole survivor. In desperation, she reaches a system where four planets named respectively Fire, Bone, Rock and Ice who continually raid each other for the resources that each planet needs. She crashlands on planet Ice where one such raid by the Rock people was confronted by the Ice people. A raiding party from the Beast attacks to silence her, but while they exterminate almost all the combatants, they are beaten back with the help of Graveheart, a miner of the Rock people and King Cryos of Ice. Princess Tekla appoints Graveheart with a massive critical task. Against all odds, he must build an alliance among the worlds to face the horror that is to come. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
Mainframe's Masterpeice, the best show you've never heard of
Stop me if you heard this before, a group of alien races have been at war with each other for centuries, but they have to put aside their mutual racism and distrust in order to form an alliance to battle a powerful enemy previously thought to be myth. Did I mention that a few of the aliens are lizard like and some have weird accents? If you thought I was writing about Babylon 5, then you would be wrong. The show in question is a computer animated offering from Mainframe Entertainment called Shadow Raiders (or War Planets), the show that Babylon 5 should have been. Shadow Raiders was based on the toy line from Trendmasters called The War Planets, but the Canadian broadcasters did not like the use of the word "war" in the title, so the Canadian title became the less appropriate, yet much cooler Shadow Raiders and it is this title that the series is being released under in America on DVD by ADV Films. This company is guilty of releasing a ridiculous amount of execrable animated product from Japan, what the geeky fan faithful call "anime" (snicker, snicker), but thankfully they have branched out with Shadow Raiders, Mainframe's original (and most famous) work Reboot and the live action series Far Scape. The reasoning behind this seems to be "man can't live on bad product from Japan forever" and ADV needs to be applauded for placing Shadow Raiders in our hands. If you were like me, then you never saw Shadow Raiders in it's original run. It was on in my home town at a ridiculously early time slot on the weekend, I only blundered into an episode by accident after waking up at the crack of dawn and failing to get back to sleep. It's a shame really as like most Mainframe product, Shadow Raiders is a highly dramatic, mature work, probably the best thing Mainframe has ever done. It's a TV show that deserves to be seen, a sprawling epic Space Opera, with a wonderfully original look and magnificent animation. In fact it's epic feel is the type of thing that the foolish anime fans have been brainwashed into believing their silly fighting robot shows provide. They should certainly watch Shadow Raiders and see what true animated Science Fiction can achieve. Actually everyone should take a chance on this series, you'll be rewarded with strong storytelling and excellent characterization. You can't say that for much of what passes for entertainment these days and remember, Shadow Raiders is technically a children's show! If all shows (for children or otherwise) could be this mature, TV would not be the wasteland it is today.
At the very least, Shadow Raiders proves that a show based on a toy line does not have to be made to appeal to the lowest common denominator or be dumbed down in any way to a success. Get Shadow Raiders, you won't be disappointed.
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