Created by Don Reo for Warner Bros. Television
February – May 1983
In this series two magical kingdoms clash. Prince Erik Greystone and his sidekick, the strongest man in the kingdom, Marko must fight the evil Prince Dirk Blackpool and his wizard Vector as they unleash dastardly plot after dastardly plot against the peaceful people of Camarand.
- Prince Erik Greystone (Jeff Conaway) is the prince of a neighboring kingdom who becomes the champion of the Kingdom of Camarand because he is engaged to Princess Ariel. The role is played seriously but to the point of being comedic.
- Marko (Walter Olkewicz) is Prince Erik’s sidekick and the strongest man in the kingdom. He is your usual best friend and an all-around nice guy.
- Princess Ariel Baaldorf (Julia Duffy) is the spoiled princess of the Kingdom of Camarand and engaged to Prince Erik. She even has a pet unicorn named Pumpkin. Duffy displays in this character many of the same characteristics used in her better-known role as the spoiled rich cleaning lady Stephanie Vanderkellen on Newhart. Duffy killed it in the role. She is brilliant here. The timing and delivery that made her so amazing on Newhart is on full display.
- Prince Dirk Blackpool (Duncan Regehr) is the evil prince of a neighboring kingdom that seeks to destroy/conquer Camarand.
- Vector (Clive Revill) is Dirk Blackpool’s wizard who is forced to serve him after Blackpool manages to take his monocle through which he focuses his powers. The character was about as over the top of a villain as you could get.
- King Baaldorf (Thomas Hill) was Ariel’s father and a touch on the clueless side.
- Queen Lattinia (Julie Payne) was the loving wife of the king and the doting mother to Princess Ariel.
- Justin Greystone (Jay Kerr) was Erik’s brother as well as a capable brother and the black sheep of the family apparently. He would’ve been an interesting character had this series progress beyond eight episodes
- Tranquil (Ian Wolfe) was an aging wizard and despite his appearance was much more capable than he let on. Wolfe was a familiar face on television for a long time. Guaranteed you saw him in something.
- Geoffrey Blackpool (Tim Dunigan) Dirk’s brother was in sharp contrast to his brother. Essentially a nice guy in comparison to his brother.
I had the chance recently to re-watch this obscure series from the 80s. I adored it as a kid. And for me it still holds up. It’s a lighthearted fantasy comedy with subtle jokes. You’ll smile but not openly laugh. Unless Princess Ariel is on the screen. This show was a comedy, but it wasn’t meant to actually generate laughs. It was more to bring a smile to your face.
Most of the actors are familiar faces from the 80s. If you watched the television of the time it’s a guarantee you will recognize them from a few things.
For the most part the costumes are good in this show. Science-fiction and fantasy back then did not quite get the love and attention from studios that it does today. It was a few years before Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered-a series which proved there was an audience to justify such costly series. Studios were still more than a bit unwilling to invest. While the effects and sets here were a little questionable, for the most part the costumes were just amazing.
They went with the metallic fabrics and even at times went the cheesy route with the Robin Hood type hat with the feather in it, but they looked good. The fabrics didn’t look cheap and there was detail in the costumes. They didn’t look like cheap Halloween costumes.
The sets were hit or miss. The throne room, the most used set in the entire series, looked underdeveloped and fake. It’s a comedy so some fake is allowed but this looked like they had purchased something from an amusement park and thrown a few props in. I think maybe a little judicious use of paint on some of the rocks in the background and a few additional pieces of furniture could have worked wonders here.
The series itself was only handful of episodes but other than the first episode they were pretty strong stories. It had a good mix of humor and action, but it just didn’t catch on with audiences for some reason. It’s a hard to find show but if you can catch it give it a shot. I think you’ll like it.