“The Night of No Tomorrow”,
was the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon first episode. The group of lost teens and younger children accept Dungeon Master’s first quest of the series, meet a legend, and encounter dragons.
The children climb a mountain and take a moment to appreciate the view of canyons including floating monoliths. While having fun creating echoes, Uni’s bleat awakens Tiamat from her sleep. As Tiamat exits her cave, Bobby the Barbarian goes Leroy Jenkins before Hank saves him with his arrow. Sheila goats Tiamat back into her cave with help of her invisible cloak before Bobby traps the dragon inside with the aid of his club.
Enter Dungeon Master, who makes a surprise entrance. There will be a celebration at the village of Helix. He wants to send his pupils to journey north for it. Dungeon Master says they may find something there that will help get them home. Once upon a time, Helix was attacked by dragons before good magic drove them away. But Dungeon Master warns them about Venger and his many faces of evil. He drops a deceiving clue to look for someone with white hair. After brief discussion, Hank and group decide to accept Dungeon Master’s quest.
Struggling through the heat, the group is also very hungry. Presto tries to pull hamburgers from his hat. Instead, summons a live cow. As they continue, they find Merlin’s castle in the clouds above. A magical ladder welcomes them by dropping from the skies. Unfortunately, Uni must be left behind. With the help of Diana’s acrobatic abilities, she traverses the sky moat and lowers the drawbridge so the others may cross.
Inside, they soon are greeted by Merlin petting his rabbit. He puts the children at ease by taking off his hat exposing his bald head leaving only the gray beard on his face. Merlin tells the story of Helix but Eric becomes impatient after Merlin tells them he can’t send them home. Eric walks off, approaches a giant door and opens it before Tiamat appears from the other side. Not learning his lesson the first time, Bobby rushes Tiamat to attack but Merlin levitates Bobby up and away to safety.
The heroes lure Tiamat into a pit thanks to their team work including Presto’s successfully pulling a carpet out of his hat. Merlin thanks them for saving his life and Presto accepts his offer to stay behind for the rest of Merlin’s life as an apprentice. As the others walk away and continue to Helix, Presto stirs Merlin’s cauldron. Merlin steps away but not before tempting Presto with a book that answers all questions. Unsupervised, Presto follows a recipe out of the spell book in hopes to find a way home. However, he summons evil dragons instead.
Running to Merlin for help, instead the great wizard lectures Presto and shares with him that he switched the spells and “Merlin” died a thousand years ago. “Merlin” reveals himself and Venger, takes Presto’s hat, and boasts how his winged terror will enact revenge on Helix. Arriving in Helix in the middle of their celebration, Hank learns Merlin died a thousand years ago right before Venger’s dragons attack. Diana, Sheila, and Hank crack the riddle and remember how imposter-Merlin wasn’t carrying a rabbit but a hare. The children race back to the castle and quickly find Presto. Venger enters the library demanding the rest of the magic weapons before Bobby buries Venger under a pile of books.
The group races away before Hank and Presto go find Merlin’s spell book while the others keep Venger distracted. Sheila comes up with an idea to free Tiamat who immediately tracks Venger and chases him out of the castle. This gives Presto the opportunity to cast his spell making the dragons vanish over the burning town. Next morning, the children look up to see Merlin’s castle float away. Depressed over losing his hat, Dungeon Master appears on a horse and tosses Presto his hat back before disappearing again. Presto is reassured he’s a hero in Helix.
Monsters and villains
Things you may have missed watching
#1. Eric complains to Dungeon Master that he “had it with his riddles” and demands “a straight answer for once”. We assume the group had at least one adventure after their arrival to realm and before the first episode.
#2. Dungeon Master makes a subtle but obvious reveal that there is a purpose to the children’s presence in the realm.
#3. In this episode the group have typecast Sheila as always worrying.
#4. We learn that Eric comes from a very affluent family.
#5. Eric typecasts Presto as being clumsy with his hat. He struggled using it before the first episode and can conjure live turkeys with it. Sheila will also confess everyone pokes fun at him and his hat.
#6. The cow reappears from Presto’s hat a second time without any clue where she went after the first.
#7. If you think about, Dungeon Master’s quest was a rouse. There was nothing in Helix that will help the children find home.
#8. Venger held a grudge for over a thousand years on Helix. Although he didn’t win, he did manage to instill fear, terror, and arson on the small town that apparently hasn’t experienced any technological advancement.
Next episode: The Eye of the Beholder