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Series / Beastmaster (1999)
aka: Beastmaster

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"In an age when nature and magic rule the world... there is an extraordinary legend: the story of a warrior who communicates with animals."
Beastmaster intro

Emerging on the heels of the enormous popularity of Hercules and Xena, Beastmaster was a recycled TV series of the film of the same name and shared the general Walking the Earth in The Time of Myths sort of theme. The series lasted from October, 1999 to May, 2002. A total of 66 episodes in three seasons.

Starring Daniel Goddard as Dar, Jackson Raine as Tao, Steven Grives as King Zad, Monika Schnarre as the Sorceress, Grahame Bond as the Ancient One, and Marjean Holden as Arina.

This show provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Most notably Arina, but also many girls of the week.
  • Adaptational Name Change: Many of the characters are named after characters from the film, with slight differences:
    • Zed becomes Zad.
    • Tal becomes Tao.
    • Kiri becomes Kyra.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Dar knows a group of crocodiles are being unnaturally aggressive when they start killing each other.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: An episode has Tao explain to Dar that the hostile panther they're chasing is the Familiar of a guy who has come Back from the Dead. Dar dismisses this as nonsense. Tao retorts, "You can talk to animals!" but Dar refuses to believe it until later.
  • The Beastmaster: Dar is the titular Beastmaster, who was given the ability to communicate with animals and even copy their fighting styles.
  • Big Bads: King Zad for Season 1, King Voden for Season 2 and Balcifer for Season 3.
  • Big "NO!": Dar gives one out when Kyra is killed trying to protect him.
  • The Bus Came Back: The Sorceress returns in Season 3 after spending Season 2 in an Amber Prison, being freed when Balcifer kills the Ancient One. (And the replacement Sorceress vanishes from the plot without explanation.)
  • Continuity Snarl: The third season changed ongoing plotlines or established histories established in the first two seasons.
  • Costume Porn: The Sorceress's outfits.
  • Crystal Prison: In "Rage", the Ancient One traps the Sorceress in an amber prison as punishment for "being too human". She is freed in the first episode of Season 3.
  • Custom Uniform of Sexy: Akili is a Terron warrior. None of the other Terrons wear loincloths specifically designed to show off certain... assets.
  • Curse: Both Sharak and the Sorceress were cursed by the Ancient One. Sharak has been cursed to live forever as an eagle and eternally roam the sky while the Sorceress was cursed to never have her memories of Sharak or their love.
  • Dark Action Girl: Arina before her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Deal with the Devil: The Sorceress makes one with Balcifer to lift the curse on Sharak and turn him back into a human, selling out Dar in the process. Sharak is horrified when he finds out.
  • Demoted to Dragon: Zad who becomes The Dragon for Balcifer in Season 3.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Kyra dies in Dar's arms, taking a mortal blow meant for him.
  • Dress Hits Floor: In "Tiger, Tiger", Callista undresses in this fashion before entering her bath, right in front of one of Zad's captains that she's trying to seduce.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: When the Sorceress first turns Sharak back into his human form in "Rescue", he doesn't have any clothes on. Her eyes travel up and down his body in appreciation and they end up in bed soon after.
  • End of an Age: The general theme of the series focused on the changing of the world where technology began to supplant magic and old cultures being erased (various characters being survivors of their own group).
  • Evil Overlord: Zad is made out to be one as the King of the Terrons, a savage tribe that enslaves and pillages at will. But he's just an agent for Balcifer the Dark One.
  • Eye Scream: A flashback in 'The Demon Curupira' shows an ant crawling on Dar's eyeball.
  • Evil Versus Evil: King Voden's Nord army versus King Zad's Terron army.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Dar's animal companions. Ruh the tiger is the fighter, Sharak the eagle is quite literally the mage, being a transformed sorcerer, and Kodo and Podo the ferrets are the thieves.
  • Forced Transformation:
    • Sharak's curse has left him imprisoned in an eagle's body. Every time he reverts back to human, the episode ends with him being stuck as an eagle yet again. Fortunately, he still has his intelligence.
    • The ongoing plot of the third season involves searching for Dar's long-lost family members who were all turned into animals.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Dar. Tao becomes more of this over the course of the series.
  • Frisky Ferret: Dar's ferrets Kodo and Podo are playful and larcenous.
  • Gender Flip: The Curupira is a boy in Brazilian folklore; here she's a girl.
  • Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen: Dar has one his ferrets steal the shirt of a woman that was bathing in the river to lure her to him so he may interrogate her on Kyra's whereabouts.
  • Harmony Versus Discipline: One of the big themes of the show, illustrated primarily through Dar and Tao. An example from early in the series: Tao, preparing to continue his journey, builds Dar a garden as a farewell gift, citing the greater convenience of not needing to forage for food. Dar is confused (the forest has plenty of food already) and unsettled ("But that's where the wildflowers grow."). Later on Tao is equally unsuccessful in convincing Dar to dig a well.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Dar becomes one after Kyra's death in the Season 1 finale.
  • The Heavy: King Zad and the Sorceress are the most recurring and constant threat for the Beastmaster across all 3 seasons.
  • The Hedonist: King Zad is often seen indulging himself, especially with women. The Sorceress and the Ancient One have caught him in bed with his harem many times.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door / Wild Card: In any given episode, it's a tossup whether the Sorceress is going to be helping Zad/Balcifer, Dar, or both.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Arina defects from the Nord army to join the heroes.
  • Humanity Ensues: Kodo and Podo are turned into humans by the Sorceress in "The Prize". They revert back by the end of the episode.
  • Hypocrite: The Ancient One berates the Sorceress for giving in to her human emotions, despite him doing the same thing. When she calls him out on him, he traps her in amber.
  • Impossibly-Low Neckline: It can, at times, be difficult to focus on Monika Schnarre's face.
  • Inventing the Wheel: In the middle of the first season, Tao gets fascinated by the "many applications of circles" and meets a fellow who invents the wheel.
  • James Bondage: Tao gets captured or otherwise put in mortal danger a lot.
  • Jerkass Gods: The Ancient One, definitely. The Sorceress also has her moments.
  • Kiss of Death: Curupira's kiss sucks out her victim's internal organs.
  • The Klutz: Despite being The Smart Guy Tao can be very clumsy and prone to screw up in any physical task.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: Invoked in "The Last Unicorns".
    King Zad: Every Terron warrior will have a priceless horn!... so, to speak.
  • Last of His Kind: Dar and Kyra until the end of the first season are the last surviving members of the Sula tribe.
  • Light Is Not Good: King Voden wears white and has bleached hair. He's also kind of a Jerkass.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Dar is both fast and powerful.
  • Loincloth: Worn by Dar and numerous guest stars.
  • Mage Species: It's never fully clarified, but the Sorceresses are sometimes referred to by themselves and others as not being human.
  • The Medic: Tao's biggest contribution to Dar is his vast medicinal knowledge that saved their lives many times.
  • Modesty Bedsheet:
    • The Sorceress and Sharak are wearing one after sleeping together in "Rescue", when a displeased Ancient One barges in on them.
    • In "Orpheo", when Arina and Orpheo make love in the middle of the forest, they're shown later post-coitus both covered by a convenient sheet.
    • In "Choice", it's used once again when Sharak and the Sorceress sleep together. She wraps herself in one when trying to convince him to Come Back to Bed, Honey.
  • Morphic Resonance: King Zad is turned into a donkey with the same tattoos. Although one character finds them familiar, it doesn't become Glamour Failure in time to be meaningful.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Dar is a handsome man that is a Walking Shirtless Scene that wears only a Loincloth most of the time.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Both Sorceresses are gorgeous women wearing very Stripperific outfits. So is the water demon Iara.
  • The Napoleon: Ketzwayo.
  • Nature Hero: Dar often defends nature and animals from those that try to cause it harm.
  • Nature Spirit: The Curupira is a fierce demon that protects nature, often more ruthlessly than Dar. Curupira's rival Iara is a water demon who takes the form of either a seductive woman or a snake, and takes over Curupira's role as patron of the forest after trapping her, albeit with a much more lax work ethic.
  • Non-Action Guy: Tao has no fighting skills whatsoever.
  • No Name Given: The Ancient One has no name. He also calls both of his apprentices only "the Sorceress".
  • Non-Human Sidekick: The animals - Ruh, Sharak, Kodo, and Podo.
  • "No Peeking!" Request: In "Mydoro", Loriel asks Tao to turn around after he walks on her bathing on a river and is too distracted to actually speak to her without stammering.
  • One-Word Title: Beastmaster.
  • Our Demons Are Different: There's quite a variety of creatures called demons in this show. Curupira and her rival Iara are demons of nature, and Curupira's other rival Ketzwayo is a demon of chaos. The Big Bad of the last season, Balcifer, is a blatant Satan stand-in, and a succubus and a gorgon-in-all-but-name also appear in that season.
  • Outdoor Bath Peeping:
    • In the first episode, during his search for Kyra, Dar and Tao come across several women bathing in a river. They're all wearing skirts but with their bare backs to him; the only woman shown from the front has Godiva Hair to preserve her modesty.
    • In "The Demon Curupira", in a flashback Dar ends up walking into a random beautiful woman bathing in a spring, who teasingly accuses him of spying. She ends up seducing him and they have an implied tryst and she exits the episode completely, with the whole scene existing just for fanservice.
    • In "Mydoro", Tao finds Loriel bathing nude in the river. Her body is covered by a rock from the viewer but Tao gets an eyeful and is Distracted by the Sexy until she asks him to turn around.
  • Panthera Awesome: Mainly Ruh, but there are giant cats.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite getting off on the wrong foot with Dar in the pilot, the Sorceress has many moments like this towards him. And it turns out that she's one who created unicorns.
  • Remake Cameo: Marc Singer as Dartanus in the third season.
  • The Smart Guy: Tao is one of the few characters on the show who can read and write.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Dar's most notable power granted by Curupira is being able to talk to any animal (and not just his four companions).
  • Spoiler Opening: From the very first episode, the opening narration refers to Dar being the last of the Sula, which doesn't actually occur until the first season finale.
  • The Spymaster: The Ancient One, which he tries to teach his Sorceresses - Zad is more than grateful for the scrapes given to him by magic and his men; Dar with his eagle.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers:
    • Dar's eagle Sharak and the Sorceress were both students of the Ancient One. After he caught them having a romantic relationship in contradiction of his rules, he turned Sharak into an eagle and made the Sorceress forget him (which is also supposed to have made her less emotional in general). Even after the Sorceress learns the truth, they're never reunited for long before circumstances force Sharak back into eagle form.
    • Dar and Kyra, given that she takes an arrow for him in the first season finale.
  • Statuesque Stunner: The Sorceress is a 6'2" tall stunning woman (she's played by a supermodel after all).
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Both Sorceresses and the Ancient One seem to enjoy doing this with their teleportation powers, appearing and disappearing suddenly on people.
  • Stellification: The Sorceress turns her unicorns into constellations to protect them from human greed. She's understandably miffed when the Ancient One pulls them out of the night sky and absorbs them.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The New Sorceress that the Ancient One takes as an apprentice after he disposes of the first one looks very similar to the first, both being tall beautiful blonde women. The first Sorceress Lampshades that the Ancient One Has a Type.
  • Taking the Bullet: After Dar and Kyra are finally reunited, Kyra intentionally intercepts an axe thrown by Qord... with her back.
  • Tsundere: Curupira often gives Dar a hard time, but seems to have something of a crush on him at times.
  • The Vamp: Zad's sister Callista is just as evil as he, but she prefers seduction and subterfuge over his brute strength approach and even seduces one of his lieutenants to spy on him.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Dar's usual outfit leaves him shirtless. Also applies to many other minor characters.
  • Walking the Earth: In addition to being the framework for the show itself, the mission of most of Tao's people to wander the world, spreading and gaining knowledge.
  • We Can Rule Together: King Voden gives this offer to Dar, believing his army will be unstoppable with the Beastmaster at his side.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The third season took a radically different path from the second, dropping some plotlines or conveniently writing out characters. The all-powerful Ancient One, who is supposed to have existed since before the world, is Killed Offscreen by Balcifer with only his crumbling bones left behind, which frees the first Sorceress, and the New Sorceress from Season 2 conveniently disappears.

Alternative Title(s): Beastmaster