A really nifty French cartoon show, it was dubbed into English and shown on Nickelodeon during the 1980s. A fond memory of my childhood, but before I devolve into a getting to know you node, let me tell you about it...

In the ancient past, a 'Great Cataclysm' drove the highly advanced civilization of the Arkadians underground. Descending to the center of the Earth, the Arkadians constructed an underground civilization, with light and warmth provided by an artificial sun called the Tehra. The Arkadians, deciding that their descendants should not know about their past, declared the great Archives off-limits. Only the self-aware flying machine known as Tehrig was allowed into them.

For thousands of years, Arkadia thrived, until one day, the Tehra threatened to go out. The Arkadians dared to enter the forbidden Archives, and discovered that the Tehra could be restored by something called the Auracite. The Arkadians created a messenger named Arkana, and sent her, along with Bic and Bac (the anteater-like prerequisite cartoon animal mascots) and Tehrig, to the surface world to seek help. There, they found the warrior Spartakus, along with young brother/sister duo Matt and Rebecca. And so, the saga began...

Our heroes wandered the underground world in search of the Auracite through 52 episodes, going on side-quests and fighting the forces of evil, most notably The Pirates (Nasty Max, Mighty Matt, Sleazeappeal, Ringnar, and Massmedia), a band of cutthroat slavers and thieves who also ran a pirate TV station.

Information shamelessly paraphrased from John's Realm Online(http://www.johnsrealmonline.com/classicnick/spartakus/main.html). And thanks to Letrice for reminding me about the quite cool music on the show. Bits of Bic and Bac's song still come back to me, to this day...

The original French title of this series was "Les mondes engloutis" (The absorbed worlds). In Norway, it was known as "Shagma og reisen til jordens indre" (Shagma and the journey to the center of the earth). To a lot of people, the series is (fondly) remembered as just "Shagma", which was the original name of the sun - that in the English translation is called Tehra. I'm guessing this might have to do with the "shag"-part, that is also mirrored in other names that have been changed. However, the most peculiar translation must be the change from "Bob" to "Matt".

Original names with their English translations:
Shagma - Tehra (the sun)
Bob et Rebecca - Matt and Rebecca
Shagshag - Tehrig
Un Shaggy - a Triggie (small robot)
Maxagaze - Nasty Max (pirate leader)
Mattymatte - Mighty Matt
Seskapile - Sleazeappeal

Also, the above writeup doesn't mention that music was quite a significant part of the cartoon, with a beautiful opening song and several of the characters having their own theme songs, like "Le flashbic" performed by Bic and Bac and last, but not least the slightly hysterical "Danse des pirates".

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