Thundarr the Barbarian was created by animation veterans Joe Ruby and Ken Spears.
Intro to the cartoon:
"The year 1994. From out of space comes a runaway planet, hurtling between the Earth and the Moon, and unleashing cosmic destruction. Man's civilization is cast in ruin.
Years later, Earth is reborn. A strange new world rises from the old, a world of savagery, super science, and sorcery.
But one man bursts his bonds to fight for justice. With his companions Ookla the Mok and Princess Ariel, he pits his strength, his cunning, and his fabulous sun sword against the forces of evil. He is Thundarr The Barbarian!"
This intro was voiced by Dick Tufeld - also the voice of the Lost in Space robot.
Apocalyptic entertainment for ages 3+
Thanks to this cartoon, I became an eschatologist and apocalypse-fetishist at the age of eight. Scenarios in which magic re-enters the world in the ultimate paradigm crash of the post-apocalypse became my favorite sci-fi/fantasy trope: The Stand by Stephen King, The Postman by David Brin, Swan Song by Robert McCammon, etc..
All because of Thundarr the Barbarian. I loved seeing American cities cast in ruins and half-consumed by the elements, stages for battles of magic and might. I was a child, sitting in front of the TV, my hand stuck into a box of Cheerios and forgotten, my mouth slightly open and my eyes wide, watching the barbarian and the sorceress fighting across the ruined hills of Hollywood. It seemed like a marvelous idea then, and I didn't even know the half of it yet.
Season 1 (1980-1981)
Secret Of The Black Pearl
Harvest Of Doom
Mindok The Mind Menace
Raiders Of The Abyss
Treasure Of The Moks
Attack Of the Amazon Women
The Brotherhood Of Night
Challenge Of The Wizards
Valley Of The Man Apes
Stalker From The Stars
Portal Into Time
Battle Of The Barbarians
Den Of The Sleeping Demon
Season 2 (1981-1982)
Fortress Of Fear
Island Of The Body Snatchers
City Of Evil
Last Train To Doomsday
Master Of The Stolen Sunsword
Trial By Terror
Prophecy Of Peril
My favorite episode: Wizard War
Synopsis edited from www.thundarr.com:
Outside of St. Louis, Thundarr, Ariel and Ookla encounter a group of villagers under attack by the Wizard Skullus (a floating head with a giant domed skull) and his army of four pure energy magical battle droids. A battle ensues, and Skullus uses his magic to hypnotize the villagers into fighting for him. Skullus then sets the village on fire and teleports up to his ship with the villagers in tow.
Thundarr, Ariel and Ookla escape the burning buildings and head across the Desert of Demons into the ruined city of St. Louis. Ariel is captured by the desert people who live in the city ruins. Thundarr and Ookla pursue her captors, ultimately rescuing her and Jeal (a member of the tribe that Skullus captured in the desert) from an underground death trap prison.
They then ride out into the desert to find Skullus and free Jeal's people. They decide to battle Octagon first, to prevent him from killing the captive villagers in battle. The Wizard Octagon summons a magical creature to battle Thundarr and Ookla. Thundarr and Ookla hurl the creature into Octagon's power generator, destroying it and lowering the stronghold's defenses. Octagon flees in defeat.
Ariel discovers a map inside the fortress detailing the tunnels leading to Skullus' stronghold. Thundarr, Ariel and Ookla head through the tunnels and come up through the ground under the wizard's war machine. Thundarr cuts his way into the war machine with his sunsword and battles Skullus to the death.
Thundarr shatters Skullus's dome with his sunsword and Skullus loses control of his magic. The wild magic energy destroys Skullus and his war machine, and Jeal's people are freed. Thundarr et. al. continue on their heroic way...
"Ariel, Ookla, ride!"