SF OBSCURE: BeastMaster

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BeastMaster the TV series ran from 1999-2002 for three seasons. It’s listed as an American/Canadian/Australian series. It was broadcast on Canadian TV initially and filmed mainly in Australia. I’m not clear who owns it. It was loosely based on the 1982 movie The Beastmaster . (Which also has some low budget sequels)

The series centers around Dar (David Goddard) who can talk to animals and protects them as well as saving villagers from various threats. His has a friend Tao (Jackson Rain) a healer whom he travels with. They are later joined by Arina (Marjean Holden) a warrior. Marjean Holden later played the medical doctor on the Babylon 5 spin-off series Crusade.

This is a sword and sorcery world. There are many scattered tribes, lots of lost cities and ruins, and of course, magic. Some of the episodes are action/adventure-with Dar and Tao taking on evil tribal leaders and saving villagers. Others focus on the nature aspect and Dar’s ability to communicate with animals. Later on we learn more about Dar’s past, legacy, prophecy…that kind of thing. There are lots and lots of sorcerers. Most of them are women with perfect make-up and fabulous hair who control some sort of natural object (birds, fire, etc.).

As much as it’s easy to tease it’s not a bad show. There is nothing particularly innovative in the sword and sorcery genre, but it delivers what most people expect of that kind of show. Dar and Tao grow on you; Arina is a cool warrior woman; and it’s general family fare. I started to really enjoy watching it. I can’t say I’d binge watch all three seasons, but it’s a cute show. It reminds me of Xena, Hercules, even Legend of the Seeker. I haven’t seen many shows of that type recently. I tried to watch a few episodes of The Shannara Chronicles, but the young adult hipster elves relationship problems tend to grate at me. I’m just too old for it.

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6 thoughts on “SF OBSCURE: BeastMaster

  1. I watched this series intermittently. It wasn’t bad, I was just busy and didn’t have the time. I do believe it is on my watch list on Netflix – if it is available. I know the other shows you mentioned are. If Beastmaster is available, it is on my list.

    Love the original move. Even have a fondness for that “low budget” sequel – Through the Portal of Time. Not because it was any good, but because I knew someone who worked on the movie. He even had a walk on part. You can almost see him. 😀 BUT . . . He also provided a prop for the movie that is near and dear to me – a photo of my son. Said photo got more screen time than my friend’s walk on. Our families claim to fame. 😛

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  2. I recall this show and watched it from time to time because I’d seen the ’82 film. After viewing it, I’d been hoping for a TV take (with Marc Singer) and voila! It appeared. Without him though. 😦 The rekindling of interest in the sword and sorcery genre didn’t last too long but there were the decent entries you’d pointed out.. Since you are an expert on obscure TV/film, wasn’t there a sword and sorcery TV show or flick with actor Lee Horsley? I can’t recall it but I’m sure he tied on the gladiator sandals once in the 80s too.

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