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Posted by: Byron Brewer
/ 2 years 1 week ago

The Wayback Machine: The Archer: Fugitive from the Empire (1981)

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6889 Anyone who wasn't alive in the 1980s probably will not know what I am writing about here, but then that is why we keep the ol' Wayback Machine in the east end of the CBN offices.

So let's crank up the Wayback and set it for 1981 to view a TV movie far ahead of its time -- The Archer: Fugitive from the Empire!

Now this little gem may be highly unknown, but if you could see some of the other sci-fi fare of the period, you would really appreciate this effort.

The idea was to create a Star Wars-type of weekly series, the movie serving as a pilot, with heavy doses of sword and sorcery.

Soap star Lane Caudell plays Toran of Malveel, a prince on a faraway planet who is accused of killing his father, the king. The deed was actually perpetrated by the royal nephew.

Toran can only prove his innocence by going on -- wait for it -- a quest! In this case, to search for a benevolent necromancer called Lazar-Sa.

On his quest, he is joined by a thief looking for adventure (and cash) and a Red Sonja lookalike who seems to be the daughter of a goddess who has a bone to pick with the wizard.

It turns out that Toran is also a student of archery, and inherits the Heartbow of his mentor. The weapon fires arrows that explode like grenades, but it can only be wielded by the person the bow itself has chosen (think Green Lantern power ring).

Apparently our prince is The Man!

The TV movie did begat a series that was apparently very expensive. It ran a half-second that same year.

A good story and well-executed film that was, as I said, ahead of its time.

(Dedicated to Timelord)

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