Created around the Trendmasters toy line War Planets, this animated series deals with politics, war and survival on the 5 planet solar system called Cluster. The four inhabited planets, Rock, Ice, Bone and Fire, are in more than just bad relations (read – they HATE each others guts, stealing each others natural resources). When a strange alien Tekla came to Cluster to warn them of a coming evil in a form of the Beast Planet, all hell broke loose. In order to survive the coming threat of the Beast they have to set aside their grudges and form an alliance.
I was watching this series on a foreign TV station when I was in my early teens. I had to really give my best to understand the subtitles language and combine it with my English. But it worked! A few years ago I got my hands on this show once more, and it was as good as it was back when I first watched it.
The Beast Planet is an evil planet inhabited with drones and evil characters that are made of pure Null-Matter in a shell. Their big, black, metal planet travels around different solar systems, destroying, quite literally, everything and actually swallowing whole planets. It leaves no hope what so ever, once they get to you, you’re done for it. And the tragic thing is, they are not so smart, they’re just so destructive. I was surprised with this, kids my age never had such brutality and insensitivity thrown at the main characters in shows. We always had just a little bit of hope that everything’s going to be fine. But this wasn’t the case with Shadow Raiders. It was really dark!
As the show goes, you discover new interesting stuff regarding the main characters, their planets (and Rock’s Battle Moons!), their pasts, cultures, religions, politics, everything.
It’s too bad that the series was canceled after the second season, it would really answer some big questions. But no matter what, it shouldn’t stop you from checking it out. I think I will always remember this one episode, the one that broke my heart, and got me to really hate the Beast Planet, and scream: “That’s not fair!!!”
Who would’ve thought that a show based on a toy line would get me so involved!
Shadow Raiders intro:
Shadow Raiders (1998-1999)
Directors: George Samilski, James Taylor, Dwayne Beaver, Owen Hurley, Raul Inglis
Cast: Paul Dobson, Enuka Okuma, Mark Oliver, Tasha Sims, Garry Chalk, Matt Hill, Donna Yamamoto