BeastMaster

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Fandom
Name: BeastMaster
Abbreviation(s): BM
Creator: Sylvio Tabet
Date(s): October 1, 1999 – May 1, 2002
Medium: live-action television series
Country of Origin: Canada
External Links: Wikipedia
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BeastMaster was a Canadian/American/Australian television series that aired from 1999 to 2002. It was loosely based on the 1982 MGM film Beastmaster film, which was itself loosely adapted from the 1959 novel The Beast Master by Andre Norton. The series aired 66 episodes over three complete seasons. It was produced by Alliance Atlantis and Coote/Hayes Productions.

The series was nominated for the Open Craft Award in the category of cinematography by the Australian Film Institute in 2000, and for the Saturn Award for Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films, USA, in 2001. It did not win any of them.

Canon

In an age when nature and magic rule the world, there is an extraordinary legend; the story of a warrior who communicates with animals, who fights sorcery and the unnatural. His name is Dar, last of his tribe; he is also called: Beastmaster[1]

The general canon plot for the series is that Dar, as the Beastmaster, defends the animals he has been charged to protect from a variety of human and supernatural forces that threatens them, including warlords, tyrants, evil sorcerers and sorceresses, with the assistance of his animal family.

However, each of the three seasons of the show had additional arcs. Season 1 focuses on Dar's quest to find his beloved Kira, who has been kidnapped by a warlord. Season 2 focuses on Dar attempting to protect the land while helping to fend off an invasion from an outside civilization, the Nords. Season 3 focuses on Dar's quest to reunite his family while defending the world from falling into an apocalyptic age.

While Seasons 1 and 2 have strong continuity between them, Season 3 is VERY disconnected from either. This is due in part because of the shift from Alliance Atlantis to Coote/Hayes Productions, which resulted in Season 3 functionally acting as a reboot. This also caused a drastic shift in the tone of the series, with Season 3 being significantly darker and more combat-oriented than the earlier seasons, which had strong environmentalism and pacifist themes.

Main Characters

  • Daniel Goddard as Dar- the titular Beastmaster. As Beastmaster Dar is able to communicate with all living animals. While in Season 1 he is described as being the last surviving member (and prince) of the peaceful Sula Tribe, Season 3 rewrites this background as a necessitated false memory to ensure Dar's survival, saying instead that the rest of the royal family had been transformed into animals and then hidden. Dar has a notably compassionate personality, often choosing to avoid fights whenever possible, and is considered a man of his word. In Seasons 1 and 2 his primary weapon is a staff, with Dar explicitly rejecting the use of fighting with a sword since it has a higher risk of inflicting death. This is changed in Season 3 with Dar's primary weapon becoming a sword.
  • Jackson Raine as Tao- a journeyman scholar and medicine man, Tao accompanies Dar on his adventures. While not as physically strong as Dar, Tao often uses his knowledge and cleverness to assist Dar in solving challenges. Tao is also an Eiron, a tribe that strongly values learning and wisdom, but who is revealed in Season 2 to have been wiped out in their homeland, the city of Xinca, leading to Tao being among the few survivors of his race. While Tao does not change much in Season 3, his presence is arguably lessened- a negative to most fans, as Tao is arguably the fandom's favorite character.
  • Marjean Holden as Arina- Introduced in Season 2, Arina is the last surviving member of the Nareeb tribe. A warrior and fighter, she initially works against Dar before becoming one of his closest allies and eventual love interest.

Major/Notable Characters

Animals

  • Ruh- a tiger who has been guiding and protecting Dar since his childhood, Ruh serves as an advisor for Dar.
  • Sharak- an eagle who finds Dar shortly after DAr becomes Beastmaster, Sharak often assists Dar by giving him a literal bird's eye view of his surroundings and occasionally by serving as a scout. Sharak also has a close connection with The Sorceress, which is explored in depth in Season 1, Episode 18 "The Burning Forest," where he is also briefly transformed into a human being.
  • Kodo and Podo the ferrets- brother and sister ferrets who assist Dar by serving as scouts and (when necessary) as thieves. They ride along with Dar in a side pouch. Kodo and Podo are also briefly transformed into human beings in Season 3, Episode 5 "The Prize."

Season 1

  • Steven Grives as King Zad- One of the main villains of the season, King Zad is a warlord of the Terron tribe, and is noted for his cunning and physical cruelty. He is revealed in the Pilot to have captured the Beastmaster's beloved, Kyra. In later seasons King Zad at times demonstrates a willingness to work with Dar against more powerful enemies.
  • Monika Schnarre as The Sorceress- the other main villain, she is a powerful magic wielder who acts on Dar's world for a multitude of reasons, including curiosity. She also has a close connection with Sharak, and at times seems willing to work with the Beastmaster in order to preserve the greater order of the world.
  • Natalie Mendoza as Kyra- Dar's beloved and childhood fiancee, the last surviving woman of the Sulla tribe. She spends most of the season as a captive in King Zad's camp, but is depicted as being both a capable fighter and strategist.
  • Emilie de Ravin as Curupira- A demon guardian of animals, she grants Dar his powers and titles after subjecting him to a 3-day trial to test his physical endurance and emotional control. Her most notable physical features are her green skin and her backwards feet, which leave the impression that she is heading in the opposite direction of the one she is walking. The character is written out in Season 2, in part because de Ravin went to join the cast of Roswell (1999) as Tess. In Season 3 it is revealed the she has a sister, Manaka, who is also a powerful nature demon.
  • Grahame Bond as the Ancient One- A mysterious figure who ages backwards and instructs The Sorceress in her art. He is incredibly old and has gained high amounts of power as a result. He is later written out in Season 2.
  • Leah Purcell as the Black Apparition- an evil sorceress who appears near the end of the season, she is a former student of the Ancient One who rebelled against him in exchange of seeking greater power. She is primarily bound to the area of the Burning Forest as punishment, though she eventually is able to leave this space.
  • Arthur Penn as Ketwayo- an evil demon of chaos and sworn enemy of Curupira, he appears as a dwarfish clown.

Season 2

  • Dylan Bierk as The New Sorceress- a younger sorceress who follows in the heels of The Sorceress, who is also mentored by the Ancient One. She rarely acts on Dar's world, but is priamrily concered with exploring and understanding it better.
  • David Patterson as King Voden- the main villain of the season, King Voden is the boy-king ruler of the invading Nord culture. is highly intelligent and ambitious, and at times seeks an alliance with Dar in the hopes of forming an unstoppable military force. He is also depicted as increasingly insane as the season goes on.

Season 3

  • Marc Singer as Dartanus- Dar's "spirit" guide and former weapons instructor, who emerges to reveal to Dar his true origins in order to prepare him to fight Balcifer.
  • Jeremy Callaghan as Balcifer- the Lord of Darkness who seeks to end the entire known world and bring about an apocalyptic Age of Darkness. Can only be defeated upon the reunification of Dar's family, who with their combined might defeated him during his last attempt to conquer the world at the cost of the destruction of the rest of the tribe.

Fandom

Despite being based off a book and films, most of the fandom steams from the television series. Most of the fandom occurred online across independent websites and archives, many of which held screenshot galleries and character reference sheets. Unfortunately many have slowly disappeared as domains expired (although see "Archives and Fannish Links" below for a representative sample).

With regards to fanworks, gen works are fairly common. With regards to pairings, popular HET pairings include Dar/Kyra and Dar/Arina, while the primary Slash pairing is Dar/Tao is popular.

Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Fan Art

Fanfiction

Archives & Fannish Links

References

  1. ^ "Wikipedia".