During my trip, I’ve had a chance to view some movies I otherwise likely wouldn’t have. One of those was an old pilot from way back called the Archer: Fugitive from the Empire. It was an attempt to do a sword & sorcery TV series, but it failed mightily.
It pretty much failed on every level.
The story is something about an exiled prince seeking a legendary sorcerer with a thief hanging around for no good reason and a hot sorceress who – of course – loves the hero but is working at cross-purposes.
Now, the lead actor and the hot sorceress both left me cold. They really didn’t deliver on anything other than generic good looks, the thief was played as a stereotypical Mediterranean-type, which was kind of racist in that ignorant way TV had with such things in the 1970s, but at least the actor had some charisma and made the character fun.
The supposedly super-cool magical longbow was okay in concept. It basically turned a bow into a cross between and anti-material rifle with explosive ammo and a rocket launcher. Yeah, cool, but the bow from the Ranger in the D&D cartoon was still cooler.
The story wasn’t incomprehensible, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time – as a counter-example, I tried to watch 1979’s Starcrash and gave up after about 20 minutes. It had precious little inspiration to offer. Maybe back in the late 1970s, if you had just started playing D&D, this might have offered some ideas, but there’s a lot of bad fantasy movies that have come since that are more interesting and better inspiration.
If you, like me, remembered this pilot from when it first aired (yes, I am old enough to remember the dinosaurs walked the Earth), do yourself a favour and avoid trying to see if this lives up to your memories. Unless your memories were that this was a tedious waste of time, the reality likely won’t live up to them.
I give the Archer: Fugitive from the Empire 2 bazooka arrows out of 5.
You can find out more about the D&D cartoon here.