Home 9 Movies & Television 9 Movies/TV Q-U 9 Thundarr the Barbarian (1980-1981) 9 Thundarr the Barbarian: Island of the Body Snatchers (S2E3, 1981)

Thundarr the Barbarian

S2E3: Island of the Body Snatchers

When Thundarr and the gang try to save a shipwrecked crew, an evil witch named Circe switches bodies with Ariel to escape the Island.

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Robert Ridgely


Nellie Bellflower

Princess Ariel

Henry Corden

Ookla the Mok

Dick Tufeld


Janet Waldo


Keye Luke

Additional Voices

Joan Van Ark

Additional Voices

Shep Menken

Additional Voices

Alan Oppenheimer

Additional Voices

Julie McWhirter

Additional Voices

Stacey Keach Sr.

Additional Voices

Episode Synopsis

A ship caught in a storm sends out a distress arrow as the waves crash over the ship and a storm nearly overtakes it. Thundarr and crew see it, and Ariel notes that it is the Mystery Zone, a place where ships that disappear never to return. They rush to where a safety ship is preparing to try to assist the ship in peril.

The ship crashes into rocks and the crew members end up on the beach in the rain. Circe, an evil witch, appears looking for a young sorceress to switch bodies with. She zaps the survivors away.

Thundarr and Captain Willows look for the survivors. The mast breaks, but Ariel fixes it as Circe watches in her crystal ball. Delighted to have a sorceress nearby, she calls for Dreadlon, a sea beast to bring them to her island. Part plesiosaur and part kraken, it wraps its tentacles around the ship and crashes it on Circe’s island. Thundarr and the gang look at all of the crashed ships, hoping the other crew is safe. 

Circe and her evil brood of reptilian soldiers attack. She zaps Ariel who is stunned. Ookla shoots two of the soldiers with stun arrows and Circe pulls his bow and arrows away with magic. Thundarr swings his Sun Sword and she creates a line of fire to keep him back. When it goes out, she is gone.

They follow Circe’s trail through the woods and find her lair, in Big Ben. They are in the ancient city of London. No, I do not know how they travel the world, but Captain Willows is probably instrumental in it.

Circe watches them in her crystal ball, noting that Thundarr’s Sun Sword is too powerful for her to fight against. So she decides to change his friends into toad creatures. Toad Captain Willows binds Ariel’s hands with his tongue and jumps away with her in tow. Thundarr and Ookla route the other Toad sailors.

Inside Big Ben, Circe reveals her plan to Ariel. She will be swapping places, and when they kill the evil old witch, they’ll really be killing Ariel. Thundarr and Ookla sneak into Big Ben and are met with the reptilian soldiers.

Circe reveals more about the curse from five-hundred years ago that binds her to the island. She cannot leave it in her body, but her mind can leave it in another. She switches bodies with Ariel and Thundarr and Ookla bust in.

Ariel-Circe tells them to destroy the evil old witch. Thundarr has questions, though. He needs to know where the shipwrecked people are located. Of course, Circe-Ariel has no idea and tells him she switched bodies. He laughs. Circe-Ariel uses magic and disappears. Ariel-Circe just wants to leave the island, but with Thundarr intent on saving the passengers, she commits to destroying them all.

Circe-Ariel runs to a wax museum to hide. They track her to the museum and Ariel-Circe sends them inside while Ariel-Circe watches and tries to figure out how to let them know it is her. Ariel-Circe sends some reptilian henchmen inside after them. They are captured and Circe-Ariel helps them fight off the henchmen, explaining the body-swap. Then Ariel-Circe appears and zaps them all.

She has them all bound to a giant gear to be ground to death. She’s also taking the Sun Sword. Thundarr keeps her talking, asking how she will escape. She plans on heading to an oil rig and taking a helicopter from there to gain her freedom. The gears turn as they try to break free.

Ariel-Circe creates a magical bridge to the oil rig and runs across it. She lets her henchmen fall into the water, uncaring of their plight.

Just as the gears get close, Thundarr frees his legs and uses them to stop the gears. The whole construct collapses.

Without his Sun Sword, Thundarr has no idea how to break the spell holding Circe-Ariel. She tells him that he must get the Sun Sword and touch Ariel-Circe with it as she casts the spell. It should switch them back by disrupting the magic.

Ariel-Circe uses magic to repair the helicopter as Thundarr and Ookla use a log to get to the oil rig. She starts up the helicopter as they approach. They topple a large tower onto the helicopter and she curses them.

She brings two oil drills to life and sets them on Thundarr and Ookla. She zaps Ookla, and he falls to the wayside.

He grabs the Sun Sword and tosses it to Thundarr who cuts into a magical ball as she is attempting to cast a spell to attack him. It reverses the spell and they return to the correct bodies.

Circe turns to stone since she is off the island, and Ariel escapes the magic bubble using her sorcery. She then goes off to find Captain Willows and his crew as well as the others. Thundarr and Ookla come ashore as she begins turning the stone statues they saw earlier back into the shipwrecked people.