Home 9 Movies & Television 9 Movies/TV Q-U 9 Thundarr the Barbarian (1980-1981) 9 Thundarr the Barbarian: Raiders of the Abyss (S1E4, 1980)

Thundarr the Barbarian

S1E4: Raiders of the Abyss

Thundarr and crew must save villagers from mysterious cloaked figures who drain their life force from them using magic.

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Robert Ridgely


Nellie Bellflower

Princess Ariel

Henry Corden

Ookla the Mok / Rider

Dick Tufeld


Alan Oppenheimer


Stacey Keach Sr.

Additional Voices

Joan Van Ark

Additional Voices

Shep Menken

Additional Voices

Keye Luke

Additional Voices

Julie McWhirter

Additional Voices

Episode Synopsis

Thundarr and crew are crossing the Badlands, where there are not human outposts and nothing to eat. They hear the sounds of wings and see a bunch of giant bats being ridden by cloaked figures.

They are heading to a human settlement. Thundarr follows and sees an ancient ocean liner with human inhabitants fighting off the cloaked creatures who are trying to capture them in nets.

Ariel creates a magical bridge and Thundarr rides to where he can catch one of the bats and riders who has a human in his net. He cuts the net and lands on the ship. Ariel and Ookla join the fight. Ariel zaps the capturers with magic and one drops a prod they were using to capture the people. They fly off and the Captain, Garth, invites them in.

He tells them that the raiders have plagued his people for generations, claiming people when the moon is full. Ariel notes that the rods were crafted with sorcery.

They head off to the abyss to save the people who were captured.

At the abyss, the cloaked figures have the humans they have captured hanging against an old aircraft. Underneath is a boiling pot. They remove their hoods to reveal old and shriveled faces. The leader, Morag, calls on the vapors to take the essence from the humans and nasty smoke fills the faces of the humans, draining their lifeforce. It them goes over to the cloaked figures and makes them young again, returning them to full power.

Thundarr sees the entrance to the abyss. The abyss is a cave near a waterfall. He dives into the river and goes over the waterfall. Ariel calls to Ookla to not be afraid, knowing he hates water, and dives in. Ookla jumps off the cliff to a ledge…which breaks, sending him headfirst into the water. They all enter the abyss in the river.

Up ahead, they see some cloaked figures on a boat. They dive under the boat to not be detected. Thundarr knocks them out of the boat and holds them while Ookla retrieves their rods. Ariel then casts a spell that traps them in an air bubble. They float to the surface and then away from the abyss.

The direction the water is flowing changes many times, so it is best not to try to figure out which way is flowing into the abyss or out of the abyss. It changes depending on the shot and narrative need.

They infiltrate the lair, creeping past some sleeping giant bats. The cloaked figures are hailing their leader. He calls for food and human servants bring it. Thundarr busts in and a fight breaks out. They are winning, but a group grab Ariel and zap her with the electric rod. They take her to hang above the cauldron to give them her lifeforce.

Thundarr and Ookla arrive in time to see the vapors steal the lifeforce from her, turning her into an old woman.

Thundarr climbs up a ladder to get to Ariel, but the raiders knock it over and he has to grab a rope. He climbs it and cuts Ariel free. Ookla is caught under netting. Thundarr swings down to escape with Ariel and Ookla frees himself. They run and find one of the servants who is now an old man, drained by the vapors. He tells them they must find the old wizard who used to live there to see if they can break the spell and return youth to the people. They ride.

They find the wizard’s lair high above the ground. Ariel becomes invisible and goes up to talk to the wizard. He refuses to help the humans and attacks her. She casts a spell on his throne, a grand carving of a monster, to grab him so he cannot cast magic. He yields and gives her a potion.

They head back and find the humans huddled and frightened. The cloaked things attack on bats, with Morag in command. Ookla and Thundarr attack the various groups of cloaked things while Ariel ushers the humans to safety. The humans are about ¾ of her height. Thundarr and Muragg fight on the back of a bat. Thundarr knocks him off and they fight on the ground. Muragg zaps some crates which fall on Thundarr. He cuts through them and hangs Morag on a hook instead of killing him.

Thundarr joins the group as the last captives escape to the ritual chamber. Ariel reverses the spell with the potion from the wizard and restores their youth.

He returns them to their ship and they toast to freedom!