Home 9 Movies & Television 9 Movies/TV Q-U 9 Thundarr the Barbarian (1980-1981) 9 Thundarr the Barbarian: Secret of the Black Pearl (S1E1, 1980)

Thundarr the Barbarian

S1E1: Secret of the Black Pearl

Thundarr, Ookla the Mok, and Ariel must help save s village from the wizard Gemini and his vicious Groundling rat-people.

Where to Watch / Buy

Prime Video (buy/rent)

Amazon (Blu Ray)

Amazon (DVD)


Robert Ridgely


Nellie Bellflower

Princess Ariel

Henry Corden

Ookla the Mok / Gemini

Dick Tufeld


Keye Luke

Additional Voices

Stacey Keach Sr.

Additional Voices

Joan Van Ark

Additional Voices

Shep Menken

Additional Voices

Alan Oppenheimer

Additional Voices

Julie McWhirter

Additional Voices

Episode Synopsis

Thundarr, Ariel, and Ookla ride quickly through a swamp, trying to make it to safety before nightfall, but are attacked by a swamp creature. Ookla scares it off and they hear an old man in trouble. They ride to his rescue and find a group of rat-people called Groundlings. The leader of the Groundlings wants the old man to tell him where the Black Pearl is located, but he refuses. Thundarr and crew bust in and save the old man, sending the Groundlings scurring back underground. The old man, hurt and tired, tells them that he was trying to take the Black Pearl to the people of Manhat (Manhattan in the ancient days).

Ariel casts a spell that lets him rest and keeps him safe while the team travels to Manhat to give the village the Pearl. Meanwhile, the Groundling leader uses a pool of water to communicate with the wizard Gemini to tell him that the old man has given the Pearl to Thundarr and crew. Gemini has a full-head visor that switches depending on whether “nice” Gemini is in control or “evil” Gemini is in control. He hatches a plan to get the Pearl from them before they can give it to the village. It involves the mechanical knights he has created.

Ariel creates a magical bridge from the edge of a cliff down to the ruins of Manhat. She and Ookla head out onto it, but Thundarr hears something. Suddenly the Groundlings attack on motorcycles. Thundarr takes them out, grabbing their leader and then swinging down to his horse on a vine to continue the trek to Manhat with Ookla and Ariel.

Inside the city of Manhat, they look for the villagers. They head into the subway and Ariel is grabbed by a knight. Gemini appears and tells Thundarr to give him the Black Pearl or he will kill Ariel. Thundarr refuses, and he and Ookla charge the wizard. Gemini casts a spell and Ookla is frozen, but Thundarr is unaffected. He realizes the Black Pearl makes him impervious to Gemini’s magic. Realizing he is in danger, Gemini teleports back to his lair.

Thundarr and Ookla climb back to the surface and are attacked by a helicopter full of Gemini’s robitic knights. After dispatching them, Thundarr and Ookla take the helicopter for a spin over to Gemini’s lair. Some of the Manhat villagers come out and look at the mayhem, realizing Thundarr was on their side.

At Gemini’s lair, Thundarr leaves Ookla in the helicopter while he infiltrates the lair. He cuts the top off of a building, jumps down in side, is nearly caught by a door trap, but then shears the doors off of their hinges with his Sunsword. Gemini is waiting. He tells Thundarr to give him the Pearl or he will not let Ariel out of her cage. Ariel realizes that she may be trapped in a cage, but her magic is not, so she casts a spell on his visor that closes both sides, blinding him. Thundarr cuts the bars with his Sunsword and they wave for Ookla to fly over. However, Ookla is not acquainted with flying helicopters and breaks the controls, crashing it. He and the horses are fine, and Thundarr picks up Ariel and jumps down onto his horse with her from the tall building. They ride off to Manhat to give the Pearl to the villagers.

The old man has made it safely to Manhat and explained the situation. Thundarr arrives and tells them he will give them the Pearl and it will negate Gemini’s magic. Hopefully they can figure out how to make more of them. But Gemini is on the attack. He flies in on some clouds and reanimates the Statue of Liberty, which uses her torch like a flamethrower. Thundarr acts quickly and throws the Pearl at the statue. Magic erupts from the Pearl and it turns back into a statue. The magic also zaps Gemini away to fight another day.

Though the Pearl is lost, the people of Manhat will work to try to find a way to create new ones to fight the wizards.

Thundarr and crew ride off into the distance.