Show Notes – Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors

Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors- Episode 34

  • Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors is a French/North American animated TV show first broadcast on Sept. 16th,1985.
  • Produced by DIC Entertainment (originally distributed for syndication by SFM Entertainment)) and animated by the Japanese animation studios Sunrise (also worked on Gundam, Cowboy Bebop, Inspector Gadget, Batman: The Animated Series, The Centurions), Shaft (also worked on Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling), Studio Giants, Studio Look and Swan Production.
  • Ran for 65 episodes at thirty-minutes each, was created to support Mattel’s Wheeled Warriors toy-line. It has an ongoing plot, however, it did not have a finale, and the plot was left unresolved.
  • The show featured two duelling forces. The heroes are humans called the Lightning League who drive white and silver vehicles with assorted weaponry led by a teenager named Jayce. The villains are organic plant-based creatures called the Monster Minds who travel via large green organic vines, which can grow in and across interstellar space, and sprout seeds that grow rapidly into further Monster Minds. They are led by the very first of the Monster Minds, Saw Boss

 

 

      • Straczynski wrote about a quarter of the episodes attempting, in his words, to “hijack a dopey concept and make it into something more”
      • creator of the science fiction television series Babylon 5 (1993–1998) and its spinoff Crusade (1999), & co-created  Sense8 (2015–present) w/ The Wachowskis
      • Straczynski wrote the psychological drama film Changeling (2008) and was co-writer on the martial arts thriller Ninja Assassin (2009), Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film Thor (2011), horror film Underworld: Awakening (2012), and apocalyptic horror film World War Z (2013).
      • Written a ton of stuff for Marvel & DC
      • Story editing the entire 78-episode block as well as writing his own scripts on The Real Ghostbusters
        • After the show’s successful first season, consultants were brought in to make suggestions for the show, including changing Janine to a more maternal character, giving every character a particular “job” (Peter is the funny one, Egon is the smart one, and Winston, the only black character, was to be the driver), and to add kids into the show. Straczynski left at this point
  • In the United Kingdom, the series was screened on Sunday mornings on Channel 4 and Sky Channel. In France, a French language version of the show titled Jayce et les Conquérants de la Lumière (lit. Jayce and the Conquerors of Light) was broadcast on Salut les p’tits loups !, a children’s show on TF1, beginning on September 9, 1985. Its first showing in the United States was seven days later. Nearly a decade later, it was rerun on USA Network‘s USA Cartoon Express block from July 3, 1994 to August 25, 1995.
  • No backstory was given with the toys for the Lightning League and the Monster Minds doing battle, and so distinct characters were created by DIC and Straczynski to allow for a structured story.

Mattel Wheeled Warriors toys

 

  • Originally conceived as a line of toy vehicles with “stack & attack” as a selling point, the tagline was: “Monster Minds gone mad! Lightning League to the rescue!”.

 

    • The vehicles could be mixed and matched across most of the product line to allow children to create their own combinations. Accessory packs were released with extra wheels and weapons to allow for even more options. A mini comic was included with the toys, but no overarching storyline was established beyond premise of the Monster Minds versus the Lightning League.
    • Characters included with the toys were blank human drivers as pilots of the Lightning League vehicles and green brains for the Monster Minds.

 

  • Mattel ordered an animated series to promote the product, but development on this did not start until after the toys had already been produced and sales of the toys had been disappointing. When the animated series premiered, it had a vastly different storyline and, aside from the vehicles and their names, nothing linked the toys to the animated series so the show did little to boost sales.
  • Due to the success of the animated series, Mattel developed new drivers for a second series of vehicles that more resembled their animated counterparts, as well as new vehicles, but the toys never made it to the shelves

 

Cast

 

  • Darrin Baker as Jayce

 

      • Officer Donny Hardtop Brooks on the animated show C.O.P.S. (1988)

 

  • Charles Joliffe as Gillian

 

      • Heavy Metal (1981)

 

 

      • Canadian comedian and one of the stars of Royal Canadian Air Farce (a Canadian comedy troupe)
        • Is the voice of Lots-of-Heart Elephant in basically all of the Care Bears animated movies and shows from the 1980s—I really want to cover these!
        • Was the voice of a character in the 1995 TV show called “The Neverending Story: The Animated Adventures of Bastian Balthazar Bux” (I Had no idea this even existed)

 

 

 

 

 

  • Valerie Politis as Flora

 

      • Mostly just done Assistant directing for shows like Spun Out & Suits-

 

  • Guilio Kukurugya as Saw Boss

 

 

 

      • British TV announcer

 

 

      • longtime role as the main promotional voice of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) network from the late 1970s until the mid-1990s
      • If his voice sounds familiar to any of our millennial listeners, that’s because he was also the announcer of America’s Funniest Home Videos from 1989 to 1995
      • voiceover for the previews of new episodes during the first three seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation until he was replaced by Don LaFontaine
      • Moved to LA in 66’ to try and get acting work but had a hard time landing work.
        • His Son claims quote “He was a bad actor, so he never really made it….No, he was bad. When we used to make home movies, he’d be in them and he was bad. We’d be like: ‘You fucker. No wonder you couldn’t get any jobs’.”
        • His Son Paul Thomas Anderson directed Boogie Nights (1997), Magnolia (1999), Punch-Drunk Love (2002), There Will Be Blood (2007)

 

 

    • French actor who’s done a bunch of work that frankly I’ve never heard of, but then again I don’t devote a ton of my watching habits to French Cinema from the 60s-80s

Lack of ending/film

  • Due to less than successful toy sales, the series’ 65 episode run was not extended, and the series ended unresolved. However, according to Straczynski, a movie had also been commissioned along with the series, following in the footsteps of other toy-based animated series such as Transformers and G.I. Joe; if the series had proven successful by increasing toy sales, production would have begun. Straczynski wrote the script, but due to the failure of the toyline, preparation for the movie was shelved.
  • Had the movie been filmed, it would have provided a finale for the series, with Jayce and his Lightning League meeting the original Lightning League and being trained on the homeworld of the Guardians. Jayce would be reunited with his father Audric, but Audric would have been killed by Saw Boss as the Monster Minds began a final assault on the galaxy, and in a final battle, Jayce would unite the root and destroy Saw Boss, ending the Monster Mind threat forever.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jayce_and_the_Wheeled_Warriors

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0217941/

https://youtu.be/y9K0SzFIf4A

Check out our episode on Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors here.

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