He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is an American animated television series produced by Filmation based on Mattel’s toy line Masters of the Universe. The show, often referred to as simply He-Man, was one of the most popular animated children’s shows of the 1980s, and has retained a heavy cult following to this day.
It made its television debut in 1983 and ran until 1985, consisting of two seasons of 65 episodes each. Reruns continued to air in syndication until 1988, at which point USA Network bought the rights to the series. USA aired He-Man until September 1990. Reruns of the show are no longer being broadcast on the Qubo Night Owl in the U.S. Currently the show is viewed on Retro Television Network, and in Canada on Teletoon Retro.
The show takes place on the fictional planet of Eternia, a planet of magic, myth and fantasy. Its lead character is Prince Adam, the young son of Eternia’s rulers, King Randor, and Queen Marlena. Whenever Prince Adam holds the Sword of Power aloft and proclaims “By the Power of Grayskull!” he is endowed with fabulous secret powers and transformed into He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe. Together with his close allies, Battle Cat (who undergoes a similar transformation from being Adam’s cowardly pet tiger Cringer), The Sorceress, Teela, Man-At-Arms and Orko, He-Man uses his powers to defend Eternia from the evil forces of Skeletor. Skeletor’s main goal is to conquer the mysterious fortress of Castle Grayskull, from which He-Man draws his powers. If successful, Skeletor would have enough power to rule Eternia and possibly the entire universe.