Defenders of the Earth

The WORST episodes of Defenders of the Earth

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Defenders of the Earth is an animated television series of the 1980s featuring three characters from comic strips distributed by King Features Syndicate - Flash Gordon, The Phantom, and Mandrake the Magician - battling the Flash Gordon villain Ming the Merciless in the year 2015. Supporting characters include their children Rick Gordon, Jedda Walker (daughter of The Phantom), Kshin (adopted son of Mandrake), Mandrake's assistant Lothar, and Lothar's son L.J. The show lasted for 65 episodes; there was also a short-lived comic book series published by Star Comics (an imprint of Marvel Comics).

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Bits 'n' Chips
star
6.40
5 votes

#1 - Bits 'n' Chips

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired 9/12/1986

When the Defenders receive an invitation to pit Dynak X against a chess-playing computer, they little suspect that it is part of Ming's plot to implant an electronic maggot into Dynak's circuits in order to turn her against them and ultimately give Ming access to the world's weapon's systems. When Mandrake learns of the maggot's existence, he shrinks Rick, LJ, Jedda and Kisa (Jedda's panther friend) to microscopic size (using Rick's new Microniser ray rather than magic) so they can get inside Dynak and track the creature down.

A Demon in His Pocket
star
6.87
40 votes

#2 - A Demon in His Pocket

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 9/10/1986

Some boys try to pick a fight with Kshin so, rather than break the Defenders' Code of Honour, he reads up on summoning spells - against Mandrake's orders - and calls forth a demon named Shogoff. But Shogoff isn't content with just beating up a few pre-teenaged bullies and starts causing havoc in Central City; at one point, Mandrake collapses on stage when he senses the demon's presence. Kshin, meanwhile, is faced with a dilemma - should he let Shogoff continue his rampage or confess to his part in the trouble and risk expulsion from the Defenders?

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Root of Evil
star
6.88
33 votes

#3 - Root of Evil

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired 9/15/1986

Dr. Whitestead's plant food formula goes haywire - spilling on him and turning him into a plant! Ming seizes the scientist, the formula, and his daughter. Lothar and Mandrake use their skills to save Whitestead, and the defenders must stop Ming from using the formula to transform the whole planet into plants.

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The Evil of Doctor Dark
star
6.91
32 votes

#4 - The Evil of Doctor Dark

Season 1 - Episode 14 - Aired 9/25/1986

Mandrake's old enemy, Damian Dark, and the latter's Psychic Warrior cohorts escape from jail and join forces with Ming's troops to search for the legendary Well of Essence.

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Diamonds Are a Ming's Best Friend
star
6.94
32 votes

#5 - Diamonds Are a Ming's Best Friend

Season 1 - Episode 15 - Aired 9/26/1986

Ming enlists the aid of the ruthless Beastmaster to create an army of Crystal Soldiers, beings grown from diamonds and invulnerable to everything except an extremely rare mineral called Orcite.

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Hall of Wisdom
star
6.94
33 votes

#6 - Hall of Wisdom

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired 9/19/1986

The incredible Hall of Wisdom pays its-2000-year, 24-hour visit to the Galaxy. It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Ming to get his hands on the dreaded Quasar Weapon, with which he can conquer the Earth.

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The Mind Warriors (2)
star
6.94
33 votes

#7 - The Mind Warriors (2)

Season 1 - Episode 12 - Aired 9/22/1986

The Defenders add a new twist to the Battle Simulation Room--a Thought-Transference Cap. It transmits the wearer's imagination directly into the simulation; Kshin loves to use it to scare the other Defenders the best he can. But Ming the Merciless has found a way to tap into the Room. Using his ghastly power source, he can use his own evil thoughts and intensify them into reality! What starts out as a thrilling simulation under Kshin is taken over by Ming and turned into a terrible fight to the death in the all-too-real Haunted World. While the older Defenders fight monsters, harpies and skeleton warriors, the desperate young Defenders destroy the simulator and end the horror.

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The Lost Jewels of Tibet
star
6.97
32 votes

#8 - The Lost Jewels of Tibet

Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired 9/23/1986

Ming is seeking the Jewels of Power, but a female archaeologist named Atuskedero is also after them and travels to Tibet with Lothar and Mandrake (the latter worked with her in his pre-Defender days) to find the Jewels before Ming's forces do. But, when the trio discover the Jewels, it becomes clear that they have the power to hypnotise anyone who touches them. Can the remaining six Defenders reach their two companions in time to prevent an ancient legend - which predicts that the Dragon of Vengeance will appear if the Jewels are ever disturbed - from coming true?

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The Mind Warriors (1)
star
6.97
33 votes

#9 - The Mind Warriors (1)

Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired 9/24/1986

Ming lures Kshin to Ice Station Earth, then probes the dark side of his imagination to create fearsome warriors capable of destroying the Defenders. While the heroes work to dismantle the Doomsday Warhead, a device left in the universe from an earlier holocaust, they are invaded by RADIAN, BI-NINJA, RIPPER, ZALZAR, JAMMER HEAD, and NEUTRON MAN, all products of Kshin's mind. Two of the evil warriors recapture the Doomsday Warhead and transport it to Ming's asteroid base, while the rest stay on to finish off the Defenders. Meanwhile, the young Defenders fly to Ice Station Earth to rescue Kshin. With the help of Dynak X they trick the mind warriors into thinking they're dead. With Kshin free and the Doomsday Warhead moments from being launched against Earth, Kshin uses the good side of his imagination to make all the Defenders stronger, enabling them to defeat the mind warriors and reset the guidance controls in the Doomsday Warhead, thus blowing up Ming's asteroid base and saving Earth.

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A House Divided
star
7.00
34 votes

#10 - A House Divided

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 9/11/1986

When Africa suffers a sudden and unexplained climate change, the Phantom and Jedda head there to investigate. In the process, the Phantom learns that his estranged brother, Kurt - whom he has never mentioned to Jedda - has (courtesy of Ming) acquired the power to control the weather.

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The Defense Never Rests
star
7.00
33 votes

#11 - The Defense Never Rests

Season 1 - Episode 21 - Aired 10/6/1986

The Defenders investigate a mysterious comet and discover it is actually an Ilyrian spaceship, whose tractor beams are pulling them inside. The Defenders are informed that they will be tried as the greatest criminals in the galaxy, with Ming as the accuser! In exchange for his irrefutable evidence against the Defenders, the Evil One receives a number of tools to rebuild the Earth, but plans to use them to conquer the world. When evidence is presented in court of the Defenders (actually Ming's Android Clones) committing heinous crimes, things look bleak for our heroes. Rick, L.J. and Jedda manage to escape and invade Ice Station Earth, where they locate the Androids and uncover Ming's plan. Back on the Ilyrian ship the Defenders are found guilty and sentenced to banishment to a galaxy 300 light years from Earth, however, the young Defenders burst into the courtroom with the Androids and save the day.

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One of the Guys
star
7.00
2 votes

#12 - One of the Guys

Season 1 - Episode 43 - Aired 11/5/1986

Rick and L.J. accompany Kshin's class, which includes Marty, a wheelchair-bound boy, on a field trip to the Amazon where they encounter hostile natives. When Kshin and Marty are separated from the group, L.J. and Rick search for them, prompting the teacher to call in the Defenders. Stumbling upon a field of strange flowers cultivated by Ming's minions, Kshin is sprayed by a plant and rendered paralyzed from the waist down. At first he believes the situation hopeless, but Marty points out that they still have their brains. Captured by Ming, Marty uses his remote control device to summon his air-wheelchair and attempts a getaway from Ming. Meanwhile, the Phantom locates Rick and L.J. in the jungle. Ming, furious at being outwitted by two "helpless" boys, stalks Marty and Kshin. Just before he corners them, the Defenders arrive in Terry and foil the Merciless Ming's scheme to take over the world. Kshin's paralysis wears off and Marty is made an honorary Defender.

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Deal with the Devil
star
7.03
32 votes

#13 - Deal with the Devil

Season 1 - Episode 25 - Aired 10/14/1986

While captives in Ming's jail, Rick and Jedda overhear Octon and Garax's plans to revolt against Ming. In exchange for their freedom, the Defenders offer to help in the scheme. When the uprising begins, Octon contacts Monitor in a plea for help, however Flash and the other Defenders recognize this as another in a long line of Ming's vile attempts to destroy the Defenders. Rick, L.J. and Jedda disagree and with Kshin and Zuffy as stowaways, the three fly off to Ice Station Earth to help defeat Ming. They arrive at Ming's devastated headquarters to discover that it is indeed another of Ming's schemes- the Three Sorcerers Of Teros created the illusion of a battle torn command center explicitly to lure the young Defenders there so that Ming can probe Rick's mind for the plans to Monitor's defense system. When Flash, Mandrake, Lothar and the Phantom arrive to rescue the kids they engage the Sorcerers in combat. Flash uses his sonic-ray blaster to destroy the crystals encircling the Sorcerers, while Mandrake and Lothar unstrap Rick from Ming's mind-draining device. United with Jedda and L.J., the Defenders of the Earth destabilize the shifting ice flow under Ice Station Earth before mounting their ships for the flight back to Monitor, once again victorious in battle- but yet to win the war.

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The Carnival of Doctor Kalihari
star
7.03
32 votes

#14 - The Carnival of Doctor Kalihari

Season 1 - Episode 34 - Aired 10/23/1986

Dr. Kalihari's carnival is in town and the Defenders are on hand to see the show. What they don't know is that Dr. Kalihari has taken over the carnival from its owners and populated it with collaborators in his get-rich-quick scheme. Kalihari is infuriated when the Defenders embarrass his mediocre performers, so to get revenge he dupes Kshin into unleashing a magic shrinking potion on them! Steadily getting smaller --until they will eventually vanish- our senior heroes battle Kalihari, his cohorts, dogs and common household items which pose significant obstacles to 3 inch people, before finally locating the magic antidote potion which restores them to their original size. Once again the "normal" Defenders of the Earth, they waste no time in disposing of Kalihari's gang and restoring the carnival to its rightful owners.

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The Mystery of the Book
star
7.03
32 votes

#15 - The Mystery of the Book

Season 1 - Episode 35 - Aired 10/24/1986

Dynak X picks up a bizarre energy transmission from Stonehenge prompting the elder Defenders to investigate. Kshin consults the book of enigma which shows him a blueprint of the ancient stone circle. In England, Flash, Lothar and the Phantom are lured inside Stonehenge by Kronos, a mysterious dark cloud, and turned into statues. Mandrake consults his old magic teacher, Theron, who informs him that Kronos is an evil monster who drove the great magician, Enigma, out of the Land of Magic, then destroyed the dimension. Kronos needs the book, which is actually the old master of magic in "book form", to materialize on Earth and destroy the planet. Our young heroes- including Kshin and the book, Enigma,- rush to the rescue; however, Rick, L.J. and jedda are also turned into statues by Kronos. Mandrake, with the help of Theron, fights off Kronos while Enigma guides Kshin into the Stonehenge circle, where he convinces Kronos to give him a blue crystal which allows Enigma to materialize and defeat the evil monster. The benevolent wizard then restores the Defenders to their natural state, before departing for the Land of Magic.

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Call of the Eternals
star
7.03
32 votes

#16 - Call of the Eternals

Season 1 - Episode 53 - Aired 11/19/1986

Ming sends a look-alike Defender ship to provoke the Beacon of the Eternals- a computer operated ship searching for a long lost benevolent society- which thereby releases its three Guardian Robots to retaliate against our heroes. The Guardian Robots are the most powerful form of robot in the known universe. When Flash destroys one of them, its strength transfers to the other two, increasing the danger to both the Defenders and the Earth. With one of the two remaining robots hot on their tail, L.J., Kshin and Zuffy fly to New York to retrieve Mandrake and Lothar, while Flash, Rick and Jedda lock the third robot in a force (stasis) field surrounding Monitor. In New York Mandrake defeats the second robot through a brilliant illusion. However, this was Ming's plan. The final Guardian doubles in size, draining Monitor of its power source and transforming itself into an unbeatable machine. Rick conceives a plan which the Defenders put into action- a homing torpedo is outfitted with a mock signal from the Eternals and launched into a black hole, thereby tricking the Beacon into sending the final robot to investigate the signal. The final robot is destroyed and our heroes and the Earth are safe from Ming's grasp- temporarily.

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The Men of Frost
star
7.03
31 votes

#17 - The Men of Frost

Season 1 - Episode 16 - Aired 9/29/1986

For Ming's plan to blanket the earth with a veneer of frost to be successful, the satellite requires the strength of a Starblue Crystal, of which only three exist. During a ceremony in which Mandrake donates his Starblue Crystal to the Central City Museum, the Defenders fight off an invasion by Ming's forces and capture two of his Men of Frost, Elgar and Zikry. Rick makes good use of a new invention which re-humanizes Men of Frost and Elgar tells the Defenders of Ming's plan to conquer earth. Zikry however, remains loyal to Ming and sabotages Dynak X before our heroes discover his true "evil" side. When Ming locates the last remaining Starblue Crystal he launches the satellite. It appears that it may be too late to stop Ming, but the Defenders fly out in their battle ships, engage Ming's roboships in an outer-space dog-fight, and explode the satellite with seconds to spare.

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Family Reunion
star
7.03
31 votes

#18 - Family Reunion

Season 1 - Episode 20 - Aired 10/3/1986

Ming captures the Phantom and Jedda as they return from the race against N'Dama (really the Phantom's brother Kurt Walker) for the Jewel of Zandoon. Once again his old self, Kurt Walker stows away on Ming's ship, and back at Ice Station Earth he watches as Ming places the Phantom in the Deep Freeze Chamber. Small Fry, a monkey the Phantom and Jedda picked up in Africa, sabotages the wiring of the Freeze Chamber, buying the Phantom more time and allowing Jedda and Kurt to escape into the corridors of Ming's hideout. Jedda saves Kurt's life more than once before he finds the Golden Chamber and turns himself back into N'Dama; however, he refuses to help Jedda save the Phantom until she promises to reject the Phantom's birthright and becomes his protege. Using his skull ring the Phantom escapes the Freeze Chamber and is horrified to find Jedda in the uniform of the Weather Demon. N'Dama steals the valuable mineral Thalacitrate, which will allow him to remain N'Dama forever, from Ming. The Phantom and Jedda, poised for take-off from Ice Station Earth, benevolently save N'Dama's life, prompting the Spirit of the Winds to restore her birthright before he disappears in a mysterious flash of light.

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Doorways into Darkness
star
7.03
31 votes

#19 - Doorways into Darkness

Season 1 - Episode 24 - Aired 10/13/1986

Deep in Africa Ming locates an anti-energy source enabling him to open the Nightgiant Doorway and unleash 7-story tall nightgiants to destroy the earth. Flash flies out to space to destroy a Ming satellite, but his ship is immoblized by the Merciless One's roboships, while the Phantom goes to Africa to terminate Ming's activities in the Forgotten City. As the nightgiants terrorize various parts of the globe Rick intercepts a transmission from Ming to Garax and discovers that a transport invertor will eliminate the monsters. Mandrake, Lothar, Rick, L.J., Jedda, Kshin and Zuffy take on two nightgiants outside of Central City while racing to the stadium to retrieve the saving invertordevice. As they recover the device, Rick is captured by one of the creatures. Jedda departs for Africa, where her father will use the transport invertor to close the nightgiant doorway, while the other Defenders save Rick. Out in space Flash finally fights off all of Ming's minions and blows the satellite. Jedda delivers the transport invertor to the Phantom and they battle Ming's troops before employing the device and sending the nightgiants back to their own world.

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The Gods Awake
star
7.03
31 votes

#20 - The Gods Awake

Season 1 - Episode 29 - Aired 10/20/1986

When statues of ancient gods mysteriously come to life, the Defenders are summoned to the Himalayas by Mandrake's old magic teacher, Theron. They learn Ming and a mystic are behind the bizarre occurrences, an element in a plan to recover a sacred dorje which will give Ming the power to rule the world. When Ming gains control of the sacred dorje, Mandrake tries to warn him about the danger of his mystic collaborator. But the mystic snatches the dorje and uses it to turn himself back into Shiva - the destroyer god - who was banished from his dimension of Bodhidharma long ago. As Shiva fades into his other dimension, Mandrake follows. Ming flees, leaving the Defenders to deal with the world-threatening situation he brought about. In the other dimension, Mandrake battles against Shiva and uses a nifty piece of information to conquer him. Lothar manages to open up the portal back to our earthly dimension just in time for Mandrake to slip through - with the powerful dorje.

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Kshin and the Ghost Ship
star
7.03
31 votes

#21 - Kshin and the Ghost Ship

Season 1 - Episode 33 - Aired 10/22/1986

While on vacation in Jamaica with the Defenders, Kshin sees a ghost ship; however, no one believes him. Determined to get proof of the ship's existence, Kshin rows a dinghy out into the bay one night, and he not only finds the ship, but is taken on board by its ghost pirates!! Meanwhile our heroes are busy trying to figure out why Ming's roboships are in the area. Unbeknownst to them, the warlord is searching for Morgan's Compass, which he will use to turn the ghost pirates into his unconquerable slaves. On board the ship, the pirate captain tells Kshin that they have been searching for years for Morgan's Compass- the only object which can release them from their aimless wandering. Kshin offers help, and with the ghost first mate he goes ashore and returns with a sonic probe to locate the compass on the ocean floor. While Kshin is lowered into the water in a makeshift diving bell, Ming's roboships attempt to fire a freezebeam on the ship putting the ghosts in his power. However, the Defenders blow Ming's minions out of the sky! Kshin emerges with the compass, freeing the pirates and sending them on their way.

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Flash Times Four
star
7.03
31 votes

#22 - Flash Times Four

Season 1 - Episode 36 - Aired 10/27/1986

Ming knows that Flash Gordon is the only man alive who could effectively fly his state-of-the-art warplane The Scorpion, so he lures our hero to Ice Station Earth, where he has created four Flash Gordon clones! The evil warlord places Flash under his vile inquisitor with Flash's clones at the receiving end of the contraption to gather his exceptional flying skills. However, Flash brilliantly manages to dismantle the control box to the machine, therefore only facets of his personality are transferred to the clones. While the Defenders beat a hasty trail to Ice Station Earth, Flash wakes up in Ming's dungeon. When he again meets his clones he finds four distinct personalities- #1, an authoritarian; #2, a braggart fighter pilot; #3, an intellectual planner; and #4, a cool, Burt Reynolds type. Ming places clone #4, who has a bomb in his chest, in the dungeon so that the Defenders rescue him and bring him back to Monitor. Meanwhile he sends the other three against our heroes. Flash manages to escape from Ice Station Earth, destroys the three clones in a superb example of excellent dog-fighting, and confronts #4 in Monitor, disarming the bomb with seconds to spare.

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Rick Gordon, One-Man Army
star
7.03
31 votes

#23 - Rick Gordon, One-Man Army

Season 1 - Episode 38 - Aired 10/29/1986

Rick Gordon's new friend at Central City High ! Carlotta Vallejo- requires his help when Ming backs revolutionary forces to dethrone her father from the Presidency of the tropical island of Esmerelda. While Ming gathers all the blue orchid flowers on the island for use turning the world's population into Frost People, Rick and Carlotta fly to Esmerelda and search for her father, but are captured by El Jefe, the mercenary leader of the upsurge. Back at Monitor Dynak X informs the Defenders that the temperature of the island is being unnaturally lowered, posing potential weather problems and prompting the heroes- sans Mandrake and Lothar- to board the Terry and set out to investigate. Rick and Carlotta escape from El Jefe, discover that Ming has diverted irrigation waters to build a huge glacier, and locate the President. To their horror, they find he has been turned into a Man of Frost before they are once again captured. The Defenders arrive and walk right into a trap, however Mandrake and Lothar, who arrived later disguised as a Man of Frost and an Ice Robot, spring them from Ming's dungeon. They invade El Jefe's jungle mercenary camp and rescue Rick, Carlotta and her father- who by now is returning to normal because the Frost Serum only works for two days. Furious, Ming blows up his glacier, causing a raging avalanche, which Rick subsides by employing a solar mirror to direct the sun's rays to melt the ice and divert it underground destroying the Ice Caves and all of Ming's blue orchid Frost Serum.

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Dracula's Potion
star
7.03
31 votes

#24 - Dracula's Potion

Season 1 - Episode 42 - Aired 11/4/1986

The Defenders set out for Transylvania to investigate the disappearance of John Harker, a young archaeologist doing re-search in the area. Upon arrival, they are invited to the castle of Vlad, a mysterious local who serves them dinner at midnight. When Vlad proposes a toast, everyone joins in, except the Phantom, who doesn't trust the shifty host. The next day all the Defenders, with the exception of the Phantom, turn into animals reflecting their personality characteristics- Vlad had spiked their dinner beverages with a magic potion. Dynak X launches an antidote to our heroes via a guided rocket. Kshin, now enjoying himself as a spider monkey, retrieves the antidote from the garden and, with the Phantom, frees the Defenders/animals from their cages and administers the antidote. Restored, the Defenders turn bright lights on Vlad, trans-forming him into John Harker! The young man had been possessed by the older vampire, Vlad.

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The Drowning World
star
7.03
31 votes

#25 - The Drowning World

Season 1 - Episode 62 - Aired 12/2/1986

Ming constructs a dam near the sea of Japan. This diverts the warm currents of the Japanese oceans towards the Antarctic, causing the polar Ice caps to melt, which results in major worldwide flooding and certain disaster. The Defenders race to the Artic to prevent the glaciers from further collapsing, when they are attacked by Ming's Ice Robots and Garax. The Defenders do battle with the Ice Robots and are able to fend them off long enough to escape back to the U.S.A, where they discover that Ming's Dam is the source of the worldwide flooding. Lothar suggests they take out the dam with the untested X-26 missile, whilst Ming takes control of an iceberg and sends it hurtling in the direction of New York City...

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