Late Review : Mysterious Cities of Gold

In which the fun has just begun.

The golden condor from mysterious cities of gold

Now I have a child I want them to experience some of the amazing (or what I consider amazing) items from my childhood. So I’ve decided to reminisce about my life as a youngster and all this week is childhood week on Geek Ergo Sum. It also ties in nicely to my Disney tunes.

I was flicking through the various programmes on Amazon Prime yesterday when I hit a rich vein of nostalgia. Among the He-Man, Thundercats and other Eighties shows was the greatest of them all. Mysterious Cities of Gold.

 

As children we all grew up pretending to be the heroes or princesses we saw on television, but I grew up wanting to be an inanimate object. I wanted to the golden condor from Mysterious Cities of Gold.

Running for 39 episodes, this cartoon series is one of the greatest children’s television series produced. From the brilliant opening title sequence, which is one of the best theme tunes ever committed to the small screen, to the mini-documentary films at the end of the show this series still stands the test of time.

Whereas some shows like Dogtanian can look a bit dated now The Mysterious Cities of Gold still looks amazing, with lingering shots of the Nazca Plains or the Amazon forest backed by an amazing score.

Based around the conquests of the Americas it tells the story of Esteban, who is able to bring the Sun out, searching for his lost father. This is whilst being manipulated by those around him as they try to find the eponymous cities and their fabled resources of gold.

Along with his friends Zia and Tao they travel on solar-powered ships, meet lost tribes and hidden aliens. The best part of the series was the introduction of the Golden Condor, an ancient machine hidden in the centre of an extinct volcano.

Also powered by solar energy this was built by an ancient and advanced civilization and as far as I was concerned the most amazing thing I had ever seen. It was a giant golden bird that flew with no engines or obvious propulsion and just looked amazing. I was insanely jealous of Esteban that he got to fly it, it just didn’t seem fair.

Like most long-form children’s television shows The Mysterious Cities of Gold seemed to always be on and as a result I had forgotten most of what happened until I watched it again on DVD. The fight against the evil alien Olmecs had disappeared from my memory.

As I grew up at a time when there were only two children’s shows (either CBBC or CITV from 3.30 – 5 every weekday) most people my age will have seen the show and if they don’t remember it they recognize the theme tune. I can’t help but feel with all the channels and show aimed at youngsters, with their toy-centric characters (yes I know…Transformers), will not necessarily live long in the memory.

Like all great shows from my youth it has had a rebirth as a new series set just after the last one finished. The only problem is that it looks 20 years better. The animation and style is more polished, but most importantly they have not improved on one area.

The original soundtrack is still much, much, better.

Author: geekergosum

Ah, so you worked out the riddle. You just needed to use dwarfish and the doors to Geek Ergo Sum opened. Or perhaps you just used Google. Either way you are here, on my little corner of the Internet.

8 thoughts on “Late Review : Mysterious Cities of Gold”

  1. Great post, love the Mysterious Cities of Gold!! I also grew up with this cartoon on CBBC, and just recently rediscovered it on DVD too. The theme tune and score was fantastic, and then there was *that* Golden Condor – fantastic! afraid the new series isn’t up to scratch for me…

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    1. I’ve not yet watched fully the new series, I’m scared that it will ruin my enjoyment of the original (plus all the Inca/Mayan stuff was so cool). The score was written by Saban-Levy…the same guys that did Power Rangers.

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      1. Really, the same guys who did Power Rangers? Very cool, didn’t they do the music for He Man as well?. That’s one of my issues with the new series – from a really memorable score in the first series to an almost non existent one in the second. The voice acting is also so different, doesn’t feel like you’re watching the same characters. Only starts getting interesting halfway through! Others loved it though…

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