kids encyclopedia robot

Dungeons & Dragons (TV series) facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons and Dragons DVD boxset art.jpg
DVD cover
Genre Action
Created by Kevin Paul Coates
Dennis Marks
Developed by Mark Evanier
Written by Karl Geurs
Directed by John Gibbs
Voices of Willie Aames
Don Most
Katie Leigh
Adam Rich
Tonia Gayle Smith
Teddy Field III
Sidney Miller
Peter Cullen
Frank Welker
Bob Holt
Composer(s) Johnny Douglas
Rob Walsh (additional music)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 27
Executive producer(s) David H. DePatie (season 1)
Lee Gunther (seasons 1–3)
Margaret Loesch (seasons 2–3)
Producer(s) Bob Richardson (season 1)
Karl Geurs (seasons 2–3)
Running time 24 minutes
Production company(s)
  • Marvel Productions
  • D&D Entertainment
  • Toei Animation
Distributor New World Television
Original network CBS
Original release September 17, 1983 (1983-09-17) – December 7, 1985 (1985-12-07)

Dungeons & Dragons is an American animated television series based on TSR's Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. A co-production of Marvel Productions and TSR, the show originally ran from 1983 through 1985 for three seasons on CBS for a total of twenty-seven episodes. The Japanese company Toei Animation did the animation for the series.

The show focused on a group of six friends who are transported into the titular realm and followed their adventures as they tried to find a way home with the help of their guide the Dungeon Master.

A final unproduced episode would have served as both a conclusion to the story as well as a re-imagining of the show had the series been picked up for a fourth season; however, the show was cancelled before the episode was made. The script has since been published online and was performed as an audio drama as a special feature for the BCI Eclipse DVD edition of the series. In 2020, a fan-made animation of the finale using new and existing animation from the show and audio from the audio drama was uploaded to YouTube.


The show focuses on a group of friends aged between 8 and 15 who are transported to the "realm of Dungeons & Dragons" by taking a magical dark ride on an amusement park roller coaster. Upon arriving in the realm they meet Dungeon Master (named for the referee in the role-playing game) who gives each child a magical item.

The children's main goal is to find a way home, but they often take detours to help people or find that their fates are intertwined with that of others. The group comes across many different enemies, but their primary antagonist is Venger. Venger is a powerful wizard who wishes to rule the realm and believes the power from the children's weapons will help him to do so. Another recurring villain is Tiamat, who is a five-headed dragon and the only creature that Venger fears.

Throughout the show, a connection is suggested between Dungeon Master and Venger. At the end of the episode "The Dragon's Graveyard", Dungeon Master calls Venger "my son." The final unproduced episode "Requiem" would have confirmed that Venger is the Dungeon Master's corrupted son (making Karena Venger's sister and Dungeon Master's daughter), redeemed Venger (giving those trapped in this realm their freedom), and ended on a cliffhanger where the six children could finally return home or deal with evil that still existed in the realm.



Left to right: Hank, Eric, Diana, Presto, Sheila, Bobby and Uni. in the first episode "The Night of No Tomorrow"
  • Hank, the Ranger (voiced by Willie Aames): At 15 years of age, he is the leader of the group. Hank is brave and noble, maintaining a focus and determination even when presented with grave danger. Hank is a Ranger, with a magical bow that shoots arrows of glowing energy. These arrows could be used in many different ways such as a climbing tool, to hurt enemies, to bind them or to create light. His deepest fear is a failure to be a leader (as seen in "Quest of the Skeleton Warrior"). Twice he does fail as a leader: making the wrong decision trying to save Bobby from Venger (as seen in "The Traitor") and disobeying Dungeon Master's instructions (as seen in "The Dungeon at the Heart of Dawn"). Only once does his anger and frustration at not going home result in uncontrollable rage at Venger (as seen in "The Dragon's Graveyard"). Of all the kids, Venger regards Hank as his most personal enemy ("The Dungeon at the Heart of Dawn").
  • Eric, the Cavalier (voiced by Don Most): The Cavalier age 15 is the spoiled child, originating from a rich home. On the surface, Eric is a big-mouthed comic relief coward. Eric complains about the dire situations in which he is involved and voices concerns which would be sensible to inhabitants of our world transplanted to the Realm. Despite his cowardice and reluctance, Eric has a heroic core, and frequently saves his friends from danger with his magical shield, which can project a force field. In "Day of the Dungeon Master", he is even granted the powers of the Dungeon Master, and manages this duty quite successfully—even to the extent of risking his own life fighting Venger—so his friends can return home. Series developer Mark Evanier revealed that Eric's contrary nature was mandated by parents' groups and consultants to push the then-dominant pro-social moral for cartoons of "The group is always right; the complainer is always wrong".
  • Diana, the Acrobat (voiced by Tonia Gayle Smith): Diana is a brave and outspoken 14-year-old girl. She is an Acrobat who carries a magic staff which can shift in length from as short as a few inches (and thus easily carried on her person) to as long as six feet. She uses her staff as a weapon or as an aid in various acrobatic moves. If the staff is broken apart, Diana can hold the severed pieces together and they will reunite. She is skilled at handling animals and is self-assured and confident. These qualities make her the natural leader in the absence of Hank. Diana was chosen as the Acrobat because in her real world she is an Olympic-level gymnast. In "Child of the Stargazer", Diana finds her soulmate—whom she must give up in order to save a community.
  • Presto, the Magician (voiced by Adam Rich): 14-year-old Albert, better known as Presto, is the Wizard. Presto fulfills a role of the well-meaning, diligent, but hopeless magician. He suffers from low self-confidence and nervousness, which manifests in the use of his magical hat. He is able to pull an endless succession of various tools from it, but often these will be, or appear to be, of little use. There are also numerous instances when the whole group is in danger, whereupon Presto will draw from his hat precisely what is needed in order to save all of his friends. Although, like all the kids, Presto yearns to return home, in "The Last illusion", Presto finds his soulmate in Varla—a girl with the ability to create powerful illusions—and makes friends with the Fairie Dragon Amber (as seen in "Cave of the Fairie Dragons").
  • Sheila, the Thief (voiced by Katie Leigh): As the Thief, Sheila age 13 has a magical cloak which, when the hood is raised over her head, makes her invisible. Although Sheila is often shy and nervous (as seen in "Citadel of Shadow") with a deep-seated monophobia (fear of being alone) (as seen in "Quest of the Skeleton Warrior"), she will always display bravery when her friends are in trouble, especially her younger brother, Bobby. Sheila is also the first to point out the flaws or dangers of the group's plans. Through her capacity for friendship with those in trouble, she receives unexpected rewards—such as being offered to become Queen of Zinn which she politely declines (as seen in "The Garden of Zinn") and redeeming Karena, Dungeonmaster's daughter, from evil (as seen in "Citadel of Shadow").
  • Bobby, the Barbarian (voiced by Ted Field III): Bobby is the youngest member of the team, eight years old when he enters the realm; the characters celebrate his ninth birthday in the "Servant of Evil" episode, and he confirms that he is "almost ten" four episodes later in "The Lost Children". He is the Barbarian, as indicated by his fur pants and boots, horned helmet, and cross belt harness. He is Sheila's younger brother; in contrast to her, Bobby is impulsive and ready to run headlong into battle, even against physically superior enemies, usually resulting in one of the others moving him from harm's way. He has a close relationship with Uni and is often reluctant to leave her when they discover a way home. Bobby carries a magical club, which he regularly uses to trigger earthquakes or dislodge rocks when he strikes the ground. In "The Dragon's Graveyard", the strain of being separated from family and friends causes him to have an emotional breakdown; in "The Girl Who Dreamed Tomorrow", Bobby finds his soulmate Terri, whom he must give up in order to save her from Venger.
  • Uni, the Unicorn (vocal effects provided by Frank Welker): Uni is Bobby's pet, a baby unicorn, which Bobby discovers in the intro and retains as his companion throughout the show. She has the ability to speak, though her words are not quite discernible; she usually is heard echoing Bobby when she agrees to his opinions. As seen in the episode "Valley of the Unicorns", Uni also possesses the potential for the natural unicorn ability to teleport once a day, and has accessed this power through tremendous concentration and effort; it is implied that she is still too young to use this ability regularly—without her horn she cannot teleport and becomes very weak; likewise whenever the children find a portal home, she must stay behind in the Dungeons and Dragons Realm as she cannot survive in their world {as seen in "The Eye of the Beholder," "The Box," and"Day of the Dungeon Master"} . As revealed in "P-R-E-S-T-O Spells Disaster," Uni also possesses the ability to utilize magic, proving herself to be more adept at using Presto's magic hat than Presto is.
  • Dungeon Master (voiced by Sidney Miller): The group's friend and mentor, he provides important advice and help, but often in a cryptic way that does not make sense until the team has completed the quest of each episode. It is the Dungeon Master who supplies the companions with their weapons and clues for their numerous opportunities to return home. As the series progresses, from his repeated displays of power, it begins to seem possible and later, even probable, that the Dungeon Master could easily return the companions home himself. This suspicion is confirmed in the script for the unmade series finale, "Requiem", wherein the Dungeon Master proves he can do just that, without any difficulty. In some episodes, including "City at the Edge of Midnight" and "The Last Illusion", realm inhabitants display great respect or nervous awe of Dungeon Master. It is through the efforts of the kids that both of Dungeon Master's children, Venger (as seen in "Requiem") and Karena (as seen in "Citadel of Shadow"), are redeemed from evil.


Venger, the main villain; trapped in "The Dragon's Graveyard"
  • Venger, the Force of Evil (voiced by Peter Cullen) - The main antagonist and the Dungeon Master's son (as revealed in "The Dragon's Graveyard" when Dungeon Master refers to him as "my son"), Venger is an evil wizard of great power who seeks to use the children's magical weapons to bolster his power. He especially hates the kids not only because their refusal to part with their weapons prevents him from destroying Tiamat (as seen in "The Hall of Bones") and conquering the realm (as seen in "The Dragon's Graveyard"), but also because they are "pure of heart" (as seen in "Quest of the Skeleton Warrior"). He is described as an evil force, although it is hinted that he was once good, but fell under a corrupting influence (as seen in "The Treasure of Tardos"). The episode "The Dungeon at the Heart of Dawn" revealed that his master was the Nameless One. This is later revealed to be true in the unmade finale "Requiem", when Venger is restored to his former self.
    • Shadow Demon (voiced by Bob Holt) - A shadowy demon, he is Venger's personal spy and assistant. Shadow Demon often informs Venger about the children's (whom he refers to as "Dungeon Master's young ones") current quests.
    • Night-Mare - A black horse that serves as Venger's mode of transportation.
  • Tiamat (vocal effects provided by Frank Welker) - Venger's arch-rival is a fearsome female five-headed dragon with a reverberating multi-level voice. Her five heads are a white head breathing ice, a green head breathing toxic gas, a central red head breathing fire, a blue head breathing lightning, and a black head breathing acid. Although Venger and the children both avoid Tiamat, the children often use her to their own ends such as making a deal with her in "The Dragon's Graveyard" to destroy Venger. Although promotional blurbs show the kids fighting Tiamat, the kids only fight her twice (as seen in "The Night of No Tomorrow" and "The Dragon's Graveyard") - Tiamat's main quarrel is with Venger.


Season 1 (1983)

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 "The Night of No Tomorrow" John Gibbs & Bob Richardson Mark Evanier September 17, 1983 (1983-09-17)
Tricked by Venger, Presto conjures up a horde of fire-breathing dragons to threaten the town of Helix. The kids must rescue Presto and save Helix before it is too late.
2 "The Eye of the Beholder" John Gibbs & Bob Richardson Hank Saroyan, Mark Evanier, Kimmer Ringwald September 24, 1983 (1983-09-24)
Led by a cowardly knight named Sir John, the children must seek and destroy an evil monster known as the Beholder to find a gateway back to their own world.
3 "The Hall of Bones" John Gibbs & Bob Richardson Paul Dini October 1, 1983 (1983-10-01)
Dungeon Master sends the kids on a journey to the Ancient Hall of Bones, where they must recharge their magical weapons. As usual, trouble awaits them around every corner.
4 "Valley of the Unicorns" John Gibbs & Bob Richardson Paul Dini & Karl Geurs October 8, 1983 (1983-10-08)
Bobby and the others must rescue Uni when she is captured by a fiendish sorcerer named Kelek, who plans to remove the horns of all unicorns and steal their magical power.
5 "In Search of the Dungeon Master" John Gibbs & Bob Richardson Jeffrey Scott October 15, 1983 (1983-10-15)
Dungeon Master is captured by Warduke and frozen in a magic crystal. When the kids discover this terrible truth, they try to rescue him before Venger gets there first.
6 "Beauty and the Bogbeast" John Gibbs & Bob Richardson Jeffrey Scott October 22, 1983 (1983-10-22)
Eric is turned into a comical but ugly Bogbeast when he sniffs a forbidden flower. Now he must help the others of this cowardly race defeat an evil ogre who is damming The River that Runs Upside Down.
7 "Prison Without Walls" John Gibbs & Bob Richardson Steve Gerber October 29, 1983 (1983-10-29)
The search for the gateway home leads the kids into the Swamp of Sorrow, where they meet a fearsome monster and the dwarf wizard, Lukyon, who guides them on a journey to the Heart Of The Dragon.
8 "Servant of Evil" John Gibbs & Bob Richardson Jeffrey Scott November 5, 1983 (1983-11-05)
Bobby's birthday is ruined when Sheila and the others are captured and thrown into Venger's Prison of Agony. With Dungeon Master's guidance, Bobby and Uni must locate the prison, befriend a giant, and rescue their friends.
9 "Quest of the Skeleton Warrior" John Gibbs & Bob Richardson Buzz Dixon November 12, 1983 (1983-11-12)
Dekkion, a spellbound ancient warrior, sends the kids to the Lost Tower, where they must face their greatest fears as they seek the Circle Of Power.
10 "The Garden of Zinn" John Gibbs & Bob Richardson Jeffrey Scott November 19, 1983 (1983-11-19)
When Bobby is bitten by a poisonous Dragon Turtle, he and Sheila must remain in the care of a strange creature named Solarz while the others seek out an antidote - the foot of a yellow dragon - in the mysterious Garden of Zinn. To save Bobby, will Eric become a king in the realm he hates so much?
11 "The Box" John Gibbs & Bob Richardson Jeffrey Scott November 26, 1983 (1983-11-26)
The kids find a way home at long last. But their return leaves Dungeon Master and the realm in great jeopardy as Venger seeks his chance to take over both the realm and the kids' home as well.
12 "The Lost Children" John Gibbs & Bob Richardson Jeffrey Scott December 3, 1983 (1983-12-03)
With the help of another group of lost children, the kids must brave the dangers of Venger's castle to locate a spaceship which, according to Dungeon Master, just might take them home.
13 "P-R-E-S-T-O Spells Disaster" John Gibbs & Bob Richardson Jeffrey Scott December 10, 1983 (1983-12-10)
Another one of Presto's spells misfires, this time leaving Presto and Uni to search for the others who are trapped in a giant's castle and pursued by a strange creature called a Slime Beast.

Season 2 (1984)

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
14 "The Girl Who Dreamed Tomorrow" John Gibbs Karl Geurs September 8, 1984 (1984-09-08)
The kids meet Terri, a lost child like themselves who is also a clairvoyant who can dream the future and leads them toward their doorway home - where trouble awaits. Bobby must make a heartbreaking choice to save his soulmate Terri from Venger.
15 "The Treasure of Tardos" John Gibbs Michael Reaves September 15, 1984 (1984-09-15)
Dungeon Master warns the kids that they are in danger from the monstrous Demodragon, a half-demon, half-dragon monster capable of destroying the entire realm. Now they must find a bit of dragonsbane in order to render the monster helpless.
16 "City at the Edge of Midnight" John Gibbs Michael Reaves & Karl Geurs September 22, 1984 (1984-09-22)
The kids must seek out The City At The Edge of Midnight and save its children from The Nightwalker, who steals little children at the stroke of midnight.
17 "The Traitor" John Gibbs Jeffrey Scott September 29, 1984 (1984-09-29)
Dungeon Master warns the kids that they are about to face the most difficult trial of their lives. The others are shocked when Hank turns out to be a traitor, not only to them, but to his own courage and insight. Fortunately, it is this that leads him to redemption.
18 "Day of the Dungeon Master" John Gibbs Michael Reaves October 6, 1984 (1984-10-06)
When Dungeon Master decides to take a rest and gives Eric his Garb of Power, Venger goes after the Garb, and Eric's powers are truly put to the test.
19 "The Last Illusion" John Gibbs Jeffrey Scott October 13, 1984 (1984-10-13)
When Presto finds himself lost in a forest, he sees the apparition of a beautiful young girl named Varla. Dungeon Master tells Presto that by finding the girl, he may find his way home.
20 "The Dragon's Graveyard" John Gibbs Michael Reaves October 20, 1984 (1984-10-20)
At the end of their patience with Venger ruining their attempts to return home, the kids resolve to bring the fight to him. The kids seek the help of Tiamat, the most dangerous dragon in the realm, who assists them in a confrontation with Venger and helps them get one step closer to home.
21 "Child of the Stargazer" John Gibbs Michael Reaves October 27, 1984 (1984-10-27)
Kosar, the son of an astrologer from another country, escapes from the evil Demon-Queen Syrith and involves the kids in a battle against good and evil. Diana must make a personal choice regarding going home - her soulmate Kosar, or saving a community.

Season 3 (1985)

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
22 "The Dungeon at the Heart of Dawn" John Gibbs Michael Reaves September 14, 1985 (1985-09-14)
While in the Tower of Darkness, the kids open The Box of Balefire and let loose the ultimate evil called the Nameless One who is Venger's master. The Nameless One strips Dungeon Master and Venger of their powers. They must now venture to The Heart Of Dawn to restore Dungeon Master's powers while holding a truce with Venger and Shadow Demon.
23 "The Time Lost" John Gibbs Michael Reaves September 21, 1985 (1985-09-21)
Venger has been abducting military personnel from different battles in Earth, and his latest captive is a US Air Force pilot, whose fighter jet Venger commandeers. Venger then goes to the Second World War and captures a Luftwaffe pilot named Josef, intending to give him the modern fighter jet to make World War II an Axis victory, which would change Earth's history and prevent the kids from ever being born. Josef has a severe struggle within himself about Venger's temptation to make him a war hero, although getting to know the kids revealed his true nature when he privately disposed of his swastika armband, happy to learn from the kids that his native Germany ended being "freed from that tyrant".
24 "Odyssey of the Twelfth Talisman" John Gibbs Mark Shiney & Michael L. DePatie September 28, 1985 (1985-09-28)
The Dungeon Master assigns the kids to find the missing Stone Of Astra, the Twelfth Talisman, which makes the wearer invincible. Venger, who also wants the talisman, instigates a battle and wreaks havoc.
25 "Citadel of Shadow" John Gibbs Katherine Lawrence October 12, 1985 (1985-10-12)
While fleeing an army of orcs, the kids hide in The Hills Of Never; Sheila helps a young woman named Karena trapped by a spell - whom the children discover is Venger's sister and rival in evil! With two magic rings Sheila must make a personal choice-of either going home-or saving Karena from being destroyed by Venger.
26 "Cave of the Fairie Dragons" John Gibbs Katherine Lawrence November 9, 1985 (1985-11-09)
When they are attacked by giant ants, the kids are saved by Amber, a Fairie Dragon. Amber then asks them to help rescue the Queen of the Fairie Dragons, who was kidnapped by the evil King Varin. Can the kids help the Fairie Dragons and find a portal that will take them home at last?
27 "The Winds of Darkness" John Gibbs Michael Cassutt & Kathy Selbert, Karl Geurs (Story) December 7, 1985 (1985-12-07)
The Darkling has created a purple fog that consumes all trapped in it, and the kids try to enlist the aid of Martha, an embittered former pupil of Dungeon Master, to save Hank from the fog and destroy The Darkling. Will Martha help them?

Unfinished finale

The intended final episode from the third season, and potential series finale, entitled "Requiem", was written by the series' frequent screenwriter Michael Reaves, but was not finished due to the show's cancellation. It would have served as both a conclusion to the current story as well as a re-imagining of the series had the show continued into a fourth season. Reaves has discussed the episode online, and published the original script on his personal website. The BCI Eclipse Region 1 DVD release includes the script recorded in the form of an audio drama as a special feature.

In September 2020 a fan-made animation of "Requiem", completed largely using existing animation from the show and some new animation along with audio from the audio drama, was uploaded to YouTube. The animation also features additional dialogue recorded by fans, and Katie Leigh reprising her role as Sheila.

"Requiem" sees Venger offer the group a chance to finally get home. The offer splits the group into two factions, with Eric wanting to help Venger and return home, while Hank, untrusting of Venger's motives, tries to stop Eric from completing Venger's quest. Both groups however manage to reach the final destination, a tomb containing a key that Venger wants destroyed. Realizing Venger is a prisoner of the realm as much as they are, instead of destroying the key Hank persuades Eric to use it to open a locked magic door in the tomb that transforms Venger back to human form and creates portals allowing others trapped in the realm to escape. Dungeon Master opens a portal back to the amusement park and offers the children the opportunity to stay and continue fighting evil. The original script ends on an open ending; the fan animation sees the group returning home except for Presto, who stays behind to look after Uni, to become a wizard, and to return to his soulmate Varla.