Wheeled Warriors explode into battle! Lightning strikes!
This was another fine example of Channel 4 morning programming. You had to be up incredibly early to catch it! If you were, you got treated to some groovy tunes and decent animated action. The interesting thing about this show is that Babylon 5's creator Joe Michael Straczynski (JMS) wrote Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors (JWW). He's better known for his work on another animated series, the Real Ghostbusters, and a more obscure semi-live show called Captain Power. In a curious quirk of fate, as of early 2004 both Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors and the Real Ghostbusters have resurfaced on the Fox Kids cable/satellite channel here in the UK. It seems they really are running out of new material these days...!
Ah, young Jayce of the title. Not quite a fully fledged hero, Jayce is searching for his father so that they can unite the two pieces of a magical root which will rid the galaxy of the Monster Minds. Evil plant types with the ability to transform into battle machines. I used to think they were called Monster Vines in fact...
Sawboss and his gang were created when an experiment Jayce's father Audric was working on went wrong. Now the Monster Minds are wreaking havoc across the galaxy, all the while aiming to take out Jayce and his father to safeguard their future. There were various types of Monster Minds, all of which turned into different vehicles.
The JWW universe is part magical, part technological. As a result the range of supporting characters includes a wise wizard, Gillian, the classic Han Solo-esque "I'm only in it for the money" star pilot, Herc and the psychically-in-tune-with-plants Flora. Oh, yes, and there's also Oon, Jayce's midly incompetent (!) squire. I'd class him as the RAC if it wasn't for the flying fish Brock...!
This is Herc's ship, the Pride of the Skies. Pretty it isn't, but it does have a seriously large cargo bay, which is just as well because Jayce's Lightning League carry an awful lot of kit around the galaxy in their quest!
This is why it's called "Wheeled Warriors"! The vehicle on the right is Armed Force, one of several used by Jayce and his Lightning League to combat the vehicular modes of the Monster Minds. Capable of swapping weapons mid battle and various clever manoeuvres, they were one of the aspects of this show that stuck in my mind.
JWW rates pretty highly on the UK obscure-o-meter for kids shows. My thanks to Cindy Noble for the images taken from her Wheelies site which are used on this page. Jayce came out on DVD in 2008 in the UK - see link above.
For, ah, "technical reasons" (!) in order to watch the clip below you'll need to right click on the link, select "save target as" and rename the file so that it ends in .wmv rather than .sfxb. The video format is Windows Media Video which modern versions of Windows Mediaplayer will play.
Feel free to discuss the show on the forum.
Last updated 14 December 2013