Jewel Riders: First Impressions

This First Impressions post is more than just first impressions. Ry, my partner for these recaps, will be introducing himself, and we’re both going to detail how we got into Jewel Riders in the first place.

It’s a very lengthy entry, so read the rest after the cut.

First, here’s an introduction from Ry:

Hi all! First off, I want to thank Jacquesworth and the wonderful folks here at the Avalon Archive for inviting me to participate in these Jewel Riders recaps. As a longtime fan of the series, it’s awesome to see people still interested and talking about one of my favorite childhood shows.

I came to be a fan of Jewel Riders during its initial airing in the Fall of 1995. I distinctly remember watching “Jewel Quest” during its first local airing on the Sunday morning “Amazin’ Adventures” programming block (home to other shows such as Skysurfer Strike Force, Street Sharks, Ultraforce, Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys, and King Arthur and the Knights of Justice). Needless to say, I was hooked. The vaguely Arthurian setting combined with magic, gems, and cool animal friends (especially the Pack with their giant wolves!) was a recipe for success with my nine-year-old brain.

The next Monday morning at school, my friends and I discussed the show, and we decided to buy a toy of one character each so we could play with them together at school. I had Drake (and later picked up a Gwen to go with him); I still own and display that Drake today. We had many adventures role-playing, drawing the characters, and watching/talking about the show. Those are very happy memories for me.

Over the years, one friend and I kept our interest in the show, which led us to finding Stormy’s “Avalon” website and all the great information and fanworks contained there. As a side note, the last three episodes of the series were never broadcast in my area, and the only way my friend and I were ever able to see them was by writing to Stormy for a VHS copy. Despite the quality of the episode transfers, we were so delighted to finally finish the series (and realize that it has almost a proper ending – unheard of in the 90s!)

The Jewel Riders community on Livejournal was also the reason I created an account there. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a number of great people through this fandom, and recently took over management of the community after our founder departed their LJ account.

In recent years I’ve dabbled in Jewel Riders fan fiction and occasionally doodle a bit of fanart. In fact, it was thanks to Jewel Riders that I began writing again after a many-years-long dry spell. So in many ways, this is so much more than just a cartoon to me – it’s where I met one of my best friends and a well from which creativity sprang back into my life.

So you can imagine my delight at discovering the Avalon series was based on Jewel Riders. There were new adventures to be had, new worlds to explore, new magic to learn, and new animal friends to meet. It was like the door to the secret garden had been opened once again, and I’m so excited to share it with all of you!

——————–

And now a few words from me:

I discovered Jewel Riders a little later than Ry, sometime in the spring to 1996 on a Saturday morning. I got up a little too early for Dragon Ball and caught some show that had girls firing energy out of magic jewels and some weird biker sheep. For some reason I thought this show was awesome, so I kept watching it, and quickly grew obsessed.

Now, where I lived, Jewel Riders switched stations between the first and second seasons, so I didn’t know there was a second season until 1998 or so. And I must have gotten in trouble with my parents or something, because I recall having my brother watch most of the second season for me and tell me what happened. Unfortunately, the last two episodes never aired where I lived, and I only know that because my brother told me, “Yo, they’re showing Inspector Gadget instead.”

I don’t think anybody I knew was aware Jewel Riders existed, except for a friend from catechism class. Many years later, we met up again in high school and started getting all nostalgic over the show. So I found Stormy’s website and ordered tapes of the series. It was around this time that I also discovered Avalon: Web of Magic and its connection with the show. Imagine how surprised I was to discover that Jewel Riders had an ending, and that it inspired another work!

Jewel Riders was the first fandom I truly got involved in. As a kid I tried recreating episodes in Windows Movie Maker, and as a teenager I attempted to write Jewel Riders fanfiction. My unfinished work is probably up somewhere on Fanfiction.net, and from what I remember it doesn’t resemble Jewel Riders at all. You can search for it if you want. I still get the occasional e-mail asking how it ends. Don’t bother asking me about it, because I don’t remember any of the details.

I’ve been looking forward to recapping Jewel Riders for a long time. For the past two or so years I’ve shared my interest in Avalon, and now I have the chance to do the same with the series that got me into Avalon in the first place.

——————–

Here’s how recapping is going to shake out:

We’ll be doing one episode a week. Two-part episodes will be done separately — meaning that “Jewel Quest”, “Revenge of the Dark Stone” / “Full Circle”, and “Lady of the Lake” / “The One Jewel” will be treated as two episodes, not one. All the episodes are on YouTube, so we’ll be posting videos for you to follow along with.

Also, we’ll be referring to the princess as Gwenevere, since that’s what we grew up with.

——————–

Next time: The first part of “Jewel Quest” — or, Kara’s arc from the first six books of Avalon: Web of Magic squeezed into an hour.

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