|The Disappearance of Thirty/Thirty|
September 14, 1987
Production number 51 of 65
Airdate number 1 of 65
N/A (Pilot Episode)
Episode Information and Background
- Original airdate: September 14, 1987
- Writer: Don Heckman & Bob Forward
- Director: Lou Kachivas & Tom Tatarnowicz
- Production number: 51
- Airdate number: 1
Marshal BraveStarr and Thirty/Thirty have a fallout over Thirty's trigger-happiness. Thirty goes back to the Equestroid Temple where he first met BraveStarr, and finds a strange horse spirit, who offers him to travel back to time before he met BraveStarr.
In the deserts of New Texas, a trio of outlaw dingoes on Turbo-Mules are robbing Stratocoaches. Lawman Marshal BraveStarr and his best friend and partner, the equestroid Thirty/Thirty, stake out a ravine in wait of the outlaws.
As they wait for the outlaws to pass, BraveStarr and Thirty/Thirty have a debate about tactics. BraveStarr states his conviction that firearms should only be drawn in self-defence, and that his deputy has been too quick on the draw of late. However, Thirty/Thirty, who relies on the powerful weapon of his forefathers, which he calls Sara Jane, disagrees as he relies on Sara Jane for security over everything else.
When the outlaws arrive, BraveStarr jumps down into the ravine uses 'Speed of the Puma' to catch up to them and arrest them. However, Thirty/Thirty attempts to use Sara Jane to stop the outlaws but misses, and the blast causes a landslide of rocks, blocking BraveStarr's pursuit and allowing the outlaws to escape.
BraveStarr and Thirty/Thirty return to Fort Kerium where they have an argument in the Marshal's Office. BraveStarr accuses Thirty/Thirty of being reckless and trigger happy. BraveStarr then goes off to apprehend the outlaws alone, which he does successfully. He brings the outlaws back to Fort Kerium and asks Deputy Fuzz to lock them up in the cells.
Meanwhile, Thirty/Thirty has wandered off into the desert, feeling angry with BraveStarr. However, BraveStarr did not take it as a serious argument like his friend, and has not even realised that Thirty/Thirty was upset. When BraveStarr realises that his friend is missing, he seeks information from Judge J.B. McBride, worried that Tex Hex may have kidnapped him. However J.B. tells BraveStarr that Tex Hex has been quiet lately, and Thirty/Thirty has probably wandered off because he feels like he and BraveStarr are no longer friends. J.B. also reminds BraveStarr that they have a tough and dangerous job, and BraveStarr has probably been too hard on Thirty/Thirty.
BraveStarr races to the Hall of Equestroids, the ruin where Thirty/Thirty's people once resided. He catches up to Thirty/Thirty, but Thirty/Thirty tells BraveStarr that he is going somewhere where he feels appreciated, and vanishes. Masonry then begins to crumble and fall, and BraveStarr has to use Speed of the Puma to evade the falling rocks.
BraveStarr goes to seek guidance and advice from his mystic confidant, the Shaman at Starr Peak. Shaman explains to BraveStarr that Thirty/Thirty has like BraveStarr gone to seek counsel from his people. BraveStarr is confused, since Thirty/Thirty is the last of his people. Shaman explains that the lingering power of the Equestroids has fulfilled Thirty/Thirty's desire and transported him back in time, to when the Hall of Equestroids was a flourishing city and Thirty/Thirty was feared and respected as its mightiest warrior.
Shaman has the magic spell to similarly transport BraveStarr and himself back in time. However upon communing with Great Equus, it becomes clear that Thirty/Thirty has lost all knowledge of the present, and he is currently guarding the chamber where Sara Jane resides and BraveStarr will have to battle him again like when they first met. BraveStarr attempts to apologise, but Great Equus is not interested; as he says, 'actions speak louder than words'. BraveStarr will have to prove he is worthy of Thirty/Thirty's companionship, since Thirty/Thirty will have to remember and want to return to the present. If he loses, they will both be lost in the past forever.
BraveStarr and Thirty/Thirty battle, like they did when they first met. Although Thirty/Thirty almost gets the upper hand, BraveStarr remembers their first battle and is able to outmanoeuvre Thirty/Thirty using his foreknowledge. BraveStarr also uses Strength of the Bear to survive his opponents strikes and a cave-in of rocks. Eventually Thirty/Thirty relents, accepts that BraveStarr is not a thief after Sara Jane, and suddenly remembers everything. After BraveStarr and Thirty/Thirty shake hands, in a glowing energy field they are both magically transported into the present and into the chamber of Shaman atop Starr Peak, where Shaman awaits with a proud and knowing smile.
BraveStarr and Thirty/Thirty give a moral lesson in the episode epilogue. Standing outside the Marshall's office, they discuss how it is fine for friends to disagree, and compromise is always better than fighting.
- The pilot episode of the television series follows on from the feature-length BraveStarr - The Legend, which had expanded on the origins of BraveStarr, the nature of his powers, and provided in-Universe background and world-building.
- Although the movie is set before the television series, it was released after the television series had ended. The final episode of the television series, Strength of the Bear, was broadcast on February 24th 1988, whereas the film was released soon after 18th March 1988 (North American markets). Accordingly, the movie could be called a prequel.
- Although this was the first episode of the television series to be broadcast, this episode was actually made quite late in the production (51 out of 65 episodes in the production order).
- The first episode to actually be made was Tunnel of Terror, although that episode was aired approximately mid-way in the series' run (29 out of 65 in the broadcast order)
- BraveStarr and Thirty/Thirty fight in the Hall of Equestroids, just as they had when they first met (in the movie BraveStarr - The Legend), however this time BraveStarr remembers their first battle and Thirty/Thirty does not. Like in their first battle, Thirty/Thirty believes that he is protecting the sacred weapon Sara Jane from a thief. Like in their first battle, BraveStarr is victorious after using his animal powers, and when Thirty/Thirty realises that BraveStarr is not a thief they become allies.
- BraveStarr uses Speed of the Puma twice; once when chasing the outlaw dingoes, and again when evading the collapsing ruins of the Hall of Equestroids.
- BraveStarr uses Strength of the Bear twice; once to smash through a wall when duelling with Thirty/Thirty and soon after to stop one of Thirty/Thirty's punches.
- The Dingoes rob Stratocoaches on Turbo-Mules
- When travelling to the Hall of Equestroids, Marshal BraveStarr uses a one-person hovering device which he stands on and uses rotor blades at the base