The Diamond of Doom
Review and Media by Jon T
Episode #5 - The Diamond of Doom
Original Airdate - November 4, 1978
Herbie is helping Ben exercise using Reed's testing room, when a mysterious lady enters their headquarters and is captured by the automatic defense systems. She introduces herself as Queen Sebel of Manopal and wishes to enlist the help of the Fantastic Four. She uses a hypnotic influence on Ben to get him to agree to the trip to Manopal along with the rest of the team. There she tells them of how the Great White Stone, a large and valuable diamond was stolen by bandits. While acknowledging a few problems with Sebel's story, such as why no one else was sent to look for the diamond, the Four agree to track it down for her by looking in the surrounding jungle. They soon come into contact with the bandits themselves, who tell the team that Sebel must be overthrown. Sue retrieves the diamond, but before she can study it, Ben and Reed, now both under Sebel's influence, insist that it must be returned to her, and leave Sue and Herbie with the bandits. She asks them what they wanted with the diamond and they tell her that she used her powers along with the diamond to enslave the people of Manopal. Sebel gets the diamond back and forces Reed, Ben and Herbie to work as slaves, and transforms Sue into diamond. Forced to work in the mines, the remaining three of the team find Miel, Sebel's sister, who was imprisoned over a thousand years ago. Reed and the rest of the team, along with Miel, are left to figure out a way of freeing both Sue and the people of Manopal from Sebel's powers.
Story by: Stan Lee
Teleplay by: Christy Marx
Review: This is definitely the most original episode so far. From the first moment we see her, it's quite obvious that Queen Sebel is up to no good, but it's interesting to see how the rest of the story develops.
Unlike the nonsensical Magneto episode, here we have some of the FF actually helping the villain of the piece while actually under their control. Queen Sebel is actually quite acceptable as an original villain, as she's very different from other FF adversaries. Having her powers as natural magic is a nice contrast to the previous episodes, and indeed as Ben states in this episode, the story is like that of a fairy tale.
This episode also does the best job so far at displaying the different and contrasting personalities of each of the members of the FF, even Herbie to a certain extent. A nice touch is Queen Sebel using her hypnotic powers on Reed as well as Ben, complete with the understandable disapproval of Sue.
In the end this is a simplistic, but different tale of the FF that does a reasonable job of highlighting each team-member's personality.