Beast of the Temple is the seventh episode in the first series of Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
The Planeteers go to Thailand to try and discover what is behind the ruination of the jungle and a small village's rice paddies. They meet Nuok, a friend of Gi's from school, who claim it is a dragon beast: an ancient, evil spirit come to life.
When Wheeler is captured by Greedly, he discovers that the dragon is actually a mechanical machine designed to strip-mine rubies. It's up to the other Planeteers to find Wheeler and stop Greedly's latest plan.
The episode opens with a visual pan across fields and a sunset. An old man is leading a bullock away from some rice paddies and into the jungle, presumably on his way home after a day's work. He speaks aloud to the animal, saying that the jungle is "no longer safe at night."
A roar is heard, and the man is nervous. He convinces himself it was just the wind, but trees crash and fall to the ground, and a loud rumbling, growling noise fills the air. The man makes haste, leading his bullock through the jungle, anxious the get home and away from the strange noise.
They narrowly avoid falling trees, and the man is forced to stop. A pair of yellow, glowing eyes rises from the darkness, and suddenly a large green dragon bursts out of the jungle. The man cries out in terror, claiming it is "the dragon beast", an evil spirit that has come alive.
The dragon crashes and stomps through the jungle, chasing the man away.
The next shot shows utter destruction. Trees and fields are torn up, and crops are ruined. The Planeteers are watching on via Planet Vision. They are dismayed by the destruction of the rice paddies.
Gaia tells the Planeteers that it's up to them to discover what is behind the destruction. She tells them that the land and the people are in great danger, and that they should leave immediately for Thailand.
Gi claims she has a friend there, Nuok, whom she met through school. Gaia suggests paying him a visit, claiming that they must stop the "mysterious evil" plaguing the village.
In the geo-cruiser on the way to Hope Island, Linka expresses a little frustration that Gaia could not tell them more, but Kwame points out that if Gaia doesn't know, it must be a real mystery.
Gi lands the geo-cruiser, but the villagers are nowhere to be seen. Linka wonders if maybe they're too shy to appear - Wheeler wonders if they're just unfriendly.
Overhearing their conversaton, Nuok appears, greeting the Planeteers by saying his villagers are simply afraid. Gi greets him by running to him and embracing him.
Kwame says they should have realised that the geo-cruiser could have scared the villagers. Nuok claims they thought it was the dragon beast returning, and Wheeler displays instant skepticism, asking: "Dragon beast? You're putting us on, right?"
Nuok explains as he leads them into the jungle. He claims that the villagers believe a mystical beast has arisen: "An ancient, evil spirit. A dragon beast. It spits fire. It causes destruction wherever it goes."
Wheeler refuses to believe that a dragon exists, claiming that they've flown all the way to Thailand for a silly superstition.
Nuok agrees that perhaps the dragon beast does not exist, but that something is certainly causing destruction. He points out the ruined jungle and rice paddies. The Planeteer are dismayed, with Ma-Ti exclaiming: "It's even worse than we saw on the moniters."
The audience soon realises that the Planeteers and Nuok are being watched on moniters themselves, by Hoggish Greedly and his sidekick, Rigger. Greedly claims that by scaring the villagers away, they will leave, which is just what he wants. He asks Rigger if he's ever seen a prettier sight than "all that ruination" on the moniters.
Hearing Gi claim that they should return to the village because "this place is too depressing," Greedly claims they haven't seen anything yet. He goes on, bragging to Rigger that once the villagers have been scared away, he'll tear up the jungle and gather rubies via strip-mining.
The Planeteers walk single-file through the jungle, with Nuok in the lead. Wheeler is spooked by a tiger. Kwame makes a joke, but Wheeler claims he has "nerves of steel". Unfortunately, he is then spooked by an owl, causing him to cry out and fall to the ground. Kwame good-naturedly claims Wheeler's "nerves of steel" have gone a little rusty.
A loud growling is heard, spooking all of the Planeteers. Nuok instantly claims it is no tiger, and trees start crashing to the ground.
Linka spots a pair of glowing yellow eyes, and quickly draws everyone else's attention to them. The dragon beast then rears up out of the trees. Nuok urges everyone to run - which they do. Linka screams, and Wheeler panics, claiming: "That's no superstition! What is that thing?!"
The dragon snorts fire, causing the jungle to catch alight. The fire is soon burning out of control. Gi attempts to extinguish it by creating a raincloud, but the fire overcomes it quickly. Kwame then tries to create a firebreak, but that doesn't work either.
Linka exclaims that the fire is too big, and Gi agrees, urging the team to call Captain Planet.
Captain Planet emerges from the earth. Nuok apologises for getting the Planeteers into such a dangerous mess, but Gi claims it's no problem, telling him that Captain Planet will make everything okay.
Captain Planet dives into the river and shifts rocks, finding tunnels and new currents before bursting up through the earth again, creating a huge fountain of water, which rains down and extinguishes the fire. He bids the Planeteers farewell once the flames are gone. Nuok expresses amazement at Captain Planet, but the Planeteers are rather blasé about it.
Wheeler apologises to Nuok now that he has seen the dragon, claming that "Whatever that thing is, it's no superstition." Kwame says they need to learn more about it to discover exactly what it is, so Gi suggests splitting into teams to find out.
Kwame and Ma-Ti are shown in one team, walking through the jungle with flashlights, which catch sight of a red python of some kind.
Nuok and Gi are shown to be another team, with Nuok helping Gi up a steep embankment.
The third and final team is Wheeler and Linka. Linka expresses a slight anxiety to Wheeler, wondering if it was a good idea to split up into teams. Wheeler claims he likes the idea, as it's the first time he's had a chance to be alone with her. After a moment's shy hesitation, they lean in to kiss one another, only to be disturbed by the roaring of the dragon beast.
Having it appear on them so suddenly, Wheeler cries out for them to run, but Linka's foot becomes tangled in the roots of a tree, and she trips. She calls to him for help, and he returns, but is unable to free her ankle from the tangled vines. Panicked, she begs him to leave and save himself, but he stands up to the dragon, countering the fire it breathes at him with fire from his ring.
However, the dragon does not retreat, and the flames from Wheeler's ring have no effect. Making a quick joke that the beast is fire-proof, Wheeler leads the beast away from Linka, yelling at it and causing it to chase him into the jungle.
Wheeler falls down a steep embankment into a river, and is soon face-to-face with crocodiles. Having no choice but to turn back, he soon meets the dragon again, and it scoops him up in its jaws and carries him away.
Greedly and Rigger are flying through the skies in Greedly's plane. They express delight once they realise the dragon has caught a Planeteer. Greedly lands the plane on the river, and the dragon enters and delivers Wheeler inside. The plane takes off into the skies again, with Wheeler expressing confusion at the events.
Nuok and the other Planeteers have found Linka. They are all standing at the edge of the embankment Wheeler fell down, with Linka anxiously claiming that was the last place she saw him. She begins to cry, stating that if something happens to Wheeler, she will never forgive herself.
Greedly steers his plane through the sky, sucking loudly on a straw in a drink. Rigger is sitting behind Wheeler, who is tied up and in the passenger seat, looking rather irritated. Greedly steers the plane through a secret door set into some old ruins.
Inside, Wheeler is witness to the dragon beast emptying large stores of rocks and gravel into carts. Greedly confirms that the dragon is a machine - a strip-mining machine, designed to scare off the villagers and destroy the jungle in a search for rubies. Wheeler angrily claims that the Planeteers won't let Greedly get away with it, but he expresses nothing but scorn, knowing the Planeteers have no idea where to find him in order to stop his plan.
The other Planeteers search the jungle for any signs of Wheeler. Gi finds some strange tracks, which lead into the river. Nuok thinks they've lost the trail.
Gi instantly dives into the water, hoping clues may lie at the bottom of the river, but she comes face-to-face with a crocodile. Linka saves her by using her ring to jam a log in the crocodile's mouth. She sends the crocodile downstream, and Ma-Ti uses his power to discover there are no more crocodiles in this stretch of the river. Gi returns to the water and discovers lots of marks on the rocks, "As if something heavy was dragged away."
Linka asks if that's all Gi saw, and if there was any sign of Wheeler, but there is nothing to indicate where he might be.
Ma-Ti tries to use his Heart power to discover where Wheeler is. He can sense evil surrounding Wheeler, which blocks his power somewhat. All he can get are snapshot images of red thorny vines, and three tall spires.
Gi and Linka are both anxious about Wheeler. Ma-Ti says he could sense his presence, but evil thoughts blocked his vision. In despair, Linka claims they will never find him.
Nuok claims that the three spires might be part of a temple - "The Ancient Temple of the Rubies".
Back at Greedly's hideout, Rigger is busy filling the dragon beast with fuel from a tanker. Greedly claims this time they're going to ruin everything in sight. Wheeler listens on in dismay, helpless and tied by his wrists to iron rings in the wall.
Nuok is paddling the other Planeteers down the river in a canoe. Ma-Ti recognises the ruins from the vision provided to him by Wheeler. He can still sense Wheeler's presence, surrounded by evil.
Gi asks if there's any way to get inside without being seen, and Nuok claims that there are legends of underwater tunnels leading inside. Gi dives into the water, claiming that if they exist, she will find them.
Inside, Greedly is stuffing himself with bowls of fruit. Rigger spots the canoe and Nuok, Kwame, Linka and Ma-Ti through the moniters behind his boss. Greedly instantly sends the mechanical dragon out into the night to hunt them down.
Gi makes her way into the ruins through the underwater entrance. She spots Wheeler, tied up nearby, and quietly frees him using a nearby knife. They sneak towards the door, but Greedly spots them, telling them they don't have permission to leave. Rigger violently stops them by throwing a chair towards the door, blocking their esape.
Gi retaliates by causing the water from the underground river to burst through the walls and flood the temple. Wheeler and Gi are quickly washed away, but Greedly grabs hold of a wall and anchors himself. Rigger anchors himself to Greedly, begging his boss to save him.
Wheeler and Gi burst out through a grate in the ground, breathless, but unharmed.
The other Planeteers run towards them. Overjoyed that he is safe, Linka throws herself into Wheeler's arms. He makes a joke about her reaction, stating: "If I'd known you'd act like this, I'd get myself captured all the time."
Nuok congratulates Gi on her success at gaining entrance to the temple and escaping with Wheeler. She shrugs, apparently not seeing it as a big deal.
The dragon beast makes another appearance, spewing fire and disturbing the Planeteers into action. They race for their canoe, only to find it engulfed in flames. Knowing that they can't outrun the beast, and with Wheeler stating that his power couldn't stop it, they call on Captain Planet to stop it. Captain Planet ensnares the beast in vines, tangling it before he causes it to fall into a crevice. The machine explodes, scattering the forest with debris. Seeing the parts of his machine flying about, Greedly, who was nearby, immediately changes direction, crying out to his sidekick: "Let's get out of here, Rigger!" As he is cheered on by the Planeteers, Captain Planet recycles the debris from the dragon beast into a new planting machine for Nuok's village, so they can replant the rice paddies Greedly destroyed.
Captain Planet bids the Planeteers farewell, telling them they did a fine job.
Back at his village, Nuok tells the Planeteers how grateful everyone is. Ma-Ti insists thanks are not necessary, claiming that "protecting the planet is our job."
Gi hands Nuok a Planeteer t-shirt, deeming him an honourary Planeteer.
Before they board the geo-cruiser, Wheeler claims he's going to "miss this place."
Linka questions him, believing he didn't want to come, and he admits that was before she hugged him. She responds by telling him she had no choice. "It was either you, or the dragon beast."
Despite her tone being light, Wheeler looks hurt by her comment.
Kwame: This place looks terrible! Nothing can grow here.
Captain Planet: I know, Kwame. Many forms of mining destroy the land.
Gi: But there's something you can do that will stop more of our beautiful Earth from looking like this.
Kwame: Instead of throwing away your aluminium cans, foil, and other reusable metals, take them to a collection centre.
Wheeler: Be a Planeteer! Recycle!
The Planeteers: We do!
Captain Planet: The power is yours!
Did You Notice?
- Wheeler and Linka almost share a kiss in the jungle after the Planeteers split up and they are left alone. Hoggish Greedly's robotic monster disturbs them.
- Linka begs Wheeler to save himself after she traps her ankle in vines and the dragon beast descends upon them both. Instead, Wheeler leads the dragon beast away from her, and is captured by Greedly.
- While following the tracks the dragon beast left behind, Gi bravely (and perhaps foolishly) dives into the river in an effort to recover the trail. She narrowly avoids being attacked by crocodiles, and is saved only by Linka moving them downstream with the powers of her ring. Ma-Ti then uses his power to sense whether or not there are any remaining crocodiles.
- When Ma-Ti tries to use his ring to sense where Wheeler is, we discover that he is weakened by the evil thoughts of Hoggish Greedly. He manages to get snapshot images of the place where Wheeler is being held, but contact is impossible.
- The dragon machine apparently runs on some sort of liquid fuel - Rigger can be seen refuelling it at one point in the episode.
- Linka expresses constant worry and despair while Wheeler is missing.
- So relieved that he is found alive after being taken away by Greedly, Linka runs towards Wheeler near the end and throws herself into his arms. He spins her around and comments: "If I'd known you'd act like this, I'd get myself captured all the time."
- Kwame helps Gi put her jacket back on each time she takes it off to dive in the river.
- Captain Planet is called twice during this episode - once near the start to put out the first fire, and again at the end to destroy the mechanical dragon beast.
- Greedly is never actually captured at the end of the episode. He and Rigger escape into the jungle.
- Nuok is made an honourary Planeteer, and is given a t-shirt with the Planeteer emblem on it.
- When things are back to normal and the Planeteers are about to go home, Wheeler brings up the subject of Linka hugging him. She claims she had no choice - it was either him or the dragon beast. Instead of making a joke or flirting with her, Wheeler looks sad.
Wheeler: Oh great. We come all this way to find an old superstition that doesn't exist.
A tiger growls and jumps away from a nearby rock.
Wheeler: What was that?
Kwame: (After having his toes trodden on by Wheeler) Watch out! What is the matter, Wheeler? Did the little pussy-cat scare you?
Wheeler: Not scared, Kwame, pal. Just curious. Back in New York, they used to say I had nerves of steel.
An owl flies down at him and he cries out and falls over.
Kwame: It appears that in Thailand your steel nerves have gotten a little rusty.
Wheeler: (Muttering) Yeah, you'll keep.
Gi: No problem! Now that Captain Planet's here, we'll be okay! I hope.
Captain Planet: (Somersaulting through the air and preparing to dive into a river) Nice day for a dip! What's a nice guy like me doing in a dive like this?
Captain Planet: The fire's out, so I guess I'll be going. Until then, remember, the power is yours!
Ma-Ti: (In reference to Captain Planet) He does come in handy, now and then.
Linka: Maybe it was not so smart to split up like this.
Wheeler: I kinda like the idea. First time you and I had a chance to be alone.
They lean in to kiss, but noises from Greedly's dragon beast disturb them.
Wheeler: (After the dragon beast is immune to his fire power) Whoops. I guess he's fire-proof.
Wheeler: (In the dragon beast's mouth) Ow! You've got awful sharp teeth for a superstition.
Linka: Oh, poor Wheeler. If something has happened to him, I will never forgive myself. (She starts to cry.)
Rigger: We'll destroy every living thing, and turn the whole countryside into an ugly gravel pit, yep yep yep!
Wheeler: The Planeteers won't let you get away with it, Greedly!
Hoggish Greedly: How can they stop me? They don't even know where I am!
Gi: Hey everybody, over here! Look at these strange tracks.
Kwame: Evil spirits don't leave tracks.
Rigger: Hey Mr. Greedly, look! Them Planeteers pests are coming to spoil our fun!
Greedly: You're wrong, Rigger. We're gonna spoil theirs!
Wheeler: (Tied up against the wall) You'd better call that dragon machine off, Greedly!
Greedly: What are you gonna do about it, punk?
Gi: (In response to Rigger blocking her and Wheeler's escape route) So you want to play games? Water! There's an underground river outside that will teach you a lesson.
Greedly: (Panicking as water begins to show through the crumbling bricks) Hey! Those walls are supposed to keep the water out!
Water floods the room.
Wheeler: Nice going, Gi! Those slobs could use a bath.
Rigger: Save me, Mr. Greedly! Save me!
Greedly: Go soak your head! I'm saving myself!
Linka: (After throwing herself into Wheeler's arms) Oh, Wheeler, thank goodness you are safe!
Wheeler: Hey, if I'd known you'd act like this, I'd get myself captured all the time...
Moments before ensnaring the dragon beast in vines:
Captain Planet: Time to branch out! I'm feeling vine, how about you?
Captain Planet: That dragon's a real drag.
Captain Planet: So long, Planeteers! You did a fine job. And remember, the power is yours!
Planeteers: Go Planet!
Nuok: My people and I cannot thank you enough, Planeteers.
Ma-Ti: No thanks are necessary. Protecting the planet is our job!
Gi: And because it's a job everyone needs to be involved in, we're making you an honourary Planeteer. (She hands Nuok a Planeteer t-shirt.)
Wheeler: (About to board the geo-cruiser to go back to Hope Island) I'm gonna miss this place.
Linka: Huh. I thought you did not want to come.
Wheeler: That was before you hugged me.
Linka: I had no choice, Yankee. It was either you, or the dragon beast.