"Ever since the time of the Great Cataclysm, the Arkadians have lived deep in the center of the earth. They believed they were the only survivors of this great devastation. Their civilization thrived under the power of their sun, the Tehra... until it began to fail. In desperation, the children of Arkadia broke the law and entered the forbidden Archives searching for a solution. What they discovered gave them hope. Anxiously, they used their special powers and created a messenger to the people above. They named her Arkana..."

Arkana was joined by Matt and Rebecca--two children from the surface world, Bic and Bac--a pair of Arkadian anteaters, and Spartakus--a mysterious wanderer. Aboard their living ship, Tehrig, they journeyed through the strata--worlds that lie below the surface of the earth--uncovering the long-forgotten secrets of Arkadia's past.

That was the plot of the animated series Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea, originally aired in France in the 1980s as Les Mondes Engloutis (The Absorbed Worlds). Although it has been a long time since it aired on television (in America at least--various other countries around the world have screened versions of the show in recent years), it is still a fondly remembered show, with its surreal imagery, strong characters, and otherworldly-yet-familiar settings based on historical events and literary works.

After numerous searches of the world wide web revealed only small amounts of information about this show--most of it on French-only sites--these Archives were created to help preserve the memory of Arkadia and the worlds of the strata...

Spartakus and Arkana fanart
Join the Tehra group--A mailing list for Les Mondes Engloutis discussion

Update: June 20, 2002--Episode section updated with brief descriptions of "Children... and Mice" and "The Gladiators of Barkar." Also, I've been told that the French title for episode 49 is "Ma-Thot," not "Madame Thot" as previously listed--the incorrect title was provided to me from the printed TV schedule listings for the show, which it would seem got it wrong.

Update: May 28, 2002--Just an added bit of info on the DVDs: All 52 episodes are now available in France (Region 2, SECAM video format only). I've been told that the sound is Dolby Digital, but apparently only in mono. There are two boxsets available, one for each season. I've received conflicting information about whether or not the episodes are in order.

Update: April 27, 2002--Added link to the Shagma mailing list.

Update: April 25, 2002--Ugh, has it really been this long since the last real update? (Well, not technically, since I've quietly done a lot of moving around of the multimedia section lately--which should have fewer bandwidth outage problems now, though we'll see how that works out.) Anyway, yeah, I realize I have been slow on answering email and updating the page lately--lots of real-life stuff keeping me busy and weighing down on me these days. Anyway, here's a few tidbits of news for you:

  • The full series is now available on videocassette in France (you'd need to be able to understand French and have a VCR and TV able to play SECAM format video)
  • DVDs are available in France (DVD Region 2, and presumably French language only), however I understand that only the first 26 episodes have been released so far, and they aren't necessarily in any particular order.
  • The links page has been updated with a few new sites.

Update: August 9, 2001--Check out Tehrig's Multimedia Archives for a wallpaper-sized copy of the fan-art image seen above!
Minor update to the Characters section: Added a few new character illustrations I've done (some haven't been colored yet) and (finally) fixed the rest to better match the site's current color scheme.

Update: July 20, 2001--All the multimedia files should be back online now! You can now visit Tehrig's Multimedia Archives for all the LME/Spartakus images and a few of the songs that used to be here. (Most of the songs are still currently located on the regular multimedia page)

Previous updates

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Site maintenance and illustrations by Jason B. Bell. (email)

Les Mondes Engloutis copyright 1985, 1986 RMC Audio Visuel Monte Carlo Prod., Antenne 2, Tele Hachette, France Media International, Compagnie Generale du Jouet, Ministere de la Culture. This site is not affiliated with or officially endorsed by any of the above. Intended for informational purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.

All other material copyright 1998-99 Jason B. Bell, except where noted. All rights reserved.