Saturday Morning Cartoons #20

TMNT Seas. 8, #1: “Get Shredder!”

“Heroes in a Half-Shell”. “Truth, Justice, and a Bigger Slice of Pizza!”

Most readers of this site have at least heard of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This cartoon ran in the late 1980’s and 1990’s, then has seen different incarnations in the last 10 years. With the original series, there was a division (that I didn’t know about, until recently) after Season 7. Season 8 and beyond were known as the “Red Sky” seasons. One of those episodes will be my focus… after the Break.

Seasons 8-10 saw a change in the series that I don’t remember from my childhood. The intro song and graphics completely changed, including showing clips from the live-action movie. The “Red Sky” looks much more menacing than the previous 7 seasons, resembling something from Batman: The Animated Series. Perhaps the biggest difference, though, with the final seasons was with the tone: the humor, prevalent in the first 7 series, were virtually non-existent in the last 3 seasons.

This episode was the 1st “Red Sky” episode.


The episode starts with the Turtles emerging from the sewers, apparently hours/days after they banished the Technodome to Dimension X. All but Leonardo aren’t thrilled with being top-side. April O’Neil had called them, alerting them to “some goons” being in an abandoned car warehouse, possibly tied to Shredder and Krang.

And she was right. Goons were inside, doing goonish things… until the Turtles break through the windows. The fight went as expected.

 

Turns out that they weren’t working for Shredder OR Krang; the tech that was in the back of the room was stolen from Taiwan?

Discouraged, the Turtles returned to their lair, where Splinter told them to keep their green chins up and keep searching. They monitor the local radar radio, hear about a firefight down the street, and rush off.

Police rush to the scene – another old building – and join in the gun battle between more officers and… Bebop and Rocksteady. 

And Shredder. Shredder’s voice sounded…. forced. It was weird.

Anyway, B&R hold off the cops, while Shredder mixes something into a large steel drum, pushes it towards the cops (as Bebop and Rocksteady’s guns run out of power), and uses a rope to escape out a window, as reinforcements arrive for the cops.

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The Shredder escapes!

The container explodes and the trio runs into an Electronics Shop – missing a third of the roof. Member #4 is inside: Krang. Shredder want power for the guns, vehicles, GUNS, A WAY TO CONTACT THE TECHNODROMMMMME!!

*whew* sorry about that – got possessed by Raspy Voice Shredder for a moment.

Krang has the solution: a brochure for the 1964 World’s Fair. Shredder, as he should be, is skeptical; Krang guides him to Page 20, where a Science building ad is also a ruin with potential equipment cached there. All but Krang head to the World’s Fair.


The Turtles are then shown lurking in the background, observing the building burning from Shredder’s container. They notice the Electronics Shop, run inside, and find Krang prints. 

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They also find the brochure that Krang had.

Shredder’s group is at the World’s Fair ruins… shortly followed by the Turtles. In Seasons 1-7, Raphael would have made some kind of wisecrack when he jumped from the Turtle Van. This time, a generic “You’re going down!”-type line. Leonardo and Shredder get into a nice sword duel…. interrupted by a giant laser blast!

Someone shot at both groups from the top of a tower!

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This guy is called Berserko and “no one escapes [his] domain alive!” He proceeds to open fire on everyone: Turtles, Shredder, Krang, everyone. All scatter to the Four Winds, including Krang, who was almost yanked out of his Exo-Suit (ouch!) by Donatello. Berserko recognized Krang and called him reinforcements: good for Donatello, bad for Krang, who was captured by Berserko’s troops.

Meanwhile, Berserko is causing all kinds of major damage. Raphael took the brunt of it: a building was shot and collapsed on top of him, knocking him out (he was rescued by the other Turtles and the Party Wagon). This ‘rescued’ was short lived, as Berserko toppled the Wagon with some high-powered, well-placed shots. He ignores the scattering Turtles, gloating over his victory. In about a 3 minute video-span, he managed to knock out one Turtle (Raphael), scatter the other Turtles, run off Bebop, Rocksteady, and Shredder, and capture Krang. That’s what you call a “power shift”.


A short visit to Shredder’s group; Shredder “may have to resort to bluffing, after all” to find and rescue Krang.


Back in the Sewers, Raphael is recovering on the couch. He is eager to get out and find the bad guys but “possible broken arm and probable concussion” aren’t allowing it.


We return to Greyskull Keep the Hall of Science, on the site of the World’s Fair, where Berserko has Krang.

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It is revealed that:

  1. Berserko is actually Krang’s old Weapons Engineer, Drakkus
  2. Drakkus helped design the Technodrome
  3. Krang has somehow taken over Dimension X

Drakkus/Berserko reveals another item: the Annihilator, a more-mobile, much stronger battle vehicle than the Technodrome… with a malfunctioning Drive System. Krang is put under a Heat Lamp, with the threat that he’ll fix Berserko’s vehicle or he’ll bake. Beware of Heat Lamps.


At some unnamed plant, Shredder & Friends assault the security guards, while Shredder steals chemicals. Under the Heat Lamp, Krang seemingly breaks and tells how to fix the Annihilator.


Back to the Turtles, as they upright the Wagon and try to agree on a course of action. By the way, Raphael is mysteriously, fully healed. Leonardo calls April and asks her to keep an ear out for “unusual crimes”. April and Irma  (who I had completely forgotten about) are monitoring the radio when a report that a subject “in a chrome mask” is at the Channel 6 building.

He is.

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The ladies are locked in the Channel 6 Control room, with the rest of the staff. The idiot reporter (whose name escapes me) saw Bebop and Rocksteady carry explosives into the basement but didn’t stop them.


The Turtles are then contacted by Shredder. He wants Krang (they don’t have him) at the news station in 30 minutes or he’ll blow it up. Splinter hears this and rushes off towards Channel 6, I am assuming (at this point). Donatello stays behind to fix the van, while the other 3 also rush off towards the Hall of Science. I sense “the big fight” approaching.

At Channel 6, Splinter sneaks in,, via the sewers.

At the HoS, Berserko is pleased with the repair process (which Michelangelo sees).

At the HoS, Raphael and Leonardo split off and run into Berserko’s robotic troops. Game Time, huh!

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I never thought I would type the following sentence:

Leonardo and Raphael find Krang and rescue him.

Michelangelo meets up with the other 2 and informs them of Berserko’s plans. They make it back to the finally-repaired Party Wagon and escape.


At Channel 6, Splinter finds the barred door where the News Staff (and Irma) are locked in. He chops the bar in half, opening the door.

On the streets, Shredder & Friends await the Turtles. They deliver Krang… 1 minute late. Raphael calls Shredder’s bluff.

“I. Never. Bluff.”

Boom

The Channel 6 building is no more.

Turtles go into a rage and attack! Shredder and Leonardo continue their sword duel, until Shredder’s sword breaks. The remedy for that? A KO-uppercut to Leonardo… countered by a Triple Dropkick by the Turtles. Shredder & Friends (featuring Krang) are tied up, as Berserko arrives on the scene with Annihilator. The Turtles enter the vehicle and confront Berserko, with success. They escape a crashing Annihilator, with Berserko, before it crashes into the river. Shredder & Friends escaped during the chaos… but April & Friends (featuring Splinter) survived the explosion! An ungrateful Vern blames the Turtles for the explosion. Of course he would. April makes a ‘heroic’ speech, to end the episode. Of course she would.


What an odd episode, both good and bad. Shredder seemed more ruthless in this episode, and Bebop & Rocksteady didn’t seem quite as buffoonish. The Turtles, minus a weak one-liner or two, show no humor in this episode. Maybe 7 seasons of fighting crime eroded their personality? The voice acting felt… forced. It seemed like everyone was trying to talk with their teeth clenched, especially April and Shredder.

I don’t remember watching many of the later episode of TMNT when I was younger. After watching this episode, I’m kinda glad that I didn’t watch back then.

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