Review & Comparison! OS TMNT 5 to Nick TMNT

This is the day I would normally write a review about the newest episode of Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I would go on about the plots, characters, favorite scenes, and if I like or don’t like the changes made to characters in the show.  These are normally fun write ups sharing my inside view of the Nickelodeon series.  And while I wish I could say these are weekly, they’re not.  Nickelodeon every now and then takes a break, making us fans hold our breath just a little bit longer in waiting for the next installment of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  So what do I do?  I re hatch the old series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Today I’ll do a review comparison of the fifth episode of the original series, comparing it to the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant NInja Turtles series.  Hope everyone enjoys this read.

I reviewed and compared the Nickelodeon theme song to the original series theme song.  So I’m not going to start there.  This review will all be about the episode itself.  In this episode Shredder finally makes Krang’s new body, and the Turtles get their new ride the Turtle Blimp.

This episode starts off with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles watching the news as the reporter talks about the big events that have been happening lately.  Witnesses say they’ve seen these Turtles, so the TMNT is taking the bad rep.  This annoys the Turtles, as the story ends and they walk talking with April.  She’s upset that this should of been her story.  The group decide to divide as April is going to get a news crew together, Donatello gives her a Turtle Com and the keys to the Turtle van.  As they are going to use the car the Neutrinos left them.

A good start on the episode, the news clip is a nice way to not just recap what we’ve seen so far but also show that New Yorkers are noticing these strange events.  Though I’m curious as to where the Turtles watched that TV at.  They looked to be above ground and walk down into the sewers, heading to the lair.  I don’t know if I ever caught that before, but right now I’m paying extra attention to the episodes as watching them.  It is normal for the Turtles to introduce their phones with April there, as Donatello has the Turtle Com here.  In the Nickelodeon series Don pulled out the T-Phones in “Monkey Brain” to help with a mission April is a part of.  The cartoon series that did not do this is the 4Kids series where they had the Shell Cells in the first episode for when they got split up from Splinter.

After April leaves a loud noise gets the Turtles attention towards their TV in the lair.  The Shredder has a message he’s sending on TV showing a retro-mutagen ray.  This ray undoes mutation, and is the only way to restore Splinter to his human form.  Splinter sees through this trap and says that he alone has to get the ray from the Shredder, as he does not want the ray be used on the Turtles.  They do not seem to like the idea of being turned into normal turtles.

What a handy weapon Shredder has here, and I love how he was able to take over TV to send the message out.  Though how many normal people saw that on TV?  Seeing the Turtles being threatened, learning the name of Hamato Yoshi... it was very public that the Turtles are being called out to war.  I’m glad that Splinter right away realized that the Turtles could not go on this mission.

Shredder back at the Technodrome calls over a loudspeaker to Bebop and Rocksteady.  He warns them that the Turtles are heading this way and they are to find them and destroy them.  Bebop and Rocksteady grab their weapons and head out.

Back before Bebop and Rocksteady became Shredder’s shadow and he could order them over a loudspeaker.  I mostly remember him calling for them and telling them what he wants in person.  Though it seemed like in the early episodes Saki was a loner, not around those he worked with much.

The Turtles come up their elevator to street level into the phone booth.  They run over to the Neutrino car and jump in, excited as they get it started.  Though after driving only a tiny bit the car goes down out of gas.  Their gas is plutonium, which makes it so the Turtles can’t use the car. Raphael wants the weapons on it, as Don remembers something he saw at Baxter’s lab and says he’ll meet them later.  Taking off to the elevator leaving his brothers.

At least there was a reason the car did not work for them.  Though I found it interesting that they just had it parked in a hole in the ground.  That car is one of my favorite toys, so it was always good to see them in the show.  Though the elevator to street level, that is one thing they did not keep using to often. When I would see the phone booth I would think of Superman.  Though the one thing that really stood out to me with this was them coming up on the streets of New York in a glass phone booth, where anyone could see them while not wearing anything to hide what they are.  The Turtles had an elevator in the 4Kids series, though that one came up into a building where they kept the Battleshell.  It made a lot more sense, and we even see when the Turtles found it.

After Donatello leaves the other three Turtles are surprised by Bebop and Rocksteady.  As a fight happens.  Fighting Bebop and Rocksteady is still taken somewhat serious as the Turtles do have to use other means to hurt them and take them down.  With dropping stop lights on their heads to using dumpsters the Turtles are able to stop the two of them, when Michelangelo has the idea of throwing trucks at them. Once they do take down the two, the Turtles take off to start their mission leaving Bebop and Rocksteady covered in cement.

This is a fun fight scene and because of it, my friends and I use to say that Rocksteady is trigger happy.  He pulls that trigger closes his eyes and shoots all over the place.  He does love his work.  It’s when I really saw a difference between Bebop and Rocksteady for the first time, Rocksteady fights mainly with his gun while Bebop is doing everything muscle power including lifting a car to throw at them.  I liked that a lot.  Every series has their bad guys that seem too strong to take down at first and later become something the Turtles can handle.  In the 4Kids series it was Hun and now Nickelodeon has Chris Bradford and Xever.  Even the Next Mutation made it seem like the Turtles could not handle the Rank when they first started to fight them, but later was kicking them around like Foot Soldiers no more mentioned of being burned by their skin.  I’m a sucker for sidekick villains, Bebop and Rocksteady are my favorites.  Though I’ve really liked Hun, Chris and Xever too.  Each of these characters have been loyal to the Shredder and threats to the Turtles.  They remained threats through the series, just the Turtles got better at fighting them.  I did like that it was Michaelangelo’s idea to use the trucks against Bebop and Rocksteady in this episode.

We get a fast glimpse of Donatello going into Baxter Stockman’s lab and seeing what he wants.  It still troubles me that the Turtles were so easy at being thieves.  At this point Baxter was just an inventor who was hired by the Shredder, he made a robot that killed rats to help with the rat problem.  They already took his van and totally changed it, and now they let themselves into Baxter’s lab to take more?  What kind of lesson is this.  If someone is bad, you can go and steal their stuff.  Because two wrongs do make a right.  I would rather see Don get his stuff from the junkyard.

At the Technodrome Krang is getting after Shredder about making his new body.  Shredder surprises Krang by showing that the body is made. Krang gives Shredder a chip to put into the body, showing that Bebop and Rocksteady are defeated and the Turtles are on their way now.  Shredder puts the chip into the body, sets Krang into the body telling him it may take some time to get use too.  And gives the body a big shock as he sees it move he yells “It’s alive”.

I love how Shredder did not tell Krang that the body was done till he was ready.  The question is, how long has Shredder really had this body finished?  We know he did not really want to put Krang into the new body and does not trust him.   It’s also funny seeing the full Frankenstein thing of Shredder yelling “It’s Alive!  It’s alive!”  Gotta love classic horror films.  The Nickelodeon show is doing some classic horror feelings to it as well with hints of different movies and creatures.  Just watch how things are mutated.  Even 4Kids series mixed in the old classic horror movies, just look at the episodes “Notes from the Underground”.  That is one of the things I do enjoy with TMNT.

The Turtles arrive at the Technodrome and start to head in, which sets off an alarm.  Shredder is not ready as Krang will not be awake yet.  He sends his Foot Soldiers to stop the Turtles.  Sending Foot out of the Technodrome. The Turtles split up from Splinter as he goes to get the Retro Mutagen Ray from Shredder.  The Turtles jump down fighting the Foot.  Just as Donatello calls to see how things are going.  Raphael tells him they’re a little busy so Don is going to call back later.  Raph comes up with the idea to use raw sewage to get rid of the Foot which works.

Our second fight into the episode and we’re not even to Shredder and Krang yet.  Lots of good action and yet still kept short. I like how Don hears his brothers are fighting, but does not seem troubled to know that they could be in danger.  It’s like he knows they can handle themselves here.

April gets to Channel Six to find her boss, Burne Thompson, on the phone flirting with someone.  He seems surprised that she is there and when she says she’s trying to get a story he brings up the Turtles to her.  She tries to tell him she’s been with them for the past week, instead of listening to her, he fires her.  At this point April grabs out her Turtle com, which he treats like a weapon.  Realizing he’s not going to hear her out, April threatens him to get her a news crew.  As soon as he agrees she leaves to go get her story.

I really enjoy this as we start to see more of her boss.  I like Burne and the other Channel Six employees.  I think it’s creative for her to go with the idea that she’s holding a weapon in hand to force her boss to give her a news crew.  It worked very well.  I really did like April in the first five episodes of the original series, she had a bit of a backbone and willing to take some real risks.

Donatello is working on the new ride as a cleaning lady comes into the room.  She keeps calling him Mr. Baxter as Don is trying to get her to leave.  She is cleaning not just around the room, but trying to clean what he’s working on, including the protective mask he has over his face.  Trying to get the point across Don brings up the mask telling her to scram, she says he’s been working too hard.  She says he looks kind of green.

This was a nice scene showing Donatello’s progress.  It’s one people bring up often in remembering the first five episodes.  I find it funny that she calls him Mr. Baxter, I would think if you’re going to use Mr. it goes with the last name, so it would be Mr. Stockman.  Though different people do this differently.

Krang is waking up in his new robot body.  He realizes what’s going on and uses the body to cut himself off of the table he was strapped down too.  Excited about this, his first thought is to contact his Soldiers in Dimension X.

This is the introduction to Krang’s body.  What I like here is that we get to see him waking up in the body and even test a feature.  This is his solo reaction to the robot body, not an introduction to someone else.  So many times when we see inventions in shows like the Nickelodeon toon it’s Donatello showing the other Turtles.  Meaning we did not see the test and excitement from Don.  Like with Metalhead, I would've loved to have seen how Don reacted to seeing Metalhead come together and be finished.

Leonardo, Michaelangelo and Raphael are going through the Technodrome.  In hopes of finding where Splinter is they turn on a video area and see the room with the Gateway to Dimension X.  They see the back of the robot body walk into the room, not knowing it’s Krang till he turns around.  They realize Krang is going to bring his Rock Soldiers here, knowing they have to go stop him.

This is a good way to explain how the Turtles figure out where they need to be.  Seeing as how they were split up from Splinter and should avoid the Shredder as long as he has the Retro Mutagen Ray.

April is getting the Camera Crew to the Turtle van.  Vernon tells them that they were called to not go with April.  April tries to explain that the Turtles are good guys.  He wanted proof, and she shows him the Turtle van which was proof enough for him.  They jump into the van as security is coming out to stop them.

I love that it’s the same crew from the first episode.  Too bad those other two guys disappeared from the series, it would've been nice to have seen April with a normal crew.  More than just Vernon.  I like Vernon, just think these other two would've been cool to have around more.

Splinter comes up to find what he thinks is the Retro Mutagen Ray, though just as he goes to grab it, he learns it a Hologram.  The lights come on and he’s surrounded by Shredder’s, having to find which one is the real one.  Splinter takes Shredder down and he gets back up, telling Splinter that if he wants to get to the Retro Mutagen Ray he must first get through Shredder’s blade.  Splinter accepts the challenge saying how he will beat him just as he did when he was human.

I always love a good Splinter and Shredder fight scene.  Something we don’t always get enough of.  I know those of us watching the Nickelodeon series is still watching for this fight.  4Kids made us wait till The Shredder Strikes Part 2, to see Splinter take on the Shredder.  Personally this is one of those moments where I would sit glued to the screen, to watch the new Ninja Masters go toe to toe.  And early in the original TMNT series where Shredder felt more like a threat, this was a thrill.

Krang is at the portal to Dimension X calling General Tragg.  Tragg confirmed that the army is standing ready as the Turtles come into the room to stop Krang.  Krang wastes no time to start growing big.  The Turtles run from the giant Krang chasing them out of the Technodrome.  Krang threatens the Turtles, then breaks through to the surface as he heads to the streets.  The Turtles are fast to follow.

Okay, Krang was big enough that he had the Turtles on the run.  So why did Krang go top side? Why didn’t he take on the Turtles down there while they were still in shock by his size?  Before they could get back up?  Krang’s actions here did not make sense to me at all.  At least he gave them time to think about what’s going on.

Donatello is still working in Baxter’s lab as he’s just about ready to leave and meet up with his brothers.  He opens a big door in the ceiling as his new toy starts to come through it.

Baxter has a nice lab for someone who did not have much of an income and was being treated as a joke when he’d try and get help.  Of course we realized he had better stuff when we saw his mousers.  His lab has stairs wide enough that you can push a van up and drive it back down.  A ceiling that opens up.  And a cleaning lady.  Baxter had it made, he didn’t need Shredder’s help.

We see things are going back top side with the Turtles and Krang.  April is rushing on her way to the fight.  And Splinter is still in his one and one battle with Shredder.  Splinter is playing a bit of keep away with Shredder, which is pissing Shredder off.  As Splinter’s lesson is gentle always comes away strong.

This was a fast way of showing where everyone was.  A lot is going on this episode with different fights and characters all spaced out around New York and the Technodrome.  I truly do enjoy how they made sure to touch us up with each of the other groups, so no one was forgotten as we could still see the main fights.

The Turtles are about to finally be taken out by Krang. Donatello arrives just in time with his Turtle Blimp.  The Turtles go up onto the blimp by ladder out of Krang’s reach as he keeps swatting at them.  Donatello realizes something inside of him must be making him grow like that.  Don gives the controls to Michaelangelo and Raphael as he unhooks the glider from the blimp.  Leonardo and Don jump down onto the robot’s shoulders as it is still trying to catch them.  The news van shows up, Vernon is shocked and wants Brune to see this, April can’t wait to show this to the world.  While Mike and Raph are having a problem with figuring out how to drive the glider.

What I really love here is that Don realized they had to shrink it down to size.  And he knows it’s a robot, so instead of freaking out about it’s size he was able to put his mind to work and come up with a plan.  In other shows I watch a lot where a giant thing comes to town the only way they have to fight it is by growing big themselves.  Sometimes size is not the answer, in fact it goes with the saying “The bigger they are, the harder they fall”.  So I give a big thumbs up to David Wise for giving a Turtles vs. Giant Robot without forcing the Turtles to grow giant too!

Donatello and Leonardo get into the robot body as Donatello finds some heavy energy readings.  Michaelangelo and Raphael are getting use to flying the glider and decide to start fighting Krang at full force.  Don realizes they are in the shoulder, and hope that Krang does not make any big movement.  Though Krang is being attacked by the glider and swinging his arms.  Leo and Don fall, though not too badly.  When they get up they find what they are after realizing this is the chip that is making Krang grow.  Leo wants to cut it out of there.

Nice interaction of seeing how the movements outside is really getting to them inside the body.  It’s clear Michaelangelo and Raphael are not thinking about that, just trying to stop Krang.  Though Leonardo and Donatello have to react to whatever action Krang does.  They did a great job at showing this all working together like a well oiled machine.

Splinter is beating Shredder as he breaks Shredder’s sword.  And Krang catches the glider.  Krang threatens the Turtles thinking that he’s got the upper hand.  Inside Donatello realizing that this taking too long and uses his bo staff to just smash through the computer chip, which causes Krang to start shrinking.  Leo and Don have to fastly get out of Krang’s body, before they are crushed.  They get out and jump onto the glider with Michaelangelo and Raphael.

Glad that with this battle with Krang we still get to see a bit of Splinter and Shredder fighting.  Though it ended too quickly as we jump right back to the Turtles fighting Krang.  I like how Donatello handled the computer chip that had to be destroyed.  He did just what was needed when it was needed.  Krang is going down to size and no growing Turtles needed.  Good fight scene over all.

Krang yells about how he is the all powerful and has never been defeated.  Michaelangelo replies that he’s never tangled with a Turtle before.  As the Turtles go into attack him, Krang calls for Shredder.  Shredder uses a gimmick in his pocket that puts a cage around Splinter, and takes off to go help Krang. Splinter realizes that he’s going to use the retro-mutagen ray on the Turtles.  He gets a screw out of the floor using his nail and throws it at the gimmick breaking it, and destroying the cage.  He goes chasing after Shredder to help the Turtles.

This was a good a scene.  You learn here that Shredder was only here to keep Splinter busy, to let Krang destroy the Turtles.  He had his way out at any time to use against Splinter.  Now that he knows where the Turtles are, he’s going to go turn them into normal Turtles.  The one thing here is Krang says he was never defeated, but he had to be defeated... he was banished to Earth without his body.  I would call that defeat.  Splinter was very clever on how to get away.  The action keeps flowing as this story is about to come to it’s end.

Shredder shows up to help Krang fight the Turtles.  The Turtles see him and realize that he’s going to use the gun to turn them back into normal Turtles.  When Raph says it’s back to the petshop for them, Shredder informs them that tonight he’s going to dine on Turtle soup.  Just as Shredder’s about to shoot, Splinter comes up and throws a walking stick hitting the retro-mutagen ray making it blow up.  Shredder is not thrilled, Krang has him claim on his back as he flies away with Shredder.  The Turtles are concerned that the retro-mutagen ray was the only way of Splinter being human again. Splinter confirms that he had to destroy it to save them.  The Turtles realize that Shredder and Krang must be going to the portal so they head in that direction as Donatello says he thinks he can shut this place down for keeps if the others can keep Shredder and Krang away from the portal.

The ray blew up?  Really?  Blew up from being hit by a stick?  Not... just knocked away and broken... it blows up... should Shredder’s hand be burnt?  This had to be my biggest disappointment of the scene, just how easy the retro-mutagen ray was destroyed. Also the fact the turtles were giving up just because it got there. When they fought Rocksteady earlier with a gun that if it hit them they would be dead, which is just as bad as demutating. They know how to avoid being shot at, and Turtles fight with honor right?  So why be scared and just stand there?  And talk about Splinter laying the guilt trip... “I only destroyed it to save you” aka “Thanks to you I will never be human again”.  You can see the depression in Leonardo here.

Krang gets the portal open telling Tragg it is time.  The Rock Soldiers start to come through the portal as the Turtles come in attacking Krang and Shredder.  Donatello goes and starts to switch things around on the controls.  The portal then starts to suck everything into it.  The Turtles make a break for it, getting out of the Technodrome just in time. Donatello explains that he reversed the flow of the portal and that it pulled itself into Dimension X.  As Michaelangelo is excited that they won, Leonardo points out that Splinter may never be human again.  Splinter reminds them that the important part is that they are safe and all together.

This was a very fast ending, as they have fit so many battles into this one episode they had to keep this short to make the time.  Not to say it wasn’t a rush as we see the Rock Soldiers coming through the portal as the Turtles go in for their fight.  It just felt very rushed.  We see the Shredder is gone now.  The Turtles are safe.  This felt like it could be an ending.

Shredder wakes up realizing he’s in Dimension X.  He is not happy, though Krang is thrilled. Shredder whines like a baby as he takes his mask off.  Krang gives the order that in Dimension X he is the leader and that Shredder is to now take orders from him.  Shredder fights this saying he takes orders from no one.

I love this.  It shows that Shredder and Krang are not out of the picture.  There is more to their story to be told.  Shredder is going to fight Krang tooth and nail to return to Earth.  Best of all is we see that Shredder is not going to be someone that Krang can just bend to his will.  Shredder is going to put up a big fight.  It’s also a point where you can really see how whiny Shredder can be.   Totally love this as our closure for these characters.

Back in the lair the Turtles are watching April deliver the news report on TV.  Making the Turtles out to be heroes.  Happy that their names have been cleared, Splinter warns them not to count Shredder and Krang out of the picture just yet.  As they say they don’t think they’ll have to worry the TV brings on an ad for what was coming on next “The killer Brain from Dimension X” as the Turtles pull out their weapons at the tv not liking the name of that film.

This was meant to be the ending of the series, if the show did not get picked up.  As it was only signed on for five episodes originally.  A nice wrap up, finishing the stories, putting the characters in a safe spot, and leaving it open for more stories if the show was picked up.  Well written by David Wise this five parter is some of the most famous episodes of Ninja Turtles to ever air and really what set the tone for most of the original series.  This five parter also took on new sides to the Turtles that we have seen to this day from the pizza, colored headbands, to Shredder being the arch villain who appears for more than just the first episode.  This is an amazing final episode of these five, making this five parter stand out to this day.

Yes there was the goofy stuff like cars on the stairs, Turtles coming up in phone booths, and the full Ninja Block of businesses that just disappeared.  Though each of these things holds true to our memories of where it all began for a lot of us fans from the late 80’s.  This show introduced us to the characters, which lead us to the movies, which brought us back to the Mirage Comics and the circle just went on and on from there.  And really, if these five episodes were not done as well as they were, there could've been a big chance that the TMNT would not be here to this day.  But the writing, animation, directing and voice acting all played a big part at helping bring the Turtles to life!

This episode is a great one, it’s not my favorite from the first five episodes but it is one that stands out as we get to see the final battle.  I often use this episode as an example in conversations when comparing the Turtles to heroes that fight big robots and creatures.  As I feel it shows that they can think their way through some tight spots.  This seriously made the series something us Turtle fans will remember for years to come as we share with new TMNT fans

The biggest difference between this opening to the series to the 4Kids and Nickelodeon series is that they only had five episodes to sell us on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Both the 4Kids series and Nickelodeon show was given 26 episodes from the moment the show was signed on.  A full season to set stories and character growth to.  So the original cartoon series took on the biggest challenge and I personally feel they did a wonderful job at selling the Ninja Turtles to a whole world of new and eager fans of the 80’s.

Are you a fan from the 80’s and 90’s that remembers the biggest years for TMNT fans?  Where Turtles were everywhere you turned?  If so, how do you feel with all the new stuff? How does it compare to the original cartoon series for you?  Or are you a new TMNT fan, introduced through the 4Kids or Nickelodeon series?  What do you think of these first five episodes of the original cartoon series?  Share your reviews, comments and questions below!

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