Review & Comparison! OS TMNT 6 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 sixth 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 we get to see the return of Shredder, the Turtles make an appearance to public and the introduction of Irma to the series.  This is the first episode after they saw the success of the first five episode.  Now they are setting up for the series to last, for many more episodes.  Bringing back the villains that we enjoy.

Michaelangelo and Leonardo are out shopping for their dinner.  As they’re doing so they notice that the store they’re in is being held up.  Wasting no time, Mike and Leo remove their coats and hats jumping into action.  Each of them taking down an attacker.  As soon as they hear the police coming, the two of them bring their shopping cart to the register asking to checked out fast.  Grateful for them saving her life the cashier lets them take the food for free.  Mike and Leo get out before the police arrive.

This was a great opening.  We normally do not get to see the Turtles in side a normal store.  As they often have food down in the lair.  It was cool to hear them talk about what they’re doing for their dinners and which foods each of them is picking out.  I really think it was a good touch showing that they do normal things like humans.  I can not think of many times I’ve seen the Turtles in a normal food market, normally if they’re in a store it’s themed for something that connects to the episode like a comic shop or arcade.   I also like how easy the fight was, showing that these punks were not highly trained fighters or anything so it was something simple that Michaelangelo and Leonardo could handle.

When the police get to the market, so does April O’Neil and the Channel six news.  April interviews the cashier and she mentions the Turtles saving her.  April takes this story and flies with it as the cashier can’t seem to recall if they were Turtles, since she was not wearing her glasses.

A good way of showing that April is still covering the Turtles stories.  And fun way of keeping a serious type of report fun for the kids watching the show.  I like also how the Cashier was the one to say the “Happy Hour news” showing that April was a known reporter.  I know in my area that if a reporter says their name, I wouldn’t know which show they were on, unless I watch that channel.

In Dimension X Shredder is begging Krang to send him back to Earth.  Krang is tired of Shredder’s begging so he agrees to send Shredder home to defeat the Turtles.  The portal opens and Shredder goes through.  Bebop and Rocksteady go to follow, the portal closes bouncing the two right to back to the floor in front of Krang.  He laughs as he explains that he likes seeing both people and animals suffer.  And they are both.

What a great entrance of how the Shredder gets back to Earth.  While the last episode was meant to be a way to end the series.  It was also left open to where Shredder can return as the Technodrome was never rendered to where it would not work.  Showing just how easy it truly was for Shredder to return home.  They ended those first five episodes just well enough to get it so there was an opening like this, if the series was to go on.  David Wise really had it planned out nicely.

This is also a side of Shredder you never see in any of the other series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Begging Krang to return him.  The only comic that holds to this version of the Shredder is the Archie Comics, otherwise we had a strong Shredder who took crap from no one.  4Kids Shredder would of killed Krang.  We see how the Nickelodeon is treating their Kraang they got right now.  He’s not being nice at all.  It seems that each of the newer generations of companies that hold the TMNT name, see Shredder as more of a threat and danger for the Turtles.

April returns to channel six to be greeted by the lady at the front desk, Irma, who is upset because she chipped a nail.  Burns comes out of his office and gets after April that they have to expose the Turtles for the menace the Turtles truly are.  This confuses April till Burnes new girlfriend comes out of his office, explaining how she has hated turtles since her brother put one in her bed when she was five.  Vernon has expressed interest in scooping April on this story.  Annoyed April leaves making a comment back at Vernon showing she is not giving up on her story.

This is a fun scene.  You find out right away that Irma is a hopeless romantic.  You get to see Burnes with his younger woman, who is a looker.  And you get to see Vernon kissing up to the boss.  A great way to show each of the these characters for who they are.  And a wonderful chance to introduce Irma into the series, a female friend of April’s.  Giving April more of a connection to the human world in this series as well.  A friend from before she knew the Turtles.

Really this is not something we see too often.  In the Comics we know of her sister.  We see her make some brief contacts with people, but no one she really seems to hang out with.  In the movies there’s no one but her bosses.  Even the 4Kids series did not give us much of a life for April from before the Turtles.  School friends, work friends... nothing... no one ever comes over.  So Irma stands out, a character that clearly likes April on a friend level.  I really did like that touch that the original cartoon series gave to the show.

The Turtles are down in the kitchen having food.  Raphael mentions how Michaelangelo told them about the fight at the store, saying they could've used the work out. This gets a conversation about Shredder and how he’s connected to their origins going.  Splinter is mediating in the next room and feels something.  He calls the Turtles to him, once they get in there he warns them that he feels that Shredder is going to return.

Blooper alert, at one point at the kitchen table Leonardo says “Yeah but that same gel left our Master Splinter trapped in the form of a rat”.  While it’s clearly Cam’s voice, a very Leonardo line, and kept closely up on his face.  The artist colored Leonardo’s mask and wrist bands wrong, making it red.  So Raphael should be talking instead of Leonardo.

This was a good warning spot for Splinter to inform the Turtles that Shredder is returning.  Though it does get to me that Donatello is so sure that they are trapped in Dimension X.  He should realize that he never personally destroyed the portal.  This is enough reason to keep someone as smart as Donatello on their toes.  At least the Turtles do take what Splinter says serious by the looks on their face before the scene fades.

In a park two thugs are bored because they have not mugged anyone for a full half hour.  Just then the Shredder drops through a portal in front of them.  As the thugs go at him, he calls for his Foot Soldiers to take care of these two, though when the Foot does not come to his aid, he takes them down himself by cutting a branch down on top of them.  The thugs take off, and Shredder uses this time to call Krang only to learn that Krang is not giving Shredder anymore help in defeating the Turtles, until Shredder proves himself worthy.  Shredder vows to take down the Turtles.

I do love this scene, as we normally see the good guys loosing out on means of taking down their enemies so easy.  Being at the bottom and digging their way out of it.  Though here we see the Shredder being knocked down and having to find his way out of this on his own.  It is not a spot we normally see a super villain get put, unless it was the heroes who did it to him.  In this case, it was Krang.  In the other series with Shredder we don’t have anyone above Shredder like that who can pull everything away so easy.  It would be interesting to see a serious Shredder get stuck in a spot like this, with no soldiers or minions to follow their commands.  So early in the series and Shredder has his own drama to take care of.

Shredder finds the “Slash for Cash dojo” he goes in to find the Sensei there picking on his students.  Shredder says that the Master is responsible for the students.  Shredder takes over this Dojo.

I really enjoy this as we get to see just how Shredder grabs himself an army during his low point here.  It’s not much of warriors, but it’s better than nothing.

Back at Channel Six, April goes to report into Burnes.  He wants to know if she’s got a story for him yet on those Turtles.  Burnes girlfriend is there, and gets upset when she hears April defend the Turtles.  April is still annoyed and is going to prove the Turtles are not bad.

This scene felt a little more like a filler scene.  Giving us an update on what we already know about.  There was not much progress here from the last time we saw April as she has not learned anything about Shredder being back.

Shredder has trained the warriors at the “Slash for Cash Dojo” and they are given their new costume and name change.  They are now the Crooked Ninja Turtles Gang.  They go out in their Ninja Turtle Costumes doing crimes across New York, calling themselves the Crooked Ninja Turtle gang.  Even the store that the Turtles saved at the beginning of this episode.  The channel Six news crew shows up just in time to see them leave, catching the video.  Vernon is happy, believing it’s the Turtles.  April of course sees right through this.

At this point in the show I’m starting to realize how little the Turtles themselves are in this episode.  We see time has gone by and Shredder has trained his students.  Though we don’t know how much time has gone by.  It is good to see the story progressing as now Channel Six does have something to talk about.  Unlike that clip we just had where it was just showing they’re still at the same point they were when the episode started.  I remember as a kid getting excited at least during this scene, as I could not wait to see how the Turtles handled this.

Shredder calls Krang to report that his Crooked Ninja Turtle gang is terrorising the City.  This is how Shredder plans to get the Turtles to be forced to come into the open to clear their names.  Krang is annoyed with this feeling this not real news and tells Shredder off.  He makes sure to add in that Shredder is not to contact him till he has real progress to report.  Shredder realizes he needs real help and knows just who to turn too.

I like how Shredder is still reporting to Krang.  It shows he wants his stuff from Dimension X.  He thinks he’s on the right track and is gloating to try and get Krang to realize he has what it takes.  He knows the weapons and army from Dimension X will give him that lead he needs.  Though Krang is still leaving him high and dry.  It fits to Krang’s personality we’ve seen through the show and makes it clear that these two will not be getting along through the series.  Which always worked great for the fans, as we got a lot of laughs from them.

At a loony bin Baxter Stockman is talking to someone who thinks he’s Napoleon.  Baxter shares his stories of the Turtles, just as Shredder breaks in.  Napoleon runs away from Shredder as Baxter gets up and begs for forgiveness.  He tells Shredder will not fail him again, then shares his idea for his next rat catching machine.

I wonder here what drugs they got Baxter on.  In the first episode with Baxter he had a bit of an attitude with Shredder, he did not take him that serious and did not see him as a Master.  Shredder even sent warriors to kill him before he let Shredder down.  Now Baxter is all at his mercy and willing to do what Shredder wants right away.  It just seems like we lost something in the transaction of how Baxter got this way.  I blame the drugs.  They can really mess with the mind.

April watches as Burnes sees the video of the Crooked Ninja Turtles gang.  He says this is going to be on the 11 O’Clock News.  As soon as he leaves she calls the Turtles to tell them about this report.  They come to Channel Six that night, riding the Turtle Blimp and swinging down into a window.  Seeing the video clip thanks to April the Turtles realize the fighting style is that of the Shredder’s.  Burne’s girlfriend comes in and sees the Turtles screaming.  The Turtles take off on the blimp, as Burnes gets after April for them being there.  April says she was luring them into a trap and tried to find out what they were doing there.  It was clear he was spending time with his girlfriend.

This is the start of the Turtles trips into the Channel Six building.  Surprise April didn’t bring them more into an office that not just anyone would walk into.  For Ninjas they’re not that good at being secretive.  Of course there’s also a big blimp parked outside the window.  There was one thing that really stood out to me here with the Turtle Coms in this scene.  They had antennas sticking out the sides of them.  Found that to be different.

In the Lair Splinter is mediating as the wall crumbles.  Baxter Stockman comes riding in with his newest rat trap.  A construction vehicle that is made up into a weapon to track and catch rats.  Splinter is caught by Baxter’s new trap.

I find it amusing how much of this series is the Foot trying to find where the secret location of the lair is.  Though Baxter Stockman always seems to find it so easy.  He truly is the most dangerous of the enemies the Turtles have to face because of this.  In “A Thing about Rats” the mousers attack the lair and now Baxter himself goes there after Splinter.  This is the only series where Baxter finds the lair with knowing that he found their home.  In the 4Kids episodes, he had no clue that his mousers destroyed the Turtles home.

The Turtles come home and find the trail from Baxter’s attack.  They follow it, finding themselves in a fight with the Crooked Ninja Turtles gang.  The Crooked Ninja Turtles gang are easy to take down for the Turtles, once they finish with the students they go after their leader.  He informed them of a message the Shredder left them.  Written on the sign of a building the Shredder dares them to meet him at the “Slash for Cash Dojo”.

This is a classic fight that I remember so well.  As a kid I watched this fight a lot as I enjoyed seeing the different ways the Turtles took down the Crooked Ninja Turtles gang.  They were so creative with this fight.  I like creative ways of taking down bad guys.

April goes to see the Turtles and finds the same trail that the Turtles found.  While Shredder has Splinter chained up at the Slash for Cash Dojo.  April finds the message for the Turtles and calls Irma telling her to send in the news Crew.  While the Turtles get to the Dojo and find Shredder’s trap.  Where it looks like they may need to give up to save Splinter.

Shredder is getting the upper hand for a few minutes as he thinks he’s got everything under control.  Of course when the bad guy gets the upper hand the question always is how are they going to fall.  This was something I enjoyed with this series, was that when most shows treat Shredder so serious, the original series knew how to make Shredder fail in a funny way.

Baxter comes crashing through the wall in his new rat trap.  Going after the Turtles.  A big distraction that Shredder was clearly not excepting.  Causing a fight when Shredder could've had everything in control.  Baxter jumps from his Rat Trap and begs for Shredder to save him, as Shredder sets his trap off.  The Turtles are able to save Splinter, then watch as Shredder gets away with Baxter.  As the Turtles leave, the police and Channel six arrives.

What I like here is that Shredder yells “This is only the beginning”.  Little did the writers of this series truly know how true that was.  This was the first episode made to be an ongoing cartoon.  One that was one of the longest lasting series of it’s time.  This was only a taste for the Turtles that the Shredder is back.

Shredder calls Krang to report.  Bebop and Rocksteady both get to pick on Shredder for failing.  Krang refuses to gives Shredder one shred of help until the Turtles are defeated.  Shredder swears again that he will defeat the Turtles and Splinter.

It’s clear Shredder has gotten use to having Krang’s technology in his control with how much he keeps calling to try and get it back.  To try and prove to Krang that he can do this.  And now we get to see him handle going after the Turtles without having any of it.  The fans are left wondering where Shredder was going to go from here.

At Channel Six Burnes and his girlfriend is watching as April reports about the Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang.  The girlfriend, Tiffany, is upset when she hears April clear the Turtles on the News.  When she gets after Burnes, he says it’s the truth.  She gets upset calling him a Turtle lover, though as he tries to deny it Irma shows up with Burnes meal.  Where Tiffany hears that he ordered Turtle soup.  She gets mad and dumps the soup on Burnes head and leaves.

Okay... since when is someone who eats Turtle soup a Turtle lover?  It’s good they finally gave us Tiffany’s name as we go through most of the episode without a real name given for her.  Though it seems like she won’t be in much more of the series with leaving Burnes over some soup.  She takes her hate for Turtles too serious, which is part of the comedy of this episode.  For me though, it wasn’t too funny and was one of the dragging parts of the episode.  The best thing about Tiffany is that she helped us get to know Burnes a little more to see what type of character he is.

April finishes up her report with the Turtles watching.  At the end of the report she winks.  The Turtles each fight over the fact that she was winking at them.  The TV screen stays with April’s face right there, not switching over after the end of the report to ads or anything.  As each of the Turtles get a little heated saying that she was winking at them, April speaks up … “If you must know, I was winking at Splinter.”  The Turtles are surprised as Splinter is happy saying Age has it’s advantage.  He winks ending the episode.

This is one of the many things that shows that even in the original cartoon series the Turtles were having their crush on April.  In the Nickelodeon series it’s Donatello that has a crush on April, but in the old show each of the Turtles seem to like her.  Which was different since she was much older than the Turtles were.

I really did enjoy this episode as it brings us out of the end of a series into the beginning.  It introduces Irma who becomes a big part of the show.  We see more of Channel Six and we get a good build up of what Shredder is going through to be back on Earth.  Playing a huge part in returning the war to New York.  David Wise did a great job at writing the show back into play and giving us Turtle fans all new adventures to look forward to.

Did you see “Return of the Shredder”?  If so what were your thoughts on the episode?  Did you think it was a good lead in to keep the series going after the first five episodes?  Please share reviews, comments and questions below.

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Baxter Stockman knows the lair location (I think they re-located between season 1 and 2, it seems so), but doesn't tell Shredder, Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady. It could be an awesome plot if he had been kept human for a longer time.

Michele Ivey's picture

The News Van is blue in this episode. Really cool spot on detail, I don't think I ever really paid much attention to the color of the newsvan.

Isn't this the episode where classical blue Channel 6 newsvan replace white?

That was a long read but I enjoyed the flashback. Thank you.