Review & Comparison! OS TMNT 8 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 8th 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.  Here we have the 8th episode of the original cartoon series “It Came from Beneath the Sewers”.  The second episode in the “Eye of Zarnov” storyline.  The Turtles get to go to the  Carnival, do a Clown act and

The episode starts as the Turtles are driving through New York City with April.  April is learning about the Eye of Zarnov, and how she can not report about it.  At least until all of the pieces are found and safe.  Donatello has Leonardo turn, as he’s following the device that is tracking the fragments.  Michaelangelo takes note that it’s kinda deserted around them.

Okay, my favorite part of this scene is that Michaelangelo points out it being deserted.  All these shows never truly shows how busy New York City normally is, yet they barely ever point this out.  Usually everything is treated like it’s normal to be dead.  Really this is just the normal type of scene put in to let the viewers know what is going on in the series.

The Turtles are lead to a Carnival.  Michaelangelo is hoping that they’re going near a pizza stand when he realizes where they are. As the Turtles go to head in without putting anything to hide what they are, April shows some concern.  Donatello explains that they will just say they’re with the sideshow.

Once again I felt this was something not too smart to do.  Since the first five parter the Turtles have been on the News.  While the people working the Carnival may not know much about the Turtles, locals could take notice.  April is right that they should wear something.  It’s just one of the many times these Turtles went public as themselves in this series.

Shredder is in Dimension X, with Krang as they talk about the crystal that Shredder was able to shrink the Turtles with.  When Krang asks to see it, Shredder explains that Baxter threw it away.  Baxter is seen on a view screen, he says sorry he gets food onto the equipment.  Shredder snaps at him and Baxter apologizes.  Krang agrees to help and tracks for the fragment, finding the one at the Carnival.  He sends Shredder to get it, joking about Shredder fitting in with the freaks.

I really am happy that in this episode Shredder has a reason to be there.  Unlike last time where he was somehow able to follow the Turtles.   The thing I do find strange here is seeing how much they got Baxter eating in this series.  Baxter should be a smart guy, who knows how to act around machines.  Instead we have someone that Shredder has to yell at, all the time.  When I think back to the original Baxter, I often remember the first episode and I had high respect for him.  Watching the show now to do these reviews, I feel bad with how he’s being treated.

I am also seeing more and more how Baxter in the Nickelodeon series is closer to the original toon.  They’re both not as smart as they could be, yet able to still come up with some different devices.  I do feel the Nickelodeon one cheated in his creations, while the original series seems to have made his mousers all on his own.

At the Carnival the Turtles are searching for the fragment.  Michaelangelo gets distracted and wins a bunch of teddy bears for April.  Elsewhere in the Carnival two kids find the Fragment, wondering if it’s a Diamond.  The kids want to trade it in to get a lot of tickets for the Carnival.  It does not take the Turtles long to realize the kids have it.  April goes to talk to the kids, as a guy comes out at the Turtles asking where they’ve been.  He assumes these are his clowns, as the Turtles decide not to cause a scene.  They go with him, as April is failing with getting the Fragment from the kids.

It was cool seeing Mike show off with the Carnival games, just wonder where all the Teddy Bears went too.  Once again I find the show doing some forced humor.  You would think that the guy running the Carnival would know what his workers look like.  Asking why they were not dressed as clowns, one would have to ask why he just thinks that the Turtles are his clowns in the first place.  The thing I really do like in this scene is the kids saying how they’re children of the eighties.  A great way to date the series.

April asks the kids to stay there.  As soon as she runs off the kids start walking again.  Shredder sees the kids has the Fragment.  Amused, he believes this Fragment is going to be like taking candy from a baby.

I like that Shredder is on the trail of the Fragment before he even knows that the Turtles are there.  A little surprised that he took the time to go get Baxter before coming here, seeing as how Baxter often gets in his way.  It seems Shredder really does not like to do things alone.

Inside the Circus tent the show is starting, as a car comes out and the Turtles pile out of the car.  As soon as the Turtles are out of the clown car, it shrinks and drives away.  Donatello sits over a flower, Leonardo waters it and it grows really large.  Michaelangelo gets over a tiny ladder, which grows once water is poured on it.  Michaelangelo ends up falling away from the group, and April peers in wanting Michaelangelo to give her all the money he has.  He tries to say he doesn’t have his money, but April gets him to give it over and takes off.

How do they know a clown act? They would not have had time to work out their skit, yet they know to get over the flower and the tiny ladder.  And now they’re in front a tent full of New Yorkers, and yet no one recalls all the strange stuff from the news recently.  This scene seems like a filler just to give Shredder time to do his stuff with these kids.  Get the Turtles busy, so he won’t see them.

Shredder comes up behind the kids, who were feeling guilty about not selling the crystal to April.  He grabs the Fragment from the children.  They try to be brave and stomp his foot, this does hurt Shredder and he throws the Crystal.  Baxter catches it.  The kids watch as Shredder and Baxter get away.  At Shredder’s hideout, Baxter is studying the Fragment.  It drops and gets some plant life on it from Shredder’s boots.  The crystal causes the plants to start mutating.  Shredder realizes he can use this to flush out the Turtles.

The Turtles being distracted works.  As Shredder got what he wanted, was able to leave and even get  Baxter to test it.  While we don’t get to see the rest of the Turtle’s clown act.  This works to keep the plot moving and it’s good to see Baxter being smart here.  Showing what he is really in the show for.  Shredder should know better than messing with creating Mutants.  He has not had the best of luck with his own mutants, look at Bebop and Rocksteady.

The Turtles go home and fill Splinter in how they almost got the Crystal.  Donatello shares that the tracker is not working so well, he thinks the battery is dieing.  Michaelangelo offers to go to the store and get more.  With the Tracker being from another planet, this is an idea that would not work.  Plant vines come busting through the wall attacking the guys.  They defeat the plant as Raphael catches that he heard it say ouch.  Realizing that Shredder may the one pulling the strings behind this alien plant life, the Turtles decide to go back on the search for the Crystal.  April wants to go, but the Turtles are dropping her off at her apartment.

This is something that I am not use to anymore.  How much the Turtles are attacked in their own home.  Both the 4Kids series and the Nickelodeon series has only given the Turtles real trouble in their home a few times.  Though this series keeps throwing their lair in danger.  Mousers, Baxter, and evil alien Mutant Plant.  The Turtles really had to fight just to protect their home.  The best thing for me with this scene is why the tracker stops working.  Instead of the “oh no it was hurt in battle” it was a simple problem that a lot of us go through, dead batteries.  Well done.  I have often gone through the pain of dead batteries.

Shredder and Baxter are watching the progress of the Mutant Plant.  Shredder realizes that this is taking longer than he wants it too.  Baxter tries to come up with something else, though Shredder insults him and says that he has a plan of his own.

Baxter is really being abused working with Shredder.  He does realize this, it’s mainly mental.  He is not like Bebop and Rocksteady, who can let it bounce off.  This is one thing that all Baxter’s who work with the Foot have in common.  Shredder walking over them.  Just look at the 4Kids series and what the Foot did to Baxter, and now in the Nickelodeon series how he is treated by the Shredder.  It all started here in the original cartoon series.

April is sitting at an apartment with Irma.  The two of them are talking when a knock comes at the door.  When April checks she finds a note saying the Turtles need her help with an address.  She says goodbye to Irma and heads to the address. Only to be caught by Shredder and Baxter.  Shredder uses her Turtle Com to call the Turtles letting them know where to find April.

Clever plan on how to catch April.  And of course April walks right into it, without calling them on the Turtle Com to find out why they would just drop a note.  Shredder gives an address to the Turtles, of course I am curious so I check this address to see if it’s a real location.  There is a Dock street in Brooklyn and the Bronx.  I’m guessing that Brooklyn would be the one that Shredder would be hiding out at.  Don’t think the address itself is on Dock street in either location.  So there’s no comparing it to the buildings we see in the series.

The Turtles get to 423 Dock Street.  They come up with a plan to knock as pizza delivery when Baxter checks to see who’s at the door they kick it in.  The fight starts, as the Turtles go against Shredder who’s using a blaster against them.  Leonardo saves April from being strapped to a chair.  Donatello disarms Shredder.  Shredder and Baxter get away.  When Shredder gets away the Turtles realize they need to get back to searching for the Fragments, a TV in the room shows the alien plant breaking through the streets of New York.  They realize that they need to stop this plant, Leonardo doubts that they will be able to do this.

Why did Shredder kidnap April here?  The Turtles would of saw that news, they always watch the news.  This seem like just a slowdown in the episode to fill time.  When Michaelangelo says “Like that was the plan dude” his mouth is not moving, so there’s a mistake for anyone watching for them.  Usually you at least see one of the other Turtles speaking for this type of mistake, but this time there is no mouth movement from any of the Turtles.  It was an okay fight.  I like it better when Shredder uses his sword or blades in battle.  Blasters feel more like a weapon that Baxter, Bebop or Rocksteady could use.  I do realize Shredder uses a lot of blasters in this series.  I just really like it when he gets into the fight instead of hiding behind weapons like that.

The Turtles are driving the Turtle van through the city.  April is not with them now.  The news is reporting that this is a state of emergency.  Leonardo suggest some anti plant firing power.  Raphael takes the gun on the door and starts to clear a path for the Turtles as they drive down the street.

Another mistake can be found in this scene, after Raphael is on the gun and the turn into the alley, it is Michaelangelo sitting at the gun instead of Raph.  The streets are very empty for New York, at least when the news first showed this to the Turtles, others were running from the alien plant.  Now it’s just the Turtles driving and clearing their way.

In the alley the alien plant comes up in front of the Turtle van.  As the Turtles see the face of the plant for the first time, they find their bumper is in trouble.  The alien plant starts to eat the bumper.  The Turtles get out of the van and tries to fight the plant, though the plant is able to win before it takes off into the sewers.  Leonardo decides that they need Splinter’s help to track down the plant, as they jump into the sewer.

The story progresses as now the Turtles finally see the face of the Plant Monster.  They realize that it needs to be stopped and go after it.  Though the plant is also proving to be too strong for them.  This plant monster kind of reminds me of Snakeweed in the Nickelodeon TMNT series, a creature that uses vines to fight the Turtles.  Though Snakeweed is a bit more dangerous as he is out to destroy the Turtles, this thing is out to destroy anything.

The Turtles meet up with Splinter in the sewers.  Splinter helps them get the idea of how to track the plant down.  They follow it’s trail to a dead end.  The alien plant busts through a wall at the Turtles attacking.  One of the vines grab Donatello starting to pull him in towards it, as Leonardo calls in the secret weapon.  Michaelangelo comes out dressed as a girl plant.  When the plant got close enough to kiss Michaelangelo he whacks it with his nunchucks taking the plant by surprise.  Using the surprise all of the Turtles join in the fight as Leonardo gets to the root and stabs the plant killing it.  Michaelangelo decides he wants to keep his costume nice so he can use it at the next harvest moon ball.

This is the second real death in the original cartoon series as they killed the plant.  True it was a plant and a monster, but it was living.  Had feelings, shown by how it reacted to Michaelangelo.  And just destroyed.  One thing that troubles me is how they needed Splinter to tell them how to track down the plant monster, the green stuff was on the ground.  They could've done this without getting Splinter.  The full scene with Splinter felt like another chance at killing time in this episode.  Making this episode kind of feel out of place in the first five episodes, there was not this many spots where you’re like “that did not need to happen”.  Everything helped progress the story.

The Turtles are enjoying pizza.  Michaelangelo made sure their pizza had everything, besides for green veggies.  April comes down hearing them talk about plants, as she’s got one in her hands.  Michaelangelo comes over to find out what type of plant she has.  The plant bites him, as she tells him it’s a Venus Fly trap.

That wraps up this episode, written by Larry Parr.  Clearly a different feel to it than what we were getting from David Wise.  While each of the Turtles stayed in character, there was more fillers and the real fight that should’ve mattered in the episode was kept short and to the point.  Shredder kidnapping April and the Turtles getting Splinter to help them find clues in finding the plant are the two parts that I feel did not need to be in this episode to get the same results.  Best thing that came out of that was seeing April having some down time hanging out with Irma.

I really do like Mikey dressing up.  This is the first cross dressing he did in the original series, though it will not be his last time cross dressing.  It kind of reminds me of the stuff that was done in old Bugs Bunny cartoons.  I am a fan of the old Warner Brother stuff.

This is an okay episode, not one of my favorites.  It could have been written better, with scenes happening for a reason.  Of course the show could’ve been worse too.  It was enough to keep kids going, and of course kids love it when the Turtles and Shredder are in a fight.  Which is the only reason that fight scene has purpose to the episode, a crowd pleaser.

Have you seen “It Came from Beneath the Sewers”?  See it on TV?  VHS?  DVD?  What is your thoughts on this episode?  Please share reviews, questions and comments below.

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