1 9 8 5 – 1 9 8 7 (USA)
130 x 30 minute episodes
“From beyond any known galaxy, bringing with them the laws and ideals of their green planet, Thundera, come the ThunderCats!”
The inhabitants of the planet Thundera evacuated just before it is destroyed. They were pursued by a band of mutants, and all but one of their escape ships was destroyed.
Only a small group of Thunderans (ThunderCats) remained, and with only half engine power, the group, led by Jaga, had to set a course for a new planet.
During their voyage the ship came under attack from the mutants, looking to steal the “Sword of Omens”, and was damaged.
Unable to reach its destination, Jaga, the oldest ThunderCat manually steered the ship to a closer planet, while the rest of the ThunderCats slept in stasis tubes/time capsules. Unable to survive the voyage, Jaga died, and their ship crashed lands on Third Earth (What happened to the second one?!).
The ThunderCats took up residence in a techno-castle type place called The Cats’ Lair. (They didn’t even bother with planning permission). The ThunderCats were a heroic bunch, who were basically blokes who looked a bit like different types of big cat.
The leader was Lion-O (Larry Kenney), the Lord of the ThunderCats – Although his body was fully developed, his mind was that of a child. With the Sword of Omens and enchanted claw shield at his side he had the best weapons of all the ThunderCats.
The Sword of Omens (which holds the magical Eye of Thundera and could do just about anything) notified Lion-O when the others needed his help. It could also summon the others to help him when he got in trouble – which happened a lot!
Additionally, it could blast bad guys with beams of energy, and it even came to him when he commanded it to. In fact, it did so many things I wouldn’t be surprised if one day we see them being sold on QVC as a special, for just £49.00 plus VAT.
Panthro (Earl Hyman) was the eldest living member of the ThunderCats – A mechanical wizard and engineering genius whose weapons were battle-sticks (pictured at left) containing any concoction or weapon he places inside – a bit like a Swiss army penknife.
His vast mechanical knowledge helped him construct the Thundertank from pieces of their wrecked spacecraft (a bit like BA in The A-Team). After creating Cat’s Lair with the Robear Berbils help (Don’t ask), Panthro was then able to craft many new vehicles in his high-tech workshop. They all had spoilers and a wicked sound system.
Tygra (Peter Newman) helped build the Cat’s Lair. Under his guidance, the Robear Berbils constructed Cat’s Lair in only three days, but it was way over budget and the plastering was a bit crap. Tygra’s flaming/exploding bolo-whip (!) was a formidable weapon. With it Tygra could become invisible to almost any Third Earth being. Whatever.
Cheetara (Lynne Lipton) was the fastest of the ThunderCats and was well fit! She also had a mysterious “sixth-sense” that provided her with premonitions about the future or an accurate portrayal of the past. Although her use of this special “sixth sense” provided accurate information, it was also very limited.
WilyKit (Lynne Lipton) & WilyKat (Peter Newman) were really annoying twins. They were only there so the others could go and rescue them. Snarf (Robert McFadden) was Lion-O’s “nursemaid” on Thundera, and was also really annoying.
The Baddies were a mixed bunch as well…
Mumm-Ra (Earl Hammond) was the main villain of the series. He was an ancient Egyptian mummy with a bad attitude and a killer sense of humour. He worked for the Ancient Spirits of Evil, who changed him from his wimpy decayed corpse form into a huge, muscular blue guy with sharp teeth in a cape & miniskirt, (no accounting for taste!).
He knew a lot of black magic and used it to try and defeat the ThunderCats, who prevented him from ruling Third Earth in ultimate evil. Ma-Mutt was his ghostly dog.
The Mutants who help him came from Plundarr to try and steal the Eye of Thundera, but Mumm-Ra trapped them on Third Earth by sinking their ship under the sands of the desert so they’d be forced to stay and work for him. They lived in Castle Plundarr.
Slythe (Robert McFadden) was the big green reptilian mutant with a lisp. He was the leader, probably because he was the only one with any common sense whatsoever (not that he was a rocket scientist by any means though!) He flew the nose diver (where did they get these names?).
Jackalman (Larry Kenney) was a jackal (hence the name) and a bit crap. Monkian (Peter Newman) flew a skycutter and had a shield that could spit mini cannon ball-like things at enemies, which was the coolest hand-held weapon that any of the mutants had. He looked like a monkey and went “oooh oooh” when he spoke. Vultureman (Earl Hammond) looked a bit like…a vulture.
The ThunderCats cartoon show was a Rankin/Bass Production that premiered in September 1985. The series was produced in 1983, but wasn’t officially released until 1985. No-one really cares why.
Suddenly, on various street corners, children could be heard shouting “Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats Ho!!” But only the strange ones with no friends.
Grune The Destroyer