The pilot series gets off to a fantastic start as the turtles enter the scene by saving April O’Neil in the sewer. This episode is still interesting to watch unfold even as an adult now. The jokes made, primarily by Raphael, are quite well written and will still make you crack a smile.
I really like this storyline how the origin of the turtles and Splinter comes to be. Hamato Yoshi (Splinter) is banished from the foot clan as a result of Oroku Saki’s (Shredder) trickery. I admire this setup as it establishes Saki as an ambitious man who wants control of the clan. Yoshi, being the good man he is reluctantly flees to America with no money or family. How does he get there? Well we’ll just leave to your imagination. He is forced to dwell in the sewers with rats. He is soon joined by four turtles that were dropped by some poor kid who really should have handled them properly. I mean in a glass bowl on the streets? Thanks to his carelessness we get an unforgettable cartoon so I suppose we should thank him, ha-ha! The explanation of the turtles being trained as ninjas reflects Splinters past well. He knows the outside world will reject them so he trains them in the martial arts each one specializing in a weapon. The montage of that scene is classic, absolutely to my liking.
A couple of the punks who attack April are Rocksteady and Bebop, although their names aren’t mentioned any turtle fan could recognize them a mile away. Their voices match their character splendidly. The turtles show their love for pizza a few times during the episode which is classic, they even semi-mock themselves for it. At the ninja pizza restaurant they are at checking out for leads April asks them if they take anything seriously over pizza. Raphael replies, “Not unless we have to.” The battle on the roof is executed to perfection against the foot soldiers. The theme music triggers at the start of the fight which really excites you. Raphael attacks a foot soldier and upon striking him says, “Clang? Did you say clang?!” He realizes something is up and it’s a comical reaction. Leonardo discovers their robots upon slashing the chest and stomach of one open. Donatello says, “This is nuts, their robots.” Michelangelo promptly does that awesome jump into the air shouting, “Let’s rock!” as the battle erupts.
This episode has an unmistakable seriousness to it aside from the turtle’s sometimes silly teenage behavior. The Shredder, from what little you get to see of him, looks like a guy you’d rather not cross. The episode finishes on an escape from a building that floods and gets destroyed in a wild fashion. If the show keeps the format of this pilot series it would be one awesome ride of 193 episodes. If you’re a turtle fan then you know the truth by now. My objective is to review the series and try to sort out the best episodes from the worst. The first season is commonly thought to be the best so the review method will be in a slightly different format. By that I mean it just may be lengthier than the rest of the series in general. The world created for the turtles is so well executed in the pilot set I cringe and vomit after what it does become later. Wish me luck, cowabunga dudes!
Rating: 10 of 10
Next Up: Enter the Shredder – Episode 2