Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—Season 1

teenage mutant ninja turtles season 1 dvd episode guide
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Nice start to a long running series

Too short of a season


Relive your childhood with the Turtles!

Meet the Teenage Mutant Ninja  Turtles.  Mutated from normal turtles, they have been taught the ancient techniques of the Foot Clan by Master Splinter.  As the Turtles fight to find a cure for their master and restore him to Hamato Yoshi, they find themselves in battle with Shredder and his ally Krang from Dimension X.  With the help of a reporter named April O’Neil, the Turtles are secretly fighting to save the world…and all for a few pizzas.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—Season 1 was a short five episode mini-series airing from December 14, 1987 to December 18, 1987.  The mini-series was seen as a test series for the full season 2 which followed in 1988.  Season 1 was collected on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—Volume 1 along with episodes from Season 10.


The beginning of a superhero!!!

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were becoming a small cult phenomena by 1987.  Premiering in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 in May 1984, the Turtles were created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.  The comic though having the base idea of ninja turtles, was for the most part serious and caught on with fans.

Playmates Toys was planning a line of toys based around the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but weren’t going to go through with the line since the Turtles weren’t household names.  The five issue series was a means to test the characters’ popularity and see if the toyline could succeed…of which it did.

The series changed the comic book immensely and added a sense of humor to the characters.  The original Turtles were in black-and-white and all wore red.  Here, the Turtles were given their won colors to help distinguish them:  Michelangelo—Orange, Raphael—Red, Donatello—Purple, and Leonardo—Blue (it was even joked about in the second episode).  April went from Baxter Stockman’s lab assistant to reporter, and Splinter was a human transformed into a rat instead of a rat transformed into a humanoid creature.  Bebop and Rocksteady didn’t exist and creatures called Utroms appeared to be the inspiration for Krang.


Sai, nunchucks, bo, and katanas dangerous? Who knew?

The show also sparked some controversy with violence in cartoons and was known as Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in the UK and some other countries particularly due to Michelangelo’s nunchaku which are highly regulated as a weapon.  Scenes with Michelangelo using his weapon were edited out and it is also seen in later season with him barely using his weapon at all.

I love Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and this was a fun start to the series.  The series did get a bit darker later on in the run, but here it is still a nice balance of fun and fighting.  The Turtles even sometimes break the fourth wall by referencing the audience and these are sometimes more interesting and smarter jokes.  Check out Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—Season 1 then get Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—Volume 2 to see Season 2.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:


“Turtle Tracks”

1.1       Turtle Tracks Airdate:  12/14/87

April O’Neil investigates a series of robberies apparently committed by ninjas.  When she makes herself a target of the criminals, she escapes into the sewers where she is saved by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:  Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello.  April learns how their master Splinter was a human named Hamato Yoshi, disgraced by Oroku Saki and ostracized from the Foot Clan.  As the Turtles search for their origin, they help April search for her thieves, and they might uncover an enemy from Hamato Yoshi’s past.


“Enter the Shredder”

1.2       Enter the Shredder Airdate:  12/15/87

The TMNT seek out Shredder and the Technodrome with April.  The Turtles’ origin is revealed as Shredder and his ally Krang from Dimension X work to create new mutants in Rocksteady and Bebop.  When Splinter learns his old enemy Oroku Saki has returned, he joins the Turtles in their search…but becomes a hostage of the Shredder.


“A Thing About Rats”

1.3       A Thing About Rats Airdate:  12/16/87

An inventor named Baxter Stockman creates a robot called a Mouser to solve the city’s rat problem.  When Shredder learns of the Mousers, he sees it as an opportunity to rid himself of Splinter.  As Krang grows angry with Shredder, his alliance might crumble.


“Hot Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X”

1.4       Hot Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X Airdate:  12/17/87

Shredder tries to open the portal to Dimension X to get support for his battle against the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Splinter.  When a group of teens called Neutrinos come through in their flying car, the Turtles find allies in Dask, Kala, and Zak who find their way of life threatened in Dimension X.  Unfortunately, with the Neutrinos come Krang’s Stone Warriors General Traag and Granitor, and the Turtles must protect the Neutrinos and reopen the portal to send them home.


“Shredded and Splintered”

1.5       Shredder & Splintered Airdate:  12/18/87

Shredder has created the ultimate body for Krang in his last ditch effort to defeat the Turtles and the planet.  April finds her big story slipping away with her job as the Turtles’ become known to society.  With a cure for Splinter as bait, Shredder faces off against Splinter while the Turtles find themselves battling the superhuman Krang.

Related Links:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—Season 6 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—Season 8 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—Season 9 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—Season 10 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:  Turtles Forever (2009)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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