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Featured TV on DVD Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season Ten

August 9th, 2012

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season Ten - Buy from Amazon

The 1987 incarnation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comes to an end this week. But does it end its run on a strong note? Or did it overstay its welcome?

The Show

As I mentioned last time, there were a lot of major changes made at the end of seasons seven and eight and by season nine the changes were just too much. The show had taken a major decline in quality. Lord Dregg wasn't nearly as interesting as Shredder or Krang, while HiTech, his second in command, was not even as interesting as Bebop and Rocksteady. The mutations the TMNT got were clearly just there to sell more toys, because now you needed to buy the mutated versions as well. Carter, the new human sidekick was boring. So did season ten fix these problems?

It tried.

Right away, and I mean in the first few scenes of the first episode, they try and cure the Turtles of their mutations using the Vortex Crystal. It works, for the most part, but Leonardo is mutated even worse that before. The Vortex Crystal attracts the attention of Lord Dregg, who returns to Earth. However, HiTech is relived of his duties as second in command. This is good so far. They got rid of the gimmicky mutations and used the remaining one to drive the story for a bit. Plus they got rid of a character that didn't work. Unfortunately, Mung, HiTech's replacement, is no more compelling as a character. He was just sniveling and annoying.

Lord Dregg continues to try and rule the Earth. His plans include mutating two Mutates out of existence, blow them up, and even retrieve Shredder and Kang from Dimension X. (I forgot how grating Shredder's new voice was. He sounded much cooler when James Avery was providing his voice.) There is a three-episode arc at the midway point of the season and goes from strange to crazy when Carter tries to save the Turtles from today, by retrieving the Turtles from the past. When the three-part story ends, more than half the non-Turtle characters are gone from the show. If this was done right, it would have felt like the writers were giving these characters a proper send off, but it doesn't work that way. Instead, it feels like they were out of ideas.

"Out of ideas." is probably the best way to describe it. Of the eight episodes, only the last two are really any good. That's not a good hit to miss ratio.

The Extras

Extras include 20 minutes of interviews with three of the artists. There are also two bonus episodes from season five, Once Upon a Time Machine and the double-length Planet of the Turtleoids. They are both from season five, but were not included on the season five DVD.

The Verdict

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is generally divided into two eras: the Blue Sky Era and the Red Sky Era. Most fans agree that while the Blue Sky era had gotten really silly, the grittier Red Sky era didn't have nearly as many good episodes. By Season Ten, the show had run out of steam.

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