Show Review – Thundercats

A while ago I decided to have a blast from the past and watch the entire Thundercats saga. I watched it when it first rolled out on TV when I was a wee kiddy and remembered it being the greatest show ever. I thought it would be interesting to watch it now and see if it still held that title. You probably shouldn’t read the rest of this if you don’t want the show spoiled.

Thundercats are on the move,
Thundercats are loose!
Feel the magic, hear the roar,
Thundercats are loose!
Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats!
Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats!
Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats!
Thundercats

The saga is told through two series, each having 65 episodes. I watched the entire first series using the official episode listing. That was really crappily put together. During the first half of the series you do occasionally think “where did they go?” and “how did they get there?” but it’s not until you reach the episodes called “Lion-O’s Anointment” that it becomes blazingly obvious they’re in the wrong order. The trials last 5 episodes, the idea being that Liono has to prove his metal facing off against each of the other Thundercats. He faces each of them on consecutive days. The show broadcast order has these spaced out over 24 episodes. I decided to finish watching the first series in the order I’d started it in but for the second series I did some research and found purrsiathunder.org and their “Modern Listing” which lists the episodes in the most likely timeline correct format.

I found the first series to be quite irratating, I was constantly shouting abuse at the characters. So many things were just left unexplained and after the initial character introductions their development became stunted. The second series was quite the opposite. They go back and cover more of what happened on Thundera although the overal disaster is never explained. Series 2 just seemed more linear in its story.

The Riddle of Mumm-ra
Mumm-ra was a good employer. For a supreme almighty evil he always kept his word to his employees. If they completed the job and didn’t botch it up then he would pay them and send them on their way. When an ally was in trouble and the opportunity arose to help them he would. One constantly annoying habit Mumm-ra displays is his amazing inability to kill the Thundercats. Through the series he has them captured several times and yet does nothing. In one episode almost the entire gang are caught in Mumm-ra wraps and lined up in his pyramid. Does he draw a dagger, walk down the line and slit each of their throats? No. Does he use his evil mystical powers to crush them to pulp? No. He goes to sleep in his sarcophagus. In another episode he captures the Sword of Omens. Does he hide it in the case hidden behind his sarcophagus? No. Does he hide it behind one of the Spirits of Evil statues? No. He throws it on the ground calling it junk. Luckily I’m not the only one to notice his in-aptness. The Spirits of Evil get royally pissed at him in the second series and he is often placed in situations where he has to work hard to appease them.

The funniest thing about Mumm-Ra is that he frequently states that he wants to rid Third Earth of the Thundercats so it can return to his evil dominion. If he was so in control and evil ruled all then how come Snowman, the Burbills and all the other Thundercat allies were happily living their lives prior to him waking up? You’re given the impression he has slept for a long time before the Mutants arrive. I guess you could say the other races were of little significance to him but the Thundercats were a large power for good which is more likely something he would take afront to.

The Mutants
They played a big part in the first series. In the second series they are hardly seen due to the Lunataks arriving on Third Earth. I quite liked the Mutants. Unlike Mumm-Ra they actually tried to Murder-Death-Kill the Thundercats. So they did a lousy job of it, it’s the trying that counts. The thing that bugged me about the Mutants is that they had access to space flight but they stayed on Third Earth. Surely after they gave up trying to attack the Thundercats they would just go home.

The Lunataks
I guess they ran out of plot lines for the Mutants since they got religated to the back bench in favor of the Lunataks. The Lunataks suck. I kinda liked the guy who could control peoples minds but the rest sucked. They should of just thought of a way to give the mutants a boost instead of introducing some properly wank characters.

That stupid Circus Train
WTF was that all about? In the FAQ on purrsiathunder site they show that this guy called William Overgard wrote a bunch of the lame episodes and characters including the Circus Train. He also did the Tacco episode. It was nice to read the list of eps he wrote since most of them were “WTF is that about?” moments for me. The funniest thing about the Circus Train is that the bars are wide enough for most of the Thundercat villains to easily fit through. I think the only two that would have a problem are Lizard Man and the Lunatak that carries the old woman around. Stupid friggin Circus Train.

What happened to Thundera?
We just don’t know. Later on it appears that Mumm-Ra has recreated Thundera aka “New Thundera” so he can pluder the Thundercats treasure. Even later on we find out that it was in fact a Mystical Thundercat that has put new Thundera back together again. Personally I found the two things kind of contradicting. When Mumm-Ra starts messing with the planets giroscope the Thundercats comment that it’s exactly like what happened to the original Thundera. I thought that was a bit of a hint that Mumm-Ra was involved in the original planets destruction but then that doesn’t really tie in with the rest of the plot since it was the Mutants arrival on Third Earth that wakes Mumm-Ra from his slumber.

Snarf Snarf Snarf
I hate Snarf. I constantly wished his doom but it doesn’t happen. He’s not even called Snarf. Snarf is the name of his race. It’s like me calling each of my friends Human all the time, “Hey human”. All Snarf does is complain and hold the Thundercats back. Oki so he does come to the rescue sometimes but surely they could of had a better creature than a friggin Snarf. Something I thought really took the piss in the second series is when they explain that not all the cat-like humanoids on Thundera were actually Thundercats. There are only a few Thundercats who are like Lords and Ladies. The rest of the people are just commoners. Snarf was a Thundercat. How fucked off would you be as a commoner to have Snarf telling you what to do?

Randomness

  • Why is it called Third Earth if it has remnants of our Earth?
  • What happened to the other two Earths?
  • Where was Ma-Mutt in the first series?
  • How come Lion-O almost drowns in one ep but then later on he can breath in Space?
  • Did Lion-O ever go back to visit that spirit cat that lived in the tunnels near Mumm-Ras pyramid on Third Earth?
  • How come when Lion-O goes back in time to Thundera and meets his dad, his dad is blind. Later on when he frees his dad from the shadow realm his dad isn’t blind anymore.
  • Why didn’t they just drain the acid lake (since they stated at another point that they could) so they could retrieve the treasure that was lost in there?
  • Why did Lion-O grow up and become a meat head whilst in stasis? At the start of it all he is a child but when they get to Third Earth he’s grown up. The older Thundercats don’t seem to of aged and the other two children stay at the same age. I like purrsiathunders FAQ answer for this question. They reckon Jagga tinkered with Lion-Os stasis pod so that the Thundercats wouldn’t have to be led by a punny kid. The best part about Lion-O is near the beginning on Third Earth when they explain “he has the body of a man but the brain of a child”. Even with that logic in the minds they still decide to follow him!

Conclusion
Thundercats was quite a hard show to watch all the way through. If you can make it through series 1 then you’ll probably quite enjoy series 2. I’m glad I watched it as I had a rather hazy memory of it all. I remember as a kid thinking the spider kingdom was quite a scary place. This time around I was just laughing at how pathetic it seemed. They should of just nuked the place with the Thundertank and had done with it. Series 2 helps develop the main characters and does lend a bit more of an insight into the Thundarean way of life. On the other hand a lot is left unexplained. There’s talk of a movie in the next few years so I’m hoping they cover some of the missing information in that.

Truth, Justice, Honor, and Loyalty! Thundercats HO!

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