Nickelodeon premiered the new TMNT series last week and paid tribute to the original one. The first episode premiered with an hour long special explaining the origin of the Turtles. The Turtles were still mutants, but the writers had to choose an origin story for Splinter.
In both the comics and movies he started off as a pet rat. In the original TV series he was a human that mutated into a rat. The new show decided that it would be best if they followed the TV’s original origin.
It was revealed that Splinter was once friends with Shredder, but a women tore them apart. Shredder was jealous and not only caused the death of his love interest, but Splinter’s daughter.
TMNT made April O’Neil a teenage girl, which provides a unique story line for the Turtles. April’s dad is not really mentioned in the original series. In the new series her father is revealed to be a scientist.
The main plot for the first episode was that The Kraangs had kidnapped scientists for a reason not yet revealed. This was also how the Turtles met O’Neil for the first time. The Turtles saw O’Neil and her dad getting kidnapped, and decide to try and save them.
The show stayed true to the wackiness of the original series. You can see that they are teenagers and make mistakes. The show took a realistic approach on how the Turtles would fight on their own for the first time. They struggled.
The Turtles quickly adapted and kick butt, however, they did not fight Shredder or the Foot. They fight an army of Kraangs. Unlike the original TV series, the Kraangs are a race rather than one person. The Kraangs looked like a terminator rip off, but they provide some humor.
The series also reveals how the Turtles first discover pizza. A pizza delivery carrier drops a pizza box in fear of the Turtles and the rest was history.
Each Turtle has unique skills, but Raphael’s martial arts stood out compared to the others. In the beginning scene the Turtles had a sparring match and Raphael won. He may have looked tough, but he did show his softer side with an unlikely friend. He has a pet turtle which he loves.
Leonardo, Michelangelo and Donatello were very well represented. Donatello is still the most intellectual of the crew, but with the O’Neil being a teenager, Donatello has a crush on her.
Leonardo was named leader by Splinter. Unlike the first episode of the original TV series, the reason why he was named leader was because he asked. Leonardo looks up to a fictional leader on a “Star Trek” spoof TV show he watches. He tries to mimic his hero’s speech, but realizes that his team does not care. Leonardo quickly learns that failure is an option and he must learn from his mistakes.
Shredder makes a brief appearance at the end of the episode, and it foreshadows that he will be a major foe for the Turtles.
Over all the new show was enjoyable. The computer animation is different but works out. The plot was good and should keep the old TMNT fans happy.