Written by William Overgard
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Variety is said to be the spice of life and William Overgard deserves a lot of credit for spicing up the ThunderCats saga with his offbeat contributions. Although his stories often take a tangent from the series’ overall plot, he possessed the talent to make them entertaining by utilizing a host of zany characters, gizmos and locations. Unfortunately, despite being furnished with all of the above elements, “Cracker’s Revenge” turns out to be a disappointment.
Opening on the planet of Way Outback, where Captain Bragg has parked his Circus Train with its Lunatak prisoners, the episode wastes no time in re-introducing Captain Cracker who makes his grand entrance in a flying metal cupboard! More menacing than ever, the cyborg buccaneer quickly imprisons Bragg, frees the Lunataks and hijacks the Circus Train, turning it into a pirate vehicle.
After a radio transmission informs the ThunderCats of Cracker’s escape, Lion-O contacts Snarfer, whose ship just happens to be in the vicinity of Way Outback, and instructs him to ask Mandora to escort him safely back to Third Earth. When his radio malfunctions, Snarfer attracts Mandora by speeding. His cheeky plan works and the intergalactic policewoman arrives and transports Snarfer to Third Earth but not before handing him a speeding ticket. Crownan, who managed to escape using a fire extinguisher as make-shift mode of transportation, receives the same penaltyfrom Mandora.
As soon as Cracker and his new crew arrive on Third Earth, they are greeted by Mandora who holds them back using her boomerang, until Red-Eye makes a snack out of it. The villains then tie Mandora and Snarfer to the Electro-Charger and set it on a speeding collision course with a nearby granite wall. Fortunately Crownan comes to their partial rescue and steers the space-bike into a sharp vertical ascent. Lion-O then finishes what Crownan started by jumping onto the Electro-Charger from the Feliner and bringing it under control.
Meanwhile Cracker and the Lunataks make for Cats Lair and are in the middle of crossing the drawbridge when Lion-O uses the Cat Signal to reverse the direction of the drawbridge, sending the criminals plummeting into the cold waters of the moat below. The episode ends with Snarfer piloting Whisker to fish Cracker and the Lunataks out, handing them over to Captain Bragg who is in the midst of receiving a citation from Mandora.
Successfully re-introducing an eliminated character in any story is always challenging for the writer. Not only does it demand a logical and interesting explanation, but it also has to be more impactful than their first outing. Overgard’s decision to bring back Captain Cracker and the Lunatak sends up being a poorly executed one. Not only are the evil-doers just as incompetent as they were before, they are defeated with relative ease and are hardly ever a real threat to the protagonists. The Lunataks especially are relegated to an almost idiotic state that was previously reserved for the Mutants. The once intimidating Luna is now being bossed around by Cracker, and Alluro displays as much bravery as Scooby-Doo, further cementing the futility of their resurrection.
Apart from the feeble plot, Overgard’s biggest miscalculation was cramming the episode with his characters. Not only is seeing almost all of his bizarre creations on-screen together an eyeful, it leaves precious little screen time for the ThunderCats themselves, something that will always disappoint the fans. The show is called “ThunderCats” after all and not “The Adventures of Mandora”.
No detailed analysis is required to see that Overgard’s heart was clearly not in this script and as a result the audience will find it hard to display any love for this weak episode.
Written by Wilycub
|Snarfer’s introduction in this episode is very similar to Overgard’s other episode, “Exile Isle”. In both cases, Snarfer is alone in his spaceship near the vicinity of the planet where Captain Cracker and the Lunataks are. Not to mention that in this episode Snarfer is making a pizza run to Third Earth while in “Exile Isle” he is eating a slice of pizza!|
|Seeing both Captain Bragg and Captain Cracker on-screen together makes for an interesting comparison as both characters are captains and have a talking bird as a sidekick who is always perched on their shoulders. Both the characters were also the brainchild of William Overgard.|
|Even though Bragg had captured both the Mutants and the Lunataks in the episode “The Circus Train”,here only the Lunataks are shown to be his prisoners with the Mutants inexplicably missing from the Circus Train’s cells.|
|Captain Cracker’s line, “We’ll bully the Berbils, whack the Wollos, smash the snowmen, and crush the ThunderCats!”, is an almost verbatim repetition of the Mutants’ dialogue in “Snarf Takes Up the Challenge”. The exact line said in that episode was, “We’ll bully the Berbils, terrorize the Tabbuts, whip the Wollos, smash the Snowmen!”.|
|One of the running gags in the episode is Mandora handing speeding tickets and citations to various characters without showing any consideration for their circumstances. Her statement, “Nothing comes before the law!”, accompanied with her no-nonsense attitude and even the design of her helmet are highly reminiscent of the comic character Judge Dredd.|