Discussion in 'ThunderCats (1985)' started by Ocean Doot, Aug 29, 2015.
And what about the episdode order?
Well....Thundercats Ho 1-5 and Mumm-Ra Lives 1-5 are episodes 1-10.....so far.
That much is indisputable and always has been. That's why for continuity purposes it makes sense to call the show four seasons and not two, because each one starting with its own 5-parter makes a clean break from everything that's come before.
I suppose it depends on how many episodes you break each season into.
Season 2 starts with Thundercats HO! and Mumm-Ra Lives!
Season 3 starts with Thundercubs.
Season 4 starts with Return To Thundera.
All 15 individual episodes between Mumm-Ra Lives and Thundercubs are season 2
All 15 individual episodes between Thundercubs and Return To Thundera are season 3
All 15 individual episodes after Return To Thundera are season 4.
This is my preference. As for episode order, I guess I have never really noticed any continuity issues (with the episode order) after season one.
I must admit, I can't think of anything myself, but then I'm not that familiar with the later series. These episodes were, I've said often enough, never shown over here (and, as I realised when I finally saw them, with good reason!)
There aren't any problems with Season 4 (that I recall).
The big thing with Season 2, to me, is Vultureman's defection to the Lunatacs in "Sound Stones," which I think has to be moved to in between "Vultureman's Revenge" (he's still with the Mutants), and "Side Swipe" (he's seen chillaxin' with the Lunatacs.).
I also think that the first three episodes post "Mumm-Ra Lives" should be:
"Together We Stand"
"Mask of Gorgon"
That is largely personal preference, but I do think it works nicely, with "Together" establishing the new post-Lunatac status quo all across the board (the new TCats and their weapons of choice; the Lunatacs' relationship with Mumm-Ra, etc.), and with "Mask" being a good follow-up to the premonitions at the start of "Together."
Season 3 has one big issue, again involving the Lunatacs. "Exile Isle" is misplaced; it is way too early in the season. This episode begins with the Lunatacs complaining that the Thundercats wrecked all their machinery, and it ends with the Lunatacs making a new home out of a tiny little cabin on another planet, which they make mobile and use to fly back to Third Earth.
This means "Exile Isle" has to come after "Wild Workout," which is the episode in which Sky Tomb is crashed and wrecked. And it has to come before "Circus Train," which begins with the Lunatacs living in the cabin they acquired at the end of "Exile" (and depicts Sky Tomb still wrecked, after the events of "Workout").
To put that more clearly, on the DVDs, those three episodes come in this order:
But they need to be:
That's pretty much it. They don't have to be in immediate sequence, but they should come in that order when they come.
As for Season 4, I believe it pretty much works as is.
I know what you mean about "X comes before Y" doesn't necessarily mean immediately.
Obviously for season 3, "The Circus Train" and "The Last Day" are indisputably the last two, so there's only 13 episodes we need to worry about there.
I'm so glad this thread is back on track!
I really like "Together We Stand" as the first post-"Mumm-Ra Lives!" episode, for all the reasons you've mentioned (plus a few more, including establishing Pumyra's skills as a healer and reinforcing Lion-O's preference for the HoverCat—am I right that he tends to fly it pretty often?).
Placing "Mask of Gorgon" next is smart, though I question Mumm-Ra's willingness to sacrifice Chilla and Tug-Mug so early. "Psych Out!" and the alignment of the moon with the Pyramid could be another source of Lynx-O and Cheetara's uneasy feelings. Moreover, Alluro did prove his worth in "Together We Stand", being instrumental in the takeover of Cats' Lair, so Mumm-Ra reaching out to him alone could make sense. I should point out that, though, that Lion-O, Tygra, Lynx-O, Bengali, and Pumyra all cover their ears in "Together We Stand" the moment Alluro starts trying to entice them. This feels like a lesson learned from "Psych Out!", though we could argue that after "Mumm-Ra Lives!" everyone compared notes and established some Lunatak Defense Best Practices. Honestly, I like "Together We Stand" being first enough to ignore this.
Regarding "Catfight", if we're to go with your very reasonable assumption that Mumm-Jaga's warning of the new Cats' betrayal could come at any time, then we might as well place it at a time when it seems most plausible. The only thing that springs to mind would be placing it after episodes that featured no new Cats at all, namely "Time Switch", "Day of the Eclipse", and "Runaways". Perhaps there's a lingering thought in the back of their minds that, since the new Cats didn't come to their aid on those occasions, they're not really part of the team. "Time Switch" might be problematic, since Panthro destroys the Lunatacker. Maybe we save "Time Switch".
Other things to consider. Mumm-Ra enlists the Mutants' help in "Ravage Island", so perhaps it should come after a string of Lunatak failures. But not too late, because Vultureman is still allied with them. Likewise, Alluro going solo in "Psych Out", if we're not placing it earlier, could come after a major Lunatak defeat, or a showing of Luna's poor leadership.
Mumm-Ra would probably be less likely to trust Chilla and Alluro post-"Catfight", since they completely abandoned him. That means "Psych Out!" before "Catfight" and possibly "Mask of Gorgon" after. "Ravage Island" could also follow this: we make "Catfight" the final time he ever enlists the Lunataks' aid in earnest (absent "Thunderscope"), and he turns to the Mutants once again.
Another Vultureman note: he's absent from "Mumm-Rana's Belt", when Luna goes to Castle Plun-Darr to enslave the Mutants, so this can fall between "Soundstones" and "Sideswipe". "Sideswipe" also needs to fall toward the season's end, since Chilla is taken into custody.
This is a minor point, but "The Mad Bubbler" and "Mask of Gorgon" both feature Third Earthers unfamiliar with the Lunataks: Snowman in the former and Willa and Nayda in the latter. It seems odd that the ThunderCats wouldn't warn their allies about the Lunataks ASAP, so these two should probably fall early in the lineup. "The Mad Bubbler" also features the installation of new equipment at the Tower of Omens, suggesting that it's still a young outpost.
Finally, how do we end the season? Mumm-Ra needs to be suitably downtrodden and out of options when he delves into ThunderCat history at the beginning of Season Three. Maybe we end with "Hair of the Dog"? "Mask of Gorgon" feels like a great finale also, and the hunt for historical clues for the location or origins of Norvog Noszh could be what sets him on the path to the Sword of Plun-Darr. This also solves the problem of how Chilla escapes Mandora's custody: Mumm-Ra summons her supernaturally. But, it contradicts Willa and Nayda not recognizing the Lunataks after months of them being around, and there's no moment of Tug-Mug being surprised to see her. Hmmmm.
So, where does this put us? How about this (with various placements of "Mask of Gorgon" parenthesized):
Together We Stand
(The Mask of Gorgon)
The Mad Bubbler
Day of the Eclipse
(The Mask of Gorgon)
Hair of the Dog
(The Mask of Gorgon)
That makes sense, though I always took the line from the Lunatacs having all their vehicles wrecked as meaning the Lunattacker and the Ice Runner (though we never see the Ice Runner destroyed). Since they are living in their shack from "Exile Isle" in "The Circus Train" it would make more sense to have it in your order.
I've always conceived the series this way too.
I already own the book.
Dude, don't rub it in.
Me too. I would really like a digital version to keep with me!
Awesome, and solid reasoning throughout! I had forgotten about Pumyra being established as a doctor/healer, but you're totally right that it's another good reason to make it the first post-"Lives!" episode.
I'd say put "Gorgon" early, for the issue you mentioned of Willa and Nayda's unfamiliarity with the Lunatacs.
But I still prefer "Gorgon" before "Psyche Out," because then it feels like Lynx-O's near-coma comes right on the heels of his uneasy feelings in "Together," which I like a lot.
I love your idea of putting "Catfight" after a string of "classic Cats only" episodes. And your placement of "Ravage Island" as a capper to all the Lunatac failures is great as well.
I think this order is most excellent.
True, the line about the wrecked vehicles could be interpreted a couple different ways, but as you say, it's the shack that really cements it.
What would happen if the Luna-Lasher, a toy from the LJN ThunderCats line, were included into the show? It would be a combination of the toy itself and a vehicle design.
Totally. I like that a lot, too, and I think we can ignore Mumm-Ra's willingness to sacrifice Tug-Mug and Chilla, given his misplaced confidence in the Mask and Childe. Why bother keeping the Lunataks around if you're about to enslave an invincible giant?
This frees up "Psych Out!" to go wherever we want. Notable things to consider: Aluro striking out on his own might not be well tolerated or quickly forgiven by the other Lunataks. Also, Snarf manages to smash the orb on his psych club. It would likely take him time to fashion/find a new orb.
All this to say, we should place "Psych Out!" such that Aluro can have some time off. Also, in enlisting Aluro, Mumm-Ra alludes to Luna's incompetence as a leader (or maybe it's Aluro himself who mentions it), so we'll need to have seen that demonstrated.
I say we place it after "The Mad Bubbler" (in which Aluro appears briefly) but before "Day of The Eclipse" (from which he's absent). Luna will have demonstrated poor leadership a few times by then, notably failing to obtain the thundrillium from the Bubbler's mine, which was Aluro's idea. Plus, this will give him the next two episodes off.
This also means we close out the season with "Hair of the Dog". Are we okay with that as a finale? It does begin with the Feliner being used for a space mission, which is a nice prelude to the upgrades it receives in "ThunderCubs". It also features the New ThunderCats coming to Lion-O's rescue while the other Cats are away—a nice close to their season arc. And I think it's a suitably embarrassing defeat for Mumm-Ra, though it is a bit silly.
Together We Stand
The Mask of Gorgon
The Mad Bubbler
Day of the Eclipse
Hair of the Dog
The only thing we haven't addressed with this order are character absences. Earlier in the thread, the absence of Tygra and the Kittens was mentioned as being a commonality between "Ravage Island" and "Catfight" (with them returning at the end of "Catfight"). Our order has them consecutive but reversed, and also just after "Runaways". Perhaps the events of "Runaways" resulted in the Kittens getting dedicated training time with Tygra, so they're not far away—just busy.
Who else is absent when? Maybe we can force some additional logic!
Now that I'm finally in a position to watch the later series again, I can see I'm going to have my work cut out on this one! (Fortunately, there's fewer episodes to arrange - hence my saying we use the "four season" categorisation when working out continuity points - three fifteens, not counting the opening five-parters!)