Season 2 Vs Season 2, 3 & 4

Discussion in 'ThunderCats (1985)' started by Captain Shiner, May 22, 2018.

  1. Captain Shiner

    Captain Shiner Crabman

    This topic interests me. 'Hear The Roar' states that a second season of 65 episodes was ordered very soon after Season 1 began airing, and it was always the plan the stagger the episodes over the following 4 years, with Ho! in 86, Season 2 in 87, Season 3 in 88 and Season 4 in 89.

    But what I want to know is if all 65 episodes were scripted, voiced and edited in 1986, because it seems a leap that they would think about doing the New Thundera reformation/Treasure of Thundera contained within one years worth of new episodes, then the move to New Thundera - complete with the excising of Tygra from the show , also contained in one season, would they have done this that far in advance? I can understand them writing in 5 part season openers and knowing they had to so.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. Captain Shiner

    Captain Shiner Crabman

    And is it right that the DVD's presents Season 2 as Season 2, and not Season 2, 3 and 4
     
  3. Booshman

    Booshman Thunderian Legend

    Yeah I believe the DVD is just season 2. I always considered them as season 1 and 2, no 3 and 4, despite how they are somtimes listed online.
     
  4. Captain Shiner

    Captain Shiner Crabman

    Yeah, what I mean, is it should be presented as Season 2, 3 and 4 as they aired over three years.
     
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  5. ButterflyBoy

    ButterflyBoy Thunderian Legend

    This has always been a confusing topic. To me, it seems clear that seasons 2, 3 and 4 were produced rather distinctly and don't seem like they were produced at roughly the same time. I say this for a few reasons.

    1. Continuity: Each five-parter generally sets up ONLY the following 15 episodes. Thundercats has a rather loose-continuity, but there are still things that probably would have been introduced sooner if they were all written at once. A good example of this is Jagaura and the Mighty Gyroscope would have likely been introduced in "Thundercubs!" and maybe even helped explain why the planet reformed.
    2. Animation style: Every season has a distinct flavor of animation (less so the final two seasons). Season one mostly rotated the the same different studios throughout with perhaps a one-off being produced by another studio (I don't think that a whole other episode was produced with the animation style of "Sixth Sense" was there?). Some episodes seem cobbled together from various different studios ("Mechanical Plague"). Season two, for some unknown reason, seemed to struggle with finding consistency in it's animation. It doesn't feel like any of the studios from season one were used for this season (of course I could be wrong, its just how it appears to me). For the most part, each episode seems animated differently and overall the animation seems more..."cartoony" for lack of a better term. I still think the animation is leaps and bounds above other cartoon animation of the time. Season three and four appeared to implement new and ever-so-slightly tweaked character models. For the most part, the animation is improved and wholly consistent starting in season three. Though while it is technically improved, there is something about the animation from this point onward that is more stagnant. Literally, the characters don't seem to move as freely as before a lot of the faster-paced action seems to have gone away. Again, of course, there are one-off episodes here and there that seem to be animated by different studios ("A Touch of Amortus" comes to mind). My point is that if all the episodes were produced at roughly the same time, why are there these distinct animation styles rather obvious between each season?
    3. The toyline: As released, we did not see anything beyond "Thundercats, Ho!" that made it into the series. But we know of the proposed series of figures that did not make it past the prototype stage. The Mad Bubbler, Red Eye, The Thunderstrike, etc. were still all things that were seen in season two. While this is the most flimsy of "evidence", why would we not have seen at least one prototype from season 3 and 4 if they were produced at the same time? The Whisker would've been an obvious choice for another single-figure vehicle akin to the Hovercat or the Thunderclaw.

    Those are the most credible reasons that I have always felt like the show was produced yearly rather than all at once. I recall that in the late 90's there was an episode guide on the internet that gained traction. It split the show into simply two seasons, but also had airdates listed that all the episodes were aired back-to-back from beginning to end without any stop or rerun. I knew this to be an incorrect guide even then, but it was the one that I kept seeing posted everywhere. This was also where I first saw the show broken up into only two seasons. The DVD releases stating only two seasons don't really concern me because its not like there were created with anyone involved in the show and whoever worked on them could have gotten the same erroneous information everyone else had been using.

    The one pisser that really surprised me was when "Hear the Roar" made the claim, because if I recall correctly it comes straight from Peter Lawrence's mouth. On one hand I feel like, who am I to argue? But on the other hand, this was all done many years ago and people's memories can be faulty. Maybe Thundercats had a five year contract and so in the sense that the writer's went working directly on the "second batch of episodes" gets confused with the notion that they were still produced 20 at a time and years apart? I dunno how we can ever find out the definitive proof.
     
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  6. Captain Shiner

    Captain Shiner Crabman

    The author of Hear The Roar is a member here right? I'm sure he wouldn't mind us pressing him for sources as concerns production dates?

    I totally agree with you about the look of the show as the seasons progress, I personally feel it regresses, the animation looks more 'cartoony' (In a 'tom and jerry' sense) later, especially on Mumm-Ra ('The Last Day' excluded) than in does in season one.

    A good indication would be music, did they introduce newer cues in Season's 3 and 4?
     
  7. ButterflyBoy

    ButterflyBoy Thunderian Legend

    Not that I know of. There were some introduced in season two that had not been used in "Thundercats, Ho!" when the second batch of musical cues were produced, but them not being used in the movie isn't really indicative proof that there was a third batch of cues made. I feel like there may have been one or two instances of different music in season 4, but those cues may have been borrowed from Silverhawks.
     
  8. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    The DVDs always just refer to the whole thing as season 2.

    The story arcs however do provide distinct splits into three separate seasons. Look at the individual episodes from seasons 2, 3 and 4, and try to imagine any one of them in one of the other seasons. You can't.

    Of course, the fact that both notations are used on the messageboard only adds to the confusion.

    I'm very much in the Vivaldi camp (four seasons). A lot of the time, I will refer simply to "the later series" - which can be taken as meaning anything after season 1. Because the word "series" is both the singular and the plural, it covers both camps.
     
  9. Daremonger

    Daremonger Thunderian Legend

    I definitely believe that seasons 2 to 4 were done separately following ThunderCats, Ho!: The Movie. :)
     
  10. Tygra_Rules

    Tygra_Rules Thunderian Legend

    I agree with Daremonger.
     
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  11. Daremonger

    Daremonger Thunderian Legend

    Glad you do.
     
  12. Cheetoro

    Cheetoro Vortex Explorer

    I don't see any way they weren't done separately. At the very least it would be weird to sit on all of those produced episodes for that long.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  13. thezaxfactor

    thezaxfactor Staff Writer and Moderator TC.org Staff

    Scripts for episodes from Seasons 2, 3 and 4 have dates spread over 1987 and 1988. That's the strongest evidence.

    As for music cues, there is one cue—a discordant piano sound—that's only used at the very end of Season 4. You can hear it when the Man-Beast Statue crashes onto Lion-O in "The Book of Omens".
     
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  14. Daremonger

    Daremonger Thunderian Legend

    Yeah. :)
     
  15. Captain Shiner

    Captain Shiner Crabman

    Yes, but it’s claimed it was a deliberate act to stagger the seasons over three years. This is the crux of my OP.
     
  16. thezaxfactor

    thezaxfactor Staff Writer and Moderator TC.org Staff

    I don't think we disagree. You posed the question of whether all three seasons were scripted, recorded, etc. all together in '86, and the answer to that is definitely no. As to whether the broad strokes and story arcs of the later seasons were in Peter Lawrence's head when the second batch was ordered, I doubt it? But maybe! I can imagine him wanting to get them back to Thundera, and thinking, "Well, I'll spend one set of 20 episodes reestablishing the planet, and then the final 20 can take place there."
     
  17. Captain Shiner

    Captain Shiner Crabman

    And get rid of Tygra for good at that point?
     
  18. Tygra_Rules

    Tygra_Rules Thunderian Legend

    That was the worst decision and the show's fall IMO :mad:tygra
     
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  19. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    New Thundera was the worst thing that happened to the show, for so many reasons.

    It's also the best argument for separate seasons 2-3-4. If Peter Lawrence had a broad view of New Thundera right at the start of season 2, he'd have created it there and put the Lunataks there.
     
  20. Daremonger

    Daremonger Thunderian Legend

    So much untapped potential for ThunderCats. I truly believe the producers and writers could've gone deeper with the show.
     

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