Sword In A Hole

Discussion in 'ThunderCats (1985)' started by Captain Shiner, May 19, 2018.

  1. Captain Shiner

    Captain Shiner Crabman

    This has to be regarded as one of the very finest episodes of the show, and the surest example that when Overgard gets it right, he really gets it right.

    Space-breathing aside, this is a flawless adventure, introducing an awesome guest villain in my namesake Captain Shiner.

    Some beautiful pieces of animation, especially when the sword is thrown into the black hole, real peril when the four of them are being held prisoner, and then one of my favourite moments when Shiner decides to go down with the ship

    ‘Come on Shiner, you don’t have to go down with the ship’

    ‘Oh Yes I do!!’

    That’s just an awesome moment. Of bravery from a villain and respect from the good guys. And even better to show that Shiner has survived to return another day.
  2. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    An amazing episode and one of the best in the series. After seeing this episode I remember jumping at the chance in Woolworths to get the figure and he was one of my favourite characters.
  3. Captain Shiner

    Captain Shiner Crabman

    My Captain Shiner figure became my lucky mascot. His head came off tho :-(((
  4. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    I agree. Space breathing (and falling) aside, this episode really is one of the best in the series. Goes to show that Overgaard was an extremely talented writer, just needed someone to oversee him and make sure he didn't deviate too much from the established norm.

    I like Mumm-Ra's more practical decision to just get rid of the Sword of Omens. He already knows that he can't use it so why bother wanting it for himself? (like he continued to do in so many episodes). And limiting the story to just a few ThunderCats helps to maintain the tension.

    Shiner really steals the show from both Mumm-Ra and the ThunderCats. This was the first time in the show (I think) that we had a character who was neither good nor bad. I loved his calm demeanor as well as his sense of humor ("Your friend talks to himself?"). :biggrin

    I would have loved for there to have been an episode in which the ThunderCats hire Shiner for an important job/mission.
  5. ButterflyBoy

    ButterflyBoy Thunderian Legend

    It's a real shame that he was only brought back once. The character had a lot of potential. Now that I think about it...is he the only prominent Overgard character to not get any real follow-up from him? I suppose there was also Dr. Dometome who never "really" appeared outside of his original episode and *shudder* Screwloose. If I were a betting man, my money would be on the idea that Overgard had a lot of pitches for Shiner follow-ups that were shot down for one reason or another. The man is clearly dedicated to the characters that he creates.
  6. Daremonger

    Daremonger Thunderian Legend

    I prefer Captain Shiner as he was in the first season over how he was portrayed in ThunderCats, Ho!
  7. Captain Shiner

    Captain Shiner Crabman


    What’s interesting is that Overgard created all 3 ‘ captains’ in the series, Cracker, Shiner and Bragg, the best of them was clearly Shiner yet he was reduced to one return in the prospective toy heavy Tcats Ho the movie, while Cracker was used in two more focus episodes and Bragg appeared what 4 times? Shiner and his status as a mercenary has such potential in the series, he could have even been hired by the Tcats to go against Mumm-Ra.
  8. Captain Shiner

    Captain Shiner Crabman

    Yes. There was a decidedly more sinister side to him in Ho! He was more generic then he was in SIAH, in that he was happy to do harm to the Thunderians.
  9. Captain Shiner

    Captain Shiner Crabman

    ‘I expect officers quarters!!’
  10. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    His character had so much potential. He could easily have made a far more compelling main villain than the Lunatacks if he had returned after thundercats Ho with stronger force against the Thundercats.
    Imagine if they had even had him ally with the Thundercats in a space war against Plundar etc.
    Tygra_Rules likes this.
  11. Daremonger

    Daremonger Thunderian Legend

    That would've been storytelling at its very best.
  12. Tygra_Rules

    Tygra_Rules Thunderian Legend

    I liked this episode and Shiner too. I'm with those who liked him more here than in ThunderCats Ho! (Sometimes I even wonder if he was supposed to be the same character as he didn't seem a proper villain in this one, just a guy trying to get the best for himself LOL). Also agree with Wily in that limiting it to a few characters helped to create more tension.

    Imagine if Shiner crossed paths with a craving-for-revenge Safari Joe or Demolisher and they teamed up to confront the TCs (better SJ than Demolisher). Would have made a great ep! Maybe even get Mandora (who I never liked) in the mix; she could have been searching for them or something.

    Only thing I didn't like was Tygra telling Cheetara to get back because nothing could be done... so out of character. Would have been better if he told her to get back to refill the Feliner and pick him up so they both could search for the others (he was a scientist after all, could have thought of something).
    LiamABC likes this.
  13. Captain Shiner

    Captain Shiner Crabman

    Better yet, Safari Joe AND Demolisher, both licking their wounds and having each deactivated/murdered their sidekicks, team up for revenge and hire Shiner to assist.

    Perhaps Tygra wanted them out of the way so he could get more screen-time
    Tygra_Rules likes this.
  14. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    Agreed. Captain Shiner was one of the best guest characters in the entire series, possibly the very best.

    When Overgard got it wrong, as he did pretty much all the time in the later series, he got it completely wrong, but when he got it right, he really got it right. Shiner's moral ambiguity made him so much more memorable than most guest villains. The only guest villain who comes close on the memorability front is Safari Joe, partly because of his catchphrase.

    It's a great pity that Shiner's only subsequent appearance in the show was as a straight-up baddie for hire. Even then he doesn't really serve much purpose, I think Leonard Starr was under orders to cram in as many old characters in as possible. It's unclear why Mumm-Ra needed Shiner to transport Lynx-O, Bengali and Pumyra to Firerock Mountain, especially given that Shiner takes them from the Mutants, and then returns them to them when they get to their destination. Why not just take the Mutants along as well and add some explanation that the Mutants' machines aren't capable of reaching that mountain?
    Wilycub likes this.
  15. ButterflyBoy

    ButterflyBoy Thunderian Legend

    I agree. Actually, I'd bet his mandate was to include as many old characters that had action figures to sell. It lead to a few contrivances, like Shiner getting the Thunderians from the mutants only to deliver them to the mutants, but also Rataro is just suddenly hanging out with Vultureman again. One has to wonder if there were earlier drafts that somehow shoe-horned in Safari Joe and Mongor.
    LiamABC likes this.
  16. Captain Shiner

    Captain Shiner Crabman

    Plus the fact that the fire rocks only affected the thunderians when the Vertas opened air vents, negating the entire needs for the forest of mists and Lynx-O Braille board in later seasons.

    End of day, Mumm Ra can transport himself anywhere, and can transport others (mutants in unholy alliance) so could have easily transported them...but where’s the fun in that

    I saw Shiner in Ho! Before I saw SIAH, I mean I watched Shiner in Ho! 40 times before I saw SIAH, that’s how often I watched that VHS
    LiamABC likes this.
  17. Captain Shiner

    Captain Shiner Crabman

    Interesting isn’t it. How Joe and Ratar-O return for the final episode of season 1, then soon after get figures made, though Spidera didn’t get one. Every single character featured in HO! either had an existing figure or would have one made in the next wave. Including the raised from the dead Hammerhand and his bionic Berserkers.

    It’s not unfeasible that Ratar-O and V-Man would hook up again, just great to see him I’d say. But they both blatantly die. Perhaps the bird pulled the ejector seat
    LiamABC likes this.
  18. ButterflyBoy

    ButterflyBoy Thunderian Legend

    I always thought that Slithe and Jackalman also blatantly died in the movie.
    LiamABC likes this.
  19. Captain Shiner

    Captain Shiner Crabman

    Oh yeah they ran back into the mountain didn’t they
  20. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    Spot on! He said so himself. R/B insisted on that. So Starr had to pretty much craft the story around these new action figures and vehicles. That's why the Berserkers just pop out of nowhere with a new look and so does the Fistpounder.

    Having many years of experience writing comics, Starr usually never wrote anything that didn't have a purpose or a backstory or a reason for being in the story. So being forced to ignore continuity as well as logic and write in all these new characters was something he very much disliked. He was not at all happy with "ThunderCats HO!". I've always felt bad for the raw deal that Starr got. To me, he was the true creator of ThunderCats.
    ButterflyBoy and LiamABC like this.

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