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TMNT: The Red Sky Seasons

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series had kept its signature art style as well as its lighthearted humor for a whopping seven seasons, but after a certain live action movie from 1993 had fans jumping ship from the franchise there was little else that could be done to keep the cartoon afloat. The show was renewed for three more seasons but would give the turtles a darker design, and more focus on action while putting the humorous tone in the backseat. But how do these last episodes fare?

While it's not the official name of the seasons, "Red Sky" was dubbed by fans as these remaining episodes would have the sky in a red color as it gives the dark vibe of what was represented in the more action oriented take.

While Shredder and Krang were still a focus kicking off the eighth season, the last we see of them is when they're stranded on Earth while the Technodrome is stuck in Dimension X, while new villains are introduced going by Megavolt (hey, that villain name sounds familiar...), Titanus, and a villain taking place over Shredder and Krang in season 9, Lord Dregg, an alien being that wants to take over Earth.

Due to Shredder and Krang destroying the Channel 6 building before they're back in Dimension X, April's boss and the others who worked with April no longer show up in the series at this point. Taking over for them is a teenager named Carter who wants to learn martial arts under Hamato Yoshi (Splinter) but obviously the show focuses more on the turtles and their enemies than him, other than the fact that he becomes mutated after touching a vial of mutagen.

Carter didn't really add much to the series, in my opinion he felt more like a second April and a watered down Casey Jones.

As the series moved along there was this concept of the turtles experiencing "unstable mutations" and turning into more destructive mutants, and losing their intelligence until the mutations are stabilized again. While it does sound like a good idea on paper it becomes very repetitive.

The unstable mutations became a running theme for several episodes to the point that even an episode of Donatello finding a cure was pointless as they would just keep using the concept. It was an interesting idea but fell flat when it was constantly used so often.

As a series finale, "Divide and Conquer" had the turtles going to Dimension X and tracking down Krang's android suit to defeat Lord Dregg one last time. There's a brief moment with Splinter saying that the turtles are now his equal, no longer needing a sensei, but to be honest the finale just feels rushed to me. Perhaps it's because at this point in time that the cartoon was desperately trying to get viewers and at the last couple of months the writers had to come up with something before the show got canned.

The Red Sky seasons were a last attempt at trying to get interest of fans with its new style but unfortunately didn't have that driving power to keep it going. The cartoon series itself lasted for almost nine years though, and it was quite impressive for a Saturday morning cartoon. Although it wouldn't be the last time we would see the turtles in televised form, it did feel like a bitter end to Turtle Mania.

What are your memories of the Red Sky episodes? Leave a comment and as always, see you next article!

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onipar Posted on Jul 24, 2022 at 03:24 PM

SO cool. It's been forever since I watched the series. Probably since I was a kid and they were on TV. I recently watched a YouTube video about this too, and there was a similar change after the first season I believe, when they started churning out episodes at a higher rate.

Benjanime Posted on Jun 17, 2022 at 07:19 PM

@Julie

i'll enjoy watching the entirety of the series with you, my love ❤

Julie Posted on Jun 17, 2022 at 06:44 PM

I didn't watch the Red Sky seasons thanks to the Sega Genesis getting all my attention back then, but I clearly remember the hype for the Turtles in the 90's, and I love that to this day. ❤ Yes, I'm a fan of the TMNT, and also their amazing games. ❤❤ Great article! ;)

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