Next Mutation

Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation

Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation (abbreviated to NT:TNM) or Saban's Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation is a American/Japanese live-action television series produced by Saban Entertainment and Toei, which ran on the Fox Kids network from 1997-1998. The short-lived series was based loosely from Mirage Studios' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The series introduced many new elements to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles saga, including new central antagonists, an army of humanoid dragons known as "The Rank" led by the vicious Dragonlord. It was touted (in some of the promotional material) as a continuation of the 1987 TV series, but by the period of time it aired it turned apparent that this was not the case. Instead, the series apparently followed the continuity of the live-action films. The Turtles lived in the same abandoned train station featured in the second and third films, and Splinter's ear is slashed as it was in the original film. However, most fans tend to regard the films and the series as two separate entities, citing differing styles, The Shredder being alive (and no longer Super Shredder), the absence of April O'Neil and Casey Jones and Michaelangelo's Californian surfer accent being dropped in favor of a more casual voice (but he still called everyone "dude").

One thing that did make it stand out was the inclusion of a female mutant turtle called Venus de Milo — named after the famous statue. Other notable differences were found in the Turtles' weapons; Leonardo carried one double-bladed ninjatō instead of two katana; Raphael's twin sai could combine to make a staff; and because nunchaku are outlawed in several places, Michelangelo's signature weapon in this series was a pair of tonfa. Similarly, the name of the series was amended in several countries to Hero Turtles: The Next Mutation under censorship ruling.


Episode guide

Episode # Episode Name
01 "East Meets West" Part 1
02 "East Meets West" Part 2
03 "East Meets West" Part 3
04 "East Meets West" Part 4
05 "East Meets West" Part 5
06 "Staff of Bu-Ki"
07 "Silver & Gold"
08 "Meet Dr. Quease"
09 "All in the Family"
10 "Trusting Dr. Quease"
11 "Windfall"
12 "Turtles Night Out"
13 "Mutant Reflections"
14 "Truce Or Consequence"
15 "Sewer Crash"
16 "Going Ape"
17 "Enemy of My Enemy"
18 "King Wick"
19 "The Good Dragon"
20 "The Guest"
21 "Like Brothers"
22 "Unchain My Heart" Part 1
23 "Unchain My Heart" Part 2
24 "Unchain My Heart" Part 3
25 "Unchain My Heart" Part 4
26 "Who Needs Her"

Outside of The Next Mutation, the Turtles also guest-starred alongside the Power Rangers in the Power Rangers In Space episode "Shell Shocked." This originally aired February 21, 1998, and has the Turtles brainwashed by Astronema and forced to fight the Rangers. When the Rangers break Astronema's control, they and the Turtles defeat Astronema's forces. But before departing, the Turtles have one request from the Rangers and, at the end, are seen space surfing on their Galaxy Gliders. This anomoly confirms that the Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers do indeed share the same universe.

Venus de Milo

The show's most notable contribution to the Turtles mythos was a fifth mutant turtle, a female named Venus de Milo who was skilled in the mystical arts of the shinobi and wears a light blue mask that was braided in the back, giving the appearance of a ponytail. However, some mistaken her in utilizing Kung Fu rather than ninjitsu due to many of her fighting techniques and tools. Venus was portrayed by Nicole Parker and voiced by Lalainia Lindbjerg.


The show was cancelled in the summer of 1998. Fans of the series have theorized that this was because Saban and Fox were unwilling to pay further licensing fees to Mirage Studios. Shortly after the live-action series was canceled, there were plans for an animated version of the series, but this never materialized.

DVD Release

The complete series has been released on DVD in the UK by Jetix Films. The series in divided between 2 Volumes, each containing 3 discs each. Volume 1 was released in July of 2007 and Volume 2 was released in February 2008. At the moment there is still no plan for any US release.


External links

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