Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 TV series) season 1

The first season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the first season of the series aired in syndication. At this point in the series, the Technodrome is located underneath New York City.[1] Chronologically, this is the 5-part pilot episode, "Heroes in a Half Shell".

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Season 1
No. of episodes5
Original networkSyndication
Original releaseDecember 28, 1987 (1987-12-28) –
January 1, 1988 (1988-01-01)
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2
List of episodes


  • All five first-season episodes were written by David Wise and Patti Howeth. The chief director was Yoshikatsu Kasai, who was not credited in the credits of the English version.
No. in
TitleAnimation directed byOriginal air dateTV
11"Turtle Tracks"Fred Wolf & Vincent DavisDecember 28, 1987 (1987-12-28)[2][3]S01E01

New York City is experiencing a crime wave. Reporter April O'Neil discovers the thieves are ninja. As a street gang attacks April, she escapes into the sewers, where four big talking turtles defeat the thugs, and take April to their lair. There April meets their mentor, a rat Splinter, who tells her his backstory as the Japanese ninja Hamato Yoshi. As the Turtles and April investigate the streets for the thieves' origins, they discover a group of robot ninjas whose uniform Splinter recognizes as belonging to the Foot Clan. Before April can expose them, she's kidnapped by the Shredder. The Turtles race to free her.

  • First appearances of Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, Michaelangelo, April O'Neil, Master Splinter, Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady, Burne Thompson and Vernon Fenwick.
22"Enter The Shredder"Fred Wolf & Vincent DavisDecember 29, 1987 (1987-12-29)S01E02

Foot Clan leader Oroku Saki, the Shredder decides, along with his partner Krang from Dimension X to turn two thugs into mutant henchmen using the mutagen that created Splinter and the TMNT. Thus two members of the street gang, Bebop and Rocksteady are respectively mutated into a warthog and a rhino. The Foot Soldiers kidnap Splinter, and the Turtles go rescue him at the Technodrome.

Notes: First appearances of Krang and the Technodrome. The image used during the end credits for seasons one through three is taken from this episode; specifically at 03m 19.8s, when April sees the Technodrome drilling through the ground.
33"A Thing About Rats"Fred Wolf & Vincent DavisDecember 30, 1987 (1987-12-30)S01E03

The Shredder hires the scientist Baxter Stockman, because his invention, rat-seeking robots named Mousers, can help him find Splinter. After an initial Mouser attack, the Turtles and Splinter hide in April's apartment.

  • First appearance of Baxter Stockman.
44"Hot Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X"Fred Wolf & Vincent DavisDecember 31, 1987 (1987-12-31)S01E04

Shredder opens the portal to Dimension X for the first time. Three teenage kids known as Neutrinos and two of Krang's stone warriors emerge. The turtles befriend the teens, but before long the two stone warriors set up a special weather making device that causes trouble.

  • First appearances of The Neutrinos (Kala, Dask, and Zak), General Traag and the Turtle Van.
55"Shredder & Splintered"Bill WolfJanuary 1, 1988 (1988-01-01)[4]S01E05

Shredder transmits a message to the turtles showing off a retromutagen gun that could turn Splinter back into a human. When Splinter goes after the gun Shredder then has completed Krang's new body and puts him in it. Then after the Turtles come to help Splinter they have to deal with Krang and his new body. Then after the turtles defeat Krang and Splinter destroys that retromutagen gun to save the turtles Shredder and Krang try to open the portal again. Donatello reverses the polarity causing the entire Technodrome to be pulled into Dimension X.

Notes: First appearances of Krang's android body and the Turtle Blimp. Final episode where Vernon Fenwick is voiced by Pat Fraley.



In late 1989 the first five episodes from series 1 were adapted in a 50-minute video special called The Epic Begins (also known as How It All Began) released by Family Home Entertainment in the US and Tempo Video/Abbey Home Entertainment in the UK (with the British title called Teenage Mutant HERO Turtles). The footage from this season was taken from a third-season clip show called Blast From The Past, and this was amalgamated with various series 2 episodes.

The five episodes were later adapted into the first three issue miniseries of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures by Archie Comics under the name Heroes in a Half-Shell. This adaptation would be collected into one book and published under the name Heroes in a Half-Shell: The Complete Adventure by Random House Publishing in 1989, coupled with a cassette featuring an audio play performed by an uncredited voice cast.

These five episodes, along with the opening, were animated by Toei Animation Studios.


  1. ^ Mark Pellegrini (August 28, 2012). "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) Season 1 Review". Adventures in Poor Taste. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  2. ^ TMNT Cartoon Episode 1 Archived 2011-08-26 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ United States Copyright Office record
  4. ^ United States Copyright Office record