Turbo Teen is an American animated television series about a teenager with the ability to transform into a sports car. It aired on Saturday morning on the ABC Network for thirteen episodes in 1984.[1]

Turbo Teen
GenreSuperhero, adventure
Created byRuby-Spears Productions
Developed byMichael Maurer
Voices ofT. K. Carter
Pat Fraley
Pamela Hayden
Michael Mish
Frank Welker
ComposerUdi Harpaz
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Executive producersJoe Ruby
Ken Spears
Running time20 mins (excluding commercials)
Production companyRuby-Spears Productions
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 8 (1984-09-08) –
December 1, 1984 (1984-12-01)

The series was rerun on the USA Network's USA Cartoon Express programming block.[2]

Plot edit

Turbo Teen is about a teenager named Brett Matthews who swerves off a road during a thunderstorm and crashes into a secret government laboratory. There, he and his red sports car are accidentally exposed to a molecular beam, invented by a scientist named Dr. Chase for a government agent named Cauldwell. As a result, Brett and his car become fused together. Brett gains the ability to morph into the car when exposed to extreme heat and revert into his human form when exposed to extreme cold. With this new superhero power, Brett, along with his girlfriend Pattie (a freelance reporter), his best friend Alex (a mechanic who calls Brett "TT"), and his dog Rusty go on crime-fighting adventures together and solve other mysteries.[3]

A recurring subplot involves Brett's, Cauldwell's, and Dr. Chase's search for a way to return Brett to normal. Also, a recurring villain is the mysterious, unseen "Dark Rider" who drives a monster truck and seeks to capture Brett in order to find the secret behind his abilities. Dark Rider is voiced by Frank Welker.

Production edit

The show was produced by Ruby-Spears Productions with animation supplied by Toei Animation and Hanho Heung-Up. It was broadcast during the growing popularity of the Knight Rider television series and mirrors much of it. The car that Brett turns into looks like an amalgam of a Third Generation Chevrolet Camaro and its sister car, the Pontiac Trans Am; the later model Knight Rider's KITT is based on.[clarification needed] The Trans Am also had limited edition turbocharger packages in the early 1980's, appearing as an official Indy 500 pace car and featuring in the movie Smokey and the Bandit II.[4]

Cast edit

Additional voices edit

Episodes edit

No.TitleStory byOriginal air date
1"Turbo Thieves"Mark JonesSeptember 8, 1984 (1984-09-08)
Brett is kidnapped by goons who believe Turbo Teen will make them rich.
2"The Dark Rider"Michael MaurerSeptember 15, 1984 (1984-09-15)
Brett and Turbo Teen are featured in an exhibition while a mysterious man known as Dark Rider pursues him.
3"Mystery of Fantasy Park"Matt UitzSeptember 22, 1984 (1984-09-22)
Brett and his friends are asked by Agent Cauldwell to investigate a local amusement park.
4"No Show UFO"Evelyn A.R. GabaiSeptember 29, 1984 (1984-09-29)
Brett and his friends are tasked, again by Cauldwell, to investigate UFO sightings in the area.
5"Micro-Teen"Dennis MarksOctober 6, 1984 (1984-10-06)
Although Dr. Chase's team cannot 'fix' Brett's condition, apparently they have created a ray that shrinks the crew for an infiltration mission into a mansion where something of value is hidden behind various defenses and its owners.
6"The Sinister Souped-Up Seven"Matt UitzOctober 13, 1984 (1984-10-13)
Turbo and his friends evade the Dark Rider in the American southwest. After dropping them off, he crashes into a cave wall, getting amnesia, to be woken up by reservation natives. His friends find them and try to help him regain his memory, while thwarting the plans of villains who want to destroy a mission on the reservation.
7"Video Venger"Michael BrownOctober 20, 1984 (1984-10-20)
Various war machines from an arcade game come to life when Brett and his friends discover the game is a training program for a real planned invasion of Washington D.C.
8"Dark Rider and the Wolves of Doom"Michael MaurerOctober 27, 1984 (1984-10-27)
Dark Rider captures Monique's father Dr. Fabro and his formula that can cause dogs to regress to their primitive state in his latest plan to capture Brett Matthews.
9"The Curse of the Twisted Claw"Matt Uitz,
Michael Maurer
November 3, 1984 (1984-11-03)
Twin items of rare historical antiquity near Bombay, and it is up to Brett and his friends to recover it before those who may use them unjustly can do the same.
10"Daredevil Run"Cliff Ruby,
Elana Lesser
November 10, 1984 (1984-11-10)
Brett, Alex, and Pattie enter a cross-country race as cover while escorting a girl named Paula to court so that she can testify against a jewel thief called "The Dragon."
11"The Amazon Adventure"Ted PedersenNovember 17, 1984 (1984-11-17)
Brett and friends are visiting Brazil with Brett's father when they become entangled with a local ruffian.
12"Fright Friday"Matt UitzNovember 24, 1984 (1984-11-24)
While camping, a story about a local legend of masked men in the woods comes true and Brett and the others must save their friends.
13"The Mystery of Dark Rider"Michael MaurerDecember 1, 1984 (1984-12-01)
After a Turbo Teen clone robs a local bank, Brett must clear his name while working to uncover the identity of Dark Rider once and for all.

Crew edit

Reception edit

In The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows, David Perlmutter writes, "This is perhaps the most absurd concept developed for television animation in the genre's history. Despite a basis in somewhat-plausible science, it was not produced competently enough to make its premise anywhere near believable."[5]

References edit

  1. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. p. 875. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  2. ^ Terrace, Vincent (10 January 2014). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010, 2d ed. McFarland. ISBN 9780786486410. Retrieved 4 October 2018 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ TV.com. "Turbo Teen". TV.com. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  4. ^ Gold, Aaron (Jul 28, 2020). "That Time Pontiac Turbocharged the Trans Am". MotorTrend. Retrieved September 18, 2022.
  5. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 664–665. ISBN 978-1538103739.

External links edit