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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Many More Details About The Original Heroes In A Half-Shell

Posted by David Lambert
At the end of last week, fans of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles went haywire upon seeing that just about every online e-tailer put the first DVD up for pre-order. Those purchase listings include TVShowsOnDVD partners, like:

Pre-ordering via any of those links helps to support this site, by-the-way. Fans were pleased to see that the SRP of this single-disc release is a mere $14.98, and that the discounted prices are down around ten dollars.

About a week prior to that, we revealed in this news post that the DVD would "be released on April 20th, along with 4 unaired episodes." While every online listing agreed with the date, April 20th (it's fitting somehow that the month be chosen in honor of the reporter-friend of the Turtles), DVDEmpire's listing disagreed with us about the unaired episode count, and many of you wrote in to us about that.

DVDEmpire seemed to be the only online e-tailer who listed a running time (they say 93 minutes), showed "cover art," and mentioned extras. For the latter they stated "Includes 2 Never Before Seen Episodes," which is just half of what we had reported. So TVShowsOnDVD owner Gord Lacey dialed up his contacts at Artisan/Lions Gate and checked on this.

We've verified that the contents of this release are as follows:
  • Season 1 (original 5-part miniseries aired December 1987):
    • "Turtle Tracks" (a.k.a. "Heroes in a Halfshell")
    • "Enter the Shredder"
    • "A Thing About Rats"
    • "Hot Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X"
    • "Shredder and Splintered"
  • 4 Unaired Episodes:
    • "The Return of Dregg"
    • "Beginning of the End"
    • "The Monster From Dimension X"
    • "The Day the Earth Disappeared"

It should be noted that the "unaired" episodes were created in 1996 as part of the 10th season, which wrapped up the series and brought it to a close. In many markets these particular named episodes were never seen, but they actually DID air in some places during the Fall of '96. However, most fans - including myself - have never seen these four stories before, and now we get to have them on DVD!

We also inquired about the "cover art" shown at DVDEmpire, and were told that what is shown there is NOT anything the studio provided. "Artwork hasn't been finalized yet," was the official word we got (but we were promised it will be "sweet").

DVDEmpire, it should be noted, has a long-standing habit of posting temporary art for many of their DVD pre-order listings, rather than leaving the art area blank like most other websites do. Here at TVShowsOnDVD we recall a similar occassion with DVDEmpire doing this for The X-Files - Season 8, which caused a lot of confusion among readers. It is unfortunate that DVDEmpire doesn't label these as "temp art" or "unofficial," but the sure thing is that you can disregard that illustration they've currently posted.

It's important to note that we do NOT know if the main 5 episodes on this DVD (which are all the first season consisted of) will be presented on this disc as separate episodes or as one long telefilm. However, the 93-minute running time DVDEmpire reports - if true - bodes well for separate episodes. We're still looking into this, so stay tuned.

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