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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Wise man says 'Give the fans longer episodes'

Posted by David Lambert
We promised you that we'd look into the episode length on the upcoming DVD release for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 series), and we have been.

Though we've been unsuccessful in getting Lions Gate/Artisan to go on-the-record about this (so far, anyway), we do have some tentative word from a source connected with the production of the TMNT release. And good word it is, too! The word is, it seems, that the DVDs will contain the long version of the five episodes from the pilot mini-series, as originally aired. Not the seventy-minute "The Epic Begins" version that was previously planned for these DVDs.

And why did that change happen? Well, not only did the fans complain, but it seems that someone connected with the production did. Our sources tell us that, in the course of researching this release, the mini-series' co-writer David Wise (well-know among fans for his superb writing efforts on The Transformers, He-Man, Isis, Buck Rogers, Wonder Woman, Star Trek: The Animated Series, and Batman: TAS, as well as a LOT of the '87 TMNT episodes) was contacted by the studio for some information. When told about their plans for the edited version, Mr. Wise went to bat for the longer version, explaining that the fans would "go ballistic" if the studio didn't just release the whole mini-series intact.

According to the source, Lions Gate/Artisan agreed to do it, via what would seem to be a "connected" version of the mini-series that only contains show credits at the beginning and end of the entire "film," rather than on each of the five individual episodes. That would help account for the 93-minute running time reported by DVDEmpire, instead of an expected 100-to-110 minute length that completely separate shows (with separate credits) ought to generate. Still...perfectly acceptable, since the entire story would be shown intact.

If all this turns out to be true about the longer episodes being used - and we were told not to take it as "gospel" until we got official confirmation from the studio itself - then fans everywhere owe Mr. David Wise a debt of gratitude. A wise man, indeed!

Our lead on this seems pretty solid - solid enough to make this report - but it's still not definative. We hope to have definative word on this in the very near future, from the studio itself. Stay tuned for updates.

If all of this stuff about a DVD release is new(s) to you, then be sure to read this story for details about the April (O'Neil) 20th release on DVD of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon!

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