The daily, half-hour animated adventure series Thundercats was introduced with an extra-length "special" in January of 1985, with the series proper following eleven months later. Escaping the dying planet Thundera, a band of giant feline-like aliens with human characteristics journey to "Third Earth." Just before expiring, Jaga, the head of the Thundercats, passes the cudgel to young Lion-O, who is entrusted with the Sword of Omens, which enables himself and his comrades to possess super-powers. (In later episodes, Jaga will contact Lion-O from "The Astral World.") No sooner have they landed on Third Earth, however, than the Thundercats are assaulted by the mutant monstrosities of the planet Plun-Darr, led by the hideous living mummy Mumm-Ra. As the series progresses, Mumm-Ra will use his shape-shifting abilities to confound the "good guys"; the Thundercats will accrue such allies as the Ro-Bears and the Brute-Men; innumerable beasties, reprobates, and potential heroes will trod the ground of Third Earth, among them unicorns, pirates, living gargoyles, the enigmatic samurai Hachi-Man, the mechanical pest Wolfrat, the sheep-like (but far from sheepish) Bolkins, the indescribably horrible monster Mongra, Mumm-Ra's flunky The Driller (half power drill, half human), the teeny-tiny human race Micrits (not unlike Dr. Seuss' Whos of Whoville), and the megalomaniac Vultureman. And although it will seem that the Thundercats bear most of the brunt from unfriendly visitors, Mumm-Ra is in for some headaches of his own from his ancient mind-controlling enemy Wiz-Ra. Throughout, it remains vital for the Thundercats to sustain a generous supply of Thundrillium to retain their powers, and to avoid the Time Warp Prison.
Highlights include the two-part "Feliner," all about the Thundercats' efforts to keep their first airship aloft with the use of the hyperspace mega-condenser; and a five-part continuity, spread out over several weeks, wherein Lion-O must, on the occasion of his 20th birthday, go through a grueling rite of passage called an atonement in order to become True Lord of the ThunderCats. The last of Season one's 65 episodes is "Fond Memories," in which a visit to the Thundercats Hall of Fame proves to be an exhilarating experience when the pictures on the wall come to life...and Lion-O ends up battling himself! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
- Robert McFadden, Earl Hammond, (more)